Shannon Bay is the 2022 Sydney Inskip Service Award recipient. (Photo: submitted)
Shannon Bay is the 2022 Sydney Inskip Service Award recipient. (Photo: submitted)

Leading with kindness

Shannon Bay is one of the first people you’ll be greeted by when entering the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) College of Medicine’s undergraduate medical education (UGME) office in Saskatoon. Her warm smile and kindness make everyone who walk through the office doors feel welcome and appreciated.


Bay is the recipient of the college’s 2022 Sydney Inskip Service Award. The award is presented annually to a staff or faculty member in recognition of their extraordinary commitment and service. Bay exemplifies the values of Sydney Inksip with kindness, positivity, and dedication.   

“Shannon provides exemplary service to the UGME staff, students, and faculty by ensuring that the UGME is an inclusive and caring environment,” said Sherry Pederson, UGME’s manager and one of Bay’s nominators. “Our workplace is a better place because of Shannon and her many gifts.”

Nominators praised Bay for going the extra mile in her role. Among the ways Bay has demonstrated this include her resourcefulness and willingness to take on new projects and improve processes; ensure accomplishments and birthdays are recognized; and that staff, faculty and students get the assistance they need. 

Bay joined the UGME office in fall 2017, and has served as executive assistant since November 2020. Her role expanded earlier this year to general reception and to support the portfolio of the academic director.

“There have been so many moving pieces with COVID and sickness, that supporting each other is the most important thing right now. Life is already hard, so making work a welcoming place for staff, faculty and students is what I strive for,” said Bay. “Being kind is the easiest thing to do and people deserve kindness. Our department is very much a team environment – we help each other.”

Alumni Dr. Ivan Jen (MD’60) and his wife Dr. Suzanne Yip (MD’60) created the Sydney Inskip Award in memory of Ms. Sydney Inskip, a staff member who made an impact on the couple when they were undergraduate medical students. The award is a tribute to Inskip’s kind spirit and exceptional contribution to student lives in the college and recognizes outstanding contributions by non-academic staff.

Bay sees optimism as a way to positively impact the office. 

“I know that having a healthy work environment makes all the difference with enjoying our jobs, and optimism is contagious,” she said. “One of my favourite people in the world always says ‘all I can do is my best today’ so that is what I live by.”