2018 Outstanding Staff Award Winners

April 24, 2018 by Christine Elias - A&S News

Established in 1999, the Outstanding Staff Awards recognize employees who have achieved excellence in support of the Faculty’s mission of teaching and research. David Cameron, dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science, presented the awards on April 19.

This year’s recipients are:

Lisa DeCaro.

Lisa DeCaro, Computer Science, Administrative Service Award

In any organization there are always those stellar staff members who work diligently behind the scenes. Lisa DeCaro is one of those top performers. A highly respected team member with a strong work ethic, her colleagues list among her many admirable qualities: professionalism, patience, courtesy, responsiveness, efficiency and dedication. DeCaro is responsible for a wide variety of tasks that have directly impacted the efficiency of the department. She has also been instrumental in the development of the department’s new teaching assistant database system, designed to streamline and efficiently track the TA hiring process.

Violeta Gotcheva, Chemistry, Technical Service Award

Violeta Gotcheva.

As the manager of chemistry’s electronics and computing facility, Violeta Gotcheva is responsible for the ensuring all the IT needs of faculty, staff and students are met. This involves not only supervising her team to address daily technical issues, but also the planning and implementation of large-scale projects. For example, this past year she successfully completed an upgrade of the department’s firewall, network switches and server rooms. This massive, nine-month project led to increased network speeds that support computational research, video conferencing and administrative services. A dedicated, innovative leader with a strong commitment to the professional development of her staff, Gotcheva is also highly regarded as a superb collaborator in the wider Arts & Science technical community.

Helena Juenger, Germanic Languages & Literatures, Student Life Award

Helena Juenger.

Since joining German in 2013, Helena Juenger has made significant contributions to the quality of the learning environment. She revamped the department’s online presence, overhauled the graduate recruitment communications strategy and is the go-to person for any and all questions related to the financial side of graduate studies. It’s also thanks to Juenger ’s leadership that the department’s bi-monthly coffee hour for students and faculty has become a fixture of German’s departmental life. She has also been instrumental in the development of the iPRAKTIKUM project, designed to provide students learning German with work-related experiences in the GTA and abroad. The program is still in the pilot phase, but all signs point to continued success.

Margaret McKone, Munk School of Global Affairs, Distinguished Service Award

Margaret McKone.

Margaret McKone – who joined U of T a little over 30 years ago – has been the Executive Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs since 2008. Managing an enterprise as large and complex as the Munk School for a decade is no small achievement. Working with the senior administrative team, she provides generous leadership and helps define the strategic direction for the School, including programming, outreach and fundraising. But McKone is more than a stellar leader and gifted administrator, colleagues speak of her wise counsel, generous spirit, and supportive and compassionate nature. In the words of interim director Randall Hansen: “Margaret IS the Munk School. The fact that few people outside the School would be aware of this is simply testament to her humility and her desire to promote others rather than herself.”