Staff Awards of Excellence

The Staff Awards of Excellence celebrate outstanding contributions instrumental in helping UBC’s Okanagan campus achieve its strategic imperatives.

The awards elevate UBC’s commitment to creating an outstanding work environment by:

  • Recognizing initiative, talent, creativity and dedication that enrich the work experience for everyone at UBC, and
  • Strengthening recruitment and retention strategies to support UBC’s commitment to hiring the best faculty and staff.

2024 Nominations open April 15 and are accepted until the closing date on June 14.

Award Categories and Nominations

Awards are offered in the following categories:

Advancing Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence is awarded to an individual or team who accomplished some or all of the following:

a) Showed leadership in promoting inclusive excellence at UBC by:

  • encouraging professional development to build equity, inclusion and anti-racist competencies
  • building respectful environments to enhance inclusion and in particular the experiences of systematically underrepresented and marginalized communities; and/or
  • actively seeking opportunities for learning, development and implementation of equity and inclusion principles, in processes and practices


b) Advancing equity and diversity at UBC by:

  • removing barriers to meaningful and active participation in university life;
  • enhancing the accessibility of physical and virtual environments;
  • working to embed the processes and practices of equity and inclusion in their area of influence;
  • leading by example to positively influence and engage others in equity and diversity initiatives and the creation of a positive, inclusive, respectful environment(s); and/or
  • applying an equity lens to projects and initiatives within their area of influence

Enhancing the UBC Experience is awarded to an individual who has accomplished some or all of the following:

  • Improved the value and efficiency of the services they provide
  • Maintained a consistently high quality of service to UBC Okanagan customers including faculty, staff, students and alumni
  • Anticipated clients’ needs and potential problems and acted to proactively resolve
  • Created new, cost-effective and/or innovative methods for performing day-to-day activities
  • Displayed exemplary problem-solving skills
  • Served as role models to others through openness to new ways of doing things and consistently positive interactions

Global Citizenship is awarded to an individual who accomplished some or all of the following:

  • Initiated and maintained sustainable, collaborative partnerships within UBC or with community, governmental, indigenous or other educational organizations
  • Demonstrated systems thinking and encouraged collaboration, sense-making and integration across campuses
  • Exemplified good citizenship through personal volunteerism or by helping to position UBC Okanagan as a good citizen in the wider world
  • Served as a mentor and/or model citizen to students, faculty, staff, or community members outside of UBC Okanagan

Leadership is awarded to an individual who accomplished some or all of the following:

  • Established and maintained exemplary and inclusive people practices
  • Provided a sense of purpose, vision and mission for their co-workers and/or staff
  • Positively influenced others to build consensus and action around departmental or organizational objectives
  • Managed and led change initiatives effectively
  • Achieved sustainable results
  • Invested time and effort in coaching and/or mentoring

Okanagan Campus Spirit is awarded to department colleagues or interdisciplinary group or committee members of three or more people, that have demonstrated the following:

  • Consistently demonstrates enthusiasm, dedication, perseverance and excellence in the face of challenge
  • Works collaboratively encouraging participation and openness while sharing ideas, responsibilities, skills, resources and credit across UBC
  • Promotes a positive work environment characterized by respect, support, trust and collegiality
  • Understanding of its role within UBC and uses an agreed-upon approach to achieve its mission or project outcome, and
  • Integrate effective meeting skills, problem solving tools, planning techniques and conflict resolution strategies to achieve directed results.

Sustainability is awarded to an individual that accomplished some or all of the following:

  • Demonstrated the application of UBC sustainability policy or plans in their actions, daily operations or activities on campus
  • Actively engaged their colleagues in demonstrated ways to support campus sustainability
  • Initiated a sustainability-related initiative or practice within the unit or department that has benefited day-to-day operations or the overall campus’ environmental footprint
  • Demonstrated involvement as a volunteer individual or team to help educate, create awareness or promote campus sustainability
  • Activities can be related to, but are not limited to the following – energy conservation practices, recycling and waste diversion practices, water conservation practices, sustainable purchasing practices, sustainable food choices and service delivery, sustainable accommodation operations, green meetings and events, paperless office initiatives, energy conservation practices

