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L-R: Dr. Janice Ristock, Kathy Graham, Dr. Judy Anderson, Dr. Mohammed Moghadasian (for James House), and Dr. Todd Mondor

L-R: Dr. Janice Ristock, Kathy Graham, Dr. Judy Anderson, Dr. Mohammed Moghadasian (for James House), and Dr. Todd Mondor

Faculty of Graduate Studies Fall Awards

December 4, 2018 — 

The graduate student faculty and staff awards were handed out on November 28 at the Faculty of Graduate Studies Fall Awards Reception.

 

Kathy Graham – Faculty of Graduate Studies Outstanding Support Staff Award

Kathy Graham of the Faculty of Graduate Studies is the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Support Staff Award.

These awards recognize the outstanding support provided to our graduate students and graduate programs by staff, faculty members, and administrators.

“Kathy is an exceptional resource to the students in the Departments of Animal Science, Entomology and Agribusiness,” says Jitendra Paliwal, nominator and professor in the Department of Biosystems Engineering. “She is knowledgeable, organized, responsive, and resourceful. She is always willing to go that extra mile that makes your interaction with her a pleasurable experience.”

Through her work with students as a Graduate Program Assistant, Kathy has become the “go-to” person for Academic staff with questions and problems regarding grad student related items.

“I am currently the Graduate Program Assistant for the departments of Entomology, Animal Science and Agribusiness & Agricultural Economics.  I answer inquiries from potential M.Sc. and Ph.D. students and assist them with the application process,” she says. “I process approximately 225 applications per year.  After students arrive, I assist them throughout their programs.”

She adds: “I am also part of a team of graduate program assistants for the Faculty of Agricultural & Food Sciences and provide back up support when other members are away.”

But her work goes well beyond providing relief to other staff members and assisting students with their many inquiries. Some of her most rewarding experiences are those that are a little more personal.

“I was so surprised and touched the first time that a student brought me a gift when they arrived,” she explains. “I am still very touched by their displays of appreciation.  I hope that I am making a difference in their lives and helping them to reach their goals.  I also hope that I am easing the workload of our very busy professors.”

Kathy says that the results of her efforts can be very rewarding. “It’s very satisfying to see students succeed in their goals; I feel like a proud mom of my students.”

 

James House – Faculty of Graduate Studies Outstanding Administrator Award

James House is the recipient of the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ 2018 Outstanding Administrator Award.

These awards recognize the outstanding support provided to our graduate students and graduate programs by staff, faculty members and administrators.

“Our graduate program was recently reviewed and positively commented on by both internal and external reviewers. I received positive comments on Dr. House’s advisory activities from his present and past graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.” says Mohammed Moghadasian, professor in the Department of Food & Human Nutritional Sciences. “He has an active research program and his graduate students have received recognitions.”

He continues: “It was because of the above mentioned evidence that I nominated Dr. House for the Administrative Award and I am so pleased that the Award Committee recognized my justifications and awarded him.”

House has found his work to be an essential component for students in the transition to professionals while helping them achieve their goals.

“Since becoming Head of the Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, I made significant efforts to help our graduate students achieve new skills and new opportunities through professional skills development and engagement with other peers from across the food for health continuum,” House says. “It is rewarding to be recognized for these activities, but I couldn’t have done this without the support of our administrative team and graduate program committees.”

He adds: “This position has had a significant impact on me by providing an opportunity to assist talented scholars with achieving their goals.  It is a highly rewarding activity.”

House continues to drive the success of students through his work, ensuring that they have the proper tools and resources.

“One area where I feel that I have made an impact in the training of our graduate students relates to the creation of a Graduate Student Symposium related to foods and nutrition.  I initiated the process, but really just started the ball rolling, as the intent was for this symposium to be developed for students, by students.  This event develops new skills related to event planning and management, fiscal responsibility, communication and knowledge translation.  I’m very happy to see that these symposia have evolved over the past 9 years, and now provide an opportunity for greater understanding of all students interested in food systems research.”

 

Judy Anderson – Faculty of Graduate Studies Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring

Judy Anderson (BSc (Med)/81, PhD/85) is the recipient of the 2018 Faculty of Graduate Studies Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring.

These awards recognize the outstanding support provided to our graduate students and graduate programs by staff, faculty members, and administrators.

“As a former PhD student, it was an honour to nominate Judy. She is an exceptionally giving mentor,” says Wanda Snow, University Research Development Officer. “On top of being a brilliant scientist, she genuinely cares about the well-being of her students, both academically and personally, and advocates on their behalf in any way she can.”

She continues: “Once news of her nomination spread, I had students contacting me offering to write letters of support, which speaks to the kind of relationships she has cultivated with her students.”

Judy’s understanding of the communication process is what gives her the ability to foster strong relationships and provide exceptional advice in student mentoring.

“I think the most important part of mentorship is keeping the modes of communication fully open and fully honest. This honesty aspect means tempering feedback to fit the circumstance – praise in public; correct in private – and for that, a regular pattern of interaction should precede feedback so the students know the advisor,” she says. “I’ve tried to be predictable so students can ‘read’ me effectively and know in advance that I hold myself and them to the same high standards so our joint work will be successful.”

She adds: “It’s good to avoid making any assumptions as there are no two students who follow the same path in maturing as students in a program, or as scientists finding a career, or as people.”

Judy reached the formal end of her career as of July 1st, 2018. As she retires from her work at the University she reflects on the impacts that she has made not only in the lives of students, but in her field of study as well.

“I realize now that I’ve contributed to the growth of a discipline – the biology of skeletal muscle tissue and stem cells – and to the personal and professional growth of my students, myself, collaborators, and colleagues. Somehow it all does connect,” she explains.

“My professional roles outside UManitoba in developing conferences and reviewing grants and papers have broadened perspectives and enhance dreams of students and others, and hopefully provided a stronger foundation of evidence to inform decisions here on campus even in my many service and administrative roles.”

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