Faculty of Science Excellence in Service Awards

Recognizing staff, students and faculty whose service contributions have had a significant positive impact in achieving UBC Science's mission.

A maximum of 6 staff (including one PDF or RA) and 2 faculty awards of $2,000 each, and 2 student awards of $1,000 each will be awarded.

Each department head or director can nominate up to 1 faculty member, 2 staff members (including 1 postdoctoral fellow or research associate), and 1 student. Please work with your student clubs to solicit student nominees. The nominated students can be either undergraduates or graduate students. Awards for students and staff celebrate service to their department or to the Faculty of Science. Awards for faculty members recognize service to the Faculty of Science.

All submissions must bear the signature of the nominee’s home Department Head or Director. In the case of student nominees, the program of study must be clearly identified.

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2022 Faculty of Science Excellence in Service Awards!

2022 Winners


  • Michael Gordon, Associate Professor, Zoology
  • José Rodriguez Nύñez, Associate Professor Teaching, Chemistry


  • Regina Bestbier, Research Assistant, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries
  • James Day, Research Associate, Quantum Matter Institute
  • Michelle Moksa, Research Manager, Microbiology and Immunology
  • Laura Selander, Administrative Support, Computer Science
  • Joseph Tam, Director IT Operations, Mathematics
  • Ashley Welsh, Interim Associate Director, Skylight, Deans Office


  • Julie McNutt, Graduate Student, Chemistry
  • Andrew Sharon, Graduate Student, Microbiology and Immunology

2021 Winners


  • Dr. Leah Keshet, Professor, Mathematics
  • Dr. Anka Lekhi, Associate Professor of Teaching, Chemistry


  • Deepti Arya, Front Counter, Beaty Biodiversity Museum
  • Parvin Bolourani, Outreach, Alumni Engagement, Postdoctoral Affairs & Project Coordinator, Microbiology and Immunology
  • Joël Pittet, Web Applications Team Lead, Computer Science
  • Kathy Scot, Finance Manager, Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Marlene Tecson-Golfinopoulos, Director, Administration, Finance and Operations, Mathematics
  • Constance Wun, Computer Science Co-op Coordinator, Science Co-op Program


  • Haley Branch, Graduate Student, Botany
  • Paula Littlejohn, Graduate Student, Michael Smith Laboratories

2020 Winners


  • Gregory Dake, Associate Professor, Chemistry
  • Karen Smith, Lecturer, Microbiology and Immunology


  • Jacqueline Chambers, Education and Outreach Manager, Beaty Biodiversity Museum
  • Sabrina Fried, Administrative Coordinator HR and Facilities, Chemistry
  • Edythe Grant, HR Manager, Zoology
  • Vivian Leung, Technical Group Assistant, Computer Science
  • John Nomellini, Lab Program Manager, Microbiology and Immunology
  • Stacey Simpson, Academic Advisor, Dean’s Office


  • Melissa Armstrong, Graduate Student, Zoology
  • Lian Kwong, Graduate Student, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries

2019 Winners


  • Geoffrey Wasteneys, Botany
  • Patrick Walls, Mathematics 


  • Linda Jennings, Beaty Biodiversity Museum
  • Charles Krzysik,  Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Susan Palichuk, Microbiology and Immunology
  • Maria-Lourdes Palomares, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries
  • Karen Reid, Michael Smith Labs
  • David Tonkin, Chemistry


  • Maria Cleveland, Chemistry
  • Sarah Woodward, Microbiology and Immunology

2018 Winners


  • David Ng, Michael Smith Laboratories
  • Jeannette Whitton, Botany


  • Katie Beall, Biodiversity Research Centre
  • Gillian Dean, Botany
  • The Thinh Ha, Statistics
  • Renee Haggart,  Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Craig Kornak, Microbiology and Immunology
  • Trey Schiefelbein, Computer Science


