Recipient of the 2011 President’s Leadership Award is a team builder

Sheila Forshaw

Over the past few weeks, YFile has featured short profiles of the five winners of the 2011 President’s Staff Recognition Awards. This year’s recipient of the 2011 President’s Leadership Award is Sheila Forshaw, executive officer for the School of Kinesiology & Health Science, and Sport & Recreation.

“It’s pretty simple. Here’s the ball, there’s the net. Put the ball in the net.”

Words of wisdom from Sheila Forshaw’s coach during her successful career as a field hockey player at York University – wisdom she brings to her role as an executive officer for the School of Kinesiology & Health Science, and Sport & Recreation. A staff member since 1995, the attributes she cultivated as a professional athlete have been put to great use over the last 17 years.

Sheila ForshawSheila Forshaw

Forshaw is noted by her colleagues as being an adept manager, one who leads without being overpowering. They say that she does not need to be highlighted as the leader and demonstrates a strong approach to her team. She takes the lead when necessary, but also does not shy away from supporting others in the same role. Nominators note that she possesses a calm and quiet strength. She leads by example and is always willing to give guidance and share her knowledge.

An alumna of York University, Forshaw is personally committed to the University and takes pride in its students, faculty and staff. She is a fixture at varsity games and events, often seen cheering loudly. This commitment sometimes puts her on the Keele campus seven days per week, but as a self-proclaimed “great fan”, she says that she wouldn’t have it any other way. As a University citizen, she often volunteers to lead pan-University committees and does her part to support a community where students, faculty and staff can give their best.

Her nominators say she is a role model for other senior administrators on our campuses. Forshaw invests a great deal of time in mentoring and coaching those she works with or supervises. They say that her example is followed by many of her colleagues because she embraces innovation and positive change, encourages fresh ideas and opinions, and is extremely generous with her time. Her reputation for being collaborative, her positive approach, and her vision and pride in the York community allow others to view her as a trusted ally.

The President’s Leadership Award recognizes individuals who are committed to excellence at York University. It celebrates those that perform at a level which inspires high levels of professionalism across campus. Forshaw is most deserving of this recognition. Her reputation as a calm, sensitive and confident administrative leader is evident in the nomination package that supported her win of the 2011 President’s Leadership Award; her value to the York community is evident in the students, faculty and staff she mentors and her desire to see each individual do their very best.