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Staff Excellence Awards honour outstanding service 

March 28, 2017

OISE Staff Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of OISE’s 2017 Staff Excellence Awards – Sezen Atacan, Lara Cartmale, Kim Holman and Michael Moncada, who will be honoured at an OISE library reception on March 30 at 2 p.m.

The Staff Excellence Awards involve three categories honouring excellence, innovation and leadership.

OISE Dean Glen Jones, who worked with the selection committee to finalize this year’s winners, said choosing from among those nominated was a trying task.

“Each nomination represents the tremendous contributions that our administrative staff are making to OISE’s success. We are truly privileged to have so many outstanding staff members who are committed to making a difference in everything we do,” he said.

“Congratulations to this year’s recipients,” he continued. “On behalf of OISE, I’d like to thank you for the incredible work you do.”

Read about the winners below.

The Dr. Claire Alleyne Staff Excellence Award

Sezen Atacan

This year’s winner of the Dr. Claire Alleyne Staff Excellence Award is Sezen Atacan, Graduate Liaison Officer in the Department of Social Justice Education.

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 and have contributed to furthering OISE’s mission.

As a Graduate Liaison Officer, Sezen is responsible for the multiple and complex needs of the department’s highly diverse student body. She offers steady, caring support for students, faculty and her fellow staff members and has displayed notable leadership and creativity in her work.

For example, she designed and delivered a workshop for doctoral students on timelines and challenges in attaining candidacy and the implications of various deadlines. The workshop was such a success it has been built into the department’s regular annual calendar.

Displaying a unique combination of professionalism and affection, Sezen is highly attentive to the individual needs of students and colleagues. She’s a great listener and exceptional problem solver who always offers solutions and shares her views and ideas. She demonstrates warmth, flexibility and patience, and always extends herself to anyone in the department and beyond who needs help.

The Innovation Award

Michael Moncada

This winner of the 2017 Innovation Award is Michael Moncada, Senior Solutions Developer in Education Commons.

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.

Michael received two nominations for this award supported by a group of colleagues from across OISE’s divisional support units including the Education Commons, Office of the Registrar and Student Services, CAO’s Office and the Dean’s Office.

With a wealth of knowledge and technical expertise, Michael consistently demonstrates a commitment to delivering timely solutions that improve institutional business processes and contribute greatly to increased productivity in our administrators, faculty and staff. For example, the current OISECP project will streamline the annual course scheduling process by improving communication and information flow between departments, Registrar’s Office, ACE and ROSI.

The first developer who built a proper mobile application at U of T, Michael brings innovative solutions and a refreshing positive attitude to every project. When presented with an idea or a project, nominators say his response is never “we cannot do that” but rather “how can we make this happen?”

The Leadership Award

The 2017 Leadership Award has been awarded to recipients Lara Cartmale, Director, Research and International Initiatives in the Dean’s Office, and Kim Holman, Associate Registrar, Admissions, Enrolment Management and Awards in the Office of the Registrar and Student Services. 

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.


Lara Cartmale

Over the course of her career at OISE, Lara had many roles ranging from the Department Manager in CTL to her current position. Lara’s nominators say her ability to take on different roles to serve OISE’s changing needs coupled with her willingness to tackle difficult challenges is exceptional.

For example, in her previous role of Director, Tri-Departmental Academic Operations, Lara demonstrated exceptional leadership, problem-solving and conflict resolution skills in managing staff within three academic departments through a challenging transition period. 

Her nominators say Lara demonstrates leadership and achieves positive outcomes for OISE by motivating and mentoring staff but also many other colleagues across OISE. Winner of several staff excellence awards including “U of T Stepping Up”, and “Excellence through Innovation Award”, they say Lara embodies the essence of staff leadership. 


Kim Holman

During her almost 19 years of service at OISE, Kim has continually and consistently demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities. For example, she motivates and leads her team towards meeting enrolment targets, supports departmental and program representatives with admissions process, and ensures effective communication with applicants and admitted students, etc.

Nominators say Kim leads by example by sharing her wealth of knowledge and expertise with others while setting high professional standards. Continually striving to improve processes, Kim worked with colleagues across OISE to plan and effectively implement many changes to the admissions process. This included transitioning from paper-based to online applications, to phasing out B.Ed. and significantly expanding Master of Teaching applications.

A strong advocate for her staff, Kim is a team player extraordinaire and her door is always open. She gives credit where credit is due and allows others to shine when they accomplish a goal. The pride she has in her staff is unquestionable.

Dean Jones also extended special thanks to 2016-2017 Staff Awards Selection Committee members Nina Basia, Sheldon Grabke, Rowena Rollon, Shakina Rajendram, Madelaine Panoulias, and Committee Chair Helen Huang.