  • Adela Gherga, Mathematics  
  • Erika Siren, Chemistry

2017 Winners


Anne Condon, Computer Science
Shona Ellis, Botany


Nicole Balsdon, Beaty Biodiversity Museum
Carmen De Hoog, Michael Smith Laboratories
Sheri Harbour, Chemistry
Gillian Harris, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability
Rachel Petrynko, Botany
Swarnjit Rai, Physics and Astronomy


Zijing (Katie) Li, Statistics  
Hannah Xiao, Biophysics

2016 Winners


Patrice Bellville, Computer Science
Michael Murphy, Microbiology and Immunology


Pal Bains, Michael Smith Laboratories
Donna Dinh, Botany
Sukhi Hundal, Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Chris Stinson, Beaty Biodiversity Museum
Tammy Tromba, Zoology
Jessica Wrinskelle, Computer Science


Kate MacDonald, Biology
Natalie Marshall, Microbiology and Immunology

2015 Winners


Raymond Andersen, Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences and Chemistry
Michael Whitlock, Zoology


John Gourlay, Botany
Salena Li, Physics and Astronomy
Karen Needham, Beaty Biodiversity Museum
Pamela Rosenbaum, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries
Giuliana Villegas, Computer Science

Postdoctoral Fellow or Research Associate

Roslyn Dakin, Zoology


Yvonne Dzal, Zoology
Raphael Roccor, Microbiology and Immunology

2014 Winners


Marc Horwitz, Microbiology & Immunology
Bill Milsom, Zoology


Audrey Davison, Science co-op
Diane Johnson, Computer Science
Doug Polson, Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Odette Rivers, Microbiology & Immunology
Andrea Sollberger, Statistics

Research Associates and Postdoctoral Fellows

Mathias Schuetz, Botany


Andy Leung, Statistics
Nicolette Fonseca, Microbiology and Immunology
Carmen Wong, Integrated Science Program

2013 Winners


Colin Brauner, Professor, Department of Zoology
Prof. Brauner is recognized for his exceptional service to the Department of Zoology and the Faculty of Science as Chair of the Zoology Graduate Committee and Director of InSEAS (Initiative for the Study of the Environment and its Aquatic Systems). He has been unwavering in his commitment to the promotion of graduate students for awards, and encourages students to think broadly about science through the comparative physiology seminar series. He played a leadership role in establishing InSEAS from construction through to a fully functional state-of-the art research facility for faculty and graduate students.

Sunita Chowrira, Senior Instructor, Department of Botany
Sunita goes far beyond her job description to make UBC a better place for undergraduate, graduate students, and her colleagues. She has made a large positive impact in the Biology Program, in the Botany peer review of teaching, and in the Combined Major in Science.

Tamara Kunz, Instructor, Department of Chemistry
Tamara has an exceptional dedication to undergraduate student learning and community outreach and education. She is unwavering in her passion for chemistry, ensuring that the magic of chemistry is enjoyed by everyone. She is recognized for her work on the Chemistry Outreach Committee, including development of "grab and go" kits for outreach to schools and for her contributions to making the Chemistry open house a success.

Janis McKenna, Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Professor McKenna is recognized for ongoing contributions to the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the larger community. She inspires students both in and out of lecture halls, and encourages students to take part in extracurricular activities and the Co-op program to build professional skills which cannot be obtained in lecture halls.


Darlene Birkenhead, Graduate Program Coordinator, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Darlene provides outstanding and innovative support to graduate students from admissions to graduation and beyond. She makes graduate studies smoother and easier to navigate by providing a wealth of knowledge, years of experience, and constant support and professional advice and encouragement. Examples include organization and participation in after-hours events such as a career evening, and the creation a mentoring program for new graduate students.

Nancy Cook, Office of the Dean of Science
For exceptional service to the Faculty of Science. Nancy supports and manages a wide range of complex initiatives that succeed due to her strong level of commitment and incredible work ethic. She is dedicated to the faculty and our students, consistently "going the extra mile" to solve difficult challenges and deliver very high quality work.

