2019 Award for Excellence in Service: Chantal Turpin

October 07, 2019

Chantal Turpin, a PhD candidate in the School of Criminology, has been actively serving graduate students since September 2015. Her commitment to advocacy and ability to work collaborative with different groups has helped enrich the graduate student experience at SFU.

Turpin is best known for her role as former Director of University Relations at the Graduate Student Society (GSS) from January 2017 to December 2018. As the central liaison to SFU administration, Turpin has tenaciously advocated for improved services and support for graduate students.

GSS Executive Director, Pierre Cenerelli, recognizes Turpin’s commitment to amplifying the needs and concerns of her peers.

“Although she was always looking to building bridges with the university’s administration, she also did not shy away from clearly making her concerns known. In the end, this approach made her an effective advocate for graduate students and allowed her to effect real change at SFU,” says Cenerelli.

Cenerelli brings attention to one particular achievement: “Getting key members of the administration to agree that research assistants at SFU, most of whom are graduate students, should be recognized as employees of the university, with specific rights and duties that need to be spelled out clearly to them.”

Peter Keller, Vice-President, Academic and Provost and Professor of Geography, also recognizes Turpin’s work on improving the supervisory experience for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. As Co-Chair of the Student Experience Initiative Supervision for the 21st Century Working Group, her leadership will help improve the supervisory model at SFU and provide new resources for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and their supervisors.

Another notable initiative is her effort to provide greater support for those who have experienced sexual violence and misconduct. Keller recognizes Turpin’s involvement with the University’s Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy consultation process during the spring of 2016.

Before her tenure as Director of University Relations, Turpin served on GSS council as the School of Criminology representative (September 2015-December 2016) and on various GSS Working Groups including the Research Assistants Working Group, the Ombudsperson Office Working Group, the GSS Housing Working Group, and the GSS Space Lease Working Group.

“As a graduate student, Ms. Turpin has shown a genuine interest in University governance and student life, giving constructive service to SFU significantly beyond reasonable expectations,” says Keller. “She has demonstrated over and over her deep and genuine commitment to being a part of making a difference.”