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The individual and team winners of the awards were recognised for providing outstanding service.

Over 200 people gathered in the Combination Room, Old Schools, on Thursday 13 December to find out who had won this year’s employee recognition awards. Professor Stephen Toope, the Vice-Chancellor, and Emma Rampton, the Registrary, presented awards to eight individuals and six teams, with winners, nominees and invited guests staying to enjoy a reception with drinks, nibbles, and live entertainment.

The Professional Services Recognition Scheme (formerly known as the UAS Employee Recognition Scheme) exists to celebrate and recognise outstanding performance by individuals and teams who provide professional support services across the University. One hundred and eighteen nominations were received for this year’s awards, and 20 individuals and 18 teams made it to the shortlist. Awards are made to both individuals and teams across four categories, with two new award areas introduced this year (‘hot topic team’ and ‘unsung hero/heroine individual’).

The winners were:

1. We deliver an effective and high quality valued service

  • Individual: Del Hawtin, Deputy Departmental Administrator in the Department of Plant Sciences. Del was commended for his diligent and receptive approach, with particular note for his service during the preparation and submission of major grants. The Department feel extremely fortunate to have such an effective and valued administrator who consistently works above and beyond the call of duty.
  • Team: The News Team, (SPO/ Academic Secretary's Office/ Registrary’s Office). The team ensured effective communication to the widest possible audience leading up to and following the launch of the University’s ‘Breaking the Silence’ campaign in 2017, including detailed briefings for media at a national and local level. The campaign received significant national positive media interest which was down to the detailed and accurate verbal and written briefings provided by the team.

2. We collaborate and work in partnership

  • Individual: Nick White, Estate Management, University Catering Service. Through his time with the University Centre, Nick has shown remarkable commitment to collaboration, such as in developing the University’s award-winning Sustainable Food Policy and his chairing of the Catering Managers Committee Sustainability Group. His efforts to implement a sustainable food policy has had many positive environmental benefits, for example the introduction of 'keep cups' has saved 93,000 disposable cups from being used.
  • Team: Food Security Impact and Outreach Team, Department of Biological Sciences. The output of this team has provided a tremendous boost for knowledge dissemination from the Department’s core research, especially through outreach events and seeking additional funding from Impact Accelerator accounts. Ultimately, they have shown how knowledge dissemination can support the success of multi-faceted partnerships.

3. We are open, responsive and innovative

  • Individual: Lesley Flood, Teaching Coordinator, Office of the School of Clinical Medicine. Lesley ensures the smooth running of the Clinical Ethics and Law course while continually looking to improve the experience for students and tutors. She has enhanced communication with students which has been praised in the Clinical School's 'Student Voice' evaluation sessions, and overall, Lesley puts improvement in the student experience at the heart of how she approaches her role.
  • Team: Institute for Manufacturing Support Team (Technology), Department of Engineering. With an open, responsible and innovative culture permeating every aspect of the IfM’s activities, the team are empowered and enthused to deliver outstanding service across all areas, internally and externally, with a willingness to ‘go the extra mile’. IfM frequently receives positive feedback from the many hundreds of national and international visitors each year which is testimony to the culture that has been nurtured over many years by this team.

4. We respect others and value diversity

  • Individual: Julie Jenkins, Facilities Manager, Department of Public Health and Primary Care. Julie is very involved in University initiatives for equality and diversity, including the Dignity at Work scheme and as Departmental equality champion. Above all, Julie has had a positive effect on the Department with a range of ventures, from her introduction of wellbeing sessions to consistently working beyond her normal role.
  • Team: Stay and Play Team, Human Resources, Childcare Office. This team has actively engaged with University staff and students to establish support groups for parents with young children who live on the Eddington site, especially those who are far from home countries, helping them feel less isolated and integrate into the community. The team are a listening ear for parents and provide signposting to enable them to move confidently out into the wider University and Cambridge communities.

Hot Topic Award

  • Library Storage Facility Team (NSIs), Cambridge University Library. Optimising the use of space across the University estate has been a hot topic this past year, and the Library Storage Facility team have delivered a hugely successful project with the new facility in Ely. The project included 106,000 metres of shelving, the processing of two shipping containers of books per week, and meeting several targets well ahead of schedule.

Cross Divisional Team

  • Cambridge Analytica Response Team. This team provided essential support for the University’s response to the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica incident earlier this year, including management of responses to the initial press coverage, repeated Freedom of Information requests, and a formal investigation by the Information Commissioners Office. All of this had to be managed on top of the team’s day-to-day responsibilities, which they achieved with good humour and professionalism throughout, successfully protecting the University’s reputation.

Unsung Heroes and Heroines

  • Julie Coimbra, Librarian and Publicist, Centre of Latin American Studies. Julie has worked for more than 20 years at the Centre of Latin American Studies, consistently going way beyond the expectations of her role, which has expanded enormously over the years. She always responds positively to change and flexibility, making the Centre feel run well and full of life.
  • James Knapton, Information Compliance Officer, Registrary’s Office. James handles a vast number of complex queries in a highly professional and courteous way, in particular making the introduction and transition to GDPR a smooth and stress-free process. Despite having a high volume of queries, he always responds quickly with patience, pragmatism and his outstanding knowledge of Data Protection issues.
  • Tracy Brooks, HR Business Manager for the School of Technology. Tracy has handled an immense volume of work and is always willing to take on new tasks, while still maintaining a high standard of quality and seeing tasks through to completion. She has fostered a high level of trust and integration across the School, and has a consistently high performance in both her day-to-day operational issues and in supporting major strategic projects.
  • Sylvia Hogg, Custodian, Henry Wellcome Building. Sylvia’s responsibilities are to clean and maintain the building and while she does this with great care, attention and dedication, she also weaves this work together with her care for all in the building, whether this is remembering birthdays, ensuring a supply of coffee and biscuits, or caring for those who may need more attention. Ultimately, Sylvia makes the building a pleasant working environment.

The Vice-Chancellor opened the event, noting that the awards celebrate “the very best administrative work across the entire collegiate university” and how professional services staff “make things move…make things happen”. Emma Rampton, the Registrary, presented the awards, and praised professional services staff as the “glue that binds the University together”. Both the Vice-Chancellor and the Registrary recorded their thanks to all professional services staff, and particularly the nominees and winners of this year's awards, for all their hard work. 



19 December 2018


A selection of some of the award winners.