Earth Sciences technician digs deep to develop engagement

March 18, 2019
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By Karin Pokrishevsky

For the past 18 years, senior technician Matthew Plotnikoff has been bridging the interests of students and staff to create a dynamic, approachable environment in the Department of Earth Sciences.

From managing the department’s website, testing software and resolving computer issues to organizing community and university outreach events, this Work Performance Award recipient goes above and beyond the call of duty. In his project work, Plotnikoff always considers the needs of his colleagues, students and the department.

“Plotnikoff consistently greets his colleagues with a positive attitude,” says earth sciences professor Dan Gibson. “It seems that being honest and trustworthy are embedded in his DNA.”

In his work, Plotnikoff wears many hats. As the departmental bus driver, he is responsible for student safety on a variety of field excursions. In addition, he holds certifications for occupational and wilderness first-aid.

Plotnikoff generously donates his time both on and off the job to organize social events such as departmental barbecues and sporting events as a means of establishing a strong connection between international and local students, staff and faculty.  And when he isn’t at work, he finds time to volunteer as a hockey coach.

“Matt has a work ethic that is unparalleled,” says professor James MacEachern. “He routinely strives beyond the ask of his work and works tirelessly to promote exceptional learning for undergraduate and graduate students.”