Trent University Announces 2011 Eminent Service Award Winners


Five to accept awards at spring convocation ceremonies

Monday, March 28, 2011, Peterborough

At the Board of Governors meeting on Friday, March 25, 2011, Trent University announced five recipients of the 2011 Eminent Service Award, the University’s top service award, to be presented during convocation ceremonies in June, 2011.

The Subcommittee on University Honours recommended that Winnie Janzen, Professor Gordon Johnston, Kate Ramsay, Tony Storey, and Dr. Colin Taylor receive Eminent Service Awards in 2011.

Until her retirement in November 2010, Winnie Janzen was the only administrator/secretary who had ever worked at the Frost Centre, Trent’s Research Centre for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies.  Ms. Janzen carefully shepherded nearly 170 Masters and six Ph.D. students (along with their faculty supervisors and external examiners) through the complex chain of administrative steps required for the successful completion of graduate degree requirements.  She was the thread of continuity in the organization bringing professionalism, humanity, and excellence to her job each day.

An excerpt from one nominator’s letter: “Winnie’s dedication to excellence and her unfailing commitment to make all of those associated with the Frost Centre feel that their journey through graduate school, their career as a faculty member, or their tenure as the Frost Centre’s director, mattered as much to her as it did to them.” 

Professor Gordon Johnston has demonstrated excellence in his duties as a faculty member in the Department of English at Trent University, as an accomplished poet and wonderful teacher and internationally as a productive scholar of Canadian literature. His contributions to the larger University community are many, including serving as College master, organizing of various major university events (such as Trent’s 40th anniversary celebration and presidential and staff retirement celebrations), chairing college committees, organizing reading series and writers-in-residence and contributing to policy development and visioning committees.

From one nominator’s letter: “Prof. Johnston has worked tirelessly on behalf of students, staff, faculty, and the university community as a whole, through his forty years at Trent University.  He has done so with extraordinary grace, professionalism, and a genuine concern for the well-being of others. Gordon Johnston works with the good nature and unassuming personality that is Gordon’s trademark.”

Kate Ramsay is an alumna and long time champion of Trent University.  Ms. Ramsay’s involvement with the Alumni Association began when she was appointed an alumni member of the Board of Governors in 2001. Her commitment to ensuring that alumni had an active voice in university governance both encouraged association members to stay informed while raising Trent administration’s awareness of the university’s alumni talent and expertise. Ms. Ramsay’s appointment and subsequent re-appointments to the Board of Governors spanned from 2001 and 2010; during this time Ms. Ramsay served as a member of the Advancement committee, as vice-chair of the Board and chair of the Executive Committee and as a board visitor to Senate from 2002–2010. Ms. Ramsay served on the fundraising council in 2004-2007, and chaired the Council in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007. Ms. Ramsay was involved in philanthropy throughout her board service and led the highly successful Traill Campaign in 2008.  Ms. Ramsay has been an active and engaged participant in philanthropy campaigns, presidential reviews and presidential and Board of Governors chair searches.

One nominator wrote: “Kate has given unstintingly of her volunteer time to Trent and has shown great leadership in our philanthropic endeavours. I know of no more enthusiastic champion of Trent in the community.”

Tony Storey’s longevity of service is unparalleled as he will retire as the longest-serving Director of Alumni Affairs at present at any university in Canada. Mr. Storey has nurtured alumni engagement at Trent over three decades through: over 400, 000 kms of travel to visit alumni in every corner of the country; more that 125 meetings of the Trent University Alumni Association Council; 27 alumni homecomings and convocations; his regular column, Storeyline, in Trent Magazine for 25 years; the introduction of the Alumni in Residence, Alumni Awards and the Annual Alumni Lecture; and the establishment of many alumni prizes, awards, scholarships and shows. 

From a nominator’s letter: “Tony’s greatest legacy lies in the personal experience which he graces those he meets, visits and works with each day. Tony is not only a highly capable leader and administrator, but a deeply caring, empathetic, and sincere person.”

Dr. Colin Taylor served Trent University with great distinction for 38 years.  Originally Professor Taylor and his wife Kerry were resident dons in Lady Eaton College from 1973 to 1976. Over the years Prof. Taylor's teaching covered a wide range of courses in physical geography and his research interests were mainly in runoff hydrology in wetlands, forests, rural and urban settings. His involvement in academic administration (as dean of Arts and Science from 1997 - 2006) and the recent establishment of a School of Education at Trent prompted Prof. Taylor to study the relationship between teacher education and the liberal arts and sciences. Prof. Taylor was a pioneer in fostering interdisciplinarity and graduate studies, serving as an early director of the Watershed Ecosystems Graduate Program from 1976 to 1978. His contributions were significant in raising the profile of faculty research, resulting in the establishment of an Office of Research at Trent University. Many nominators echoed the fact that Prof. Taylor always responded positively to requests to take on additional responsibilities.

The following is an excerpt from a nominator’s letter: “I could document hundreds of more reasons why I think Colin Taylor is deserving of this award, but I have come to realize that in some instances even words cannot do justice; the dedication Colin has shown to his profession and to Trent deserves our recognition.”

Established in 1978, the Eminent Service Award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the life of Trent University above and beyond excellence in carrying out their employment or volunteer responsibilities. It is normally awarded at the culmination of service to Trent. The award is presented on behalf of the Board of Governors, acting upon the recommendation of the Senate.


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