University of Calgary

Wanted: staff who shine

Nominations open for annual recognition awards

By Fiona Bensler

Nominations are open for the second annual U Make A Difference awards, which give University of Calgary staff a chance to recognize each other for their exceptional contributions to the working environment.

“Like last year, we hope that all staffing groups are represented,” says recognition coordinator Darrin Simmons from human resources. “Because U Make a Difference is a peer-based award, it is up to each of us to take an active role. We encourage everyone to seize the opportunity to appreciate someone.”

The 2006 awards honoured 10 people from across campus. For Hans Smit, from the Division of Teacher Preparation, the award did more than recognize his contributions. It prompted him “to think more about how I should do my work and how best to foster good relationships with the people I work with.”

Another honouree, Patrick Irwin from physics and astronomy, says it’s the little things that count. “It’s the daily face-to-face faith and support that fuel us each day.”

For Shelly Wind, from the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, supporting a culture of recognition goes beyond your own work environment by appreciating everyone who makes a difference whether you work with them or not.

“I think it’s important to thank your colleagues at work, or in areas that you work with, for making a difference in the way you live and do your job.” Wind says about her award. “I hope the recognition for staff continues. It really does make a difference.”

Nominating a colleague this year is easier than ever. Human Resources has launched a recognition website called All About U, which includes information on the award and provides an electronic nomination form. Nominations close on March 30.

U Make A Difference is sponsored by the Associate Vice-Presidents of Human Resources, Katherine Sheehan and Sandy Repic. The awards will be presented at the annual recognition awards dinner on April 25. For more information, visit