President's Service Award - Spring 2011
The work of University Council committees is both complex and demanding but for those involved, it all becomes much more manageable with Cathie Fornssler in the role of committee co-ordinator. Her dedication to governance at the University of Saskatchewan, her professionalism and her willingness to go beyond the day to day requirements of her job make Ms. Fornssler a very worthy recipient of a President’s Service Award.
It is not just in the Office of the University Secretary that Ms. Fornssler earned this distinction. After receiving a BEd with distinction in history and English in1971from the University of Saskatchewan, Ms. Fornssler joined the College of Arts and Science as co-ordinator of programs and special projects. In addition to displaying her renowned organizational abilities, she developed a rich knowledge of the workings of the college that served her well in dealings with administrators as well as students. Committed to student success, Ms. Fornssler went out of her way to assist students in pursuing their interests while satisfying the degree requirements of various programs. As one nominator said, people always left her office feeling better than when they went in.
In 2000, Ms. Fornssler moved to the Office of the University Secretary first as assistant to the secretary and later, committee co-ordinator. In this role, she provides support to the chairs and members of the Planning and Priorities Committee, the Nominations Committee, and Academic Programs Committee and the Academic Support Committee as well as various other groups. Many nominators commented on the insight and institutional memory that she brings to the job which provides everyone with invaluable insights into the issues of the day. Her efficiency, her attention to detail and her willingness to lend a hand are what help keep the business of Council on track, and she does it all with a sense of humour.
In addition to supporting Council committees, Ms. Fornssler has been involved in a number of additional projects, including the development of a display and website to commemorate the history and the people who were part of the College of Home Economics. More recently, she volunteered to co-ordinate the creation of a display celebrating the accomplishments of former faculty member Gerhard Herzberg who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1971. Ms. Fornssler is also a key player in the university’s annual Academic Integrity Week.
Those who have first-hand knowledge of Ms. Fornssler commitment to the institution and its community, her unassuming manner and her dedication to her work supporting the achievements of others agree she is a model citizen of the University of Saskatchewan and a worthy recipient of the President’s Service Award.