2021 Service Excellence Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 2021 Service Excellence Award recipients! Service Excellence nominations are open all year round.

Submit a nomination today!

Service Excellence Innovation Recipients


If you’ve been on campus in the last 6 months then you absolutely used cuScreen! It’s the screening, symptom reporting and vaccine attestation tool that Carleton adopted in 2021. The Thrive system has been “Carleton-ized” to allow for our students, staff, faculty, and guests to easily and quickly submit their screening before coming to campus. In addition, this system accepted thousands of vaccine attestations allowing the institution to confirm compliance easily. And who was behind this massive endeavour? Greg Aulenback, Betty Baxter, Jared Losier, Joseph Nelson and Sandy Nelson, Countless hours were spent integrating, creating workarounds, testing and retesting and managing new concerns. And implemented within only a few weeks – this project turned into a massive success. While other institutions struggled to find a way to easily screen and store attestation information, Carleton was ahead of the game because of the foresight and hard work of this team.”

Carleton Compass

Carleton Compass is an initiative that connects existing CU staff members (known as “Navigators”) with external new hires in order to welcome them to Carleton’s campus, community, and culture. The Navigator serves as a new employee’s personal connection to the big-picture Carleton experience, a more informal (but extremely important) element of a new employee’s onboarding experience. 

Since its rollout in Fall 2021, Carleton Compass has provided an enormous benefit to all of Carleton’s new hires. Having a personal Navigator during their first few months greatly helps new hires integrate more quickly into Carleton’s community, which is made harder during a pandemic. This Innovation builds connection, collaboration, and cohesiveness amongst colleagues and leads them to become more engaged employees. Having more engaged employees is also beneficial for Carleton as an institution as this contributes significantly to positive workplace culture.”

Service Excellence Team Recipients

Health and Counselling Services

“We would like to nominate our whole team at Health and Counselling Services, for their exceptional work in rolling out Carleton’s Covid Vaccination Clinics and delivering vaccines to our staff, faculty and students in a safe and efficient manner. These vaccination clinics ran simultaneously with regular clinic operations to offer continuous services to the Carleton community. In order to run these clinics tremendous planning took place to set up a safe environment, to set up the administration processes, as well as meeting Ottawa Public Health regulations and documenting on Ontario’s Covax on platform. The administration took many hours of hard work.

This took great collaboration and commitment from all. We were happy to do it to help keep the Carleton community safe. It gives us all great satisfaction knowing that we are able to make a difference in these challenging times.”

The Biochemistry and Biology Administrative Staff 

“This team manages both the Department of Biology and Department of Biochemistry. Collectively these two departments oversee more than 1200 UG students across 21 separate BIOL and BIOC programs.at Carleton. That’s a LOT of undergraduate students. Add in the graduate student population (at more than 100 students), you begin to understand the challenges of being able to respond to queries in a timely manner, while being professional and courteous, A key to their effectiveness is that they all work together, as an organized unit. This team, magically, somehow, miraculously, keeps our ship on-course. They always find a way to treat students fairly and equitably. They have gone above and beyond in developing procedures and protocols for dealing with the most challenging of situations...It’s an understatement to say they accomplish the impossible with efficiency and a smile on their face and always a kind and encouraging word to students.”

Service Excellence Individual Recipients

Brenlee Claman, Human Resources

Brenlee received an email inquiry from a pensioner. It was a straightforward question, but it was odd. He framed the question as a simple curiosityThe answer is very straight forward and the response could have easily been a one-sentence email. Instead of simply responding to the question, Brenlee pick up the phone and called the man. At first, they talked about his question and then about general things, and most of all, Brenlee listened. The next day she received an email from the pensioner. The subject line was “Giving Thanks” the bottom line is that Brenlee didn’t just answer an inquiry, she took the time to respond in a caring and professional fashion and to realize that the inquiry was about a person, not just a situation.

Debbie Casselman-Jones, Sprott School of Business

“Debbie is our Healthy Workplace Committee Champion for Sprott and since the beginning of the pandemic she has reached out regularly with tips, resources, links, and just general “Take care of yourselves” emails to all faculty and staff in Sprottgetting those weekly emails from Debbie, especially during my most difficult days of online teaching, while supervising my little ones at home during on-line school, made my day. They would provide me with a resource to use to help with the stress or simply remind me that doing my best was good enough, and to take it easy on myself and perhaps lower my expectations. Her constant contact was a reminder of when I used to swing by the office on campus and see her, and the rest of the admin staff’s smiling faces. Just a brief point of contact to remind me that I am not out there alone. I could feel her caring through the correspondence and it made me feel so very connected to my Sprott family. She was, in short, a lifesaver.”

Jeff Condie, Campus Safety Services

This year Jeff proposed and implemented a new program for CSS, the Safe Way Home program. The program equips our staff with information and resources to get individuals from all walks of life to a safe place. That might mean getting them a taxi home with CSS picking up the bill, having a street outreach team assist someone in getting to a shelter, and numerous other possible scenarios… Setting up this program was no small task, but Jeff rose to the challenge. This program gives our staff another tool in the box to build rapport, resolve issues, de-escalate situations, assist people in need and generally support our community. Jeff deserves all the credit for making that happen. 

Another nominator added:

“Jeff/CSS has already witnessed the use of the Safe Way Home Program to resolve issues. Recently, CSS dealt with a situation involving a homeless person who was waiting for an OC Transpo bus to get to a shelter. It was -20C and OC Transpo buses were no longer in service. A taxi was secured through the Safe Way Home program and the individual was transported to a shelter downtown.” 

Sarah Sabourin, Career Services

Across our team’s programs, the pandemic has brought with it opportunities to challenge ourselves, to adapt, and to GROW. Sarah has been with us every step of the way, encouraging and advocating for our success (individually and as a team). This time has been unlike any other we have known, and it has been so important for us to have a leader who is transparent, empathetic, kind, and supportive. Sarah has gently pushed us to challenge ourselves and continually encourages us to pursue opportunities to grow our programs and ourselves. In at least three cases over the past year, Sarah has gone above and beyond to support me on a personal and professional level. She always offers the solution or support I need with openness, encouragement, and kindness. I cannot adequately express the gratitude I feel toward my team, and Sarah in particular, for her support and leadership over the past two years. It is an important and beautiful thing to know you have the ear of a manager to cares, who challenges you to grow and who shares both your burden and passion for important work. Thank you, Sarah, for your support and leadership. Your commitment to Service Excellence has allowed our team to thrive, despite these challenging times!”

Betty Weiss Memorial Award Recipient

Dawn Bjornson, Department of Economics 

Dawn has helped me be a better Chair of the (Economics) Department. Her high standards and commitment to service excellence have allowed me to make better decisions. I am proud of the collegial environment in our Department. Again, from a Chair’s perspective, this has a positive impact on me as it makes discussions of departmental matters with colleagues much more efficient, and we arrive at timely decisions. Dawn has undoubtedly played a major role in shaping our departmental culture with her experience and efficiency. All faculty and staff members have great respect for her, she truly is the “backbone” of the Department.” 

Service Excellence nominations are open all year round. Submit a nomination today!