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From left, Todd Lyons, Sculpture Area Technician in the Department of Art and Art History; Michelle Jarvin, Finance and Administrative Support, ASG in the Department of Indigenous Studies. (Submitted photos)

College of Arts and Science honours innovative staff

Winners chosen for the 2024 Dean’s Distinguished Staff Award


Two College of Arts and Science staff members are being recognized for bringing innovative ideas to their respective workspaces.

Michelle Jarvin and Todd Lyons are the recipients of this year’s Dean’s Distinguished Staff Awards for 2024.

The annual award, presented to two people each year, recognizes staff members who have made an extraordinary contribution to the working environment of the College of Arts and Science at the University of Saskatchewan.

Eight staff members were nominated for the award this year. Along with Jarvin and Lyons, the nominees were Anna McKenzie (graduate programs clerical assistant, Administrative Support Group [ASG]), Brigitte McGhee (awards officer, ASG), Barbara Wotherspoon (clerical assistant and graduate programs coordinator, Department of Sociology/ASG), Chantal Strachan-Crossman (office coordinator and graduate secretary, Department of Geological Sciences/ASG), Rafael Gonzalez (electronics technician, Department of Geological Sciences) and S. Smith (assistant manager, Finance/ASG).

Dr. Brooke Milne (PhD), dean of the College of Arts and Science, presented the awards at a college celebration event on April 30.

Michelle Jarvin
Michelle Jarvin (Submitted photo)

Michelle Jarvin, Finance and Administrative Support, ASG

Michelle Jarvin is known as the “backbone” of the Department of Indigenous Studies since she began working in the unit 14 years ago. As the sole support staff member, Jarvin’s deep historical and cultural knowledge of the department has helped make it what it is today.

She is an essential member of the department, who often provides key information for students and faculty members. With her extensive knowledge of university financial and administrative systems, Jarvin helps faculty and students navigate course scheduling, IT issues, accessing and managing funding and other student issues. She also advocates for the best student experience in the Department of Indigenous Studies.

Jarvin oversees the ongoing day-to-day business of the department. She keeps a keen eye out for ways to improve departmental operations, and how to best implement those changes. Her experience and advice has helped the department to operate at its best.

Todd Lyons
Todd Lyons (Submitted photo)

Todd Lyons, Sculpture Area Technician, Department of Art and Art History

Sculpture area technician Todd Lyons has brought an optimal learning experience for students in the Department of Art and Art History.

Lyons designed space in the Research Annex for a new sculpture workshop, located in a space across campus from the rest of the Department of Art and Art History’s undergraduate facilities. He worked with USask Facilities Management Division to configure the space for optimal health and safety, addressing heat and electrical issues, emergency stops, dust collection connections and ventilation systems.

He also initiated changes to support student learning, such as creating ways for students to learn how to cast metal on a smaller scale using wax. He also developed a method to remove wax from molds using steam.

Lyons has implemented sustainable processes for sourcing materials from across campus for student work, such as discarded dental tools, or obsolete furniture. He also created an outdoor area for weather resilient materials for students to repurpose.

As an educator, glass artist and sculptor, Lyons understands what elements are needed to make a quality art program for students.

Together we will create inspired places for people to address the challenges of the future. We invite you to join by supporting visionary spaces at USask.

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