UBC's Okanagan staff honoured for customer service excellence

UBC's Okanagan staff honoured for customer service excellence

During a ceremony on Wednesday, UBC's Okanagan campus presented 2010 Staff Awards of Excellence to, from left, Pat Braham, Karen Seddon, and Brenda Hamm.

Three staff members at UBC's Okanagan campus were honoured Wednesday with the university's Staff Awards of Excellence. All of this year's honourees were cited for excellence in customer service.

"These awards recognize the extraordinary contributions of those who have gone above and beyond their job description in helping the Okanagan campus achieve its goals," says Doug Owram, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Principal of the Okanagan campus. "The award recipients exemplify a commitment to excellence and the highest standards of service to our campus community."

“As UBC’s Okanagan campus achieves record growth at a rapid pace, this program is a way of formally recognizing the incredible staff who have excelled in this constantly evolving environment and have played a key role in ensuring all our students receive a high-quality educational experience," says Nicole Udzenija, organizational development and learning consultant. "It’s a great reflection of UBC’s ongoing ‘Focus on People’.”

The 2010 Staff Awards of Excellence recipients are:

Pat Braham, unit assistant for the Mathematics, Statistics and Physics Unit in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences

The Mathematics, Statistics and Physics Unit has 20 faculty members, three adjunct professors, 20 graduate students and a lab manager, noted Associate Professor and Unit Head Sylvie Desjardins, who nominated Braham in the award's customer service category. The unit offers five bachelor's degree programs, and a variety of master's and doctoral degrees as well as service courses.

"Pat supports this unit with remarkable ease and efficiency," said Desjardins. "She makes the most of our funding, embraces challenges and has developed new processes to handle pre-requisite checks during registration."

Brenda Hamm, reference assistant in the UBC Library

“Brenda Hamm is the best face of the library," said Learning Services Librarian Jan Gatrell, who nominated Hamm for the award. "The reference assistance she provides stands out for a number of reasons. She has exemplary interpersonal skills. Her problem solving skills, the backbone of reference service, have been finely honed until no question at the reference desk can throw her off her game. She has trained scores of other reference assistants. Students remember her years after they graduate.”

Karen Seddon, facilities and finance assistant in the School of Engineering

“Karen’s exceptional and high-quality administrative work in supporting the faculty, students and staff has been critical to the unprecedented growth of our School, which culminated in the recent three-year accreditation of all our Engineering programs," said Seddon's nominator, Assistant Professor Lukas Bichler.

"Karen views challenges as an opportunity for improvement of the status quo.  Her 'can-do' attitude is excellent for identifying the crux of any issue and adapting to find an appropriate solution.”

The annual awards, which include $2,000 for the recipients, are made in categories of customer service, leadership, sustainability and community engagement, and reflect the objectives of UBC's strategic plan Place and Promise, and the Okanagan campus academic plan.

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