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2016 Award for Excellence in Service: Catherine Louie
We're delighted to profile the winners of the 2016 Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Awards for Excellence in Graduate Studies. Catherine Louie receives an award for Excellence in Service.
Over her two decades of service at SFU, Catherine Louie has gained a reputation for her outstanding dedication to students. Louie is highly committed to student success, always going above and beyond to help students achieve their potential.
Lisa Haupt's personal experience is a testimony to the dedication that Louie demonstrates in her role as Library Assistant in the Research Commons. After moving to Vancouver Island in the midst of completing her Master's degree, Haupt was juggling tight deadlines and taking care of two small children. She reached out to the Research Commons for help, and found relief in Louie's patience and gentle guidance. With Louie's help, she managed to successfully submit her thesis for Senate approval and complete her degree. "[Louie] went above and beyond what I was expecting and made my experience as smooth as it could have been", says Haupt.
Many graduate students echo similar sentiments, saying that Louie's support and dedication made an impact to their university experience during the stressful stages of thesis formatting. According to former graduate student Ann Gourley, Louie's award was well-deserved.
"Catherine deserves recognition because her skills, standards and attitude are exemplary" says Gourley. "She has a reputation for excellence. She made a detailed, tricky process look easy, and readily allayed any trepidation I had over my own formatting inadequacies. Her eagle eye and depth of experience turned the last step in attaining my degree from a worry to a pleasure."
Louie spent her university years at SFU, and graduated in 1998 with a Bachelor's of Science (BSc) in Kinesiology. While she was earning her degree, she worked with the Loans division at both the Belzberg and Bennett Library. She became a part of the Student Learning Commons (SLC) team when it first launched in 2006, and was vital for its development into what it is today. Louie was one of the pioneers spearheading the Research Commons when it first formed in 2013, and continues to work there now as the Libary Assistant, providing support to graduate students submitting their theses to the University, and managing Research Commons events.
She has been described by many of her colleagues as the backbone of the department, providing organizational support and assistance above and beyond what is asked of her. Her colleague at Research Commons, Stephan Struve, has nothing but high praises for her, stating that "Catherine enriches SFU's graduate education and always lifts the spirts of the people around her. I believe these characteristics represent all that is good in SFU's graduate staff community. Graduate education needs outstanding individuals like Catherine Louie."