Wellbeing is awarded to an individual or team who accomplished some or all of the following:

  • Created opportunities for others to increase their knowledge, skills and awareness of individual, community or organizational wellbeing
  • Led activities and initiatives that promote the social, physical, and/or mental health and wellbeing for those who study, work, and live at UBC
  • Created or developed welcoming physical or virtual spaces to nurture an increased sense of community and collaboration
  • Inspired community members to foster connections and create networks of care for themselves and each other
  • Worked to embed wellbeing in projects and initiatives within their area of influence
  • Promoted and enhanced the wellbeing of students, faculty and/or staff

How to Nominate a Colleague

Nominators of the successful candidate(s) will be notified by the selection committee and invited, along with the nominee to attend an award ceremony in the fall.

  • All UBC Okanagan faculty, staff and students may nominate candidates for an award.
  • Individual nominations – All regular permanent UBC Okanagan staff and Librarians with a minimum of two (2) years’ continuous service are eligible.
  • Team nominations – Teams will be considered with a minimum of three (3) members. All staff and Librarians with a minimum of six (6) months of cumulative service are eligible.

The nomination process includes the following steps:

  • Step 1: Select the award category in which you want to nominate the person
  • Step 2: Download the nomination package
  • Step 3: Outline how the nominee has demonstrated the award criteria by providing specific examples
  • Step 4: Include up to two (2) letters of support
  • Step 5: Submit the nomination package
  • Step 6: Wait for results

Nomination Packages

For more information, please contact

Recipients of the Staff Awards of Excellence

2023 Staff Awards of Excellence Recipients

Congratulations to the following honourees who are being recognized for their unwavering commitment and dedication across six award categories:

Carol Boyd (Enhancing the UBC Experience)

Carol, a local celebrity, has a 30-year tenure in the Department of Athletics & Recreation at UBC Okanagan. She is known as “MacGyver” for her exceptional problem-solving abilities and leadership in facility management. Carol has been involved in large-scale events, risk management, and reopening the Department during the pandemic. Through her expert facility management, she has implemented cost effective solutions that benefit the university and its students. Carol’s dedication to making the UBC community a better place is evident in every project and initiative she undertakes.

Carol’s exceptional achievements over the past thirty years have earned her the Enhancing the UBC Experience Award. Congratulations, Carol!

Colin Wilson (Global Citizenship)

Colin Wilson, Director of Business Development at UBC Okanagan School of Engineering, has been instrumental in fostering research and industry partnerships. He has established sustainable relationships between UBC and local and global companies and communities. His communication skills and active listening abilities enable him to connect solution seekers with UBCO researchers, resulting in innovative solutions. Colin has also strengthened cross-campus partnerships, establishing two cross-campus research networks and one infrastructure project. He has facilitated meaningful discussions and collaborations to address real-world problems, secured research funding, and facilitated graduate students’ research.

Overall, Colin Wilson’s outstanding leadership, networking abilities, and commitment to fostering collaborations and partnerships have significantly contributed to the success and impact of UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering. His work exemplifies the qualities of a global citizen and makes him a deserving recipient of the Staff Awards of Excellence in Global Citizenship.

Kathryn Douglas-Campbell (Leadership)

Kathryn has significantly contributed to the Faculty of Health and Social Development (FHSD) through her leadership, inclusivity, project management, and advocacy. Her expertise in policies, procedures, and institutional history has helped in staff hiring, coordinating spaces, and addressing inequities.

Through tangible and sustainable results in her initiatives, such as bimonthly newsletters and online handbooks, which streamlined information sharing and reduced email overload, Kathryn’s adaptable leadership has facilitated successful onboarding of new employees, reconstruction of the FHSD team, and led coordination of complex projects such as office relocations and the transition to Workday Student.

Kathryn’s exceptional contributions have earned her this recognition and appreciation for her above and beyond leadership contributions to not only FHSD and UBCO, but also to our community. Congratulations, Kathryn!

