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OISE honours staff excellence, innovation and leadership at annual awards event

March 29, 2018

Photo: Lise Watson (middle), winner of the 2018 Dr. Claire Alleyne Staff Excellence Award, with OISE Dean Glen Jones (left) and Dr. Claire Alleyne (right). 

Congratulations to OISE's 2018 Staff Excellence Awards winners: Lise Watson, Laize Bacay, Rushain Abbasi, the Education Commons Team and the Continuing and Professional Learning Team for their outstanding contributions and service at OISE.

The Staff Excellence Awards honour individuals and teams in categories of excellence, innovation and leadership. This recognition acknowledges the integral role these administrators play in making OISE an exceptional place to work and learn.

"We are truly privileged to have so many outstanding administrative staff members who are committed to making a difference in everything we do at OISE," said Dean Glen Jones, also a selection committee member.

The staff award winners were honoured together with teaching award winners at a special reception on March 28. 

Learn more about the staff award winners below. 

Read about the Teaching Excellence Award winners 

See photos from the awards ceremony

The Dr. Claire Alleyne Staff Excellence Award

The Dr. Claire Alleyne Staff Excellence Award celebrates contributions of staff who continually demonstrate a deep commitment to excellence and outstanding service, and whose actions create a positive and lasting impact in our community and help to further OISE's mission. 


Lise Watson, Financial Aid Coordinator at the Office of the Registrar and Student Services is this year's recipient of the Dr. Claire Alleyne Staff Excellence Award. 

Lise is deeply committed to helping students navigate and access their education, and in doing so she has been an agent for OISE's commitment to equity and access to higher education. Lise consistently demonstrates outstanding service to students in the administration of bursary and awards programs. She is an expert at the intricacies of University of Toronto policies and procedures which allows her to find solutions for students to help them complete their studies.

Lise has also made a truly important contribution to the OISE community in establishing the OISE Staff Indigenous Alliance (OSIA) for staff to learn more about Indigenous history, cultures and teachings. Through this initiative, Lise has helped to further OISE's commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action. 

Lise goes above and beyond to advocate for students using expert institutional knowledge, compassion and an inclusive lens. 

The Innovation Award

The Innovation Award celebrates the achievements of staff, individually or as a team, who develop and implement a creative solution that increases the productivity and enhances the value added to research, teaching and administration at OISE.

''Laize Bacay, Service Desk Support Analyst at Education Commons is a recipient of this year's Innovation Award. 

Laize exemplifies innovation, creativity and excellent customer service through her work at Education Commons. She has developed and streamlined processes in a number of areas including data storage, standard operating procedures and web help desk support.

Laize is able to communicate complex technical information to support both clients and colleagues and she always ensures people's needs are met on time. She is a self-starter whose exemplary customer services skills and technical expertise make her an outstanding team member and employee. 

When asked about her work and receiving the award Laize said, "Adhering to this credo from Maya Angelou has been my driving force: 'People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel'. I’m so honoured to be this year’s Innovation Award recipient." 



Education Commons Team has won the Innovation Award for designing and implementing innovative technology solutions for the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Capital Project.

Education Commons went beyond the call of duty to provide the Jackman Institute with support during an immense renovation and technology renewal. The Team has shown extraordinary ability in troubleshooting, installation and design under the stellar leadership of Director Kurt Binnie. Working on tight timelines, the Team solved a number of challenges during the capital project with good humour and grace.

The Education Commons Team continually demonstrates technological prowess, professionalism, and excellent support of clients and colleagues. 


Continuing and Professional Learning (CPL) Team has won the Innovation Award for developing and implementing a new registration/enrollment management system. 

The CPL Team strives to meet OISE's, and more boldly, the world's evolving professional education needs. Over the past year, CPL unveiled a new registration/enrollment system which is recognized by system vendors and international users as best-in-class.

CPL has also significantly increased office efficiencies and report increases year after year in revenue generation at the Institute. The OISE brand gains national and international exposure thanks to CPL's exceptional marketing work. With an eye for efficiency, the CPL Team continues to find new ways to automate tasks and increase learning solutions through a robust portfolio of courses and services for educators across the globe. 

The Leadership Award

The Leadership Award celebrates the achievements of staff who continually demonstrate exceptional leadership through motivating and inspiring others to achieve outstanding results, as well as by setting and maintaining high professional standards.

''Rushain Abbasi, Senior Financial Officer at the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer has been awarded the Leadership Award. 

Rushain is a motivated, loyal and diligent team leader, who demonstrates integrity and a willingness to embrace challenges in her work. She expertly analyzes guidelines, policies and procedures to support her team and streamline tasks. 

Rushain has advanced research and finance skills which allow her to execute a variety of projects"I have been privileged to work with exceptionally talented, smart and kind people that make the work I do very rewarding," says Rushain. 

With direct communication and a diverse interpersonal style, Rushain has built a strong rapport as a leader who inspires others to excel. She shows remarkable work ethic and dedication to her colleagues at the Institute. 

"I have received tremendous support and encouragement to take the lead on many initiatives that have resulted in a higher level of engagement between the Finance team and the rest of the OISE community."


Dean Glen Jones, a member of the 2017-2018 Staff Awards Selection Committee, would like to acknowledge the hard work of all committee members: Mama Nii Owoo, Madelaine Panoulias, Elisabeth Rees-Johnston, Marie Vaduva, Earl Woodruff, and Helen Huang (Committee Chair).