PSEC Awards of Distinction

The Vice-President of People Strategy, Equity & Culture established the People Strategy, Equity & Culture (PSEC) Awards of Distinction in 2018 to acknowledge and celebrate exceptional contributions that support the mission, vision, and values of the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture and the broader University.

The program provides faculty members, librarians, and staff across the institution with an opportunity to recognize individuals or teams from both the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture and the Divisional HR Offices who exemplify our values and perform outstanding work throughout the year.

2022 award recipients pose for a group photo
Four categories of achievement-based awards are available to recognize individuals and teams within our community.

Individual Awards:

Living Our Values Award

Presented to an individual contributor who exemplifies the mission, vision, and values of the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture in their daily work or interactions with internal clients and who serves as a model and mentor for others within the Division and / or Divisional HR Offices. Recipients embody collegiality and are well-respected for their efforts to foster a sense of belonging within the University community.

Emerging Leader Award

Presented to an individual who has demonstrated leadership potential (not necessarily as part of a formal leadership role). Recipients will have actively sought opportunities to learn and develop leadership principles and practices and / or moved into progressively more responsible roles.

Distinguished Contribution Award

Presented to an individual who demonstrates excellence and leadership and whose work has advanced the mission, vision, and values of the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture or their Division while positively influencing those around them. Successful candidates will traditionally have been a mentor to junior staff and / or team members.

Group Award:

Distinguished Contribution – Team of the Year Award

The Team of the Year Award is open to Divisional HR Office teams / groups or institutional PSEC teams / groups and recognizes exemplary contributions in the following areas:

  • Delivering superior client services to the faculty members, librarians, and staff within their division and improved the value, efficiency, and / or sustainability of the services they provide, OR
  • Achieving outstanding results launching a project, initiative, or process improvement within the Division of PSEC or their Divisional HR Office.

Successful teams / groups will embed equity and inclusion into their practices and demonstrate exceptional collaboration with other units. They will also have positively impacted HR service delivery for the division(s) they support and / or the broader University.

Assessment Criteria:

The Selection Committee will look for examples of sustained excellence and strong performance when reviewing nominations. The Committee will consider nominees who have made significant contributions and / or possess some (or all) of the unique qualities and attributes outlined as follows:

  • Promoted equity, diversity, and inclusion through their work and / or their contributions to the University community,
  • Are exceptionally service-oriented,
  • Possess a collaborative work ethic (within their unit and / or with other units / divisions),
  • Demonstrate initiative and inclusive practices,
  • Use innovative approaches to find solutions (improving work processes, financial efficiencies, etc.),
  • Display a strong work ethic (dependability, commitment) and / or
  • Served as a role model through positive interactions.

The Selection Committee reserves the right to move nominations to a different category if they believe another category more accurately reflects a nominee’s contributions.

The Selection Committee will review the recipients based on the information in the nomination package.

The 2023 PSEC Awards of Distinction will consider the nominee’s(s’) efforts and accomplishments until August 31, 2023.

In addition to the criteria above, the Selection Committee will look for examples of how the Divisional HR Office team, Institutional PSEC team, or group has:

  • Actively pooled skills, talents, and knowledge to form a high-functioning unit,
  • Created an environment of mutual support and respect for team members that values each team member’s contributions,
  • Support the completion of a project or an assignment that is beyond the scope of team members’ individual job descriptions and / or
  • Stood out among their peers to achieve an outstanding, positive impact on the division(s) they support or the broader University community.

When nominating a client service team, nominations should reflect the contributions and roles of each team member included in the submission and indicate their individual and collective impact.

When nominating a project or assignment-based nomination, nominators should only include individuals who made a demonstrable impact on the project or assignment as team / group members for this award.

Teams / groups must consist of two or more individuals.

Previous team / group recipients are eligible to receive the Team of the Year Award in a subsequent year, provided the nomination demonstrates recent and new impact.

Eligibility:

Any staff, faculty member, or librarian can nominate staff members for a PSEC Award of Distinction. Self-nominations are not accepted, nor can nominators include themselves as a member of a team / group nomination.

All nominees must be in good standing at the University and be in active status when the nominations close.

Individual Award Nominees

Nominees for individual awards can be from the University of Toronto St. George, the University of Toronto Mississauga, and the University of Toronto Scarborough campuses. They must be administrative staff (unionized or non-unionized) who work in the following:

  • A Divisional HR Office or
  • The Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture.

Casual staff, librarians, and faculty members are not eligible for consideration.

Please note that nominees are only eligible to receive each category of Individual Award once in their career.

Team Award Nominees

Individuals nominated as part of the team / group for a Divisional HR or institutional PSEC team award can be from the University of Toronto St. George, the University of Toronto Mississauga, and the University of Toronto Scarborough campuses. Nominees must be administrative staff (unionized or non-unionized) who work in the following:

  • A Divisional HR Office,
  • The Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture, or
  • Any other unit, provided they are a member of a team / group led by and that includes staff from a Divisional HR Office and / or the Division of PSEC, and the work accomplished pertains to a Divisional HR Office or Division of PSEC objective.

