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UFV employees celebrated at service recognition dinner in Abbotsford

Faculty, professor emeritus and long-service employees rewarded on May 14

The University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) hosted a service recognition dinner to celebrate their employees.

The dinner and awards night on May 14 was at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Centre in Abbotsford.

Six UFV employees were recognized with particular awards. Sheila McKay, who has spent 18 years at UFV, received the Staff Excellence Award. McKay works in the student life department with a focus on event planning and student engagement. The award recognizes UFV staff members who have demonstrated excellence in their service to the university.

Opeyemi Adesina, the director of the School of Computing, received the Faculty Service Excellence Award. Adesina works with local collaborations, such as assisting to create a childhood mental health and well-being app and working on artificial intelligence-driven programming. Adesina is also the Chair of Industry Partnerships. The award celebrates a faculty member whose service includes productive contributions to the department, faculty, institution and the community.

Andrea Hughes, the head of the psychology department, received the Inspirational Leadership Award. On top of teaching classes and running the department Hughes also sits on five committees. The award goes to an individual who leads by example. Hughes made history by being the first person ever to receive two employee excellence awards at the university. Her first was in 2014 when she was awarded the Teaching Excellence Award.

Greg St. Hilaire received the Indigenization and Reconciliation Award. St. Hilaire has partnered with Seabird Island Band to implement and deliver specialized adult education courses that cater to the Indigenous community. The award goes to an employee who demonstrates a commitment to Indigenous success.

Vanessa Radzimski, a mathematics and statistics professor, received the Teaching Excellence Award. Above being passionate about student engagement she also has been a key contributor in mathematics conference planning. Radzimski is also a role model and mentor for Fraser Valley WEST, which focuses on women in engineering, science and technology. The award goes to a professor who demonstrates a successful teaching practice, assists in curriculum development, engages in the scholarship of teaching and learning and shows service.

Gillian Hatfield, the director of the School of Kinesiology, received the Research Excellence Award. Hatfield’s studies focus on community health. Hatfield has been involved in 11 peer-reviewed publications, and has two more under review and six in progress. She also sits on various boards, council and committees. The award goes to an individual that shows originality in their work, academic impact, a UFV impact and exemplifies mentorship.

The event also recognized professors who were retiring. Ron Dart, Marcella LaFever, Jacqueline Nolte, Christine Slavik and Geoffrey Spurling were each brought on stage.

Over 100 long-service employees were also recognized. Those with 45, 35, 30, 25, 20, 15, and 10 years of service were invited to the event.

The awards were launched in 2016 by the UFV board of governors and are presented annually to recognize and celebrate UFV staff. UFV faculty, staff, students, alumni or board members can nominate individuals for particular awards.

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About the Author: Ryleigh Mulvihill

I have been a multimedia journalist with The Abbotsford News since February of 2024.
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