June 23, 2021

Extraordinary UCalgary faculty, staff, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars recognized

2020 U Make a Difference Awards program’s nominees and recipients announced
The U Make a Difference award is usually celebrated at an in-person event. This year it is virtual.
This year’s event was cancelled due to COVID. Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

The COVID-19 pandemic put many events on hold last year, including the 2020 U Make a Difference Awards program, the University of Calgary’s ceremony celebrating extraordinary employees.

While it’s still considered unsafe to gather in this way, it’s crucial to recognize excellence and pay tribute to UCalgary community members who make our institution a great place to learn and work.

In 2020, 29 individuals were nominated for the U Make a Difference Awards and 11 of them were selected as the recipients. These awards recognized excellence across three categories:

  • Innovation and Curiosity
  • Collaboration and Communication
  • Positive Work Environment and Community

UCalgary President Ed McCauley says he values the importance of recognition in post-secondary workplaces, and especially in challenging times such as these.  

“For more than a year now, many of us have felt increased pressure in our daily lives, which is why it’s so crucial to recognize extra efforts by colleagues that promote our values of community, innovation and collaboration,” McCauley says.

“Every member of our university family has important skills to contribute and development to be encouraged. By recognizing the hard work of teams and individuals, we hope to keep reinforcing a caring campus community, where everyone can achieve their own professional fulfilment.”

Visit the recognition website where all the U Make a Difference nominees and recipients are profiled in detail.


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 recipients were recognized in 2021. The 2021 recipients will be recognized later this summer. 

UCalgary is committed to promoting and enhancing a strong culture of recognition within the university community at all levels. The university supports faculty and staff to learn, reflect and explore new approaches to recognition and appreciation in the workplace. Visit ucalgary.ca/recognition to learn more or join the conversation on Twitter at #UCalgaryRecognition.  

Recognition and reward is one of the 13 factors illustrated in the National Standard. UCalgary is a recipient of the Excellence Canada Mental Health at Work Silver Level Certification in this area. All staff, supervisors, faculty, managers and leaders are encouraged to find practical tips and tools for integrating recognition principles into their day. Check out the Recognition web page for more information and ideas.