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The Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture (at the time, the Division of HR & Equity) established the Awards of Distinction in 2018 to acknowledge and celebrate exceptional contributions towards achieving the mission and vision of the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture (PSEC) and the broader University.

The program provides faculty, librarians, and staff across the institution with an opportunity to recognize individuals or teams from both the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture and the Divisional HR Offices who exemplify our values and perform outstanding work throughout the year.

framed award certificates in a row on a table

Four categories of achievement-based awards are available to recognize individuals and teams within our community.

Individual Awards

Distinguished Contribution Award

Presented to an individual who demonstrates excellence and whose work has contributed towards achieving the mission and vision of either the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture or their own Division, while positively influencing those around them, and actively demonstrates and advances equitable, diverse and inclusive leadership to their co-workers and / or team members. Recipients are highly respected by their colleagues and perform above and beyond their job description while consistently exceeding expectations.

Emerging Leader Award

Presented to an individual who has demonstrated remarkable leadership potential (not necessarily as part of a formal leadership role) and has sought out opportunities for learning and development while moving into progressively more responsible roles. The individual promotes equity, diversity and inclusion through their work and / or contributions to the university community.

Living Our Values Award

Presented to an individual who exemplifies the values of the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture in their daily work or interactions with internal clients and who serves as a model and mentor for others within the Division and / or Divisional HR Offices. Recipients shall embody collegiality and be well respected for creating an inclusive environment for our clients.

Group Award

Distinguished Contribution – Team of the Year Award

Presented to a group or team that has collectively achieved outstanding results delivering client services and/or launching a project / initiative or process improvement. The team embeds equity and inclusion into their practices and fosters an inclusive culture. The team produces a demonstrable positive impact on HR services for the division(s) they support and / or the broader University. Recipient groups or teams shall exhibit excellent collaboration with other units while exceeding the expectations of their mandate.

Eligibility

Nominees can be from the University of Toronto St. George, the University of Toronto Mississauga, and the University of Toronto Scarborough campuses. They must be administrative staff (unionized or non-unionized) who work in:

  • A Divisional HR Office
  • The Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture.

Casual staff, students, librarians, and faculty are not eligible for consideration.

Please note that nominees are only eligible to receive each category of Individual Award once in their career; however, they can be nominated to receive the Group Award as a member of a team or different categories of the Individual Award as appropriate. The Selection Committee shall make their selection of the recipients based on the information provided in the nomination package.

All nominees must be in good standing at the University. Nominees must be in active status when the nominations close.

 

The Nomination Process

Nominations for team or individual awards must be submitted via the True Blue Recognition Platform*. The Selection Committee will review all submitted nominations, and may then ask for further details. All nomination materials will remain confidential.

*Note: This award will be visible on the True Blue Recognition Platform to all faculty, librarians, and staff at the University. Internal clients/customers may wish to nominate HR & Equity staff for the HR Team of the Year award.

Nomination Deadline

Friday, November 5, 2021

 

Criteria

Individual Awards

When reviewing nominations, the Selection Committee will look for examples of sustained excellence and strong performance. The Committee will consider nominees who have made significant contributions and / or possess some or all of the special qualities and attributes as outlined as follows:

  • Exceptionally service-oriented,
  • Collaborative work ethic (within their unit and / or with other units / divisions),
  • Demonstrated initiative and inclusive practices,
  • Use innovative approaches to find solutions (improving work processes, financial efficiencies, etc.),
  • Display a strong work ethic (dependability, commitment), and / or
  • A mentor to junior staff.

The following award has additional criteria and considerations:

HR Team of the Year Award

  • Actively pooled skills, talents and knowledge, with evidence of each team members’ contributions and mutual support and respect for team members
  • Evidence to support completion of a project or an assignment that is beyond the scope of team members’ individual job descriptions
  • Submissions should illustrate how the team has stood out among their peers in terms of achieving an overall outstanding positive impact to the division(s) they support or the broader university community
  • Submissions can be submitted by members of the team, team leader / supervisor, or by their internal clients

Team of the Year Award

The Selection Committee will look for examples of the following in group or team nominations:

  • Actively pooled skills, talents and knowledge, with evidence of each team members’ contributions and mutual support and respect for team members,
  • Evidence to support completion of a project or an assignment that is beyond the scope of team members’ individual job descriptions, and
  • Submissions should illustrate how the team has stood out among their peers to achieve an overall outstanding positive impact on the division(s) they support or the broader university community.

