Stephanie Brooks’ unwavering dedication to student success is well-known throughout the Department of Sport Management.
The academic advisor’s 22 years of commitment was officially recognized at the President’s Holiday Celebration on Monday, Dec. 10 when she was honoured with a President’s Distinguished Staff Service Award.
Her nominator Laura Cousens, Associate Professor of Sport Management, said in the nomination application that Brooks’ “attention to the individual needs of all students has been the backbone of student support in our department.”
Tears of joy ran down Brooks’ cheeks as she shook President Gervan Fearon’s hand and accepted the award in front of some 400 faculty and staff members.
“It certainly wasn’t expected,” said Brooks, who was the Department of Sport Management’s first and only staff member when it started in 1997. “It has been a lot of fun being with the department from inception to where it is now.”
Since beginning her role more than two decades ago, undergraduate enrolment in Sport Management has more than doubled to 1,000 students across all four academic years.
Kirsty Spence, Chair and Associate Professor for the department, said that although Brooks’ volume of work has increased, her level of exceptional customer service has never changed.
“She has met the challenge with grace and grit,” said Spence. “If anything, her service-orientated demeanour is more important now than before. She loves the students and the students love her. She always meets them where they need to be met.”
To meet an urgent request, Brooks has quite literally met a student where they needed her — in one case meeting a student in a north St. Catharines parking lot with paperwork needed for an upcoming job interview.
Brooks was one of 27 faculty and staff who were honoured at the annual holiday event. She said that she enjoys working at the University and is happy for everyone who was recognized.
“I love being a part of the Brock community. It’s wonderful to be a part of something bigger than me,” she said.
President Gervan Fearon addressed the crowd and thanked everyone for their dedication to the University and to student success. He said that when speaking with students and alumni, a common theme he hears is that they can identify the moment a staff or faculty member made a difference in shaping their lives.
“They tell me, ‘I didn’t get a chance to tell them thanks,’ or ‘they don’t know how much of an influence they were that day,’” said Fearon. “Those small things that you do as day-to-day passing moments bring incredible joy and make a difference to students.”
President’s Distinguished Staff Service Awards
The President’s Distinguished Staff Service Award for Outstanding Contributions recognizes permanent staff members who have provided outstanding contributions to the working environment at Brock. This year’s winners were:
- Stephanie Brooks, Academic Advisor and Undergraduate Co-ordinator, Sport Management
- Dennis Ceci, Graphic Designer, Printing Services
- Lesa Mansfield, Administrative Co-ordinator and Graduate Advisor, Sociology
- Elizabeth Wasylowich, Administrative Assistant, Labour Studies and Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies
Human Resources Distinguished Staff Service Award for Leadership
Audrey Fehlow, Director of Enterprise Solutions for Information Technology Services, was honoured with the Human Resources Distinguished Staff Service Award for Leadership, which recognizes one staff member with a proven record of leading and working collaboratively, engaging faculty and staff, building strong relationships and developing a respectful work and learning environment.
Quarter Century Club
Several faculty and staff were recognized for their long-standing commitment to Brock University. This year, 11 employees were inducted into the Quarter Century Club, joining 237 others who have worked for Brock for 25 years:
- Steve Anderson, Mail Clerk, Central Receiving and Mail Services
- Jeffrey Atkinson, Chair and Professor, Chemistry
- Jane Helleiner, Professor, Sociology
- Rahul Kumar, Assistant Professor and St. Catharines Campus Manager, Educational Studies
- Frances Meffe, Administrative Co-ordinator, History
- Janet Sackfie, Administrative Assistant, English Language and Literature
- Murray Smith, Professor, Sociology
- Linda Stillabower, Associate Professor, Accounting
- Susan Sydor, Interim Director, Tecumseh Centre for Aboriginal Research and Education and Assistant Professor, Education
- Paul Tritton, Customer Service and Printing Co-ordinator, Printing Services
- James Weatherson, Custodian, Custodial and Grounds Services
35 years of long-standing service
Eleven people were recognized for 35 years of service:
- Sandra Boone, Publication and Programs Co-ordinator, Youth Programs
- Peter Bradstreet, Aquatics Associate, Brock Sports
- Robert Carlone, Professor, Biological Sciences
- Ted Costanzo, Carpenter, Maintenance and Utilities Services
- Kenneth Enns, Lead Hand and Electrician, Maintenance and Utilities Services
- Cynthia Leavitt, Library Assistant, Collection Services
- Thomas Macdonald, Manager of Technical Services, Tech Services — Electronic Shop
- Bozidar Mitrovic, Professor, Physics
- Jonathan Radue, Associate Professor, Computer Science
- Barbara Tatarnic, Manager of Continuing Education and Outreach, Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute
- Peter Yannopoulos, Professor, Marketing, International Business and Strategy
50 years of long-standing service
Peter Barclay, Storekeeper with the Department of Earth Sciences, was recognized as the longest-serving ongoing employee in the history of the University. Barclay retired Nov. 30 after 50 years of service.