Exceptional staff members honoured

From left to right, Principal’s Awards for Administrative and Support Staff winners Sharon Bezeau, Giovanna Marchione-LoCascio, Steven Blaise, Mario Della Neve, and Enrico Recine. / Photo: Owen Egan
From left to right, Principal’s Awards for Administrative and Support Staff winners Sharon Bezeau, Giovanna Marchione-LoCascio, Steven Blaise, Mario Della Neve, and Enrico Recine. / Photo: Owen Egan

By Jim Hynes

The Principal’s Awards for Administrative and Support Staff acknowledge the exceptional efforts of McGill employees. Five individual awards of $5,000, one for each staff category, were presented at the Fall Convocation ceremonies.

Here are the 2007-2008 Award Recipients:

Sharon Bezeau

Associate Director

Faculty of Arts

Student Affairs Office

Sharon Bezeau first came to McGill in 1978 as an English as a Second Language instructor in Continuing Education. In 1984 she became a full-time McGill employee, working as an adviser in the Arts and Science Student Affairs office. Sharon started out as a student adviser and worked her way up to Senior Adviser and then Manager of the office. In 2007, the Arts and Science teams separated, making her responsible for the Arts team. Together with her Science counterpart, Sharon continues to supervise the joint Arts and Science records area.

The office Sharon oversees provides students with advice and guidance on program selection, course registration, deadlines, study away and interfaculty transfer, and offers other types of support as well. “My job is to make sure that all of this happens in a smooth, seamless manner,” Sharon said.

“I consider it an honour to receive this prestigious award, especially since there are so many deserving managers at McGill. I know full well that winning this award says a lot about the colleagues who nominated me and the staff who work with me. I am very grateful to them.”

Giovanna Marchione-LoCascio

Graduate Program Coordinator

Psychology Department

Giovanna Marchione-LoCascio came to McGill in 1973, working as a receptionist in the Faculty of Music. In 1976, she moved to the Psychology Department, acting as a secretary for a few of its professors.  A few years later, she was offered a position working for the department Chair and Graduate Program Director.

In her current position, Giovanna looks after the day-to-day administrative duties in the psychology grad program office, including graduate admissions, orientation, scholarships, student funding/

appointments, TA-ships, thesis/oral defences, and meeting with students and visitors regarding program inquiries.

“Being nominated for such a prestigious award is something in itself. I was quite touched to actually be selected. It is a great honour,” Giovanna said. “I must say that winning this award is a reflection of all the fine people I work with on a daily basis. I am grateful for being part of a community that gives such support and respect.”

Mario Della Neve

Course Technician,

Physics Department

Mario Della Neve came to McGill about 35 years ago, working as the Cyclotron technician in the Foster Radiation Laboratory. In 1988, he moved to his current position in the Physics undergraduate lab.

Mario manages the first-year lab, ensuring the mechanical, electrical and optics experiments, projects and demonstrations that take place there run smoothly.

“My favorite part of the job is seeing students successfully complete their experiments, knowing that my hard work paid off, because the experiments ran smoothly. I also get great pleasure from student reactions to my demonstrations of physics principles.

“I feel honoured to receive this award,” Mario said. “Up to now, it has been the highlight of my 35-year career with McGill. My co-workers have greatly contributed to this honour. It is a team effort within the department.”

Steven Blaise

Shipping & Receiving Clerk,  Libraries

Steven Blaise joined McGill in the summer of 1980, taking the job he still does today – handling shipping and receiving duties at the Redpath and McLennan libraries. Steven’s job entails the sorting, delivery and pick up of Canada Post mail as well as the handling of large shipments of various materials. He also walks around the campus delivering and picking up time-sensitive material.

“Receiving this award means the world to me,” he said. “I didn’t think that someone who sort of works behind the scenes, more or less, like I feel I do, would be recognized this way. I’ve worked at McGill for so long and with many great people and love it here. This is like icing on the cake.”

Enrico Recine

Porter,  Macdonald

Engineering Building

Enrico Recine came to McGill in January of 1985, working first as a cleaner and soon after as a replacement porter all over campus, including stints in the Arts Building, the Leacock Building and Burnside Hall. The self-described 6-foot, 250-pound “teddy bear” has been the porter in the Macdonald Engineering building since 2003.

Over the years, Enrico has worked on several important Building Services projects, including an early recycling program that had him and a colleague rolling huge recycling bins around campus. Later, he took part in a project that saw him personally inspect each of the University’s more than 2,600 fire extinguishers and 800 fire hoses over an eight-month period.

“The students are my No. 1 priority here at McGill,” Enrico said. “It’s for them that I am here. I do believe that I’ve got the best job here at McGill University. It is sure sweet to be recognized in this way, especially during Principal Munroe-Blum’s mandate. She’s an amazing woman and I am honoured to be in

her service.”