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Mike Crawford, administrative manager in the School of Occupational Therapy, awarded Faculty of Health’s Excellence in Leadership Award

Posted by Josey Houle on October 24, 2023 in News
Photo of Vanessa Soloviov, Mike Crawford and Joanne Murphy

Crawford is “humbled and honoured” to have been nominated by colleagues.

As administrative manager in the School of Occupational Therapy (OT), Mike Crawford sees staff, student, and colleague empowerment as his greatest responsibility. His professional values align with the School of OT’s: to provide individuals with support on their paths to success, while honouring their unique understandings and experiences.  

“Mike has been with the School of OT for only a short period of time but has already shown outstanding leadership with his collaborative style of management, kindness, and organization. He quickly and adeptly showed an ability to understand and grasp the diverse requirements of his role and the diverse approaches used by the faculty, staff, and students in the School of OT,” says Karen Landry, senior instructor in the School of OT.

Crawford insists that the school’s collaborative environment helps staff, students, and faculty to realize their fullest potential. He is grateful for his team’s willingness to work in a hybrid office/work from home format, as it allows for him to engage in meaningful face-to-face interactions with them on a regular basis. Since starting in his role in 2021, Crawford has sought to make his team feel heard, appreciated, and encouraged — he insists that they’ve always done the same for him.

“This is probably the most supportive environment, the most positive environment that I’ve ever worked in. Immediately you feel accepted, you feel valued for your contribution, for your experience. I try to find the opportunity to learn, to absorb people’s knowledge, and use my experience to improve things a little bit,” Crawford says.

“Mike has all the qualities of a great leader. He is knowledgeable, supportive, respectful, fair, empathetic, inspirational, and has the ability to delegate and to empower others,” says Vanessa Soloviov, program secretary in the Master of Science (Occupational Therapy) (MSc(OT)) program.

Crawford’s role encompasses a broad range of responsibilities. Whether he’s organizing events, preparing student certificates, meeting with facilities management, or completing various administrative tasks, Crawford enjoys the behind-the-scenes work that is integral to the School’s functioning.

“I like the idea of being a piece of something, and being involved, working with other people so that we can achieve a common goal,”
Crawford says.

Crawford recently completed a project in collaboration with Emily Naccarato, who is a student in Dal’s Costume Studies program. Aiming to showcase the history of OT in Atlantic Canada, they tracked down some 1940s vintage OT uniforms. Crawford and Naccarato proceeded to curate them into a display that is now showcased in the School of OT’s lobby.

As the School of OT celebrates its 40th anniversary, Crawford is working to honour the legacy of past and present students, staff and faculty. He recently collected framed photos of graduating classes that had been stowed away, and put them on digital display within the school. Crawford hopes this will inspire people to recognize those who “created the platform” for the School’s success.

“I love what I do, and I really enjoy working with everyone here in the School of Occupational Therapy. It’s a great place to work and it makes me feel proud to be recognized by the folks that I work with for the work that I do,”
Crawford says.

Excellence in Leadership Award

The Faculty of Health’s Excellence in Leadership Award is offered annually through the Dalhousie Faculty of Health’s Employee (Staff) Recognition Awards Program. The Excellence in Leadership Award recognizes an employee who demonstrates outstanding leadership in their role, fosters pride in their work environment, and serves as a professional inspiration to staff, students, and faculty.