President's Service Award - Fall 2012
Everyone who works with Heather Lukey in the College of Graduate Studies and Research extolls her virtues as a dedicated university employee, but none more than the to graduate students themselves, who agree she is more than deserving of one of this year’s President’s Service Awards.
In talking about the service Heather provides as director of graduate awards and scholarships, graduate students use terms like “above and beyond the call of duty” and “the go-to person.” Lukey’s job is a complex one; she helps graduate students navigate the complex world of applying for funding from various external sources. But she also serves as a valuable advisor to students, faculty members and programs about the most effective ways to access and use the funding provided.
One story from a graduate student who nominated Lukey for the President’s Service Award is worth retelling. It involves a delay in receiving necessary funding and the student “burst into Heather’s office in a panic during the first week of classes. I was met with a very professional yet humorous and friendly woman who listened warmly to my disgruntled growling as she quickly worked to solve the problem. In less than a day, Heather was able to identify the source of the errors, correct them and secure emergency funds for me.”
Lukey has been a long-time employee of the college, having started there over 20 years ago as a clerk steno and receptionist where she proved her ability to put people at ease. This was particularly evident in her dealings with international graduate students who often have to manage both academic and transition challenges. Her efficiency, ability to multi-task and very high personal standards for her work did not go unnoticed.
Lukey moved on to the dual roles of program officer and secretary to the associate dean where she quickly built a reputation as someone who could help both faculty and students manage university bureaucracy. She took on her role in graduate awards and scholarships in 1995. As if that was not enough, she did double duty for five years by also taking on the job of college office manager. Through hard work, upgrading her skills and “raising her game,” as one colleague put it, Lukey has become the campus expert on the university’s graduate scholarship and graduate teaching fellowship programs. A testament to her skill is the fact the college hears very few concerns about its management of scholarship programs.
With her unwavering commitment to graduate students, the College of Graduate Studies and Research and the University of Saskatchewan, Heather Lukey is a very worthy recipient of the President’s Service Award.