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Dedication and Service of Trent Employees Celebrated at Annual Heart of Trent Event


Staff, faculty and retirees honoured for commitment to Trent University at special event and awards presentation

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Staff, faculty and retirees gathered in Trent University’s Great Hall yesterday to be honoured and celebrated for their dedication and service at the annual Heart of Trent event.

The afternoon event featured special remarks from President Leo Groarke, followed by the honouring of all 2017 retirees, the presentation of the 2017 Service Awards – recognizing 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45-year service milestones – as well as award presentations for four significant awards for employees’ outstanding contributions to the University, including: the Provost’s Award for Support Staff; the Trent Community Leadership Award; the Nancy Simmons Smith Staff Award of Excellence (NESS), and new this year, the Team Innovation Award.

“I commend all the award winners that were honoured. On behalf of the university I extend my thanks to all the staff and faculty who made this such a successful year for Trent. I feel fortunate to work in such a dynamic and committed environment,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University.

The 2016/17 Heart of Trent award recipients are:

Provost’s Award for Support Staff

Patricia Heffernan, academic administrative assistant in English Literature at Trent was presented with the Provost’s Award for Support Staff at today’s event for her exceptional commitment to student recruitment and retention. The Provost Award for Support Staff, which includes a cash gift of $500 and a framed citation, is presented annually to recognize a member of the support staff who plays an important role in student engagement and retention, and who makes a difference through their performance at Trent.

Trent Community Leadership Award

Presented annually to a faculty member and a staff member who make exceptional contributions to the local community in the Peterborough or Durham regions, the Trent Community Leadership Award presented three recipients with a framed certificate, a $250 cash award, and an additional $250 cash award to donate to a charity or agency of their choice. Recipients included: Dr. Stephen Hill, faculty member in the Trent School of the Environment, for his community work to address climate change and other environmental work; Laurie Collette, administrative coordinator at the Centre for Teaching and Learning for her work to help refugees settle in the community, and Craig Cameron, academic advisor at Trent University Durham, for his extensive involvement in numerous organizations both within and outside the University in the Durham community.

Nancy Simmons Smith Staff Award of Excellence

Dana Gee, academic administrative assistant in International Development and Political Studies at Trent was presented with this year’s NESS award for her support and encouragement as a program administrator. The NESS Award of Excellence, which includes a cash gift of $500 and a framed citation, is presented annually to a non-academic staff member who demonstrates excellence and a commitment to Trent University throughout their time serving at the University.

Team Innovation Award

New this year, the Team Innovation Award recognizes a team, unit or department at Trent University whose innovative contributions have impacted the strategic objectives of the University. The award, which includes a cash gift of $1,000 to be used towards a team building activity and framed citation, was presented to two different teams at Trent. The Centre for Teaching and Learning was presented with the award for using innovation to enhance the Trent experience in relation to productivity and services, specifically supporting faculty in advancing their teaching practices. Trent University’s Housing department was also presented with the award for their work in improving efficiency and optimizing resources for their work creating residence spaces for incoming students following an increase in student applicants.

About Trent University

One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham – Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.


Kate Weersink, media relations & strategic communications officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6180 or

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