Through the SHCS Hero Awards, we recognize employees in our unit who make extraordinary contributions at UBC and beyond.

This year we received many wonderful nominations. Thank you to all the supervisors, managers and Associate Directors who nominated a member of their team.

While it was challenging to select from all of the outstanding nominees, we are pleased to announce the following eleven recipients of our first ever SHCS Hero Awards. Congratulations to all!

Norris Auyeung

Systems Analyst, IT

Nominated by Ken Wong.

“It has been amazing to watch Norris work through all the elements of Project Titan (the replacement of the POS system) for the Bookstore. He has been thorough, with great attention to detail every step of the way in driving this process forward. It is such an important project to the future of the operation and Norris is leading it in the most professional way. He is very deserving of this award.” — Steve Alb 

Congratulations Norris!

From Norris's Nomination

“Norris has been heroic in assisting the Bookstore in the process of improving operations by applying his Project Management training to help guide the store through a big software requirements process. He has been a catalyst in getting staff to ask deeper questions regarding daily operational processes so that they can document their requirements for a future application environment. This effort is on top of the duties of his role as a System Analyst, in which he provides systems support for applications and hardware. He’s been giving us 120% effort!

“In September, as we transitioned back to in-store customer operations, Norris was at our front cash area observing and assisting on technical cash register issues and customer line flow to get a first-hand feeling of the retail operations. He saw a need to help with line control and was heroic about the customer service aspect of it. Normally, IT Support is reactive, but in Norris’s actions it was proactive and anticipatory. It meant outages were minimal and response was nearly immediate.”

— Ken Wong

Rowena Diaz

Senior Food Service Supervisor, Food Services

Nominated by Connie Lay.

“So thrilled for you and well deserved Ro! Success is nothing more than doing what you can do well, and doing well whatever you do… I have a feeling this is only the beginning of even more great things to come for you. Congratulations, and thank you for doing the right thing (even when no one is looking!).

“You are a dedicated role model and mentor for the staff and supervisors you are teaching, and your care and concern for others does not go unnoticed. Whether it is franchise expectations or our own in-house brands, the excellence in everything you do shines through.” — Connie Lay

Congratulations Rowena!

From Rowena's Nomination

“Rowena is always demonstrating a unique and exemplary persona, and what makes UBC an amazing place is amazing people like her; without them UBC would not shine as bright. Rowena has many responsibilities; she takes those responsibilities and channels each of them into a wonderful experience for those who get to stand beside her each day and for each person she interacts with.

“Rowena is a chameleon! It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent…it is the one that is most adaptable to change. If COVID has taught us anything, it is that work needs to evolve, and Rowena evolved with it. She has grown through open and honest communication, and so have those who she champions.”

— Connie Lay

Racquel Dizon

Senior Food Service Supervisor, Food Services

Nominated by Jody Ropas.

“Racquel is one of the best mentors anyone could have! She’s never selfish. Whatever knowledge she has, she always shares it with us and doesn’t like anyone to be left behind. She’s always patient in teaching us things and never gets tired helping us out. She’s very passionate at what she does, so that when you are working with her you are inspired to work as good as her. 

“She also knows how to make work fun and enjoyable, so that even if you are just new, you won’t feel like you don’t belong. Plus, she’s a great listener, one of her qualities that makes her an effective leader. I really consider myself lucky and blessed not just to have met her but also to work with her. — Rovi Cres Rios Gohil 

Congratulations Racquel!

From Racquel's Nomination

“Racquel has been a rock for us during the reopening for the new school year. We recently opened our third Tim Hortons and Racquel has been a leader in all ways. She has helped us by setting up the kitchen, training 15 new staff and three new supervisors and being the Tim Hortons expert – all while supporting and reopening the other Tim Hortons locations. She has been recognized by Tim Hortons as being an exceptional leader and also having her Trek Tim’s location being awarded Milestone Award for sales.

“Racquel excels at supporting her teams at our three Tim Hortons locations. She worked straight though the pandemic, and she has been a positive force on campus, ensuring her team is comfortable and has the tools they need to serve the customers and feel safe. Racquel ensures that the Tim Hortons standards are executed at all times.”

— Jody Ropas

Rob Harley

Sub-head Electrical, Facilities & Building Services

Nominated by Andrew Powter.

“We are delighted to recognize Rob for his dedication and persistence at work over the last year. Rob continues to provide unwavering service to colleagues, residents, guests, and children in care, which contributes to our success each day at SHCS!” — David Kiloh

Congratulations Rob!

From Rob's Nomination

“Rob is known as the velvet hammer! He says few words but has a big voice. He is highly organized, driven, collaborative, and bright. He leads our Fire Life Safety compliance program and has excelled in his role of Sub-head. He is well-respected both within SHCS and the UBC Community at large.

Rob just recently completed what we considered “the impossible”. He and his team were responsible for migrating our old fire alarm systems in 70% of our residences to a new system. He worked hand-in-hand with Telus and their contractors, along with an internal UBC Technical Team. It was an all-out effort and he and his team worked many hours to get this completed. Needless to say, the migration went flawlessly and our residents and residences will be safe for years to come.”

