Dedicated Faculty & Staff to Receive Awards at Autumn Convocation

WINNIPEG, MB – As the University of Winnipeg prepares to mark its 100th Convocation* this fall, three dedicated faculty and staff members will receive awards during the ceremony on Friday, October 18, 2013. Phil Baker will receive the Marsha Hanen Award for Excellence in Creating Community Awareness; Gerri Zacharias will be awarded the Clarence Atchison Award for Excellence in Community Service; and Leslie Uhryniuk will receive the Campus Sustainability Recognition Award.

As Director of UWinnipeg’s Faculty of Education ACCESS program since 2003, Phil Baker has created new pathways into post-secondary life for countless students, especially Indigenous students and those from minority groups. Finding innovative ways to meet real student needs, Baker has helped ensure many students graduate and become successful teachers in our community.

Gerri Zacharias is a passionate and tireless teacher 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As Acting Director of UWinnipeg’s Collegiate Model School, created in 2008 in partnership with the community, she has helped countless students who face various barriers achieve success. The Model School has 40 students from grade 9-12. Zacharias and her staff nurture each individual’s unique potential and create a climate of inclusion. Zacharias is also an active volunteer coordinator and is both the backbone and the heart of the Eco-Kids programs at UWinnipeg.

In her role as Manager of Print Services, Leslie Uhryniuk has been instrumental in UWinnipeg’s success in exceeding its sustainability goals with respect to recycled paper usage on campus. The goal was to move from 30% post-consumer paper to 60%, but Uhryniuk’s work contributed to a move to 100% post-consumer paper used on campus. This means the University community is now saving approximately 1,389 trees each year. In addition, Uhryniuk was a key member of the team which selected and rolled out the current printing and photocopying fleet of machines which includes scanning technology to reduce paper use.

“The University of Winnipeg is consistently ranked highly in national surveys for Indigenous inclusion, community outreach, and a strong commitment to environmental sustainability,” said Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor, UWinnipeg. “It is only because of the ongoing commitment and contributions of dedicated faculty and staff such as these three individuals, Phil Baker, Gerri Zacharias, and Leslie Uhryniuk, that we are able to proudly take our place among the top universities in the country.”

Find out more about The University of Winnipeg’s 100th Convocation which takes place on Friday, October 18, at Duckworth Centre, 400 Spence Street from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm at In the coming days, UWinnipeg will outline more public events connected to celebrating our 100th Convocation.

*100th Convocation: The University of Winnipeg was incorporated in 1967 and held its first Convocation ceremony 45 years ago in May 1968. Convocations are held in Spring and Autumn (90). A series of 10 Special Convocations have taken place over the years, hence the 100th Convocation this fall.



Naniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg

P: 204.988.7130, E:

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