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From left to right: Mike Pratt, physical plant; Audrey Marcinco-Jerris, physical plant; Kevin McEleney, MIM; and Jennifer Low-McEleney, chemistry with President and Vice-Chancellor David Barnard.

Celebrating excellence in support staff

Accepting nominations for the 2016 Awards of Excellence until Apr. 27

April 5, 2016 — 


Do you know a colleague, support staff member or team whose contributions to the university are exceptional? Then show your appreciation by nominating them for one of five Awards of Excellence.

*The nominations deadline has been extended until April 27.

The annual Awards of Excellence evening is a prestigious and community-gathering event that celebrates the stellar accomplishments, initiatives and teamwork demonstrated by our outstanding support staff. Organized and hosted by the learning & organizational development unit, human resources, the event is the ultimate forum to recognize and celebrate staff accomplishments.

Gregory Juliano, associate vice-president (human resources), notes, “The outstanding reputation of the University of Manitoba is a direct result of the dedicated efforts of its faculty and staff to achieve the highest possible standards in the provision and administration of post-secondary education and research.”

But it takes community involvement to recognize these outstanding support staff — and that’s where a nomination comes in.


Last year’s Team Award Winners: ‘An honour to be recognized’

On hearing the news, Jennifer Low McEleney was so surprised that she called her director to see if the email was legitimate.

The operations coordinator was a member of the Manitoba Institute for Materials team that won the Team Award Last year.

“I felt like I was simply doing my job,” she says. “It is quite an honour to have your peers recognize your dedication to the University as a whole, let alone for others outside of your unit to acknowledge your time and effort.”

The nominee and President’s receptions were highlights.

“It was great fun to visit with others across campus, to learn about other projects going on and meet some new friends. At the President’s residence, it was a more intimate gathering filled with good atmosphere, great company and delicious food,” says McEleney.

She brought her son, Teddy, who was also invited to join the celebration. McEleney was quite nervous about bringing him, but he was welcomed by the other attendees, she says.

“I also greatly enjoyed the speeches regarding the recipients — as they were quite moving.”

When a new project begins, she says, it can be intimidating to work with other departments across campus. “However, with the scale, importance and timeline of this project, we needed to work together as a team from day one,” says McEleney.

Though it is not typical for end users such as MIM  to be so heavily involved with the design of a new space, she adds, “I feel that our involvement helped a great deal, as we were able to design a space that was functional to our very specific needs and answer engineer’s questions regarding instrumental requirements immediately.”

A year later, she’s happy to say they’ve moved into their new building and the institute is completely operational. With MIM no longer only a virtual institute, the modern new space and state-of-the-art instrumentation have led to a diverse new user base.

“This new facility has given us the opportunity to host outreach events including guest lecturers and Science Rendezvous, and to invite visitors for our Manitoba Materials Conference being held May 10,” she says.


Awards Categories

The Awards of Excellence are broken down into four distinct categories:

  • President’s Award recognizes outstanding contributions throughout a staff member’s career at the university.
  • The Service Award celebrates support staff who have exhibited a high level of initiative, dedication and cooperation in their service to students, faculty, staff, and the general public.
  • The Leadership Award celebrates individuals who have led their teams in achieving exceptional results and maintaining positive morale.
  • The Team Award recognizes critical work done by effective, collaborative teams, exceeding the expectations of the stakeholders, and leading to improvement in procedures, productivity, or service levels.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Award celebrates a support staff member who is a champion for diversity and inclusion. This individual is someone who regularly contributes to enhancing an open and welcoming environment at the university.


Update: Nominations have been extended until April 27.

Upon successful nomination, all nominees and nominators will be invited to a celebratory reception at The Hub on May 3. Award recipients, along with their nominators and guests, will also be invited to a celebratory reception at the President’s house on June 9, an event that proves year over year to be a night worth remembering.

Past award recipients, nomination criteria and full descriptions of each award category can be found on the LOD Awards of Excellence page.

For further information or to provide feedback, contact David Grad, facilitator and programs coordinator, learning and organizational development,, 204-474-8468.

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