Grace Desa is the winner of 2016 Dean’s Outstanding Staff Awards – Dean’s Distinguished Service!

March 30, 2016 by Communications

Please join us in congratulating Grace, our Graduate Administrator, for an ABSOLUTELY, AMAZINGLY, and DEFINITIVELY well-deserved award: Grace is being awarded the 2016 Dean’s Outstanding Staff Awards – Dean’s Distinguished Service.

Here are some passages from the letter Grace received:

Dear Grace:

Re: Dean’s Outstanding Staff Awards

I am very pleased to advise you that you were nominated and have been selected by the Dean’s Outstanding Staff Awards Review Committee as the recipient of the 2016 Dean’s Distinguished Service Award.

[…] The submission of a nomination expresses how highly you are regarded by those with whom you work and interact. The nomination speaks of your outstanding contributions and your strengths as they relate to professionalism and teamwork, your demonstrated commitment to the Faculty and your Centre, the contributions you have made to morale as well as the strong positive impact you have made within your work area and beyond.

Below are a few excerpts from these letters that I thought you might enjoy.

“It is very difficult to express in a brief letter Grace’s vital importance for the Centre for Medieval Studies: she is the human continuity of the institution (besides being our source of continual joy, warmth, humour and colour, the latter thanks to her great clothing style). Grace is ever present, ever helpful, and always cordial human face of CMS. The unit is famous for its outstanding Latin and Palaeography programs but it is also famous for Grace.”

“Writing this letter has provided me with an opportunity to discover just how deeply valued she has been by this succession of academic leaders, underlining my own experience: Ms. Desa is, quite simply, the most gifted, creative, and dedicated academic administrator I have known during my 21 years at the University of Toronto. She serves the needs not only of the faculty and students of her own academic unit, but also the wider community that is touched by the work of CMS.

“…She is not at the heart, but rather the heart of the Centre, her office being located right when one walks into the Department, an unmissable stop for any visitor. Grace is the first person that new students meet, and probably the last one to bid farewell to our graduates. She is there when we take our first steps in the department, patiently addressing our worries about admission and reference letters not arriving in time. It is also to Grace that we turn for everyday as well as life-and-death matters throughout our time at the university, from registering to courses to finding housing in the city and fixing problems with funding.” […]


Diana Tiernan

Manager, Administrative Human Resources Faculty of Arts & Science