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 SHCS Hero Awards. Congratulations to all!

Kerry Boultbee

Retail Floor Supervisor, UBC Bookstore

Nominated by Shane Gopaulsingh.

Kudos to Kerry Boultbee on becoming a recipient of the SHCS Hero Award.  Kerry’s enhances the operations of the UBC Bookstore, with a customer centric approach that  inspires his peers and co-workers to strive for excellence.  His approachable demeanor, and willingness to go above and beyond, has left a lasting impression with everyone who works alongside him. Kerry will be retiring at the end of this year and his professionalism, operational effectiveness, and positive attitude will be missed. Thank you Kerry for all that you have accomplished, and for your continuing  contributions to the Bookstore.” — Shane Gopaulsingh, Store Manager, Bookstore 

Congratulations Kerry!

From Kerry's Nomination

“Kerry’s outstanding leadership is evident in his ability to consistently go above and beyond to ensure a positive and inclusive environment. Recently, a customer visited from out of town and encountered an issue with a hoodie she had purchased. She approached Kerry via email seeking advice on dealing with pilling on the new garment. What sets Kerry apart is his remarkable dedication to exceeding customer expectations. Rather than offering a mere solution, Kerry empathetically assessed the situation, recognizing the importance of ensuring our customer was 100% satisfied.

“Understanding the limitations of the out-of-town visitor, Kerry went above and beyond by offering to ship a matched hoodie to the customer’s home in Ontario. Recognizing the potential inconvenience for the customer, Kerry also took the time to offer practical suggestions, including different methods of cleaning the new product. This thoughtful gesture not only addressed the customer’s immediate concern but also potentially avoided a similar situation in the future.

“Kerry’s exceptional service reflects positively on our store and reinforces our commitment to customer satisfaction. His ability to turn a potentially negative situation into a positive and memorable experience showcases the kind of employee who goes above and beyond in creating a welcoming and customer-centric environment. ” — Shane Gopaulsingh

Brad Cheng
Financial Specialist, Student Housing & Community Services

Nominated by Selina Bancroft.

“Over the last few years of staff turnovers and new employees, Brad has remained the constant heroic energy that the Food Services Finance team needed to get through each hurdle. He always steps up without hesitation, voluntarily taking on more, even when his plate is already full.” — Brian Heathcote, Chief Financial Officer, SHCS

Congratulations Brad!

From Brad's Nomination

“Brad delivers above and beyond his scope of work, quietly contributing to the success of our team. Of his own accord, he created training videos for tasks performed the Financial Processing Specialist position. These easy-to-follow videos have made training new employees more structured and efficient. I want to reiterate that no one had asked Brad to create these videos. He did it on his own to help cut down on the manager’s time on training new staff as well as provide a much-needed reference for staff as they learn the complex nature of the job.

“Brad often thinks of ways to improve our current processes – allowing work to be done more effectively and efficiently. For instance, he set up an excel template that helped significantly reduce time spent on cash and credit card reconciliations. All Food Services Financial Processing Specialists and Financial Managers now use this template to complete financial reconciliations for over 35 units. Not only does he find ways to enhance his own work but also the work of the entire team.

“In an unassuming style and without arrogance, Brad performs his work in an exemplary manner. I am very grateful that we have an Unsung Hero like Brad on our team and part of SHCS. ” — Selina Bancroft

Rovi Cres Gohil
Food Services Supervisor, Food Services

Nominated by Racquel Dizon and Jody Ropas.

“Rovi has been a leader at Tim’s Orca since we opened and her hard work and dedication has helped build our locations to be the busiest mobile ordering locations in the brand. Rovi can always be seem laughing with her staff and customers but also motivating her team to go above and beyond with excellent quality and customer service. It is comforting to your team to know you are there for them and they enjoy coming in to your smiling face daily, thank you!” — Jody Ropas, Retail Operations Manager, Food Services

Congratulations Rovi!

From Rovi's Nomination

“Rovi has led the team at Tim Hortons Orca since the day it opened and she has been instrumental in building this location into one of the busiest in locations in Canada. When you go to Tim’s Orca you can always see Rovi running behind the till or coaching her staff with a big smile on her face and a lot of the time laughing with her team and guests. Rovi helps to make the day less stressful for her team by leading by example and always having a good time. 

