Silke Klenk   2008 Distinguished Service Award Recipient

I wish to nominate our International Relations Coordinator, Silke Klenk, for a Distinguished Service Award.  In the time she has been in the International Relations office she has taken on a seemingly overwhelming set of responsibilities and has done them well. In hindsight, her original job description, which included a large number and wide range of responsibilities and tasks, was too much for one person, even considering the support she received from several members of the International Advisory Committee and from student volunteers and workers (all of whom she was primarily responsible for organizing).  However, because of her belief in the importance of internationalization and her commitment to its advancement at UNBF, she even took on more responsibilities and tasks.  While her job description has been amended to reflect these additional responsibilities, it does not speak to the increased workload this entails.

Our university has a lot of great staff people, the kind of people who consistently go "above and beyond the call of duty". However, it would be hard to find anyone who is more dedicated and hard-working than Silke.  It is a rare weekend or evening that I don't receive an e-mail from her in response to a request or proposal from me or, more often, to alert me to some opportunity or potential problem that she herself has identified.  Despite all of her other responsibilities, she works very hard to keep abreast of all the internationalization initiatives that I and others at UNB have undertaken, and has often provided advice or "just-in-time" services that have made the difference between success and failure.  It is certain that many of the accomplishments of the International Relations Office, are, in large part, due to the excellent work done by Silke.  Furthermore, she has, on her own initiative, sought out information and undertaken research and/or training in subjects of importance to the IRO and UNB, with her efforts in the areas of internationalization trends and risk management being prime examples.

However, Silke's dedication to her work goes far beyond what is needed to make the IRO accomplish its goals.  She consistently makes herself available to students outside of normal work hours, whether it is meeting with student groups or picking up incoming exchange students at the airport at all hours of the day or night.  Despite her busy schedule, she is happy to intervene on behalf of students and faculty members with UNB departments or with external agencies.

Silke uses a significant amount of her own time to support student and facutly endeavours related to internationalization.  Her enthusiasm and passion for the advancement of global awareness and citizenship are contagious:  I am certain that much of their growth on this campus is due to Silke's tireless and selfless devotion to the cause.

I realize that the distinguished service award may have tended to go to those who have provided many years of service on campus, but I believe it is important that we also recognize people who are making large contributions right now.  Silke Klenk is one such person and her exemplary dedication and work should be recognized with a distinguished service award.

E.W. Ted Robak

Director of International Relations for UNBF