2013 President’s Awards for Staff Recipients

President’s Service Awards for Excellence

President’s Staff Awards (Vancouver campus)

Emerging Leadership

Enhancing the UBC Experience

Creativity & Innovation


Advancing Diversity & Inclusion

Global Citizenship

President’s Service Awards for Excellence (PSAE)

Nelson Dinn

For 17 years, Nelson Dinn, Business Operations Manager, has made significant contributions to student learning, research excellence, and community engagement at the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre in Agassiz. Nelson is described as the glue that holds the Dairy Centre together, providing expert management of a facility with a unique dual mandate – both an education and research centre as well as an economically viable commercial dairy. Nelson is committed to enhancing UBC’s mission of research excellence at the Dairy Centre, while also supporting the agricultural community in British Columbia.

Nelson is well known in the Agassiz area as a community leader. Over the last 10 years, Nelson has been involved in numerous industry, government and community committees, and has hosted over 30,000 curious visitors at the Dairy Centre.

In response to the industry’s need for trained dairy workers, he took a leadership role in developing a one-year dairy apprenticeship program through the B.C. Dairy Association, one of only seven government-recognized apprenticeship programs in B.C.

Nelson was brought on to run a small dairy farm, from which he has built a world-leading research facility, fostered a dynamic and loyal team of staff and students, and cemented UBC’s position as a valued leader in the B.C. agricultural community.

Dr. Rob Lloyd-Smith

Dr. Rob Lloyd-Smith, Physician with Student Health Service, has been the head physician for the UBC Thunderbird teams since 1982. For more than thirty years, UBC student athletes and coaches have benefited from his expertise and passion for athletics as well as his dedication to the health and success of the student athletes.

Dr. Rob, as he is known by the athletes, improves the value, efficiency and sustainability of the student health services each day, and works to provide and sustain a consistently high quality of service to students.

He has been credited by numerous UBC coaches with making significant contributions to conference and national championship victories by providing top-flight injury treatment to a countless number of UBC athletes, across the entire varsity sport portfolio.

Off-campus, he has shared his expertise with a vast range of athletics organizations, including Canada’s national biathlon, Nordic ski and field hockey teams, the International Ski Racing Federation, the NHL Players Association, the National Ballet, and the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

For over three decades, Rob has been dedicated to supporting students’ health and success in all their pursuits, athletic and otherwise. He inspires students and colleagues with his dedication.

Lynn MacDonald

The leadership and passion that Lynn MacDonald brings to her role of Manager, UBC Animal Care & Biosafety Committees, enable UBC’s scientists to conduct world-leading research, fulfilling UBC’s commitment to Research Excellence.

Lynn manages the oversight processes to ensure all UBC research proposals involving animals or biohazards are closely reviewed. Overall, Lynn’s work has made the animal research approval process at UBC more comprehensive and more transparent, benchmarks of an effective and sustainable system.

Lynn is a leader among her North American peers, ensuring UBC has the best information on the evolving regulatory environment. With her counterpart at McGill, Lynn co-founded the Canadian Animal Ethics Coordinators Group, which has become an important national network.

She is dedicated to expanding learning opportunities to meet the needs of UBC’s researchers, leading the development of online learning modules around Animal Care and Animal Ethics, modules which have been adopted by the Canadian Council on Animal Care and are now used in trainings Canada-wide.

Lynn’s passion in supporting the community extends off-campus, volunteering in the Downtown Eastside, as well as fundraising internationally.

UBC’s academic researchers benefit daily from Lynn’s knowledge and leadership. Lynn’s contributions are vital to keeping UBC at the forefront of North American research-based universities.

Dionne Pelan

Dionne Pelan, Coordinator, Computer and Drop-in Programs at the UBC Learning Exchange, exemplifies UBC’s commitment to lifelong learning and personal development.

Dionne is responsible for the Computer Skills Drop-In, a program fundamental to all other Learning Exchange activities. Under Dionne’s leadership, the Drop-In regularly receives praise as a safe and diverse space. The Strathcona Mental Health team has commended the Learning Exchange Drop-In as the only space where some Downtown Eastside residents can relate positively to others and work on basic life skills.

Dionne’s interpersonal skills, local credibility and passion for learning have supported many others from the Downtown Eastside to extend their own education.

In sometimes sensitive circumstances, Dionne helps students integrate their classroom learning with lived experience, enriching the student’s understanding of the complexity of the world around them.