“Rovi was vital in helping change over the POS system at the Orca location. She worked tirelessly with her team to ensure they were trained and talked with hundreds of customers every day to ensure they were getting what they needed during this transition. It was a long couple of weeks but Rovi still kept her smile and positive attitude the entire time.” — Racquel Dizon and Jody Ropas

Sae Hiruta
Assignment Clerk, Residence Life & Administration

Nominated by Natalie Tole and Sarah Bellis.

“Congratulations, Sae! Your genuine empathy and kindness towards our students and families make you an inspiration. Your dedication and impactful contributions have touched many lives profoundly. Thank you for your outstanding commitment to your role.” — Lakshmi Sangaranarayanan, Director, Student Residence

Congratulations Sae!

From Sae's Nomination

“Sae joined the Assignments team in Spring 2023, and from the outset, her commitment to the wellbeing of our residents was evident. In her initial days, it became apparent that she not only embraced but actively sought out conversations that others might find challenging. Sae possesses a unique ability to convey compassion and empathy, even when faced with the complexities of difficult emotions.

“Her readiness to volunteer and support her teammates further underscores her dedication to the team. What sets Sae apart is her proficiency in both Japanese and English, allowing her to communicate effortlessly with students and parents in the language they are most comfortable with.

“In July 2023, Sae stepped forward with remarkable generosity to aid in translating for the grieving family of a resident who had passed away. What began as a simple act of translation soon transcended into something much more profound. Sae provided valuable insights into the grieving process in Japan, ensuring our director was well informed. Her dedication extended beyond mere translation; she invested time and effort into ensuring the family felt genuinely supported and heard.

“Sae went above and beyond, accompanying the family to funeral homes to clarify their options and ensure their wishes were conveyed accurately. She also acted as a representative for the family in discussions with the RCMP, addressing any inquiries they had about the circumstances of their loved one’s passing. Additionally, Sae shared meals with the family, ensuring their comfort during their stay.

“The kindness, compassion, and selflessness demonstrated by Sae during this challenging time were truly commendable.”— Natalie Tole and Sarah Bellis

Ruel Inocentes
Mail Processing Coordinator, Campus Mail

Nominated by Ana Munoz.

Ruel’s proactive approach and initiative in Campus Mail operations have been remarkable, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in the field. His positive influence and willingness to share insights have uplifted the team, enhancing our collective expertise and morale, benefiting not only Campus Mail but also the operations at the Bookstore. We are incredibly proud to see Ruel recognized for his outstanding contributions and positive influence. Congratulations on this well-deserved award! — Ana Munoz, Director, Operations Manager, Bookstore and Campus Mail

Congratulations Ruel!

From Ruel's Nomination

Ruel has made incredible contributions to parcel and freight control using complex reports that he has built on his own accord. The scope of his developments has not only saved a great number of dollars for the Mailroom but has greatly impacted savings for the Bookstore. His skillset using Excel and other online resources is remarkable. He has the greatest base of knowledge on international shipping, and he is constantly passing his knowledge over to his colleagues, bringing up the team’s expertise level. 

“This past fall, Ruel proposed that Campus Mail participate in the Welcome Back Staff BBQ to promote the Mailroom to other campus peers. He designed a trivia game and built the visual materials for the booth. The team not only acquired new sales from the event, but received invigorating feedback from staff who were not aware of Campus Mail’s scope of services.

“Ruel inspires and promotes positive engagement among his peers and is a great representation of UBC’s values of excellence, integrity, respect and accountability. ” — Ana Munoz

Diana Lee
Commissary Cook, Food Services

Nominated by Eric Meyer.

“Congratulations to Diana, I am so happy to see Diana recognized for her contributions. Diana is a rising star within the culinary team. A graduate of the UBC culinary apprenticeship program, Diana continues to work hard and excel in her role as Commissary Chef at Sage. She provides leadership to our culinary staff and she sets the standard for excellence which inspires others cook to strive for. Diana leads by example and is always willing to help others that she works with in the kitchen. When Diana is in the kitchen there is a level of confidence for the entire team. We are grateful to have her on our team and we look forward to more great things from her. Thank you Diana!” — David Speight, Executive Chef and Culinary Director, Food Services

Congratulations Diana!

