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UM staff at the Awards of Excellence celebration.

Wow! Awards of Excellence honours the contributions of over 1,000 support staff during COVID-19 pandemic

A remarkable number of nominations for outstanding staff in an exceptional year

June 23, 2021 — 

This year’s Awards of Excellence recognized the excellence in our COVID-19 response—those support staff who helped to bring out the very best in the University of Manitoba during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual Awards program that recognizes excellence in the work of support staff is now in its fifteenth year, and saw a record number of nominations this year.

“We were blown away by the sheer volume,” says Darlene Smith, chair of the Awards of Excellence committee.

“The many worthy nominations are a testament to the major effort required by our UM community to meet and surpass the multiple, ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic. The outstanding work done by our support staff really helped our University succeed throughout this exceptional year.”

Smith also notes that it was no easy task to narrow down the top nominations.

“Each nomination illustrated dedication and perseverance—everyone rose to the challenge of these unprecedented times.”

The community is encouraged to visit the Awards of Excellence website, which celebrates the full list of nominees and recipients.



This year, President and Vice-Chancellor Michael Benarroch awarded the prestigious President’s Award to two individuals and two teams whose extraordinary efforts supported the UM community.

The following support staff were honoured with the President’s Award of Excellence:


Nominated by: Susan McClement


Technician, Faculty of Science

Nominated by: Dr. Robert Stamps


Acting Chief Risk Officer, Risk Management

Nominated by: Rachelle Ross


Nominated by: Andrew Konowalchuk, Steve Cumpsty, Sukhjinder Singh and Wayne Billing


“Thank you and congratulations to all support staff honoured by the 2021 Awards of Excellence,” says President Benarroch.  

“These nominees and awardees reflect not only the high calibre of our UM support staff, but also the incredible perseverance and positive cross-unit collaboration that helped us to fulfill our research, teaching and learning mission throughout this uniquely challenging year.  

“Your contributions are nothing less than inspiring!”


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