Top-performing staff in 2021 recognised

21 December 2021 | News

In handing out its Staff Excellence Awards for 2021, Lincoln University recognised the significant contributions of top-performing staff in another challenging pandemic-affected year.

Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Bruce McKenzie presented the awards to three staff members:

  • Tracey Shields – PA to the Dean of the Faculty of Environment, Society and Design (ESD)
  • Mark Smith – Administration Coordinator LU Gym
  • Andrew Sepie – Akoraka | LEARN Administrator

Professor McKenzie said the award presentations had taken on added significance in the two years since the advent of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“This year has been another exacting test of character for all the Lincoln University whānau, so recognising the staff who have won awards for their performance in 2021 has been a very special responsibility.

“Nominated by their peers, students and alumni, our winners for 2021 exemplify the attributes, skills and leadership qualities that best represent Lincoln University’s vision, values and standing in the community.”

Tracey Shields

In being recognised for the exceptional support she has provided for a huge number of her colleagues over her many years of dedicated service, Tracey Shields exemplifies the Lincoln University values.

Tracey is universally liked and respected by her colleagues throughout the University community, and especially appreciated for her reliability, approachability, compassion, constancy, good humour and unswerving willingness to help, as well as her superb administration skills.

In addition to her role of PA, Tracey readily takes on a wide range of extracurricular duties at Lincoln, including providing pastoral care for staff with concerns or difficulties, serving on a number of committees, assisting with major events and serving as General Staff Representative on the TEU.

In her capacity as TEU rep, she advocates for staff and provides advice and support on employment matters, frequently stepping up for those who need assistance.

In all her roles, whether official, voluntary or informal, Tracey wholeheartedly contributes her time, energy and relentless positivity to achieving constructive outcomes for all parties.

Mark Smith

A pivotal participant in the redevelopment of Whare Hākinakina LU Gym, Mark Smith’s contribution to the project has been even more evident this year, as the revamped facility was officially launched at a Ministerial unveiling in June.

In his typical unassuming, unflappable way, Mark offered a constant welcoming presence to students, staff and other gym members amidst the confusion and upheaval of the construction works. Keeping on top of the complex and ever-changing project schedule, he ensured that members were continuously updated and that they remained assured of the value of their gym membership. He was instrumental in Whare Hākinakina maintaining its membership base throughout the term of the redevelopment project.

Taking up the challenge of keeping the gym community positively engaged throughout the construction process, Mark managed the communications, including LU Gym’s social media presence, where his creative designs and captivating content were a notable highlight.

Andrew Sepie

For the second year in a row, Andrew Sepie won a Staff Excellence Award for reliably and obligingly supporting his colleagues through a swift and efficient transition to emergency remote teaching during alert level lockdowns.

During these very testing times, students and staff alike have had to quickly and successfully adapt to a new online learning environment; a challenge made easier by being able to call on someone as capable, responsive and helpful as Andrew.

Tracey Shields, Mark Smith and Andrew Sepie were personally presented with their Lincoln University Staff Excellence Awards at an all-staff event at the University on Thursday 16 December. The winners were presented with a trophy and a prize of $2,500 to be taken in cash or used as a direct contribution towards a professional development activity.

Photo L to R: Mark Smith, Tracey Shields, Andrew Sepie, Professor Bruce McKenzie

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