Health coordinator wins staff award

Her boss calls her "an army of one" and the peer volunteers she deploys to spread the word on how to stay healthy couldn’t have given their leader a bigger vote of confidence. They successfully nominated Janis Ellis-Claypool for the 2007 Deborah Hobson Staff Award.

Left: Janis Ellis-Claypool

The York University Student Centre (YUSC) presents the award every year to an outstanding York staff member who consistently goes above and beyond their job in the service of students.

Ellis-Claypool has been coordinator of Health Education & Promotion at York for three years. She trains peer educators to deliver presentations and workshops about health issues ranging from sex and alcohol to stress and nutrition. She also coordinates Wellness Wednesdays, Mellow Mondays and the annual health fair.

"I’m very, very proud of Janis," says her boss Frank Cappadocia, director of Student Community & Leadership Development. "She’s been a phenomenal member of my team. I’m overjoyed that she has won this award."

The following samples from nomination letters show how Ellis-Claypool inspires and impresses students and colleagues:

  • Her passion for student health is clearly woven throughout her student-focused programming initiatives and she has consistently gone above and beyond to improve the quality of life of York students.
  • She continually strives for excellence and, in doing so, inspires others to do the same.
  • Not only is she a remarkable supervisor, she is also a fantastic ambassador and representative for York University, and a vital component of campus life.
  • Throughout the years, Janis has taken the time and effort to develop all of us as student leaders through skill building, one-on-one meetings and continued education. The knowledge, leadership, confidence and professionalism she displays is transferred to each of the peers and is expressed in our integral student leadership role.
  • By fostering an environment of excellence and life-long learning, she taught us to become critical thinkers and leaders.
  • She has always been there to listen, to offer suggestions, and to provide feedback, and I can honestly say that working with her has been one of the best experiences of both my academic and professional career.

Sylvia Schippke, assistant vice-president, Student Community Development, accepted the award May 4 at the York Leadership Conference on behalf of Ellis-Claypool, who is on maternity leave. The conference was attended by 95 student leaders.

YUSC established the Deborah Hobson Awards for student leaders and staff to honour York’s former vice-president enrolment & student services who tirelessly promoted leadership and student development during her tenure at York. The awards recognize those committed to enhancing the quality of life for students. Winners receive a plaque along with $100 donated to a York bursary program on their behalf.