For thirteen years, Dionne has been a truly effective ambassador for UBC in the Downtown Eastside community. She is adept at identifying what every individual has to contribute and in supporting that individual to apply their strengths.

Dionne’s dedication and commitment to her work and to the goals of the Learning Exchange strengthens UBC’s position as a global citizen, supporting community members in the Downtown Eastside to explore and expand their learning opportunities.

Andrea Wink

The commitment of Andrea Wink, Assistant Dean, Development & Alumni Affairs in the Faculty of Applied Science, to UBC’s vision and values can be seen in her unwavering support of the development process at UBC. Every day, Andrea builds the long-term sustainability of development initiatives, while nurturing relationships to maintain strong connections with alumni and donors.

Andrea led the Faculty of Dentistry’s efforts to build a new dental clinic facility, the Nobel Biocare Oral Health Centre. To support the wider community, Andrea secured funding grants to ensure access to dental treatment for people who face financial hardships, including a busing program for children to receive free transportation and dental care at UBC.

In the Faculty of Applied Science, the team led by Andrea is on track to reach its $142-million goal as part of the start an evolution campaign, and has engaged more than 7,000 alumni for the Faculty.

Andrea is significantly involved in supporting UBC’s Campus as a Living Lab initiative, which is a key component in the University’s long-term strategic plan.

Andrea’s dedication to philanthropy extends beyond the University. She has been a long-time mentor for Dress for Success, and is a staunch advocate of dance and the performing arts, as Chair of the Scotiabank Dance Centre.

President’s Staff Awards (Vancouver campus)

Emerging Leadership

Leonie Harper (née Croydon), Faculty of Medicine

Leonie Harper (née Croydon), Evaluation Associate with the Evaluation Studies Unit, Faculty of Medicine, is dedicated to providing her colleagues with opportunities for connection, and to support their healthy work and lifestyle options.

Leonie strives to make UBC a better workplace for the unit, the faculty, and the broader community through her connections to UBC and community events. In 2011, she led the application process for Healthy Workplace Initiative Program (HWIP) funding. Healthy workplace activities took place throughout the year, building momentum and sustaining change.

The community spirit and attention to health and wellbeing that resulted from these initiatives has continued at the Diamond Health Care Centre, and has aided in keeping this group feeling engaged and valued among the UBC community.

Leonie regularly volunteers for internal working groups, committees, and other activities. She is a natural leader and is committed to improving the work environment of her colleagues.

Her commitment to development and learning is seen in all aspects of her life, including academic, as Leonie is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Public Health.

Leonie has proved herself as an exceptional mentor; she demonstrates respect for all individuals, ensuring high standards in all areas of her work, and supports fellow staff in their development.

Robyn Leuty, School of Kinesiology

Robyn Leuty, Student Development Officer in the School of Kinesiology, is described as having single-handedly changed the Kinesiology undergraduate student experience in positive and enduring ways.

She is committed to ensuring that every Kinesiology student’s experience includes leadership and involvement, learning and research, community service, health and wellbeing, and career and professional development.

In her first year in the school, Robyn developed a series of well-received workshops for undergraduates, focusing on time management, and writing and study skills. She created a series of “Lab Crawls,” linking students with faculty research labs to build strong connections between research and learning.

Robyn was instrumental in the development of the Kinesiology Transition Plan, which pairs each new Kinesiology student with a student mentor. Not only does this provide the new student with support, it provides a mentoring experience for the senior student.

Robyn has created an enriching, motivating and diverse undergraduate learning environment that provides students with the personal growth, skills and support to accomplish their goals.

The depth of Robyn’s contribution to UBC shines when the needs of students are at the core of any decision, conversation, or program. Robyn creates true excitement when she speaks with colleagues and students about the opportunities to enhance student experiences.

Enhancing the UBC Experience

Dr. Jill Baird, Museum of Anthropology

Dr. Jill Baird, Curator of Education and Public Programmes at the UBC Museum of Anthropology, has contributed significantly to the field of museum education through her leadership in program development and scholarship.

Jill was instrumental in developing the new Masters Programme in Museum Education with the UBC Faculty of Education. The new programme attracted 15 students in its first year, and has opened up a new collaborative relationship between MOA and the Faculty of Education.

For three years, Jill was the Coordinating Curator for MOA’s major exhibit, “Safar/Voyage: Contemporary Works by Arab, Iranian, and Turkish Artists,” that brought to UBC the first major Canadian group exhibition of 16 contemporary artists from the Middle East.