Michele Gabourie (Wellbeing)

Michele, an Implementation Specialist at AVPS, has been selected for the Wellbeing Award for her exceptional leadership in fostering community and collaboration in the workplace. Her approachability and humor have led to a balanced and supportive work environment. Michele promotes physical wellbeing through movement breaks, fitness classes, and pickleball games, fostering a healthy work-life balance. She also actively promotes wellbeing-based programs and opportunities on campus, fostering a sense of belonging and community. Michele’s dedication to wellbeing initiatives has made UBCO a better place. Congratulations, Michele!

Rachel Andreychuk (Advancing Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence)

Rachel, the Interim Associate Director of Indigenous Programs and Services, has expanded her management skills and responsibilities, focusing on providing a culturally safe space for Indigenous students. Her dedication to equity and diversity, including the Indigenous Research Mentorship program, has led to invaluable research opportunities and academic and professional pathways for Indigenous undergraduates.

Congratulations, Rachel, and thank you for your dedication in fostering an inclusive environment and advancing anti-racism and inclusive excellence at UBCO and beyond.

Robyn Bunn (Sustainability)

Robyn Bunn, Manager of Community Service Learning, fosters student engagement and sustainability through various initiatives. She collaborates with Recreation, the Global Engagement Office, Residence Life, and Student Housing & Community Services to promote sustainable practices. Robyn also works with faculty to embed experiential projects into the Bachelor of Sustainability program. She also supports climate change dialogue and creates Climate Action Assistant student leader positions. Robyn’s dedication to sustainability and selfless leadership makes her a role model for staff, students, and community members.

Robyn’s commitment to sustainability has had a significant impact at UBCO, and beyond. Through her initiatives, partnerships, and collaborations, she incorporates sustainability into her programs, fosters student engagement, raises awareness, and promotes responsible waste management practices. Robyn’s dedication, leadership, and contributions make her a deserving recipient of recognition for her efforts towards sustainability. Congratulations, Robyn!

2022 Staff Awards of Excellence announced at Principal and DVC’s Town Hall

At last month’s Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Town Hall, a number of employees were recognized for their outstanding service to the university at the annual Staff Awards of Excellence.

This year, six awards were given out in the following categories: Advancing Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence, Enhancing the UBC Experience, Leadership, Global Citizenship, Okanagan Campus Spirit, and Wellbeing.

Congratulations to this year’s Honourees.

The 2022 Staff Awards of Excellence winners.

Right to left: Lesley Cormak, Jodi Siever, Kristi Hoffman, Janet Heisler, Dominka Wesolowski, Irene McKechnie, Earllene Roberts, Damien Bell, Max Nevill, Casey Hamilton, Dana Lowton, Alex Bayne, Camilo Pena (Missing: Jodie Foster, Gavin Yap)


This year’s Advancing Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence Award was presented to Graduate Academic Services Officer, Damien Bell.

Damien was recognized for taking a leadership role in advancing equity, diversity and inclusive excellence practices within his department as well as in the broader UBC community. He is committed to continuous learning in the EDI space and then putting the knowledge he gains into practice for the betterment of the College of Graduate Studies, students, staff, faculty and the community.


This year’s Enhancing the UBC Experience Award was presented to Senior Department Assistant, Janet Heisler.

Throughout her 15 years of service at UBCO in Earth, Environmental & Geographic Sciences, Janet has been described by faculty, staff and students as a “department anchor”, a “pillar of help” and department “matriarch”. Currently working as the Senior Department Assistant, Janet fosters a family culture where faculty and staff work together to enhance the student experience.


This year’s Global Citizenship Award was presented to Assistant Director of Go Global, Dana Lowton.

Students are at the center of everything Dana does, as she understands that international experiences can have a positive effect on a student’s development of global citizenship competencies and academic growth. As a result of this, Dana is one of the biggest champions of international education at UBC – and was able to grow the number of students coming on exchange to the Okanagan campus over several years, raising the profile of UBCO.


This year’s Leadership Award was presented to Manager, Disability Resource Centre, Earllene Roberts.

Earllene is described as a strategic, coach-like leader, building connections and understanding within her team along with outside departments they might collaborate with, all while keeping an open-door policy to support staff. Earllene helped to build a respectful, inclusive, and collaborative environment for the Student Wellness team, raising the profile of the directorate throughout the university.


