Osgoode staff members Mary Barbieri, Lielle Gonsalves and Jody-Ann Rowe-Butler received very special awards at the holiday lunch on Friday, Dec. 7. The trio were recognized by the Osgoode community for their commitment and contributions to the school.
Right: From left, Mary Barbieri, Lielle Gonsalves and Jody-Ann Rowe-Butler
At the event, three dedicated professors who have each worked at Osgoode for 25 years – Tom Johnson, Kent McNeil and Bruce Ryder – received Osgoode’s Hall of Distinguished Service award. Their names will be engraved on a master plaque that hangs in the law school.
Members of the Osgoode community nominated Barbieri for the Louella Sturdy Leadership Award, which is given annually to the law school staff member who has made an outstanding contribution through his or her leadership and teamwork with members of the Osgoode community.
Gonsalves and Rowe-Butler were nominated for the Wendy Rambo Outstanding Service Award, which is given annually to two staff members who consistently provide a high level of service and make significant contributions to the Osgoode community.
Barbieri, who has worn a few different hats at Osgoode over the years and is currently a faculty assistant with IP Osgoode, received more than 20 nominations from the Osgoode community, said Kelly McCarthy, coordinator, administrative services, who highlighted what nominators had said about Barbieri. She is “a very hard worker, with a smile on her face and warmth in voice … a person who does what it takes to get the job done, offering top-notch customer service to everyone she encounters … an individual who takes on every challenge presented, taking initiative, working hard, offering creative solutions and exercising excellent judgment.”
McCarthy said she has had the pleasure of working closely with Barbieri. “I have learned from her and you can’t help but smile when she is around. She taught me an excellent motto, which is no matter what happens, ‘recover with flair’.”
Professor Sonia Lawrence, who presented the Wendy Rambo award to Gonsalves, administrative assistant to the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies and the Jack & Mae Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security, talked about Gonsalves’ “attention to detail, kindness and dedication to the institution.”
“All of the endorsers of this nomination wonder what we would do without this staff person to run the books, wrestle with the caterers, take care of our visitors, make our space welcoming, and provide critical commentary on posters, logos and other branding exercises – in all seriousness, Lielle Gonsalves is the heart and soul of both the Nathanson Centre and the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies.”
In presenting the Wendy Rambo award to Rowe-Butler, research & events coordinator in the Office of Research & Institutional Relations, Professor Benjamin Berger noted that she was nominated by the entire Osgoode community including members of the faculty, the administration, other members of the staff, graduate students and JD students.
“Sometimes recipients are nominated for an award. Other times, unbeknownst to them, they are propelled forward by a landslide. This is one such case,” Berger said.
He went on to speak of Rowe-Butler’s “initiative, efficiency and skills,” her “humour, humility and guidance” as well as her “generosity of support and patience.” She is always willing to “go above and beyond” is what all the nominators said of her, Berger enthused. “She is an important part of our community, an exceptional individual and a worthy recipient of this award.”