— Andrew Powter

Shannon Heighes

Senior Educator, Child Care Services

Nominated by Erin Bowman.

“Congratulations to Shannon. She is a true hero in our eyes here at Child Care Services. Shannon brings 100% of herself to her work every single day. She provides beautiful, high quality childcare to 24 infants and toddlers, oversees two different programs and mentors eight early childhood educators. Shannon is a champion for her colleagues, always encouraging their growth and development; she also supports them through her work as a Shop Steward for the BCGEU. In her “spare time”, Shannon is raising two lovely little boys, Matteo and Luca, who have both been UBCCCS “clients”! We are lucky to have Shannon as a leader on our team here at CCS.” — Karen Vaughan

Congratulations Shannon!

From Shannon's Nomination

“Shannon was quickly drawn in by how each program at UBC Child Care Services (CCS) was autonomous and, although they all followed the same values and philosophy, they also had the freedom to explore new ideas and practices. Working for CCS makes Shannon proud to have chosen child care as her field. Shannon adores working with children, but more importantly she wants young children to feel valued and respected as members of society. CCS is aligned with Shannon’s values, with our programs illustrating respect for children, families, and staff.

“Shannon is truly a SHCS Hero, going above and beyond the call of just a “job”. She has brought her passion to UBC, and CCS is grateful to have her leadership. Invaluable and irreplaceable, she is viewed as a mentor by many of her colleagues, and she models impeccable practice for the other early childhood educators. Shannon upholds UBC’s values of excellence, integrity, and accountability in how she provides high-quality child care to the student, staff, and faculty parents from the UBC community.”

— Erin Bowman

Terrence Hui

Operations Supervisor, Parking

Nominated by Jose Jimenez.

“Terrence is a long-standing member of the Parking family and is both well known and well loved by everyone across the department. He is dedicated to his work, but that’s a small part of what makes him so deserving of this recognition. He is down to earth, smart – having graduated from UBC with a degree in Chemistry! – humble, caring, a great listener, and he gets stuff done. Plus, he is selfless in his support of his many friends and colleagues in Parking and across the university. He’s the kind of person who one minute is talking shop and then talking about a family trip – or food; Terrence loves food!

“All of these qualities and traits have been instrumental in helping so many people navigate through the choppy waters of the last two years: it’s no exaggeration to say that Terrence has been not only a great colleague, but an even better person who has shone brightly during some pretty dark moments. 

“We absolutely love Terrence and we couldn’t be happier to see him recognized with this award.” — Brian Jones

Congratulations Terrence!

From Terrence's Nomination

“Terrence goes out of his way to help everyone from customers to coworkers. Many of us rely on him to get the job done. It would be hard to find someone in our department who has not been helped by Terrence in one way or another. He advocates for the well-being of his team and ensures they have all they need to perform their duties in a safe and comfortable manner.

“Terrence has supported the Bookstore with their sales trailer, from getting the trailer insured to getting it moved to different events. He supports Campus Planning in working towards standard signage requirements for parking operations. He also supports campus events and coordinates with Ceremonies, the Alumni Centre, Chan Centre, Athletics, and many more. He also provides and arranges support for our vehicle fleet ensuring regular maintenance, repairs, insurance, winterizing, etc. are done.”

— Jose Jimenez

Jen Lemche

Rooms Manager, Conferences & Accommodation

Nominated by Sarah Johnston.

“Congratulations to Jen Lemche, Rooms Manager at Conferences and Accommodation for receiving the SHCS Hero Award!  Jen has been instrumental and continues to play a key part in organizing and running the self-isolation program during the pandemic. Jen is used to busy summers where she is operating five residence front desks with thousands of guests on site and managing staff. Operating the self-isolation student program in conjunction with Food Services and Residence Life was challenging at times, due to the changing landscape and the huge number of incoming requests – but Jen was the right person for the job! Thank you for your attention to detail, caring attitude, and fantastic customer service during very challenging times!” — Sarah Johnston

Congratulations Jen!

From Jen's Nomination

“Jennifer has been a pillar of strength throughout the pandemic. She has shown this by being here day after day for her staff and for our guests. She is innovative and caring and provides our guests with fantastic customer service.

“During the pandemic, Jennifer organized with Food Services and Residence Life to sort out the number of incoming self-isolation students and put the self-isolation program into action. This is no small feat when you are juggling incoming students and meal requests, along with working through protocols that need to be upheld for staffing and housekeeping. Jennifer is used to busy summers where she is operating all five residence front desks with thousands of guests on site and managing many staff. Jennifer’s experience and ability to see the challenges before they occurred was paramount to the success of the operation.”

— Sarah Johnston

Lamberto Millanes

Utility Worker, Facilities & Building Services

Nominated by Johanna Webber.

“Lamberto is an extremely valued team member; he provides exceptional service to co-workers, residents and guests. We are so proud of Lamberto winning this award.” — Johanna Webber

Congratulations Lamberto!

From Lamberto's Nomination

“Lamberto is a great member of our Building Services team. He regularly jumps in to help our guests, residents, and co-workers when he can. He is friendly, and creates a caring environment where he goes.