This year’s Okanagan Campus Spirit Award was presented to The Okanagan Planning and Institutional Research Team. OPAIR team members are Jodie Foster, Kristi Hoffman, Irene McKechnie, Max Nevill, Camilo Pena, Jodi Siever, Dominika Wesolowski and Gavin Yap.

A model of peer support and a positive work environment, the OPAIR team shares resources, bounces ideas off each other, laughs together, and helping each other through tough times. Mutual respect is “through the roof”, as they trust and support each other in all they do. The OPAIR team truly reflects the Okanagan campus spirit, which is to be helpful, open, and transparent; and to do all that with a smile and genuine caring.


New this year, the Wellbeing Award was presented to Wellbeing Strategist, Casey Hamilton.

Casey is described as passionate, strategic, collaborative and values-driven, working to advance the mission of a healthy UBC in everything she does. She works to create positive change, setting a tone and culture of collaboration and partnership-building across campus, working with faculty and staff but also focused on student learning, leadership and mentorship.

Staff Awards of Excellence 2021

The 2021 awards were presented virtually. The Awards Committee received another record number of nominations this year. While all of the nominations were worthy of an award, Interim Executive Director, Kristin Cacchioni mentioned the awards committee had the unenviable task of selecting just five recipients.

The 2021 five award recipients are:

Enhancing the UBC Experience – Joel Theissen

Enhancing the UBC Experience – Lucia Boersma

Leadership – Roger Wilson

Leadership – Phil Bond

OK Campus Spirit – International Programs and Services Advising Team (in no particular order):

  • Saher Ahmed, Sebastian Kolesar, Qin Xue, Danai Belanger

OK Campus Spirit – Campus Facilities Team (in no particular order):

  • Martin Gibb, Derek Mahoney, Jamie Armer, Lorna Campbell, Shelley Mcconkey, Chris White, Rob Buonomo, Kevin Pierce, Francisco Ugarte, Mike Thompson, Alfonso Martinez, Don Giang, Glen Forsythe, Mike Barren, Alan Prout, Chris Kraft, James Hembling, Duane Sali, Bruce Mooney, Valentijn Leibbrand, Matt Litzenberger, Brodie Johnson, Jeff Vogt, Ken Beckett, Terrence Nimegeers, Dale Abbey, Michael Chiasson, Connor Mcgoran, Marcus Wiebe, Klaus Ferber, Blaine Foster, Neil De Beyer, Kirt Stewart, Steve Casey

A video celebrating the outstanding qualities and achievements of these staff members can be viewed below.

Staff Awards of Excellence 2020

At the September 2020 Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal’s Town Hall, a number of employees were recognized for their outstanding service to the university at the annual Staff Awards of Excellence.

The awards are given to employees who exemplify one of five categories: Enhancing the UBC Experience, Leadership, Sustainability, Community & Global Engagement and Okanagan Campus Spirit.

Congratulations to our Honourees!

The 2020 Staff Awards of Excellence winners.

Some of the Staff Awards of Excellence recipients collect their certificates from Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal Lesley Cormack. From left to right: Philipp Reichert, Linda Drew, Lesley Cormack, Colleen DuManoir, Jenny Janok, Alanna Vernon and Nancy Adams.

Watched the recorded award ceremony for 2020 below.

Staff Awards of Excellence 2019

At the  August 2019 Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal’s Town Hall, a number of employees were recognized for their outstanding service to the university at the annual Staff Awards of Excellence.

The awards are given to employees who exemplify one of five categories: Enhancing the UBC Experience, Leadership, Sustainability, Community & Global Engagement and Okanagan Campus Spirit.

Congratulations to our Honourees!

The 2019 Staff Awards of Excellence winners.

Top row, from left: Andrea Klassen, Andrew Calhoun, Deborah Buszard, Christine Squire and Derek Como.
Bottom row, from left: Shannon Hohl, Bruce Mooney, Anthony Dodds, Alana Wright and Robin Whittall (Missing: Samantha Larsen)