Congratulations to Alicia Warkentin, Anna Jubilo, Borja Brown, Daniel Pugh, and Szu Shen on receiving the 2023 Dean’s Award for Staff Excellence.
The Faculty of Arts presents an annual award to recognize exceptional staff contributions in administrative, technical, and other specialized areas. The Dean’s Award for Staff Excellence is open to all staff members in the Faculty of Arts. Recipients receive $1,500 and an engraved plaque in recognition of their valuable contributions.
Alicia Warkentin, Senior Program Assistant, Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice
Alicia is described as a “jewel among UBC staff” and “truly one of a kind” who is a key pillar in the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice. Letters after letters attest to her exceptional warmth, enthusiasm, and dedication to supporting and uplifting others.
Alicia is instrumental in the success of graduate students, new colleagues, and faculty members taking on unfamiliar roles. Alicia has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to her workplace and the broader university community by collecting for the AMS Food Bank and raising awareness of many student challenges. Her dedication and professionalism shine through in every letter of support received.
Anna Jubilo, Assistant Director, Systems and Administration, Arts Co-op Program
For many years, Anna Jubilo oversaw the graduate co-op programs at the UBC iSchool and has recently been seconded to the position of Assistant Director, Systems and Administration in the Arts Co-op Program.
Her colleagues describe her as deeply committed and genuinely concerned for the well-being of students. She is described as an ambassador, doing outreach in the field and building ties with employees and professionals all in the interest of giving students the best chances for success. She has been an outstanding role model for co-op students.
In her more recent role, Anna has taken on important leadership work in implementing the administrative systems for the Campus Arts Student Engagement Hub and in helping the staff transition back to campus after the Covid-19 pandemic. Anna is described as a life-long learner who “applies her interest in learning and her drive to improve her work every day.”
Szu Shen, Program Manager, Asian Canadian & Asian Migration Studies
Szu Shen has managed the Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies Program since 2018, during its formative years of development. According to one colleague, Szu “has played an arguably bigger role than anyone in building ACAM into the impactful program and thriving community it is today.” She has been incredibly generous with her time and energy, applying for funding, coordinating faculty courses, working closely with donors and community members, and inspiring students.
One letter received describes Szu as nurturing, mentoring, and supporting the ACAM community by “creating more equitable workplaces for historically marginalized people at UBC.”
Daniel Pugh, Associate Director, Service Strategy & Design, Arts ISIT
Daniel’s nominators have all been struck by his professionalism, outstanding problem-solving ability, and dedication to quality work. He’s had pivotal roles in the successful implementation of important platforms like the Arts Content Management System (CMS), Arts Internal Resources, and Arts Digital Collection. He also has a natural talent for speaking cross-field between academics, his technical team, and project managers, building and engaging the community.
He is described as “a trusted and respected figure, functioning as an enthusiastic mentor, facilitator, and innovator…who prioritizes the respect and value of everyone’s opinions.” Another colleague writes, “It’s clear that his leadership is both engine and compass. His charismatic presence not only cultivates a high-performance culture but also has an exceptional ability to sustain team morale, ensuring that every team member feels valued and motivated to deliver their best.”
Borja Brown, Manager, Theatre Production, Department of Theatre and Film
Borja Brown has made a significant impact on the Department of Theatre and Film since 2017. She fosters a community of respect, diligently navigating conflicting programs with good humour that resonates across students, staff, and faculty.
She enabled the complex continuity of in-person learning during the pandemic, and over the summer months, is involved in the delivery of conferences and theatre productions, and oversees renovations of specialized facilities. “We need more people like Borja in today’s increasingly complicated world; she lets our students reach their full potential, which in turn gifts us creative experiences that lift us from the mundane.”