Jill is dedicated to developing innovative school programmes, including the Musqueam Museum School, which has become a model for other museums and communities.

Bringing interns to MOA is something Jill is passionate about. The internships help develop and build interns’ relationships with artists, cultural educators and community advisors. Similarly, Jill cultivates this dedication with museum volunteers, who deliver programming on First Nations culture and special exhibits to approximately 17,000 elementary and secondary students every year.

Jill’s innovative approach brings new and exciting connections with staff, volunteers, and community members to UBC.

Jon Nakane and Bernhard Zender, Faculty of Science

In a team award, Jon Nakane and Bernhard Zender of the Engineering Physics Project Laboratory were nominated by their students for truly Enhancing the UBC Experience.

Jon and Bernhard exemplify the team approach to supporting student learning in the lab. The students nominating Jon and Bernhard described the lab as a learning environment where creativity, innovation and fun are an intrinsic part of the student experience.

Jon and Bernhard are always on hand, helping students with their ideas, offering support, keeping the lab in top operating shape, and helping students translate their classroom learning to hands-on experience.

Moreover, the sheer enthusiasm and passion Jon and Bernhard have for engineering physics is demonstrated outside the lab at outreach events, open houses and project fairs.

Jon and Bernhard have helped to create a learning environment that is described as the highest-quality lab for undergraduates on the UBC campus.

Jon Nakane, Director of the Engineering Physics Project lab, is an instructor for the project and robotics course, and a mentor for all Engineering Physics students.

Jon influences students in positive ways that go beyond academic excellence. He nurtures qualities in students that no course can teach, such as leadership and perseverance. Jon constantly helps students participating in extra-curricular activities at UBC, and devotes his spare time to ensure that students are learning and growing.

Jon’s mentorship has improved the experience of students at UBC, who come to him from a wide variety of faculties and programs in addition to the Engineering Physics department.

Bernhard Zender, Engineering Technician in the Engineering Physics Project lab, is the go-to problem solver for Engineering Physics students.

The problems Engineering Physics students tackle in their project course and extracurricular projects are usually novel, complex, and time consuming. Bernhard manages to keep variables and details pertaining to each student’s project in his head, and can offer new insights of suggestions and approaches. His sense of curiosity, attention to detail, and genuine concern for student learning are helpful and encouraging to students, and can help act as a final catalysis when a student needs a final push to complete a difficult project.

Bernhard’s constant contributions to the project lab as a whole continually improve the efficiency and utility of the lab.

Creativity & Innovation

Jens Locher, Faculty of Graduate Studies

Jens Locher, Manager, Web Strategy & Recruitment Initiatives for the Faculty of Graduate Studies, is a campus leader in creative thinking and leadership in the fast-developing area of web and social media strategy, and how to use emerging tools to support international graduate student recruitment and engagement.

Jens had a vision for using technology to foster community for the far-flung newly admitted graduate students. To fill this need, Jens created the successful online graduate student community forum, a service which has brought communication with and among this group to an entirely new level of engagement.

The impact Jens has had in refining and expanding the Faculty’s approach to recruitment has been transformational. His achievements have moved UBC to the forefront in international graduate student engagement. Jens’s creative thinking and constant drive to innovate inspires his colleagues.

Jens’ leadership can be seen across campus. He was instrumental in creating collaboration groups to share best practices in the Drupal development platform, as well as a web content managers group.

Jens’ influence isn’t confined to one particular project or accomplishment, but is a pervasive and driving force for creating solutions for all students. Jens is dedicated to his vision of enhancing UBC’s online content and application processes to attract the best students to the University.

Caroline Rueckert, Jump Start

As the Program Director for UBC Jump Start, Caroline Rueckert’s impact on the campus community and on the student experience has been inspirational.

With Jump Start, Caroline has been the driving force behind implementing a wonderful vision of how to assist international and Aboriginal students in their transition from high school to first-year university. Caroline knew that the success of the program would be built around developing the roles of student leaders, and she has put together one of the largest and most productive teams of student leaders at UBC.

In 2011, Caroline introduced the popular Learning Labs to Jump Start, which provides students with opportunities to be active agents in their learning and to develop critical competencies that are essential to succeed in a Canadian academic context.

Caroline has a rare ability to push her colleagues to the limits of their intellectual and professional capacities, while simultaneously bolstering their confidence and ensuring that they feel cared for and supported.

