“Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident.” – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
This is a saying that Francine Pétrin has dutifully put into practice in her daily work activities as a member of the administrative personnel at uOttawa. For nearly three decades, Ms. Pétrin’s continued commitment is seen through the everyday delivery of excellent service to uOttawa students and professors. The quality of her work has earned her the 2015 Frank Giacobbi Award for Outstanding Service, which will be officially awarded in June during the Faculty’s annual BBQ.
For her colleagues in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, it goes without saying that this recognition is well deserved.
“Ms. Pétrin’s exemplary attendance record, her extraordinary sense of duty and responsibility, and her rare work ethic place her in a very elite class”, quotes Ms. Sylvie Saindon, Francine’s direct supervisor, in her nomination brief. She affirms that these very same words, used more than twenty years ago to describe Ms. Pétrin’s work, are still as accurate now as they were then.
Department Chair David Taylor remarks that “Francine has been dedicated to serving the Department since 1986 - that’s nearly 30 years! Her long, loyal, and steady service to our Department is truly outstanding.” According to Professor Taylor, Ms. Pétrin goes out of her way to serve the community while always remaining her ‘steady-true self’. “Francine works her efficient magic without complaint or fuss. She has continued to impress me with her ongoing dependability and attention to detail (in fact, I consider her the true definition of “stalwart” in the execution of her numerous duties),” he adds.
With almost 35 years of service under her belt, Ms. Pétrin has been a full-time employee at the University of Ottawa since January 1981 and at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering since June 1986 (the same year that the Faculty of Engineering was created). Her position in the Department makes her the first line of contact for many students. The award winner frequently participates in the Faculty’s activities and is a member of the fire evacuation team. She has also volunteered for United Way.
“Francine is an extremely valuable source of knowledge to all, constantly going out of her way to help the professors, staff and students with questions outside of her jurisdiction by getting the right information and passing it on to others”, praises Ms. Saindon.
The Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Dr. Claude Laguë, echoes this comment: “The Faculty is indeed very fortunate to count on individuals like Francine, as well as all the other members of our administrative support staff, who greatly contribute, often behind the scenes, to our dual mission of education and advancement of knowledge.”