MRU celebrates distinguished staff
Instructors presented with gifts for tireless efforts
On Thursday June 12, the annual employee awards ceremony was held at Mount Royal University.
This was an event in which hard working and incredible staff could be recognized for their achievements and their efforts. The Employee Awards Ceremony has occurred every year for 31 years.
Carla Balzun, Human Resources Assistant at Mount Royal, says that the awards ceremony “has grown in the past few years.”
The ceremony used to be held in the Leacock Theatre, but is now held in Ross Glen Hall, as it holds a larger capacity. While the ceremony is open to anyone, it is not advertised as much as other events because the room may not hold the number of supporters of staff.
There are numerous awards which can be granted to staff. As Ruth Ens, from Mount Royal’s Human Resources Department explained, the awards ceremony is about “Recognizing people who have gone above and beyond.”
Those recognized include long service employees, retirees, distinguished staff, distinguished full time faculty, distinguished part time faculty, distinguished credit-free teaching staff, distinguished administrator/manager and effective teams.
The long service recognition goes out to staff who have been with Mount Royal for intervals of five years. Staff who have been with Mount Royal for five years receive a letter of acknowledgement from the President, a University pin and other recognition that may be determined by the department level.
Staff who have been with Mount Royal for 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years will earn a letter from Human Resources, and their choice of a gift based on the number of years in service. In fact, this year, a staff member was recognized for working 35 years at Mount Royal and another member was recognized for 40 years of service.
According to Carla Balzun, HR, “Last year, someone was recognized for 45 years. Mount Royal has a good reputation for long service.”
Anne Johnson, from the Department of Education & Schooling, has been recognized this year for her 15 years of service with Mount Royal.
“Recognition comes in many forms and the annual celebration event is a very special event for the entire community.” she said. “After 15 years on campus, I have always thought this to be one of the best times of year to work here! Convocation, community BBQ’s and this event recognizing our community achievements are a tremendous way to reinforce and recognize the importance of our daily work.”
Retirees are also recognized. This year, 26 staff had retired from Mount Royal, yet their service is not forgotten. The Mount Royal Library Retirement Recognition allows retired staff to select a book to be added to the library. Their reason for selecting their book is inscribed and attached to the book with a bookplate, before being added to the library’s collection.
The Distinguished Staff Awards recognizes hard-working support and exempt staff. In order to be eligible for this award, an employee must be employed by the University for at least two years. Nominees are chosen based on their performance in their position, as well as contributions and commitment to the University, role model behaviour, development interests, and supporting a positive workspace. This year, 17 staff were nominated, but only three are able to receive the award. This year’s winners include Leann Acheson from Justice Studies, Lori Klosch from Human Resources and Jana Wyber from Continuing Education & Extension.
The Distinguished full-time Faculty Awards are granted to faculty who have worked full time at Mount Royal for three years or more. Nominees are selected based on their teaching and leadership abilities, as well as adhering to the University’s mission and using innovative teaching styles.
Up to four faculty members are able to receive this award. This year, of the 16 nominees, Manuel Diaz-Avila from Mathematics/Physics/Engineering, Karen Manarin from English & General Education, Joseph Pavelka from Physical Education & Recreation Studies and Clifford Werier from English were the recipients of this award.
This year, one faculty member was nominated for the Distinguished part-time Faculty Award. Donna Dunn, from Social Work & Disability Studies received this award, which can be given to up to three part-time faculty members who have worked for four or more semesters. Part-time faculty members may be selected for this award based on the same criterion as that of the Distinguished full-time Faculty Award.
The Distinguished credit-free Teaching Awards may be granted to up to four staff members who serve as credit-free instructors, and have done so for four or more semesters at Mount Royal. With three nominees this year, the selection of recipients was based on abilities and performances and a commitment to both the community and the university. The winners this year were Dwight Boehm, from Continuing Education & Extension and David Ferguson, from the Conservatory.
The Distinguished Administrator/ Manager Award is given to only one nominee. This year, there were 4 staff members nominated. To be eligible, the recipient must have worked in their position for two years or longer. The winner was selected based on role model behaviour, commitment to the university, supporting a positive work environment, interactions beyond general work areas, development-orient and excellence in their services. The winner of this award was Sabrina Reed, from the Faculty of Arts.
The last award given out is the Effective Team Award, which is granted to a group with at least four employees who have either benefitted the community of Mount Royal or created an even more positive image of the University. This year, two teams received this award. One of these groups was The Pre-Fab Four and the Accidentals, a group of musicians which began with four professors who opened the group to nine other individuals this past year. The other group recognized was the Simulation Learning Center, which provides nursing students with experience as there are two patient simulators in the center.
The value of the awards given during the Employee Awards Ceremony (this excludes gifts given to long-service staff) ranges from a $1,000 cash honorarium to $1,500 cash with $2,000 grant. Many of the recipients of awards choose to give back to the community of Mount Royal University by aiding through scholarships, either ones that they have a personal connection with, or a scholarship that is in high demand at the time. This annual ceremony, which is prepared by the Department of Human Resources, will be held again next spring.