Casual staff, librarians, and faculty members are not eligible for consideration.

The Nomination Process:

Nominations for the 2023 PSEC Awards of Distinction closed on November 10, 2023.

Nominations should describe in detail the specific contribution(s) that an individual or team / group has made in relation to one or more of the assessment criteria listed above.

A complete nomination package for the PSEC Awards of Distinction consists of the following:

  • A nomination letter from the lead nominator providing the rationale for the nomination and a description of the nominee(s) contribution(s). The letter should not exceed two pages in length.
  • A brief description of your nominee(s) that could be used for publishing online should the nomination be successful. The description should not exceed two paragraphs in length.

Please do not submit more than the required nomination description and supporting letter. The Selection Committee will not consider supplementary documents as part of the nomination process.

Nominators must submit nominations for the awards via the True Blue Recognition Platform.

The Selection Committee will review all submitted nominations and may ask for further details.

All nomination materials will remain confidential.

Submission Guidelines:

Nomination Deadline: 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 10, 2023.

Please submit nomination packages electronically through the True Blue Recognition Platform.

Two buttons for the PSEC Awards of Distinction will appear when “Nominate” is selected under the “Recognize” header, one for individual nominations and one for team / group nominations.

Please upload the nomination letter and enter the brief description of your nominee into the appropriate text field.

Should you require assistance with your submission, please contact the Recognition & Engagement Team.

Tips for Completing the Nomination Form:

In completing the nomination submission, please consider the following:

  • Be specific by providing examples and the details of what your nominee(s) have done to meet or exceed the selection criteria.
  • Be intentional in how you frame your nomination. Not every nominee will demonstrate achievements in all award criteria. Use your nomination to intentionally identify the criteria where your nominee has made a demonstrable impact and provide evidence to support your nomination.
  • Avoid general statements such as: “The nominee has a pleasant personality,” “The nominee is a seasoned professional,” or “The nominee is always helpful” in your submission.
  • Include as much qualitative and quantitative information as possible about the nominee’s work and contributions.
  • Avoid using uncommon or undefined acronyms in describing your nominee’s work and contributions.
  • If you are nominating a team or group, list all members and describe how they work collaboratively to benefit the University.
  • Nomination statements for the Team of the Year Award should explain the importance of team effort to their overall success.

Please see our guide, “How to Write an Impactful Award Nomination,” for additional details.

Adjudication:

The Assistant Vice-President, University Human Resources will chair the Selection Committee. This Committee will consist of at least two divisional HR Managers / Directors or their designate, two Institutional PSEC Directors or their designate, and one client manager from any University department or division. Members of the Selection Committee will review the nomination packages and the award criteria before the Selection Committee meeting date. Members will discuss each nomination package at the meeting and select the deserving recipient(s) for each award.

The Chair will ensure the nominations are adjudicated within the allotted time for the meeting but will not participate in determining the recipients. The Chair will serve as the final decision-maker should members of the Committee not agree.

The Selection Committee will meet in December 2023 to select the PSEC Awards of Distinction recipients and announce the winners.

The Selection Committee is empowered to recognize multiple recipients in any award category, including the Team of the Year Award. Successful recipients will be chosen based on the application and the demonstrated impact of the nominee. The Selection Committee can also choose not to present an award.

Award Prizing:

Each winning nominee shall receive the following:

  • A PSEC Awards of Distinction Certificate,
  • 625 True Blue points redeemable for prizes on the True Blue Recognition Platform, and
  • An invitation to a luncheon with the Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture and the Assistant Vice-President, University Human Resources

Further Information:

Please contact the Employee Recognition & Engagement Team if you have questions about the program or need assistance developing or submitting your nomination.

2023 Recipients

Distinguished Contribution Award

Clark Miller, Assistant Director, Digital Workforce & Analytics, People Strategy, Equity & Culture

Emerging Leader Award

Monica Seymour, Assistant Director, Human Resources, University of Toronto Mississauga

Living Our Values Award

Sharron Cohan, Senior HR Consultant, University of Toronto Scarborough
Tom Spence, Employee Recognition & Engagement Advisor, People Strategy, Equity & Culture

Distinguished Contribution Award – HR Team of the Year

Office of University Counsel’s ‘People Services’ Legal Team

  • Keziah Ferreira-Ally, Legal Assistant, Office of University Counsel
  • Sarah Iaconis, Legal Counsel, Labour & Employment, Office of University Counsel
  • Joseph Marcus, Legal Counsel, Labour & Employment, Office of University Counsel
  • Julie McAlpine Jeffries, Associate University Counsel, Office of University Counsel
  • Andrew Ebejer, Senior Legal Counsel, Office of University Counsel