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2017 University Operations Outstanding Individual Award winners

Aug 23rd, 2017 | Posted In : Awards

Outstanding Individual Award

Congratulations to all winners!

Peter Johnston, Grounds Supervisor, Facilities & Services

Peter is deeply committed to our outdoor environment on campus. He has worked extremely hard to make the campus grounds both beautiful and the Grounds operation efficient and sustainable. He was instrumental in upgrading the campus irrigation system to a modern computerized system that saves the University more than 50 million gallons of water every year. He has transitioned much of the grounds equipment, such as push mowers, hedge trimmers, line trimmers and chain saws, from gas powered to battery electric units, that produce zero emissions. He was also instrumental in implementing programs to fight infestations such as Dutch elm disease and emerald ash borer.

Peter also works hard to ensure campus safety. Along with the entire Grounds crew, Peter is often on campus long before anyone else, sometimes as early as 4:00 am, clearing snow and ice from sidewalks, roadways, stairs and accessibility ramps.

Rose Stina, Campus Events Registration Administrator, ACE

To many Rose Stina is the face of Academic + Campus Events, warmly greeting all those who visit our office or call our number for over 34 years. She is the foundation of the Academic + Campus Events team. Her humble commitment and dedication to her work “family” is unrivaled. While change and growth can be challenging for some individuals, Rose has continued to grow and keep up with the ever increasing demands of her often challenging position. She also likes to come in early so she can ensure that everything including the coffee that fuels the entire floor is fresh and ready for her colleagues to enjoy. Campus Groups are always disappointed to find that “Miss Rose” is not available to deal with their requests often preferring to comeback when she is there. Her clients will often comment what a pleasure she is to work with, always cool under pressure and easy with a joke or two.

Reno Strano, Waste Management Supervisor, Facilities & Services

Reno is a one-man sustainability wrecking crew. His commitment to the environment generally and to the University’s recycling rate is exceptional. He has been instrumental in the St. George campus achieving a recycling rate of 72%, one of the highest of any post-secondary institution in North America. Reno was also instrumental in initiating a number of our unique recycling programs, such as the laboratory glass and plastics program and the coffee cup recycling program. He responds to numerous individual department and building requests for recycling services, often on very short notice. Reno also takes care of the Swap Shop that helps reuse furniture, books and other equipment on campus while raising up to $1,000 a year for the United Way.

Gloria Cuneo, Director, Faculty, Residential & Student Family Housing, Ancillary Services

Gloria has completely transformed Charles Street Student Family Housing since she became Director. She has implemented physical upgrades that have improved the lives of students in their individual apartments, but also in the community spaces they use, and building amenities they rely on. Her forward thinking also resulted in security enhancements and a more streamlined application and admissions process. She takes every student’s concern seriously and will devote time to meet with students to resolve issues. Gloria has a big job that keeps her running back and forth to different locations and meetings but she is never discouraged: her passion is evident and her energy is always positive. She has been my supervisor and mentor for 10 years, and she has taught not only me, but our other staff the true meaning of “customer service”.

Penny Wilson, Business Officer, Student family Housing & Residential Housing, Ancillary Services

Penny’s duties are varied and complex — providing financial administrative support to the University’s two family housing departments, and monitoring two significant profit and loss budgets. She develops, streamlines and implements processes to ensure optimum efficiency, and has helped coach and build tools for non-finance staff so that the whole team can participate in budgeting and forecasting. She has been vigilant in identifying areas where savings can be achieved and ensures the departments’ finances are in good shape and any issues are identified quickly.

Penny is supportive, helpful and always willing to go the extra mile. No task is too small or too difficult for Penny, and everything she does gets the same diligent attention to detail. She is a trusted individual that all staff respect and hold in high regard, and is a valued member the Ancillary Services team and a dedicated University of Toronto staff member.

Gloria Rasing, Cashier, Chestnut Residence & Conference Centre, Ancillary Services

Gloria has worked as one of the cashiers stationed at the entrance of the Chestnut residence dining hall for 14 years. More than 1100 students and 130 staff are all greeted at some point every day by Gloria upon entry to the dining hall. She always has a positive attitude and takes the time to say hello to everyone, and ask how they are doing. Her demeanour and warmth leaves an impression on all who are part of our community, so much so that she is regularly invited to the weddings of former students. Gloria is a trusted individual that students and staff can approach when they are feeling down or are seeking the ear of someone who will listen with empathy and care. She is a reliable and kind-hearted person who contributes to making life and work at Chestnut Residence a great experience.

Ken DeBaeremaeker, Manager, Enrolment & Tuition Fees Planning & Analysis, Planning & Budget

Ken is a valued member of the Planning and Budget management team. He supports and leads his team with care and patience. His work feeds into all areas of planning, and we are always confident that it will be accurate and insightful.
Ken’s work touches on the annual planning process for every academic division, student services, campus and facilities planning, residence planning, and the list goes on. Ken’s work is the single most important determinant in the accuracy of the university’s operating revenue projections. Ken provides deeply meaningful advice and modeling to each of the twenty academic divisions, leading into the overall budget. We are the envy of other universities in the depth and breadth of technical and strategic knowledge and advice that Ken brings to UofT.

Kristina Kazandjian, Marketing, Communications & Trademark Licensing Coordinator, Ancillary Services

Kristina is so capable and accomplished that we have to keep reminding people that she is a department of one! Such is her dedication, though, that she produces the results of many while maintaining her enthusiasm, dedication and – perhaps most importantly – her sense of humour. The University’s “brand”, which Kristina protects actively and thoughtfully, is more than our crest. It lives on in the minds of our community and our guests, and it fosters a set of sentiments and ideas that people associate with U of T. Kristina continually seeks to improve the Trademark Licensing program, making it relevant to students and departments. She understands its role in generating both school spirit and school revenues and sets goals each year in order to surpass previous benchmarks. Her professionalism, attention to detail and collaborative approach have made her an incredible asset to the Ancillary Services team.

June Cheng Information Technology Analyst, EASI, ITS

As a senior programmer on the Student Information System team, June Cheng is one of a handful of staff at U of T who truly understands the murky and complex inner workings of the ROSI mainframe system. So when the tough jobs come up, the EASI team turns to June. And so we did in October 2014 when the province decided to change the entire OUAC application process causing a two year re-write of this interface to U of T. As the “Team Lead”, June displayed her true colours – balancing multiple responsibilities including project management, analysis, coding and testing of the application, successfully delivering the project on time for the institution. Throughout this project and many others, the SIS team has come to rely on June’s leadership skills, technical expertise, and in-depth knowledge of ROSI to guide their work, and wish to have her recognised for her outstanding contributions to the University.

Michael Cicerani Senior Project Manager, UPDC

Michael is an exceptional project manager who has my absolute trust – he takes time to understand his clients and their goals, presents information in a clear, concise way that non-technical people can make sense of, and has outstanding customer service skills. Most impressive to me is the way in which he lays out the options in situations which involve several possible paths; each of these is well researched and risks and costs are assessed. And while a great project manager may not be able to ensure a perfect outcome, given all the unknowns and different parties involved, I know that Michael’s diligence ensures the best possible outcome we could have achieved. To top it all off, he is calm, has a great sense of humour, and is a delight to work with.