During the past three years, the COVID-19 pandemic caused disruptions at the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology. Stephanie Kehrig acted as an essential resource for the department -- at times, answering questions that faculty and learners didn’t know to ask.
As a graduate program assistant, Kehrig’s role is to support learners and academic programs within the department, including providing support for programs and committees.
An impressive 25 testimonies were received to support her nomination for the Living Our Values Award category for the 2022 College of Medicine Staff Awards.
A recurring theme in the testimonies was how proactive Kehrig is in anticipating questions, communicating and problem-solving with students.
“Stephanie always makes sure to communicate things one may not be aware of or even suggest how to complete something. Stephanie is always such a pleasure to work with, she is always in a great mood and helps create a positive and welcoming work space. She has taken her personal time to go above and beyond to ensure students feel supported, safe upon their arrival and beginning of program. We in CH&E are very blessed to have her.”
The Living Our Values Award is presented annually to a staff member who exemplifies one or more of the college’s values in their day-to-day work including: collegiality; fairness and equitable treatment; inclusiveness; integrity, honesty and ethical behaviour; and respect.
We asked Stephanie her thoughts on receiving the Living Our Values Award.
The following interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
What was your reaction when you learned you were named the recipient of this award?
I was surprised and humbled.
What does it mean to you to be recognized in this way?
It means a lot. It is challenging to support a department of this size with such varied activity (supporting the undergraduate medical program, Making the Links program and our graduate programs).
What motivates you to go above and beyond within your department/unit?
New situations and changing contexts motivate me to use my experience and learn more to support people and academic processes.
What work/professional accomplishment are you most proud of over the past year?
I have been proud to see many of our students well-funded and having success with dean’s entrance scholarships this past year (four awarded).
What do you enjoy most about working for the college/university?
People working together to get things done while keeping best outcomes for students in mind. It is rewarding to work with faculty and staff from this unit, neighboring units, the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, the College of Medicine, the International Students Centre, Student Central and Student Awards to support students.