Peggy Ng, Department of Statistics
For her dedication to the Statistics Department, for her work in developing Department policies and procedures that promote equity and fairness, for her skill in making Department members' work lives easier and happier, and for making the move to the Earth Sciences Building painless.

Mati Raudsepp, Director of the Electron Microbeam/X-ray Diffraction Facility, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
For longstanding dedication in establishing and maintaining high quality facilities that serve UBC researchers and hundreds of government and industrial clients. Dr. Raudsepp is also recognized for his consistent and enduring commitment to students and graduate education.

Anthony Winstanley, Undergraduate Facilities Manager, Department of Computer Science
In recognition for years of excellence in enhancing, managing, and supporting the Computer Science undergraduate teaching facilities and his ability to develop innovative solutions to solve challenging technical problems. By constantly researching the technical issues at hand, Anthony pushes boundaries to build new tools not readily available on the market. His dedication, creativity, and leadership support truly excellent computing and learning environments for students.


Euweng Chan, Undergraduate Student, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Mr. Chan organized a large conference drawing national and international delegates with a spectacular level of professionalism, leadership, innovation, and vision.

Rowan Cockett, Graduate Student, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Rowan has created interactive and immersive tools for visualizing complex three dimensional geology and incorporated them into introductory geoscience courses at UBC and elsewhere. These tools make a difference in both conceptual understanding and the academic success of students in both the Faculty of Science at UBC and around the world.

Timothy Jayme, President of the Microbiology and Immunology Students Association, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Timothy has been an outstanding leader during his term as President. He has used his passion, drive, and commitment to completely energize the microbiology and immunology student community, bringing great benefits to the academic and personal lives of the students he serves. Under his leadership, membership in the student association has quadrupled, the online profile has improved, and a new student lounge has been created.

David Kohler, Graduate Student, Department of Mathematics
For outstanding service both in fostering graduate student community in the Mathematics Department and putting forth a substantial and varied effort in improving the teaching and learning of mathematics at UBC in his contact with students, colleagues, and those outside the Department. This award recognizes his contributions to the Instructional Skills Workshop for graduate students, the Math Graduates Committee, the Graduate Student Seminars, UBC Long House, UBC Jump Start, and Science World's "Future Science Leaders" program.

Susan Vickers, Graduate Student, Department of Chemistry
Susan has made outstanding contributions to the outreach activities for the Department of Chemistry and the Faculty of Science, activities that have enhanced the experience of her peers and improved the morale within the Department. She established a sustained outreach program through hands-on chemistry demonstrations at Science World, Alumni Weekend, Take your Kids to Work Day, and the High School Lab Skills Competition, and is active in many other outreach activities such as the "Future Science Leaders Program", Science Online Vancouver, and Cafe Scientifique.

Jaclyn Dee, Graduate Student, Department of Botany
As a leader of the Botany Graduate Students' Association, Ph.D. candidate Jaclyn Dee deserves recognition for her contributions to service and leadership. Jaclyn, along with her team has had a significant positive impact supporting student training by creating a collegial environment and promoting departmental cohesion for students and research faculty housed in physically separate buildings and along disciplinary lines, and effectively representing students' voices at faculty meetings.

2012 Winners


Michael Hasinoff, Physics & Astronomy
Tom Grigliatti, Zoology
Joanne Fox, Michael Smith Labs and Microbiology & Immunology
William Welch, Statistics
Kimberly Voll, Computer Science


Anne Dalziel, Zoology
Sarah Rastka, Computer Science
Angela Crane, Chemistry
Kiran Mahal, Biochemistry
Eric Zhao, Physics & Astronomy


Theresa Liao, Physics & Astronomy
Margaret Harney, Zoology
Chelsey Maher, Computer Science
Meredith Edwards, Dean's Office


Santiago Ramon-Garcia, Microbiology & Immunology

2011 Winners


Roland Stull, Earth & Ocean Sciences
For his leadership, energy, and inspiration in developing the highly successful Distance Learning Program in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences.

