Exceptional Service

by Ryan McNutt - June 23, 2006

Photo
(l-r): President Tom Traves, Mary Beth MacIsaac, Marianne Hagen and Susanna Morash-Kent. Missing from photo is Peggy Redmond. (Abriel photo)

Dedicated. Welcoming. Compassionate. As Dalhousie President Tom Traves read excerpts from the stack of glowing nomination letters in front of him, these were just a few of the kind words used to describe the four recipients of the 2006 Rosemary Gill award.

The award, first presented in 1995, is dedicated to the memory of Rosemary Gill, a former director of Dalhousie Health Services. In honour of her commitment to the student population, the award was established to recognize deserving university employees who go above and beyond in the service to students. All recipients are nominated by members of the university community and voted on by a committee of students and administrators.

The recipients were honoured at a reception attended by students, faculty and staff, all there to support their colleagues with applause, laughter and even a few joyful tears. Dr. Traves, calling the event Òone of the best times of the year,” spoke about the life-changing encounters that university staff members can initiate. He declared this yearÕs recipients Òexamples of what we should all aspire to at Dalhousie.”

The recipients of the 2006 Rosemary Gill award:

Marianne Hagen is the MBA program manager in the Faculty of Management.  ÒMarianne is there for the students at all times,” said one nomination letter.  ÒMarianne has even hosted an orientation barbecue, opening her own home to students. She always makes the effort to attend student-organized functions.”

Mary Beth MacIsaac is the graduate secretary in the Department of English.  Said one submission: ÒMary Beth demonstrates the highest level of commitment to students and staff, often exceeding the call of duty to offer a helping hand, from aiding incoming and returning graduate students in finding suitable housing, to her organization of the annual Thanksgiving dinner for those students who choose not to return home over the holidays.”

Susanna Morash-Kent is the undergraduate administrative secretary in the School of Architecture. ÒTo the students of Architecture she is more than a secretary,” wrote one student. ÒShe is our friend, and in many cases our mom away from home. We believe that she surpasses all of the expectations placed upon her, not because she feels that she has to but because she genuinely cares for us.”

Peggy Redmond is a part-time lecturer in the Department of Music and the Department of Theatre.  Although she could not attend the reception, one of her nomination letters perfectly illustrated the important role that staff members play in the lives of Dalhousie students: ÒAs she helped me find my singing voice, Peggy also helped me discover who I really am.


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