Honoured for exceptional contributions to the University, four long-serving Trent employees are the recipients of the University’s 2021 Eminent Service Award: Dr. Jackie Muldoon, who served Trent for nearly four decades, most recently as provost and vice president Academic; Sue Robinson, an alumni coordinator who retired after 33 years of service; Jodi Aoki, a long-serving archivist who has an outstanding knowledge of Trent’s archival and heritage collections; and the late Christy Carlson, who touched countless lives in her role as academic advisor.
“The Eminent Service Award is a fitting honour for the distinguished careers of four Trent staff and leaders who worked in vastly different roles to make an enormous impact at the University,” says Dr. Michael Khan, provost and vice-president, Academic. “Each individual enriched our campuses and our community with their expertise, professionalism, hard work and tireless dedication to student well-being and the success of the University.”
The Eminent Service Award is presented annually to recognize individuals distinguished by a track record of outstanding contributions to University life that go beyond the performance of their job or role. This year’s recipients will be honoured at the virtual Heart of Trent employee appreciation event on May 5, 2021.
Dr. Jackie Muldoon, Provost and Vice President Academic
Professor Jackie Muldoon is one of the University’s longest-serving employees, having served nearly four decades in a variety of roles, including senior tutor, head of Business Administration and the first dean of the School of Education. Prior to her retirement she served as provost and vice-president Academic from 2015 to 2020. During this term, Prof. Muldoon played a leading role in the development of innovative programming, which promoted increased enrolment, including new undergraduate degrees and new professional Masters programs, as well as establishing key transfer agreements with partner institutions.
“I am both honoured and humbled to receive the Eminent Service Award,” stated Prof. Muldoon,
“I have been very fortunate to spend my entire career at such an outstanding university, along with such great faculty and staff, all of whom have worked together to help our students grow and flourish.”
Throughout her many roles at the University, Prof. Muldoon was known as a humble leader and a passionate advocate for human rights, Indigenous reconciliation and social justice.
“She is a straight-talker, ready to engage whomever arrives before her,” noted one of Prof. Muldoon’s nominators. “The more complex and challenging the problem, the more interest she has in trying to solve it.”
Sue Robinson, Alumni Engagement and Services
Sue Robinson, coordinator of Alumni Engagement and Services, recently retired after more than 33 years of dedicated service in various roles with the University and was well-known for her event coordination expertise. Ms. Robinson started her Trent career in Athletics, where she worked for nearly 20 years developing fitness and athletic programs, before moving to the External Relations and Advancement portfolio where she became a valuable member of the team that led the Athletics Campaign, raising $4 million to support the expansion of the athletics building and new stadium. Throughout the campaign, she was instrumental in organizing events such as the Justin Chiu Stadium dedication ceremony. In 2012, Ms. Robinson joined the Alumni Affairs team and continued coordinating large, award-winning events, including Ideas That Change the World, which hosted 150 people and a live band at Chancellor Stephen Stohn’s Toronto home, and a 90th birthday celebration for Trent’s founding president Professor Tom Symons. During the annual Head of the Trent, Ms. Robinson kept the event fresh with new ideas and always made sure alumni were welcomed back with “open arms” and made to feel at home, greeting them by first name.
“I have had the privilege of learning from, working with, and getting to know so many wonderful staff, students and alumni throughout my career at Trent and look forward to staying connected to our amazing alumni and colleagues from Trent during my retirement,” reflects Ms. Robinson. “I was deeply grateful to have been made an honorary alumna upon my retirement in March.”
Speaking of her dedication to Trent, one nominator said: “Sue Robinson is the gold standard at Trent University… Whenever you meet Sue on campus at Alumni House, the Athletic Centre or at Head of the Trent, you are amazed by her boundless energy.”
Jodi Aoki ’81, Trent Archives
Jodi Aoki ’81 has worked in the Trent Archives for 32 years, developing an in-depth knowledge of Trent’s archival and heritage collections and becoming the de facto curator of the University’s art collection. As the first contact for student, faculty and community researchers, Ms. Aoki is known for being unfailingly helpful, patient, and knowledgeable.
"I am deeply honoured to receive this award and grateful to have had an opportunity to work in archives through my career at Trent,” says Ms. Aoki. “In the course of my work, I came to know many wonderful people across the University and in the local community, too, who share a common interest in preserving history."
Ms. Aoki has also represented the University on the Museum and Archives Advisory Committee of the City of Peterborough and has served on the board of directors of the Archives Association of Ontario.
“Jodi has been a highly effective ambassador for Trent University over the course of her tenure at the University Archives,” her nominator said. “She has also been a sage, effective and engaged colleague to her colleagues in the Library and Archives.”
Christy Carlson, Academic Advising
The late Christy Carlson passed away in December after a long career at the University as an academic advisor. She was known for her kindness, compassion and unwavering commitment to students’ emotional and intellectual well-being and development.
Ms. Carlson’s career at Trent started in 2002 when she began teaching courses in Gender and Women’s Studies. She went on to become academic counsellor in Julian Blackburn College. In 2012, she became academic advisor for Otonabee College where she proposed the My Pronouns Campaign, which encouraged students and staff to learn the importance of asking for and not assuming people’s pronouns. In 2018, Ms. Carlson joined Gzowski College and took on the role of team lead for academic advising in 2019.
Ms. Carlson was known for going above and beyond for students in her role, which she described as less of a job and more of a calling.
“The Trent University community was extremely fortunate to have benefited from Christy’s enthusiasm, support, unwavering encouragement, and contagious laugh,” a nominator said. “I know that the impact that Christy had on students, staff, and alumni will not be forgotten.”
Another nominator explains that “her absence is felt by many, but we continue to honour her presence. I reflect on my own practices daily to consider how I might replicate Christy’s patience, grace, and compassion, so I can better help students to see their way through challenges and opportunities. Her work and her commitment to students epitomize the Trent difference: meaningful and personal connections.”
The Eminent Service Award will be posthumously presented to Ms. Carlson and shared with her family.
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.
For more information contact:
Cara Walsh, Communications & Media Relations Officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6240 or email@example.com