Ninan Abraham, Microbiology & Immunology
For his extensive efforts and leadership role on the Centre for Disease Modelling (CDM) Users Committee. His efforts have ensured that CDM policies create an environment in which researchers can carry out their grant funded research.

Eugenia Yu, Statistics
For her contributions to undergraduate statistics education at UBC. She has played a key role in the Department of Statistics' TA training and in developing cross-disciplinary activities for the UBC MIX program, linking courses in statistics with those in biology.

Jeff Richards, Zoology
For his service to the Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, and UBC. He was instrumental in coordinating the temporary move of Zoology labs, played a lead role in ensuring lab renovations met researchers' needs, and spearheaded three proposals to help equip the newly renovated aquatic facility.


Alistair Blachford, Biodiversity Research Centre
In recognition of his decades of service to the members of the Department of Zoology. He has been instrumental in building and maintaining the department's computational infrastructure, which has adapted deftly during a period of rapid growth in information technology.

Michele Jayasinha, Dean's Office
For extraordinary service to UBC Science. The initiatives she supports and the countless tasks she accomplishes would not be possible without her dedication, energy, and passion for her job and the people she works with.

Verni Brown, Mathematics
For exceptional service, organization, and contributions as Undergraduate Secretary in the Department of Mathematics. Her management of this program provides superior support to the undergraduate teaching mission.

Jon Nakane, Physics & Astronomy
For his exceptional commitment to Engineering Physics and educational activities, such as design teams and project courses. His involvement in student advising and outreach greatly enriches the student experience.

Gerri Cheng, Zoology
For exceptional service to the Department of Zoology faculty, staff, and students.


Dawn Hall, Michael Smith Labs
For her dedication and exceptional leadership. She has established herself as a strong and an influential leader in the UBC postdoctoral community by encouraging a productive, collegial, and collaborative working environment while advocating for the equitable treatment of all post-doctoral fellows.


David Steinberg, Mathematics
For his leadership in TA training in the Department of Mathematics. He played a key role in setting up the department's TA accreditation program, and as a "mentor TA," he trains new TAs and provides them with guidance to help increase their effectiveness.

Jody Wright, Microbiology & Immunology
For exceptional efforts in promoting science knowledge to students of all ages through interactive and diverse channels: courses, workshops, mentoring, tutoring, and social media.

Luke Bornn, Statistics
For his dedication to teaching. As a a leader in the Department of Statistics TA training program, he provides guidance and support to his fellow students, and has assumed various leadership roles within the department.

2010 Winners


Rajiv Gupta, Mathematics
Norm Hutchinson, Computer Science
Francois Jean, Microbiology & Immunology
Trish Schulte, Zoology and Botany
Chris Waltham, Physics & Astronomy


Patrick Ho, Microbiology & Immunology
Bill Masin, Microbiology & Immunology
Jin Meng, Botany
Mar Ness, Mathematics
Richard White, Statistics


Warren Code, Mathematics
Ashley Cook, Physics & Astronomy
Rock Leung, Computer Science
Olga Pena, Microbiology & Immunology
Heidrun Veronika Spohr, Chemistry

2009 Winners


Bruce Dunham, Statistics
For improving the quality of undergraduate statistics education at UBC, across the province, and in the broader community through the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative.

Michael Marin, Statistics
For his commitment to undergraduate outreach, and his involvement in many outreach activities to promote the Department of Statistics, and UBC Science.

David Ng, Michael Smith Laboratories
For outstanding mentoring of undergraduate students in encouraging them in scientific writing through the online publication Science Creative Quarterly and engaging students in important global issues through the online publication Terry, the Terry Speaker Series, and Terry writing challenge.

Ellen Rosenberg, Botany
For dedication to, and extraordinary effectiveness in, promoting student-centred learning to thousands of cell biology students over 28 years.

Jeff Young, Physics and Astronomy
For outstanding service as head of the department; his support for, and genuine interest in, the success of each faculty member; his championing of teaching and research initiatives; and his willingness to deal with difficult problems in a fair and thoughtful manner.


