Nancy McEwan   2013 Distinguished Service Award

Nancy McEwan started work with the Department of Civil Engineering in June 1990 as a receptionist. In addition to her key duties of answering the phones and dealing with students, she was responsible general typing and sorting the mail. After her 6 month probationary period, the Department Chair noted that Nancy “is quick to learn” and that he was sure she “will continue to make a valuable contribution to our Department and the University”. Those were significant understatements. By the end of her career, 22 years later, Nancy would be running one of the largest departments at the University of New Brunswick.


Within two years of starting at UNB, Nancy was promoted because she was “continually working at a level above her classification”, a statement which characterized her work until she retired. In 1995, Nancy officially became the Department’s Graduate Secretary, a role which saw her treating students from around the world with dignity, compassion, and respect. A car accident later that year looked like it might end Nancy’s career, but using the perseverance she shows in all things, Nancy began a 2 ½ year struggle to return to full-time work. In 2002, Nancy was promoted again, in part because of her “ability to manage a wide variety of tasks” and her “excellent judgement”. In 2005, Nancy was promoted once again, when she assumed the role of Administrative Assistant in the Department of Civil Engineering, the position which she held until she retired in September 2012.


Throughout her career, Nancy approached every task at the university with patience, good humour, competence, and professionalism. She has made an invaluable contribution to the life of the Department of Civil Engineering for the past 22 years and she will be missed.