Lana Davis   2004 UNB Service Award Recipient

Lana Davis has served since 1987 as the first, and to date, only professional counsellor for UNB Saint John students. Over the years, Lana has earned the respect and admiration of the students, staff and faculty for her service and compassion, the quiet dignity she brings to her work, and her dedication to students and their success.

A university counsellor, when performing some of her best work, is an unseen and rarely acknowledged force on campus. But a force she is! The university counsellor is there at the moment of crisis when the student's world falls apart, when understanding and encouragement is needed, and when a caring ear and supportive touch can make an enormous difference. The university counsellor understands the pressures our students face, be they young adults stepping out on their own for the first time, single parents looking to improve their lives and the lives of their children, or international students adjusting and coping with a new and unfamiliar culture. Lana Davis has made it her work and her passion to reach out to all of these students and more. Day or night, weekdays and weekends, Lana has served as one of the first responders to students in crisis. She provides personal, immediate support while accessing university and community resources to provide team care to meet the needs of the student.

Lana's professional career began with the completion of undergraduate degrees in arts and social work from the University of Alberta and the University of British Columbia, respectively, followed by a Master of Social Work from the University of Calgary. Her experience includes public service in hospitals in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick, as well as a private counseling practice.

At UNB Saint John, Lana is responsible for personal and career counseling for all students. Hundreds, if not thousands, of students have turned to Lana for help and guidance and owe part of their success to her advice, assistance and care. Over the years Lana has worked to establish student services such as the Peer Helper Program, a student-helping-student support service, and Language Buddies, a peer-based conversational English program designed to help ESL and university students practice their English while making new friends. Indeed, as UNB Saint John has embarked on the internationalization initiative, Lana has made a special effort to reach out to these students who often find themselves longing for home and struggling to adapt to cultural, personal and educational challenges.

In the community, Lana has served on a variety of community and service agency boards including the Refugee Support Committee, Community Alternative Sentencing Committee, the Mental Health Association and Symphony New Brunswick, to name a few. In her service to the University and the community, Lana has received the support of her distinguished family: her husband Dr. Gary Davis (a retired member of the business faculty) and her sons, Gregory, Nathan and Anthony.