“Lamberto will go out of his way when completing his requests for maintenance to ensure that his work is completed thoroughly and accurately. He was one of the regular employees that provided service to student guests in self-isolation. This work required training, extensive communication with the guests, and the courage to enter units. Lamberto did by far the most service calls and did them willingly. He went into rooms out of care for the students and care for their needs, assisting with clogged toilets, fridges, and lights. When our standard response was typically for students in self-isolation to wait, Lamberto would don all of the PPE to enter and do the work with a smile. He made the stay for those students memorable.”

— Johanna Webber

Karen Moss

Counsellor in Residence, Residence Life & Admin

Nominated by Freeman Woolnough.

“We were fortunate to recruit Karen Moss from Counselling Services two years ago to be our Counsellor in Residence. In addition to solid clinical skills, Karen brought experience working in victim services – collaborating and assisting in crisis situations alongside other emergency service agencies. This experience has been valued as we also respond and provide support to residents and staff in urgent and crisis situations.

“Because of the nature of her day-to-day work, Karen’s contributions are not always viewable by many, but she cares about the experience of students and staff, and it shows to those who are situated to see it or receive it. We are lucky to have her on our team. — Janice Robinson

Congratulations Karen!

From Karen's Nomination

“Karen was hired two years ago, and (like many of us) has had to adapt many times to the constantly evolving demands of the job – and her adaptability is a key component of why she is a hero! Always willing to develop and deliver new services – such as a group focused on grief and two student mental health workbooks – Karen always has the students and their best interests at the forefront of her mind, and ensures that others do too.

“In addition to expertly shifting to a pandemic environment (e.g., virtual appointments, new programs, etc.), most recently Karen was the primary support for students and student staff during the first few days following a recent tragedy. She put in hours well beyond what is expected, enlisted the support of other available counsellors, offered timely individual and group support, and throughout it all she maintained a focus on student short- and long-term student wellbeing.”

— Freeman Woolnough

Marjorie Onorico

Senior Food Service Supervisor, Food Services

Nominated by Jody Ropas.

“Marjorie is a natural born leader and lives the Starbucks and UBC brands everyday. She models hard work and her team follows to create a fun and exciting atmosphere in a high-volume, high-stress atmosphere. Marjorie excels in everything she does and trains and mentors her team to do the same. UBC is very lucky to have such a strong leader drive our Starbucks business. Congratulations, and thank you for all that you do!” — Sam Wellman

Congratulations Marjorie!

From Marjorie's Nomination

“Marjorie has been working throughout the entire pandemic and has been a positive role model at the three Starbucks locations she supports. The knowledge, passion, and the ownership she takes for her cafés shows how much she cares for her Starbucks’ and Food Services’ team.

“Marjorie’s locations and team members always shine during Starbucks audits and she has been recognized by Starbucks as an exceptional leader with near-perfect Starbucks knowledge. Marjorie has built a very strong team, and each member knows their customers personally and always has them leaving with a chuckle and a smile.

“When Marjorie had to reopen wo of her three Starbucks for the beginning of this school year, she made sure that everyone on her team who had not worked in many months were given enough time to train and feel comfortable in this new COVID environment. She worked one-on-one with each person on her team and answered any concerns and questions they had with understanding and compassion.”

— Jody Ropas

Greg Wild

Senior Food Service Supervisor, Food Services

Nominated by Loriann McGowan.

“Greg is an integral part of the residence dining team. He knows the operations and is a true subject matter specialist. Greg is always ready to step up and do the job right. He always makes time to talk to staff and will work tirelessly to address any of their issues or concerns. Greg is also always very kind to the guests visiting the dining halls. He is always making suggestions to them and being helpful. He is a very kind soul.” — Colin Moore

Greg also asked us to add the following words to his profile:

I work with an amazing group of colleagues who work together as a team to provide the best service possible to our guests. This excellent group of people works synergistically to do what we do. I am flattered and honoured to receive this award, but I would also like to acknowledge my wonderful teammates – who are all heroes.

Congratulations Greg!

From Greg's Nomination

“Greg demonstrates a high level of integrity, caring, and commitment each day at work. He takes his responsibilities very seriously and will adjust his own personal schedule to ensure that key tasks are completed, such as changing days off or shift times to meet upcoming deadlines or to benefit the unit he is working at. He is very patient and listens to guests or to staff to try to get the full scope of their issue and to help them deal with it effectively and efficiently. He is quick to confirm what he knows and to advise that if he doesn’t know, he will find out. This leaves his customers and colleagues with a level of confidence that he is working in their best interest and will provide sound advice and guidance.

“Greg is also a patient trainer and is always willing to share his knowledge with others. He is very proficient in our inventory management program and loves it when his reporting is clean, structured, and useful – and wants to help others do the same. He likes to have his work reflect his attention to detail and will tweak and refine it until he thinks it is complete. He is never one to hand something over half-finished or sloppy. His managers have come to depend on this level of detail and are quick to assign tasks that play to his strength. He loves the challenge and always delivers.”

— Loriann McGowan