Congratulations to Patty Hambler (Health Promotion & Education) and Barbara Hsiao (Faculty of Land and Food Systems) on being the recipients of the 2019 President’s Staff Awards for Wellbeing. On October 2, they received their awards at a special reception held at Norman McKenzie House.
The Wellbeing category was incorporated to the President’s Staff Awards last year in recognition of the important role faculty and staff play in promoting workplace health. The award celebrates individuals and teams that create opportunities for others to thrive at UBC: from leading activities and initiatives that promote social, physical and/or mental health and wellbeing, to inspiring community members to care for themselves and each other.
“Always above and beyond”
For the past 20 years, Patty Hambler, Director of Health Promotion & Education, has pursued opportunities to improve the health and wellbeing of the UBC community, with particular emphasis on the student experience.
Her leadership in embedding health in all aspects of campus culture has played a role in changing the university’s policies and practices regarding student mental health and wellbeing. One of the many examples of her work was the creation of the Mental Health Awareness Club in 2010, a student-led initiative that is currently UBC’s largest mental health promotion club.
Furthermore, Patty was the driving force behind the development of the Peer Programs, which enable student volunteers to enhance campus wellbeing. She also led the creation of the Mental Health Needs Assessment, a project involving a multidisciplinary team of faculty and students.
“Patty’s inspiring leadership and vibrant demeanour has been an inspiration to each of us,” says Steven J. Barnes, Michael Lee, Karen Smith and Judy Chan, members of the team that nominated Patty for the Wellbeing award. “We were all separately drawn to Patty’s leadership and effort in bringing about change in policy and practice related to student mental health and wellbeing.”
In 2008, Patty partnered with Human Resources to promote a thriving UBC community. This collaboration led to Thrive, UBC’s first campus-wide mental health initiative.
For her coworkers Kelly White and Diana Jung, this effort demonstrates how Patty values collaboration. They note: “[It] laid a significant foundation for important and sustained partnerships between units and portfolios across UBC working towards the wellbeing of the campus community.”
Barbara Hsiao is a trusted advisor to many in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. Her dedication has defined the workplace culture, where faculty and staff thrive in a harmonious environment and can feel satisfied with their careers and work.
With a distributed workforce of over 110 people at UBC Vancouver, on farms, in research fields, and at the Dairy Education and Research Centre in Agassiz, BC, Barbara has created a positive culture that reaches every staff member.
“As the first person many people meet when they join the faculty, Barbara does an outstanding job of showcasing our workplace culture right from the start,” says Dean Rickey Yada. “Every day, she demonstrates how to create an environment that is inclusive, appreciative and values wellbeing of its employees.”
Barbara is also regarded for bringing people together through many initiatives, such as fundraising for the Heart & Stroke Foundation’s Big Bike event. In addition, she organizes professional development activities for staff to learn something new and bond with colleagues.
“These events encourage relationships to form through greater team-building and trust,” notes Director of Marketing and Communications Karen Lee, who was responsible for Barbara’s nomination to the award. “Coming to work doesn’t just mean doing work; we are encouraged to enjoy our time here at UBC with colleagues. And we do!”
Tell us how you thrive
Photos: Paul Joseph, UBC Brand & Marketing