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Congratulations to the eight members of the Faculty’s administrative and technical staff who were honoured at the 4th annual Celebrating Engineering Success reception on April 27, in recognition of their achievements and contributions to the Faculty.

This year’s winner of the Agnes Kaneko Citizenship Award is John MacDonald, Engineering Technologist in the Department of Civil Engineering (CivE). Named in memory of a valued staff member, this award recognizes staff who have served with distinction and made contributions to the Faculty’s mission above and beyond their job description. Over the 27 years that John has worked in the structures testing facility at CivE, he has provided exemplary guidance and assistance to hundreds of students using this facility. His contributions to research and education in the department have led many students to acknowledge him in their theses. Known for his courtesy, good humour and work ethic, John is a role model for all who work with him and an outstanding Faculty citizen.

Ryan Mendell, MIE Machine Shop Manager, received the 2011 Emerging Leader Award, recognizing a staff member who leads by example and demonstrates potential to assume a more senior leadership role. Since joining the department in 2008, Ryan has revitalized the MIE machine shop into a cutting-edge facility for the creation of research tools. Ryan created a student workshop area within the facility and developed a safety course which is now required for all student machine shop users, as well as an Advanced Machining Course to give students a better understanding of how they can use the shop’s resources in support of their research. His leadership has transformed the MIE machine shop into a vibrant, well-run facility capable of supporting leading-edge research.

The Influential Leader Award, for a staff member who demonstrates exemplary support for the Faculty’s endeavours, has made significant sustained contributions to the Faculty, and inspires others to realize their potential, was awarded to Nelly Pietropaolo, Director, Student Services and External Relations for CivE. Nelly’s many contributions include the development of CivE’s Top Applicant Dinner and Recruitment Career Event, both of which have been adopted by other departments. Nelly has provided leadership outside the department through her service on a number of Faculty committees in such important areas as undergraduate admissions and health and safety. Through her guidance and her example she has promoted and inspired excellence in students and coworkers alike.

The Innovation Award recognizes staff who have developed an innovative new method, technology or system, made innovative improvements to an existing technology or system, or created an innovative solution to a problem. It was won by the team of Bruno Korst (Manager, Hardware Teaching Labs Group, ECE), Steve Miszuk (Faculty Director, Facilities and Infrastructure Planning) and Joe Wong (Senior Applications Developer, ECE), for developing and implementing an online health and safety training and record keeping system for use throughout the Faculty. The system provides user-friendly online safety tutorials which students can work through on their own time, as well as an accurate record-keeping tool for administrators. It ensures Faculty-wide consistency in core training but allows the departments the flexibility to customize course-specific training.

This year there were two recipients of the Quality of Student Experience Award, which recognizes a staff member who has made significant contributions to the quality of student experience in the Faculty. Lesley Mak, Student Success Specialist and Track One Liaison, received this award for her contribution to the success of the Track One program; both through her role in its development and the support she had provided to its students. Lesley has also played an integral part in the creation of the Refresh, Success 101, and Skule™ Points programs, as well as the Engineering Student Engagement Group. Most importantly, she is an exemplary advocate and guide for students struggling with challenges affecting their education. Lesley has been credited by a number of our students as the person most responsible for their academic success.

Annie Simpson, Assistant Director, Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering and 
Coordinator, Engineering Leaders of Tomorrow, also received the Quality of Student Experience Award, in recognition of the key role she plays in the success of the Leaders of Tomorrow program. She helped design its curriculum, led the development of several outreach initiatives, and has organized unique and inspiring student events. Her efforts have been instrumental in the development of our leadership education program and the acceptance of leadership as a core value by our students. A devoted mentor, Annie has inspired many students to take on leadership roles through her example. Her dedication to education and student development is evidenced by her pursuit of a PhD at OISE in addition to her responsibilities in the Faculty.

“These outstanding staff members exemplify the dedication and commitment to excellence which allow us to excel in our educational and research missions,” said Dean Cristina Amon, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. “I offer my congratulations and gratitude to the awardees, and thank all our staff members for their essential contributions to our success.”

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Marit Mitchell
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416.978.4498
marit.mitchell@utoronto.ca