Recognition of service excellence grows on campus

The fifth annual Service Excellence Awards saw nominations almost double and more and more faculty and staff participating. (Chris Roussakis Photo)

Members of the Carleton University community nominated 170 of their colleagues for service excellence recognition in 2014. It’s a number, says Carleton President Roseann Runte, that reflects people going out of their way to recognize excellence.

Speaking at the 5th annual Service Excellence Awards ceremony Feb. 26, Runte said, “Service excellence means a caring community, where we care about each other. It’s about celebrating people in the community.”

There was almost a 50 per cent increase in the number of nominations for the service excellence awards over last year, with a fairly equal weight of staff and faculty on the nomination lists – a signal that there is recognition of the importance of service excellence.

“We have been at this for several years and we are getting more recognition of the importance of providing service excellence on campus,” said Duncan Watt, vice-president (Finance and Administration).

One of four individual award winners, recognized for her “thoughtful and diligent approach and commendable commitment to Carleton” was stunned when she heard the news.

“The first thing that came to mind,” said Nancy Delcellier, assistant director of Environmental Health and Safety in the Facilities Management and Planning Department, “was that I was incredibly humbled. We have so many amazing people providing excellent customer service at Carleton, that to be nominated and in the presence of these exceptional people was very moving.”

In fact, Delcellier said when she read the many nominations she received for the award it moved her to tears.

“To hear of the impact you are personally making on the lives of others is the best feeling in the world, and energizes you like no other.”

Allie Davidson, an ePortfolio analyst in the Educational Development Centre nominated for her “strong and unwavering commitment, warm understanding about learning and wonderful sense of curiosity” added, “I am feeling the love! I am grateful to work at a place like Carleton that creates a culture of excellence by recognizing and celebrating the work we all do.”

Laurie Jaeger, administrator in the School for Studies in Art and Culture, said she felt honoured to have received a service excellence award. “I value what we do at Carleton and feel privileged to work with such a great group of people on a regular basis.”

Jaeger was recognized for being “genuinely and profoundly dedicated to treating everybody with respect and to making Carleton University a people-oriented institution.”

The School of Journalism and Communication’s longtime audio technician Mark Valcour, who died in early January, also received a service excellence award posthumously. A scholarship has also been established in his name.

“Valcour went beyond the call of duty,” said Watt. “He took such pride in his work and set high standards for the students. One student called him the program’s ballast.”

Valcour’s family attended the event to receive the award. Valcour’s mother, Ruth Gilmer, said the number of accolades for Valcour “is just unreal.”

The 2014 service excellence team award went to the CourseLeaf Implementation project team for their open-mindedness and understanding of student needs in creating six new courses, and the award for innovation was received by the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) team for their creativity and perseverance in developing new software tools and curriculum.

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Susan Hickman

By Susan Hickman

For nearly four decades, journalist Susan Hickman has written about every imaginable subject for sundry newspapers and magazines in Canada and abroad, as well as for CBC TV and CBC Radio. She has also managed various publications, including academic newspapers and technology magazines, and was recently commissioned to write a guide for foreign missions serving in Canada. Currently, she is working on a couple of personal memoirs.

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