Mary Astorino   2005 UNB Distinguished Service Award Recipient

Mary Astorino is the kind of person who brightens up a room when she enters. Her cheerful, friendly enthusiasm, positive attitude, and strong service orientation have been key factors in her success as the Instructional Technology Consultant.  This position was created in 2000 to fulfill a perceived need to provide support and training for faculty in the integration of technology into teaching.  In just four years, Mary has become an active, valued and well respected member of the campus community and proven the value of what she does.  From the time she joined us, an Instructional Technology Centre has been part of the vision for support for faculty in the use of technology in instruction.  Not only was she determined to make this happen, but her flexibility, service approach and great interpersonal skills were instrumental in forming a partnership with the Faculty of Arts to create the Special Projects Lab.  With her enthusiasm, energy and dedication, she will transform this space into a centre that will greatly enrich the teaching and learning environment.

One of Mary’s most distinguishing characteristics is her attitude and approach to service.  People who were here about 10 years ago when Mary worked on campus as a User Support Analyst for Computing Services still remember her skills, expertise and above all her friendly, approachable style.  In the intervening years she served in teaching and administrative positions in England and has come to us with even greater expertise and enhanced skills to enrich our campus.  Requests for assistance come to Mary from many quarters because people know that she will do everything possible to help and always with a smile.  Even though her phone rings steadily and she has lots of visitors to her office, Mary makes time for anyone who needs her help.  Her approach is summarized in her own words, “that she is ready to step in and do whatever needs doing.”  No matter what the task, she is always willing to take on new challenges and learning, and brings a cheerful enthusiasm that contributes so much to the working environment.

In committees, and with her colleagues, she volunteers when there’s a job that needs doing, and she can always be counted on to deliver on her commitments.  Because of her knowledge, position and reputation, she is asked to serve on campus and university-wide committees and is an active and valued participant. As a member of the Vice-President’s Excellence in Teaching Committee, she serves in many roles; such as treasurer, publicist for all its events, designer of the publication “Teaching Matter” and a regular contributor to the Discussions about Teaching sessions.  Her service involves many hours of her time but it is generously given and she is recognized as a valuable and dedicated contributor to the work of the committee.  To quote a faculty colleague, “I for one am always delighted when Mary joins a working group; I can be confident that, not only will the work be done well and on time, it will also be more fun than without Mary!”

Her passion for teaching and learning is also exemplified by her pursuit of a Master’s degree in Adult Education, while balancing a demanding job, teaching courses for the Department of Computer Science and Applied Statistics, and family responsibilities.  Through her commitment, attitude, and enthusiasm, she demonstrates so clearly the meaning of service and brings enrichment to the teaching and learning environment.  She sets an example to us all, of the highest level of service – that done with a generous spirit.

 Presented by Susan Collins

Director of Information Services and Systems

April 27, 2005