From Diana's Nomination

“Diana embarked on her journey at UBC eight years ago and made history by being the first to complete our apprentice program, ascending to the position of 1st Cook. Over time, she has evolved into the role of Commissary Chef at Sage, orchestrating the success of numerous events across the campus. Amidst these responsibilities, she consistently upholds our food visions and values, ensuring the highest quality of food service.

“Diana’s impact extends beyond her immediate role, earning her the respect and admiration of countless peers within the food service community.  

“Diana went above and beyond by volunteering to support a food service event for her church community. Alongside just three other cooks, she dedicated her time to feed over 1000 people over the course of two days—all done willingly and without compensation. Remarkably, she managed this feat while maintaining her regular schedule and fulfilling her existing responsibilities, demonstrating her exceptional commitment and multitasking abilities.

“During the challenging period of COVID-19, when many faced temporary layoffs, Diana tirelessly provided meals to hundreds of students in isolation. Without missing a single shift, she carried the workload of several others, all while maintaining a second job. Remarkably, she never complained, showcasing her resilience, dedication, and unwavering work ethic.” — Eric Meyer

Yuki Nakahara
Administrative Assistant, Conferences & Accommodation

Nominated by Alyssa Rashid.

“We are ecstatic that Yuki is receiving the Hero Award! Her positive and inclusive attitude is apparent to everyone at the office – clients and staff alike. Her commitment to training new staff and making them feel welcome is especially appreciated. In her spare time, Yuki enjoys a variety of intramural sports and reading the next great novel. Congratulations Yuki!” — Shaina Moore, Director, Revenue and Administration, Conferences and Accommodation

Congratulations Yuki!

From Yuki's Nomination

“Yuki goes above and beyond to help others both at work and in her everyday life. As our department has grown, Yuki has taken the time to get to know all the new employees and help with training. She is warm and welcoming, fosters a collaborative and inclusive environment, and we can always rely on Yuki to produce amazing work with a positive can-do attitude. She is pivotal to the success of our team. 

“The heroic work that Yuki provided during our seasonal training last May was above and beyond anything we could have expected. Yuki took the initiative to update training resources and run fun activities to facilitate in the teaching of over 20 staff. She worked tirelessly in the weeks before training so that the staff would have everything they needed to be successful in their roles. Yuki got to know each new staff member and made sure they knew that she was there to support them. After training, Yuki continued to periodically check in with staff to make sure they were enjoying their jobs and provided any additional training they needed. When issues arose, she was always happy to pop by the front desk and lend a helping hand. I can confidently say that Yuki was a big part of the successful summer Conferences & Accommodations had in 2023.” — Alyssa Rashid

Cherrylyn Navarrete
Assistant Housekeeping Supervisor, Facilities & Building Services

Nominated by Lyndon Duncan.

“We were pleased that Cherrylyn was recognized for her services during the conference season in service of guests and her leadership with peers and co-workers. Cherrylyn brings a calm, kind and generous attitude to her work. She is consistently looking for ways to recognize staff and is always making sure they have the development opportunities needed to be successful.” — Johanna Webber, Associate Director, Building Services

Congratulations Cherrylyn!

From Cherrylyn's Nomination

“Cherrylyn brings a calm, kind and generous attitude to her work. She is consistently looking for ways to recognize staff and is always making sure they have the development opportunities needed to be successful. Cherrylyn consistently plans ways for her team to connect in the break room and at social events, and approaches her work with an interest in making those she leads feel important.   

“Cherrylyn was assigned to work in Walter Gage during our conferences season, which was one of the busiest after we returned from pandemic restrictions. Cherrylyn was instrumental in not just the day-to-day operations of building services, but in the success of the season as a whole. Cherrylyn consistently exercised thoughtful and generous leadership guiding her peers and those above her through the process of running operations. Despite being an Assistant Supervisor, Cherrylyn provided leadership and guidance to the Supervisor that she was being directed by to help them as they were new to their role. Cherrylyn helped the season run effectively and always did so with a genuine care for those around her. Cherrylyn is an exceptional leader, teammate and co-worker.” — Lyndon Duncan

Warline Patigas
Food Services Supervisor, Food Services

Nominated by Racquel Dizon.

