Jump to Main Content
Decrease font size Reset font size Increase font size

Meet this year’s OISE Staff Excellence Awards winners

By Perry King and Biljana Cuckovic

April 3, 2020

At the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, staff play a critical role in fostering OISE’s overall mission of preparing scholars, teachers and other professional leaders for the world of education.

They are the backbone of OISE. Each year they are recognized with an award of excellence. This year, Neil Tinker, Andrew Chiang, Anna Mozharova, Michelle Pon and Natalie Neumann Butler have each been named as winners.

Read about the 2020 Teaching Excellence Award winners 

“Each of the winners – Neil, Andrew, Michelle, Anna and Natalie – have shown incredible leadership and made tremendous contributions that have made OISE a successful place and a thriving, cohesive community,” said Dean Glen Jones. “We are truly privileged to have this group of five in our midst – a group that is dedicated to making a difference in everything we do.

“On behalf of the OISE community, I send my deepest congratulations.”

Dean Glen Jones was a member of the 2019-2020 Staff Awards Selection Committee. The Dean was pleased to serve and acknowledges the hard work of all committee members: Helen Huang (Committee Chair), Sheldon Grabke, Njoki Wane, Hanna Wickstrom, and Madelaine Panoulias.

Learn more about the awards and this year’s recipients below.

The David E. Hunt Award for Excellence in Graduate Education

Winner: Neil Tinker, Information & Communications Technology Analyst, Education Commons

The Dr. Claire Alleyne Staff Excellence Award celebrates 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 our community.

''Neil Tinker is a talented IT professional who has gone above and beyond the scope of his work at OISE to advance the Institute’s priorities – including the co-production of the OISE Winter Wonderland Community Skate video, audiovisual support for OISE’s R.W.B. Jackson Lecture and the annual OISE Alumni Reunion.

Neil has demonstrated outstanding customer service and technical expertise and a deep commitment to excellence in his role. With his professionalism, enthusiasm and positive attitude, he models exemplary citizenship and colligability.

Innovation Award (Individual)

Winner: Andrew Chiang, Infrastructure Technology Solutions Analyst, Continuing and Professional Learning

The Innovation Award celebrates the achievements of 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 the administrative processes at OISE.

''Andrew Chiang, who operates out of OISE Continuing and Professional Learning, consistently delivered creative technological solutions that improved business processes, streamlined learner experiences and increased operational productivity for administrative and course facilitation teams.

From leading CPL’s successful transition to a new, client-centric enrolment management system to leading OISE in file sharing and sorting practices with SharePoint, Andrew brings innovative solutions and a collaborative spirit to every initiative that he supports.

Innovation Award (Team)

Winners: Michelle Pon, Director, Academic Operations, Deans Office; and Anna Mozharova, Graduate Student Funding Officer

''Michelle Pon and Anna Mozharova, who shared responsibility for the management of the various components of graduate students funding, have co-received the Team component of this award.

Responsible for Graduate Assistantships, Teaching Assistantships, OGS Scholarships, OISE Grants and the Doctoral Completion Award, they managed about $9 million each year – the second largest item in the Institute's budget after salaries.


''This past school year, they undertook a thorough transformation of the student funding management system through SharePoint. They developed, tested and deployed the new online tools for data importing, monitoring and sharing.

These innovative tools represent a remarkable enhancement for the management of graduate student funding at OISE – hence this recognition from OISE.

The Leadership Award

Winner: Natalie Neumann Butler, Advancement Officer, Office of Advancement and External Relations

The Leadership Award celebrates the achievements of a staff member who has continually demonstrated exceptional leadership through inspiring a high level of commitment from others and motivating them to achieve outstanding results; setting and maintaining high professional standards. 


Natalie Neumann Butler, since joining OISE in 2016, has shown a deep commitment to making the Institute a place where our community feels welcomed, supported and connected.

Her hard work and dedication help to grow and strengthen our alumni community through meaningful programming, communications and events. Of note, Natalie worked tirelessly on enhancing the OISE Mentorship Program that links our students with alumni mentors who help them navigate their studies and succeed in their fields.

In 2018, Natalie led a team of volunteers to design a new matching system to improve the mentorship pairing process – which significantly enhanced the Mentorship Program participants’ experience. Natalie is more than deserving of this honour.


More OISE news

Leadership, dedication, scholarship: Learn about this year’s OISE Teacher Excellence Awards winners

Congratulations to OISE’s student leadership award winners