President's Service Award - Spring 1996
"All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players:" (As You Like It). But not Rhoda Miko. She is no mere player, but, according to a student referee she is, "mother, psychiatrist, best friend and number one fan to each and every drama department student." It's not everyday that students have such high praise for administrators, but Rhoda has earned their respect and admiration by treating each student as a special individual. At any given time during the day, students can be found in Rhoda's office, asking her questions that range from what classes they should take that would best suit their degree, to what to do about annoying brothers or sisters.
Rhoda handles everything that comes to her with dignity, respect and kindness. Rhoda leaves a powerful impression upon everyone: students, staff and guest artists. One guest director, who has worked in drama departments across Canada, said, "Rhoda is wonderful," calling her the backbone of the department that makes everything possible. "Rhoda is the best I've seen anywhere". Stephen Wade comments: "Rhoda also acts as the General Manager for the theatre, controlling budgets, contracts, royalties, box office and front of house duties. Rhoda is in fact, the very nerve centre of the department. Rhoda accomplishes all this and more with a smile and words of encouragement and is a pleasure to work with."
Those who have worked with Rhoda know her to be extraordinarily dedicated to the Department and its activities. This commitment necessitates considerable overtime, given that the Greystone Theatre functions in the evenings and weekends. Service to the University community is shown by her annual assistance in arranging the lights, set, and technicians for the Annual President's Ball. The unusual demands of her daily job never faze her: collection of and creation of tax receipts for odd clothing/props/furniture donations to the Department and purchase of peculiar needs for individual plays (weaponry, for example). In short, she performs all the functions of a live theatre's General Manager, on top of her already busy schedule as sole administrative assistant in an active department of six full time faculty plus six sessionals.
To sum it up, Henry Woolf, former head of the Drama Department, adds, "Without Rhoda much of the heart and wisdom of our department would disappear. She is blessed with a warm personality and an acute, ordered mind. Without her repository of knowledge, our Department would grind to a halt. I cannot recommend her highly enough."