The Principal’s Awards for Administrative and Support Staff are a University-wide program that recognizes the outstanding contributions of McGill staff members who, in some cases, rarely get the recognition they deserve for their contributions to the McGill Community. The annual program provides staff members the opportunity to recognize and promote those staff members who go above and beyond.
The winners’ accomplishments must be in line with the strategic direction and mission of the University, with particular emphasis on criteria such as quality of work, customer service and service excellence, initiative and innovation, teamwork, service to the community, and sustainability.
Scott Manktelow, Laboratory Supervisor – AE9, Technical Services, in the Department of Bioresource Engineering, Faulty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, is the winner of the Principal’s Award in Technical, Library Assistants and Nurses category.
Back in the mid-2000s, when Scott Manktelow began knocking on doors at Macdonald Campus looking for a job, he came armed with a wealth of experience, a friendly demeanour – and a dead chicken.
“My wife and I used to raise chickens and I thought [offering one to prospective employers] was a good way into the conversation,” says Manktelow with a laugh. “At the time, I didn’t realize they had a chicken barn across the road, so the guy was probably getting chicken every day. But that’s all I had to offer.
“It was a good way into the conversation,” he chuckles. “A guy walks into your office with a chicken in his hand, you’ve got to start listening!”
Macdonald Campus roots
Manktelow, a millwright by trade, had already been working at the downtown campus since 1988, first for the Department of Mechanical Engineering and then for the Department of Electrical Engineering. But, because he and his wife lived on what he calls a “hobby farm” near Dalkeith, Ontario, he thought the commute to Mac would be easier.
“Plus, my dad graduated from the Diploma Program at Mac in 1954,” he says. “My dad was a dairy farmer so it seemed like a good fit for me to be at Mac.”
And a good fit it has been. Manktelow has been at Mac since 2006, in the Department of Bioresource Engineering. He is also winner of a Principal’s Award for Administrative and Support Staff, in the Technical, Library Assistants and Nurses category.
“I was very surprised when I got the news,” he says. “It’s an award you’re nominated for by your colleagues. That means a lot. I’m humbled, for sure.”
Demystifying the machine shop
As supervisor of the Department of Bioresource Engineering machine shop, Manktelow’s duties include teaching budding engineers everything from welding, machine shop and tinsmithing, to plumbing, electrical components and hydraulics.
“Part of my responsibility is to prepare students for life outside of McGill,” he says. “Engineers work in partnership with trades people and if they speak the same language they’ll have a mutual respect for each other.”
Now in his 34th year at McGill, Manktelow is set to retire in early 2022. When he is asked what are some of the things he will remember most about his career, he smiles warmly.
“McGill is such an international community and for me that’s fantastic,” he says. “I’ve learned so much about other parts of the world and how the rest of the world lives. I find that very intriguing and very interesting.”
“I’ve made a lot of friends here at McGill – downtown and at Mac. Some are now retired, some have passed on and some are still here,” says Manktelow. “Lots of laughs and good memories with really good friends. I’ve been blessed all the way through.”
Finally, he says he will remember the students and helping demystify the machine shop for them. “You know what’s really nice? Watching the satisfaction of students when they create something they didn’t think they could create – how proud they are to build something,” says Manktelow. “When they come to me and ask if they can bring it home to their show parents – something they built with their own two hands – that’s definitely a highlight.”