Team members, the team leader / supervisor, or internal clients can submit nominations for groups or teams for the award.

Only include individuals who made a demonstrable impact on the project or assignment as team members for this award.

Teams must consist of two or more individuals.

 

Helpful Tips for Completing the Nomination Form

In completing the nomination submission, please consider the following:

  • Be specific – give examples and the details of what your candidate or team has done that meets the selection criteria (not every candidate will exhibit all of the award-winning characteristics, but you should provide evidence of those demonstrated by your candidate),
  • Avo• Avoid general statements such as: “the nominee has a pleasant personality,” “the nominee is a seasoned professional,” or “the nominee is always helpful,”
  • Include as much qualitative and quantitative information as you can about the nominee’s work and contributions,
  • If you are nominating a team or group, be sure to list all members and describe how they work collaboratively to the benefit of the University, and
  • Nomination statements for the Team of the Year Award should explain the importance of team effort to the group’s overall success.

Please see our guide How to Write an Impactful Award Nomination for additional details.

 

Adjudication

The Chief Human Resources Officer will chair the Selection Committee. It will consist of a minimum of two divisional HR Managers / Directors or their designate, two Central Directors or their designate, and one client manager. Members of the selection committee will review the nomination packages and the award criteria before the Selection Committee meeting date. At the meeting, members will discuss each nomination package and select the deserving recipient(s) for each award.

The Chair will ensure the nominations are adjudicated within the allotted time for the meeting but will not participate in determining the recipients. The Chair will serve as the final decision maker should members of the Committee not agree.

 

Award Prizing

  • Awards of Distinction Certificate
  • 900 points redeemable for prizes on the True Blue Recognition Platform per individual.

 

2020 Recipients

Distinguished Contribution Award – Individual

  • Jodie Glean, Director, Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office, HR & Equity
  • Sean Suleman, Executive Director, CAHRS & Workplace Investigations, HR & Equity

Emerging Leader Award

  • Emmanuelle Cummings, Information & Change Advisor, HR & Equity

Living Our Values Award

  • Saimah Baig, Program Coordinator, Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office, HR & Equity
  • Ellen Brikaras, Benefits Officer & HR Generalist, Faculty of Arts & Science

Distinguished Contribution Award – HR Team of the Year

Family Care Office

  • Francesca Dobbin, Director, Family Programs and Services
  • Kaye Francis, Manager, Family Care Office
  • Maria Jardim, Family Care Advisor Student Focus
  • Cecilia Konney, Information & Communications Officer
  • Dunya Mojadiddi, Education & Communications Coordinator

HRE Communications, Change & Engagement Team

  • Will Campbell, Digital Communications Specialist
  • Emmanuelle Cummings, Information & Change Advisor
  • Hayley Fuller, Director, Strategic Communications & Change
  • Lesa Holmes, Communications & Engagement Manager
  • Alexander Nathan. Communications Officer
  • Tom Spence, Employee Recognition & Engagement Advisor

OREP Human Resources Team

  • Diane Charest, Human Resources / Payroll Administrator
  • Melissa Cheung, Human Resources / Payroll Administrator
  • Julia Chou, HR Advisor
  • Elina Fonariov, HR Consultant
  • Lori-Anne Hill, Director, HR Services – University Operations
  • Ashley Jordan, HR Consultant
  • Katherine Muir, Human Resources Advisor
  • Bellmia Ravindran, HR Advisor
  • Marigold Sobrepena, HR Advisor
  • Naomi Wenger, HR Consultant

UTM – HR Department

  • Jessica Aavasalmi, HR Consultant
  • Kirsten Archbell, Senior HR Consultant
  • G.D. Warnika Ariyapala, HR & Payroll Assistant
  • Nader Boutros, Director, UTM Human Resources
  • Veronica Brown, Senior HR Consultant
  • Beatriz Coutinho, HR & Payroll Assistant
  • Jamie Craig, HR Advisor
  • Valerie Davis, HR Advisor
  • Saima Ladha, HR Advisor
  • Louise Oliver, Digital Communications Specialist
  • Michelle Raz Taylor, HR Advisor
  • Monica Seymour, Senior HR Consultant
  • Maureen Shanahan, HR Administrator
  • Heather Siemens, HR Advisor
  • Christine Sousa, HR Advisor
  • Claremont Uy, Payroll & Benefits Supervisor
  • Hana Yusuf, HR Advisor, Project & Analytics