"Christie’s door is always open to our students... I can unequivocally say that the single most positive influence on students’ morale is Christie’s presence."

Department of Mathematics Graduate Program, Nathan Ilten

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2020 Award for Excellence in Service: Christie Carlson

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February 07, 2022

As a Former Graduate Program Assistant in the Department of Mathematics, Christie Carlson has gone above and beyond in serving graduate students. During her three years in the department, Carlson has left a significant impact on students and staff alike.

In her previous role, Carlson coordinated academic progress reports, administered graduate funding allocations, answered day to day inquires, and other graduate student affairs. Dr. Nathan Ilten, Graduate Program Chair in the Department of Mathematics, commends her efficiency and organization skills when streamlining processes within the department.

Carlson also made efforts to better connect graduate students with the SFU community. She has successfully improved communication with incoming students prior to their arrival, created a welcoming atmosphere at thesis defences, and hosted departmental events such as the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Faculty Heat.

However, Carlson’s service has truly shined in her working relationships with graduate students. With her knowledge and compassion, she has been particularly recognized for guiding new students with their transition to SFU.

“As an international student, one of the things I felt so stressed about when coming to Canada was unfamiliarity with the system,” says graduate student Ahmad Mokhtar. “It was last year in January that I had some trouble with sending the transcripts of my previous degree to SFU… Christie picked up the issue and made all kinds of inquiries to reassure me the problem could be solved.”

“It was then that I felt a confidence building inside me that I can really integrate into the new system.”

Mary Catherine Kropinski, Professor of Mathematics and Associate Dean of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, echoes this sentiment.

“[2020] has been a particularly difficult year,” remarks Kropinski. “Christie has been the safe harbor for our most vulnerable students: she has effectively and professionally directed students to resources, helped them navigate through support systems, and alerted appropriate faculty to help resolve issues before they rose to the level of crisis.”

“Much of what Christie does constitutes service beyond the call of duty,” says Dr. Ilten. “Christie’s door is always open to our students... I can unequivocally say that the single most positive influence on students’ morale is Christie’s presence.”

The 2022 Dean of Graduate Studies Awards for Excellence are open for nominations. Deadline for nominations is March 25, 2022.