Lebby Balakshin, Botany
For extraordinary contributions to moving the Botany Department forward during periods of extended staff shortages.

Milan Coschizza, Chemistry
For the development of Chemistry's research instrumentation infrastructure and for substantial contributions and support to the department's graduate program.

Carlin Phillips, Computer Science
For designing, implementing and managing the application development within the Department of Computer Science and for years of excellence in technical support developing programs to improve processes and enhance operations.

Viena Tran, Statistics
For being a valuable resource to faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students as Student Services Coordinator, and for contributing to the collegial environment in the Department of Statistics.

Shaun Woodruff, Physics and Astronomy
For providing excellent audio-visual technical assistance to faculty and co-op students, and having a broad and positive impact on the teaching in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Undergraduate Students

Amy Kwok, Computer Science
For remarkable contributions as president of the Computer Science Students Society (CSSS), her leadership in redefining the mission of the CSSS, her success in reinvigorating undergraduate volunteer activities, and her contributions in the organization of many social and career-related activities.

Alan Robinson, Physics and Astronomy
For improving the academic and social lives of fellow undergraduate Physics students through service in various leadership roles, and for always leading by example.

Graduate Students

Mohammad Ehsanul Karim (Ehsan), Statistics
For always thinking of others first, as shown in teaching, initiatives within the Department of Statistics, and in service to newcomers via the Bangladesh Student Association.

Jonathan Mee Mee, Zoology
For exceptional service to Department of Zoology faculty and students—working tirelessly to improve the working environment for fellow graduate students, most notably as President of the Zoology Graduate Student Association.

Mya Warren, Physics and Astronomy
For efforts in transforming undergraduate teaching by spearheading the development of a training program for graduate student teaching assistants.



Carol Pollock, Zoology
For her leadership in curriculum revision and the development of a first class biology experience for first-year students. Her influence and leadership extends beyond campus to the community of biology instructors at large as well as primary and secondary school educators.

Robert Woodham, Computer Science
For eight years stellar service as Department Head of Computer Science. His leadership also led to the construction of the new Computer Science Wing and the Dempster classroom pavilion.

Sara Harris, Earth and Ocean Sciences
For leadership, hard work and organization in Earth and Ocean Sciences. Her leadership and vision are directly responsible for the development of the EOS Science Education Initiative, an initiative to improve teaching and learning with the department.

William Ramey, Microbiology and Immunology
For leadership roles in FoS curriculum development and the UBC/BCIT Biotechnology Program. He personally and professionally mentors individuals developing new courses and programs, and helps guide them through Senate and Graduate curriculum approval.


Sean Shang, Botany
For superior work as the sole IT support person in the department and a hero to Botany members who rely on computers and electronic equipment. He has maintained and repaired their electronics equipment ranging from scintillation counters to growth chambers.

Richard Friedman, Earth and Ocean Sciences
For outstanding technical and scientific contributions in overseeing the operation and maintenance of the uranium-lead geochronology labs over the last 20 years and for his more recent role as lab manager of the Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research.

Michelle Ng, Computer Science
For outstanding service to the Department of Computer Science as Special Projects Coordinator. The programs that Michele supports would not be possible without her energy, enthusiasm and dedication.

Susan Palichuk, Microbiology and Immunology
For extraordinary personal sacrifices, contributions, and achievements in producing an effective departmental environment.


Alexandra Brigham, Botany
For generating opportunities for undergraduates to network with faculty, grad students and each other, and for helping raise campus awareness about sustainability.

Anja Lanz, Physics and Astronomy, Engineering Physics
For extraordinary efforts in recruiting and enhancing the environment for female undergraduate students in Engineering Physics, and Physics and Astronomy.

Carolina Tropini, Physics and Astronomy
For extraordinary efforts in improving the learning environment for undergraduate students in the Physics and Astronomy Department.

Clara Westwell-Roper, Microbiology and Immunology
For leadership roles at UBC Science and in the local community, including serving as the department's student association Vice President External, and as a peer academic coach for SCI Team.