Five York employees celebrated for their contributions to the University

Five exceptional employees of York University were honoured at a special dinner presentation on Tuesday, April 20. They were the recipients of the 2009 President’s Staff Recognition Awards. The awards were presented by York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri, as proud family and colleagues looked on.

This year’s recipients are: Lise Brisebois, departmental assistant for the Department of Psychology and School of Women’s Studies at Glendon College; Kelly Parke, senior media designer for Learning Technology Services in University Information Technology (UIT); Renata Faverin, director of Procurement Services in the Finance Department; Rose Hodgson, a housing custodian working in Undergraduate Housing Operations, Campus Services & Business Operations (CSBO); and Susy Ribeiro, an advising coordinator in Academic Services in the Faculty of Science & Engineering.

Above: The recipients of the 2009 President’s Staff Recognition Awards. From left, York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri, President Emeritus H. Ian Macdonald, Kelly Parke, Lise Brisebois, Susy Ribeiro, Rose Hodgson, Renata Faverin, Vice-President Finance & Administration Gary Brewer and President Emerita Lorna Marsden.

Lise Brisebois came to Glendon in 1999. She spent her first year at York supporting the Departments of English, Philosophy and Sociology. One year later she took over the departmental assistant position supporting the Department of Psychology and the School of Women’s Studies. In her position, Brisebois is called upon to field a very wide range of academic, administrative and professional responsibilities.

Her nominators describe her as enthusiastic, someone who truly exemplifies the spirit of York. She demonstrates exceptional interpersonal skills and knowledge of the University. Colleagues are quick to point out the atmosphere that Brisebois creates – one that is open and inviting, no doubt strengthened by her warm, unassuming and caring personality. She effectively deals with difficult situations, smoothly turning each one into an opportunity to learn and grow. Brisebois is the recipient of the President’s Voice of York Award, which is given to an individual employed as a receptionist or who is a first line of contact at the University. 

Kelly Parke is known to many as the “videoracle”. Regardless of what the issue is, or how long it will take to get it right, he has the answer. Currently a senior media designer at York, Parke has held various positions within the same discipline since 1980. His passion for creativity and technology, and his willingness to support those who use technology to deliver exceptional learning experiences to students, knows no bounds. 

Parke’s nominators believe he truly has redefined the possible for York instructors and students. His expertise and innovation with MP4 technology has allowed students increased access to courses and provided commuter students with a way to make better use of their transit time. His work with convocation has allowed families of York students around the world the opportunity to share in moments that may not otherwise be possible. Parke is the recipient of the Deborah Hobson York Citizenship Award, which celebrates a commitment and enthusiasm for York University and its particular vision of higher education.

Renata Faverin began her career at York in the Faculty of Arts as an adviser to first-year students. Twenty-six years later, she is the director of Procurement Services for the University, president of the Ontario University Purchasing Management Association, a founding member of the Ontario Education Collaborative Marketplace, a board member of the Canadian Public Procurement Council representing the education sector, and a member of the OntarioBuys Working Group for the Province of Ontario. 

Her colleagues agree that she does more than her job, in hours, spirit, dedication and example. She is an empowering leader and a strong mentor. Those who have had the pleasure of working with Faverin reaffirm that she has never been one to turn away from challenges and meets them head on. She is passionate about personal development, encourages those around her to think outside the box, and believes wholeheartedly in the University and its vibrant community. Faverin is the recipient of the President’s Confidential & Professional Management (CPM) Award, which recognizes an individual for contributions that go beyond the published requirements of a position, and for performance levels that foster a high level of professionalism and usually extend beyond any individual department into the University community at large.

Rose Hodgson has been a mother to York students since 1992. What began as a custodian position soon took on nurturing duties. Hodgson learned quickly that for many students, this was their first time away from home. Always enthusiastic, she goes out of her way to ensure that each student is proud to call York their second home. 

Colleagues and students agree that Hodgson has a contagious smile, a bubbly personality and the ability to make everyone around her feel comfortable and at ease. Her creative solutions for improvements that are needed are welcomed by her colleagues and her suggestions are always made with the student experience in mind and the desire to provide the best possible stay in residence. Hodgson’s sense of pride as a member of the York community is an example to her colleagues. She consistently provides exceptional service to the York community. Hodgson is the recipient of the Phyllis Clark Campus Service Award, created in honour of Phyllis Clark, former vice-president finance & administration. This award is presented to a non-academic employee who has made an exemplary contribution to the efficient, clean, safe and secure operation of campus services.

Susy Ribeiro first joined Science Academic Services in 1997 as a workstudy student. After graduation she moved to the Department of Biology and eventually found her way to the Faculty of Science & Engineering. In 2007, she became an advising coordinator and has been integral in many new initiatives involving her faculty ever since. Along with redesigning handbooks and student engagement material, Ribeiro works closely with the Department of Mathematics & Statistics to ensure that new students are assessed early on for their math knowledge, and that they are provided with the tools and support they need to succeed. 

In her dealing with students, Riberio sets an example that all should follow. Regardless of deadlines, she will put anxious students first. She is passionately committed to providing them with the best service possible, and does so in a kind, caring and knowledgeable way. Her nominators agree that she gives proof to the adage that if you want something done, you give it to a busy person. Ribeiro is the recipient of the Ronald Kent Medal. President Emeritus H. Ian Macdonald established this award in 1979 in memory of his driver, Ronald Kent. The award acknowledges Kent’s commitment to the University throughout his years of service, his enthusiasm and his reputation as a true ambassador of York.

For more on the awards, visit the Office of the President Web site.