Western Award of Excellence winners celebrated

By Adela Talbot and Paul Mayne
October 03, 2013

Western defines excellence in many ways, but recognizes it with one award – the Western Award of Excellence. This year’s seven top staff members will be honoured at a special ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28, in the Great Hall.

The internal award is designed to recognize the tremendous work staff performs in support of providing an outstanding Western Experience. More than 50 nominations were received for this year’s awards.

The 2013 recipients join 56 of their colleagues who have been previously recognized for this honour.

These awards represent Western’s highest level of recognition for staff members. Western faculty, staff, students and alumni are encouraged to nominate an individual staff member or a team of staff who make outstanding contributions to the campus community.

“This Western Award of Excellence is the highest honour we bestow upon our staff colleagues whose knowledge, skills and commitment represent the best of our campus community,” Western President Amit Chakma said. “I’m very pleased to congratulate these individuals who have been recognized by their peers and colleagues for the outstanding work they do. To be honoured by those who work most closely with us speaks volumes of the impact we make to the life of the academy.”

VandervoortPaul Mayne, Western News

Peggy Vandervoort

Peggy Vandervoort has been one of the pillars upon which Robarts Clinical Trials Inc. has been built. As director of clinical operations, she continues to be selfless in her dedication to colleagues and staff and a key driver in the many initiatives undertaken within the group over the last 15 years. The depth of one’s emotional intelligence is based on qualities such as self-awareness, motivation, empathy and an advanced level of adaptive social skills. Vandervoort exemplifies all of these qualities as a leader, a role model and exemplar of success.

AmythPaul Mayne, Western News

Susan Smyth

Susan Smyth works tirelessly and demonstrates consistently a genuine desire to help residents and fellows in postgraduate training at Western. She has been the registration coordinator in the Postgraduate Medical Education Office for the past six years. Her high level of professionalism compliments her warm and caring personality, and it is quite normal for Smyth to go above and beyond expectations. Her warm personality and great sense of humour make the office a fun place to be.

FeulgenPaul Mayne, Western News

Karin Feulgen

Karin Feulgen is much more than a financial assistant in the Department of Economics; she is part of the Economics family. As she works to better the work environment for others at Western, better the city and better her family, Feulgen is someone who goes beyond the requirements of her job to help others reach their full potential. She brings to her role grace, compassion, excellence, respect, integrity and commitment in everything she does. A consummate team player, her work ethic brings joy to everyone she comes in contact with.

WestmacottSpecial to Western News

Penny Westmacott

Penny Westmacott has made exceptional contributions as an academic counselor in the Faculty of Science, and to the broader Western Science community. A devoted leader and manager, Westmacott worked hard at both the front lines and in the background, all with the goal of helping students be successful in science. She has a tremendous amount of empathy and yet strives to find the balance between helping students and empowering them to help themselves. Westmacott recently retired after a total of 23 years at Western.

LawAdela Talbot, Western News

Kimberley Law

To say Kimberley Law goes above and beyond her normal role expectations in the Department of Earth Sciences would be an understatement. As manager of the Laboratory for Stable Isotope Science, Western's largest multidisciplinary lab group, Law is great with people because she can identify with, feel and respect the anxieties, tensions and other emotions that arise when a large number of high achievers take on demanding tasks, and must work together to be successful.

TraskAdela Talbot, Western News

Leanne Trask

Leanne Trask’s impact within the Department of English extends far beyond responsibilities one could list on a job description. Her institutional knowledge – and her willingness to share that knowledge – makes her a priceless asset. Faculty and students alike talk about drawing on Trask’s knowledge and expertise as an administrator. One student described her as the “department’s encyclopedia,” saying, “seemingly, there is not a single question she is not capable of answering or does not know immediately who can answer the question.” Many, at some point, have shared another student’s feeling that “Leanne has saved my life.”

PetersonAdela Talbot, Western News

Mary Peterson

Mary Peterson is the sole reason Western’s Southwestern Ontario Medical Education Network (SWOMEN) is able to produce the quality and extent of rural research year after year. She enthusiastically informs medical students about rural programs, and ensures each opportunity and each student’s interest is met. She has facilitated rural research scholarships for SWOMEN for more than a decade, allowing students to gain valuable experience and to participate in meaningful research projects. Her colleagues agree “there’s something about Mary” that has made SWOMEN a great success.


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