posted on Feb. 12: Seven staff honoured with President’s Awards for Outstanding Service


They are committed, enthusiastic, conscientious, professional staff whose exemplary service to the University has not gone unnoticed by those they work with and for.

They are the winners of the President's Staff Awards for Outstanding Service and their names are: Steven Beierl, Susan Birnie, Marvin Gunderman, Doris Hutchison,Diane Kerss, Deane Maynard and Liza Thong.

The seven staff members were nominated by co-workers, colleagues and supervisors for the annual awards, which recognize staff members or groups of staff members who have made an outstanding contribution beyond that normally expected for their positions to the mission of the University.

“It is my pleasure to express to you, on behalf of the entire University, sincere congratulations for your achievement and for the very important and valued contributions you each make to McMaster,” says University President Peter George. “By providing excellent service to students, by reaching out to neighbours through community work, by taking the time to care for others, and by working tirelessly for the betterment of McMaster you enhance the reputation of this University and provide an environment of excellence and success for all of us. To each of you I extend a very warm 'thank you.'”

Merit Award Recipients

Steven Beierl, student and employment development co-ordinator, Career Planning & Employment Centre: In his three years at McMaster, Steven has made an exceptional contribution to the well-being of McMaster students. He has been extremely successful in marketing the University to employers, managing and leading several new projects, including a Virtual Career Fair for students, the first in the province, and is currently planning a Liberal Arts Careers Fair and a McMaster Summer Employment Fair. His work has been described as extraordinary and above the call of duty.

Marvin Gunderman, Department of Biology: Marvin's work as the co-ordinator of all undergraduate teaching support activities, as a supervisor of technical support staff in the department, and as an instructor in entomology has raised both the profile of the department and the University. McMaster's “bug man” has given numerous public lectures on insects and has been a valued resource to area teachers and students in the public sector. On campus, his students describe him as an excellent, enthusiastic and helpful instructor.

Doris Hutchison, administrative assistant, Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Medicine and Pediatrics: In the three positions Doris has held with the University since joining the institution in 1990, she has consistently served as an effective representative of McMaster to the external scientific community and has done a superb job of conveying the University's vision in health sciences and health research to all those with whom the area interacts. Her work is consistently praised by outside university contacts and colleagues, and she is described as a jewel in McMaster's crown for her dedication and loyalty to the University.

Diane Kerss, admissions officer, School of Graduate Studies: Diane has given 31 years of excellent service to McMaster in a variety of positions. In her 13 years with graduate studies she has dealt directly with thousands of new students in a professional and helpful manner that has aided the School's — and the University's — reputation widely. She is well respected across campus for her excellent advice and assistance, and within the department for her ability to innovate and devise new systems. A prime example of “a company” person, her integrity and dedication to the University is admired by her colleagues.

Liza Thong, administrative assistant, Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics: The stories of how Liza has made student visitors from abroad feel welcome in Canada are a part of the folklore in CE&B. Liza holds a reputation for providing cheerful and resourceful dedication to the institution and its faculty, staff and students. As the first point of contact for students, visitors, faculty and staff, she provides a warm human touch that has enriched both department and the University. She is regarded highly for her energy, her caring and thoughtful manner, unfailing good humour, her strong organizational skills and exceptional service.

Special Award Recipents

These awards recognize outstanding one-time contribution to the University.

Susan Birnie, administrator, School of Rehabilitation Science: Susan played a vital role in the planning and construction of the new Institute of Applied Health Sciences and its occupancy. She was given the challenge of working with building partner Mohawk College in addition to carrying out her regular duties as school administrator. Her strong organizational, communication and teamwork skills, along with her good humour and ability to act quickly, were key to the success of this project.

Deane Maynard, project manager, School of Geography & Geology:
Deane's work in the Geographical Informations Systems laboratory, and specifically in promoting, planning and organizing new activities within the unit, such as the introduction of a joint McMaster-Mohawk GIS Certificate Program, GIS workshops for both the internal and external communities, and the first International GIS Day, held in November 1999, have increased the visibility and reputation of School and the University. She was also cited for her community outreach work with area high schools students and teachers.

The winners were chosen by a selection committee appointed by the President. A total of 17 nominations were received this year for both award categories.

The names of all award recipients will be included on the staff Roll of Honour located in Gilmour Hall. The awards will be presented at a reception on Monday, March 19 in the Great Hall, University Club.