The Lethbridge College Employee Excellence awards recognize and celebrate the dedication and exceptional service by employees who go above and beyond to promote our core values of people, excellence and success. This year’s winners are acknowledged in the categories of Leadership and Creating Community (for leaders who make the college a welcoming and supportive environment) and Service and Innovation (for employees who contribute to providing high quality or innovative service or programming).
The awards will be presented at the Lethbridge College Employee Recognition Event Feb. 28.
Winner of the Leadership and Creating Community Excellence Award
Dave Maze’s nomination emphasized his leadership, support of at-risk students, fostering of inter-professional respect, and innovative efforts to encourage student engagement.
Dave is a collaborative force at Lethbridge College, where he’s worked since 2013 supporting the Lethbridge College Student Crew in the Simulated Patient Health Environment for Research and Education (SPHERE) lab in the School of Health Sciences. This volunteer initiative encouraged 55 typically at-risk students to be engaged in campus activities. Dave offered several opportunities for them to be involved in activities with policing students, tailoring those activities to their learning goals and needs. He found ways to bring together a next generation of health professionals and police to develop inter-professional respect and, mirroring the work these students will face in their careers.
“Through his vision and creativity, he has inspired me and many others to step out of our comfort zones in better service to our students and each other,” wrote one colleague. “He is very respectful to work with and routinely hosts guests from external agencies, ensuring other colleagues can share with the numerous subject-matter experts that he has maintained strong relationships alongside.”
“He has a special talent of making sure that each student feels valued and important and is very dedicated to seeing every student succeed,” wrote one student. “He takes time out of his evenings to host study sessions before every law exam. I have never had a teacher who I could trust as much as I trust him; I consider myself extremely lucky to have had him as a teacher.”
Winner of the Service Innovation Excellence Award
As the lead hand in the college’s new Student Relationship Management (SRM) system, Patrick is tasked with streamlining business processes and communication throughout the student lifecycle. This required extensive input and collaboration across campus, starting with a high-priority admission and retention project. He was able to champion and train others on business process mapping, which allowed all groups to share and understand their processes, and he was able to act as a bridge to ensure every group’s needs and perspectives was understood and considered.
A member of the college team since 2010, this role with the SRM has required many hours above and beyond the normal work day, juggling projects and deadlines and working with multiple departments. He does it all with a smile, even working with the vendor to diagnose and repair issues.
“He has the unique talent where his colleagues feel as though their project is his main priority and any barriers are met with his commitment to explore creative solutions to make the system accommodate our needs,” reads his nomination. “Patrick is an inspiration! He is kind, patient, dedicated and knowledgeable. . . Patrick’s commitment exemplifies service and innovation and supports our vision to lead and transform education in Alberta.”
Winner of the Leadership and Creating Community Appreciation Award
Lisa Halpen first joined the college on a casual basis in 2002, and she’s been brightening colleagues’ and students’ days ever since.
“She exemplifies the traits of a quality employee solely based on her reliability, dedication, kindness and efficiency – she is the glue between programs, employees, resources and students,” wrote one colleague. “She does not think in weaknesses and deficits but rather individualizes her approach to match a person’s strengths and highlights their best characteristics.”
A sense of humour and overflowing candy jar add to the warmth people find in Lisa.
Her influence goes beyond her work as a program assistant. As a volunteer during a mock casualty emergency simulation attended by students from the Bachelor of Nursing, Criminal Justice – Policing, Digital Communications and Media, Emergency Medical Technician and Practical Nursing programs, Lisa proved herself to be a convincing actress. One student who supported Lisa’s award nomination said, “(Lisa) enhanced my learning experience by transforming herself into a very loud and verbal mother of our patient. It honestly takes someone with leadership, creativity and courage to get in front of a group of people and act out these scenarios. . . She is one of the most encouraging, loving and energetic individuals I know.”
Winner of the Leadership and Creating Community Appreciation Award
Francis Rankin joined Lethbridge College in 2013, knows every square inch of the facilities and, most likely, can tell you the name of everyone who works here. He connects with people and works on projects on the fly, as he walks the halls.
“If he spots you and you are on your way to a meeting, he will walk with you to your meeting to let you know where he is at with whatever project he is working on for you,” writes a colleague. “This is how you handle business with Francis … and it works; he is a doer…he will bend over backwards to get it done. Francis does everything he can to help create an environment that works for our students, staff, faculty and the community. He takes the time to understand how we function in our various roles. He takes the time for us.”
Beyond his job as project manager, he is also involved in research. In 2018-19, he received a Scholarly Teaching and Research (STAR) grant in support of student learning. He research is to survey students in four classrooms around campus to identify and ideal range of temperature that students find comfortable. He’s the first non-teaching staff member to be approved for a STAR grant at Lethbridge College.
Madisyn Chambers is a lab technician in the Simulated Patient Health Environment for Research and Education (SPHERE) in the School of Health Sciences, Centre for Health and Wellness, and her Strong Start Award recognizes her achievements in the first two years of employment. Colleagues who have known Madisyn as a student and now as a co-worker since she joined the team in November 2017 nominated her for the award.
“She is able to make meaningful connections with people in a way that makes them feel safe, welcome and nurtured,” wrote one colleague. “She is patient and kind when working with the 50-plus volunteers we have in SPHERE; she welcomes them and ensures they have what they need. She is always willing to take on new challenges with great ideas and innovative strategies to manage any issues that arise.”
Students who find her passion for her work inspiring supported her nomination. “I look up to Madisyn as an inspiration for my future practice and admire the way in which she invests her time and energy in future healthcare professionals,” wrote one.
Another student said she was accustomed to walking the hallways “without being noticed or at least acknowledge; Madisyn speaks to me with enthusiasm and energy as she says hello. It gives me a warm feeling of ‘yeah, someone knows of me.’ . . . Whenever I am not confident in my abilities, she pats me on my back and says ‘don’t worry, I got your back’.”