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OISE honours staff for outstanding achievement


November 22, 2012

By Biljana Cuckovic

2012 Staff Award Research

Three OISE staff  have been recognized with prestigious Administrative Staff Excellence Awards, two of which are brand new this year: Danny Cavanagh (Dr. Claire Alleyne Staff Excellence Award), Bessie Giannikos (Leadership Award), and Eileen Thomas (Innovation Award). These Awards acknowledge the importance OISE places on the integral role administrative staff play within our community. The 2012 Awards generated a lot of interest and the Selection Committee had a very challenging task selecting the winners among so many excellent nominations. Here are this year’s recipients:

Danny Cavanagh, Program Assistant, Graduate Studies in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning is the proud recipient of the 2012 Dr. Claire Alleyne Staff Excellence Award. Established in 2007, this award celebrates the contributions of a staff member who has continually demonstrated deep commitment to excellence and outstanding service, and whose actions have created a positive and lasting impact on OISE’s faculty, students and alumni. “Danny demonstrates equitable practices, genuine care and consideration towards all students with whom he interacts. What makes him truly stand out is his sense of humour, warmth and ability to go above and beyond to help students of diverse backgrounds, needs and issues” says Sumbal Malik, PhD student in the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education. 

Bessie Giannikos, Departmental Finance Administrator in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning is the inaugural recipient of the newly established 2012 Leadership Award, which celebrates the achievements of a staff member who has continually demonstrated leadership through taking the initiative to inspire and facilitate teamwork among members of the OISE community, and by motivating `others to achieve outstanding results. “A business officer in CTL for more than a decade and part of the senior administrative team, Bessie has become an increasingly positive influence in the Department connecting staff and faculty, and enhancing the dynamic of the Department through open dialogue between faculty and staff leaving everyone with a greater appreciation for each other’s roles” says Christine Lowe,` Finance Assistant in CTL.

Last but not least, Eileen Thomas, Managing Editor, Communications and Media Relations, Office of the Dean, is the inaugural recipient of the 2012 Innovation Award, which recognizes staff, individually or as a team, who have developed and implemented a creative solution that increases the productivity and enhances the value added to research, teaching and administration at OISE. With a strong support across the community, Eileen was nominated for developing strategies and tools to effectively promote OISE’s academic and strategic objectives using social media (i.e. OISE News on Twitter & OISE Tube), and for her unique approach to portraying OISE to the public. “Through her innovative work, Eileen has shown a dedication to the community that is stellar and is appreciated by community members” says Kristine Pearson, Student Liaison Officer in the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences and Social Justice Education.

In congratulating the award winning staff members, OISE Dean Julia O’Sullivan said “we are truly privileged to have so many outstanding colleagues who are making a difference in everything we do. I am very grateful for their commitment to excellence and their outstanding contribution to OISE’s and the University of Toronto’s teaching and research mission.”