Penny Westmacott’s passion for student success and dedicated leadership is being recognized with the 2013 Western Award of Excellence.
When Penny joined the Faculty of Science as its first Academic Manager in 2008, the new position had the primary responsibility for overseeing the counselling operation, as well as several other portfolios connected with awards and scholarships. At the time, Penny looked forward to academic counselling, “being closer to direct service delivery to students and having more interaction with students." True to her word, she brought those goals to light with hard work, patience and management ability.
She took on key roles in the organization in events such as Convocation and open houses and pioneered a policy of active intervention for failing students who previously went unnoticed. Penny raised the awareness of available awards and scholarships to the student body. Through her calm demeanor and empathy she eased the minds of worried parents and students. Embodying the positive elements of leadership, she streamlined the operational culture of the Academic Counselling Office so that long line ups became less frequent. She also reorganized the counseling process so that students in both the Science and Basic Medical Sciences programs felt the warmth and caring that embodied the services they needed. From helping individual students achieve autonomy, physical and mental health and academic success to initiating a more rigorous approach to professional development for staff, Penny Westmacott cared greatly about every aspect of improving the student experience.
Kimberly Law -2013 Western Award of Excellence Winner