“Warline is one of the most dedicated supervisors we have at Tim Hortons. Every time we ask for help she is the first one to volunteer. Her dedication and commitment to the customers and her staff is unapparelled. Her team members love working with her as her energy is infectious and she makes every shift fun. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the Tim’s and UBC brand.” — Jody Ropas, Retail Operations Manager, Food Services

Congratulations Warline!

From Warline's Nomination

“Warline’s diligent work ethic, leadership skills and passionate drive for results has produced outstanding outcomes, which make her an SHCS Hero.

“During a bad snow storm, Warline made sure that Tim Hortons Orca was open for service and provided shelter for those struggling to get home from campus or stuck with nowhere to go. Many folks were stuck for hours and Warline made every effort to create an open, welcoming, warm and safe environment during this difficult time.

“Warline approaches everything with a positive attitude. Her cheerful nature motivates staff, which positively influences interactions with students, vendors and guests on a daily basis.” — Racquel Dizon

Jack Stein
Jack Stein
Locksmith, Facilities & Building Services

Nominated by Claudia Popa.

“Jack is constantly on the go and supporting the needs of our staff and students. Jack is our daily Hero. He is always quick to take on leadership roles and finds the best solutions to all lock problems! Congratulations to Jack on his well deserved award.” — Johanna Webber, Associate Director, Building Services

Congratulations Jack!

From Jack's Nomination

“Jack is one of our beloved locksmiths. If you hear a cheery ‘yes, we can certainly do that’ it’s most likely Jack. He is constantly on the go and supporting the needs of our staff and students. He is passionate about his work and his 40 years of service at UBC is a testimony to that. Jack is always willing to share his knowledge and help out with his expertise. 

“Jack is our daily Hero. He is always quick to take on leadership roles and finds the best solutions to all lock problems! This October 2023 we had the task of changing locks to a new key system for a whopping 631 resident doors. For such an intense project, we usually have external help factoring time constraints and this project was no exception. Jack volunteered to take on the lead to help us organize this change. He systematized the locks, helped organize the data for the front desks, and provided updates on our online systems. His leadership and boots on the ground attitude helped make this a smooth process for everyone involved and we managed to finish the work ahead of time! He always jumps in to help as much as he can and when he can, even for all our last-minute emergencies.” — Claudia Popa

Barbara Undurraga
Senior Early Child Educator, Child Care

Nominated by Melanie Walters.

“We are so lucky to have Barbara as a strong leader at UBC Child Care.  I am always inspired to see the way that she engages with her colleagues and families in ways that encourage engagement and thoughtful dialogue.  Congratulations Barbara! — Karen Vaughan, Director, Child Care

Congratulations Barbara!

From Barbara's Nomination

“Barbara makes time to connect and cares deeply about the ordinary everyday moments with young children and their families. Her intuition guides how she shares relationships with people and she embraces the lows and highs of the day. Barbara’s character and lifelong learning experiences have widened her knowledge, highlighted her adaptability and created a keen awareness of her values regarding early childhood education and care. The decisions that Barbara makes are ethical and thoughtful when it comes to the vitality of young children and their families, inspiring wellbeing and enriching lives at UBC. 

“Over the past year, Barbara began a process of decolonizing educational practices. She took a professional development course which aims to acknowledge that authentically undertaking a personal learning journey towards Truth and Reconciliation takes more than just a day or month each year, but should be across all four seasons.  A key objective of the course is to encourage and empower educators to deepen their understanding of Indigenous knowledge and perspectives while strengthening connections with the local land. This inspired Barbara and the team to educate themselves about the histories of this land, the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people. Through this course (and others), reading and research, in addition to conversations with UBC Child Care Indigenous Relations and Engagement Pedagogist, Ena Point, Barbara and her team have been further inspired to learn more, about the local Indigenous plants and their uses, as well as Indigenous practices and ways of knowing, and how to engage the children with these ideas authentically.” — Melanie Walters