Caroline cultivates a culture and community of leadership where students look for the best in each other. As an educator, Caroline encourages students to immerse themselves in learning and to make meaning and relevance of new experiences from different perspectives.


Moyra Ditchfield, Faculty of Science

Moyra Ditchfield, Director of Facilities for the Department of Computer Science, has played a key role in the success of the department as an outstanding learning, research and working environment.

Moyra’s leadership has a direct and positive impact on the entire department – every student, visitor, staff and faculty member – as Moyra leads in managing technical infrastructure and building facilities. She is instrumental in defining and implementing procedures that help the department operate facilities and assign technical staff to provide an efficient and successful environment.

Moyra is dedicated to nurturing an exceptional physical and computing environment for everyone in Computer Science, and is a leader in implementing new technologies, several of which have been adopted campus-wide.

She has played a pioneering role in planning and realizing informal learning spaces for undergraduate and graduate students throughout Computer Science, providing leadership as part of a broader UBC-wide initiative on student learning space.

When the department was preparing to offer UBC’s first Massively Online Open Course, Moyra ensured that the server would be secure and reliable for the 130,000 students who eventually signed up for the course. This attention to detail is typical of Moyra’s philosophy that computing services should run smoothly for students, staff and faculty.

Joanne Schroeder, Human Early Learning Partnership

The vision of Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) is to “create research knowledge that helps children thrive.” Joanne Schroeder, Deputy Director of HELP, has provided leadership to all of the interdisciplinary research and knowledge mobilization work of HELP, with a distinct passion for HELP’s community engagement work.

Joanne leads by example, solving problems as they occur, seeking consensual solutions, and respecting the many perspectives of HELP’s staff and faculty.

Joanne brings her years of community work experience, her advocacy for social justice and equity, and her particular interest in creating communities that support children to thrive to her leadership work at HELP.

Joanne makes connections as an enthusiastic and sincere advocate for children and their families and their communities, who dedicates her time to working with others to make communities the best places for children to grow and learn. Joanne makes connections between the day-to-day needs and realities of practitioners, as well as the incentives and motivations of researchers and of policy makers, and uses her familiarity with these different worlds to bridge the gaps that exist between them.

Joanne’s leadership has been described as the scaffolding at the centre of HELP, allowing the unit to grow and expand as one of UBC’s premier research centres.

Advancing Diversity and Inclusion

James Andrew, Faculty of Medicine

James Andrew, Aboriginal Student Initiatives Coordinator in the Faculty of Medicine, is dedicated to making UBC a welcoming and supportive place for indigenous students in their health career pathway.

For the last 11 years, James’ work has been largely focused on realizing the success of UBC Aboriginal students in the Faculty of Medicine. The program has exceeded projections and has recruited, supported and graduated 50 self-identified Aboriginal medical students in its 10 years of existence

In the students’ communities, James is always mentioned in a positive light. His work with indigenous students at UBC is well known and he is viewed as someone who is trustworthy, kind, caring, and helpful. He understands how indigenous communities function, and works in culturally appropriate ways that builds trust and long-term relationships.

He finds ways to support students culturally, helping students access their strength and resilience when challenges arise. He is able to support and mentor students through these challenges to succeed and become important members of their communities.

James’ recruitment strategies and his system of support for indigenous medical students is a model that is being replicated by health and other faculties at UBC. His expertise is sought after, and James is often invited to share his model of success at conferences and other institutions across Canada and internationally.

Global Citizenship

Steve Golob, Food Services

Can the world be changed over a bowl of soup? Steve Golob, Commissary Chef at Place Vanier Dining Hall, believes so, if one starts with the commitment to using healthy, sustainable ingredients. Every day, Steve connects with those in his community to close the distance between farm and fork in order to deliver the highest quality of foods to students. He is dedicated to increasing local food procurement, advocating for a sustainable food system, and promoting connections between B.C. farms and school cafeterias across the province.

Steve’s passion has touched and influenced the lives of UBC staff, students living in UBC residences, food and food systems students, by teaching, mentoring, and participating on boards and committees in the community that strive to strengthen local food systems.

Those in the UBC and national culinary communities know of Steve’s passion and commitment to sustainability, and he has their utmost respect and admiration. Steve’s tireless efforts have brought UBC’s sustainable food system work to the national stage.

His dedication to putting his values into practice goes beyond UBC as demonstrated by his willingness to share his experience in helping others pursue similar goals. He is invested in mentoring colleagues and students, as well as supporting others nationally as a member of the Farm to Cafeteria Canada Advisory board.