Professional Services


2019 Winners and shortlisted nominees

Congratulations to the winners of this year's Professional Services Awards, and well done to everybody who was nominated.

This year the awards panel heard over 200 amazing stories about people who demonstrate integrity, outstanding service and commitment to UCL, about teams striving towards UCL’s future and about the incredible things people are doing beyond the boundaries of the institutes and departments of UCL.

2019 Judging panel
  • Dr Helen Matthews - Head of Academic Policy and Quality Assurance, and Deputy Director of Academic Services
  • Donna Dalrymple - Interim Director of HR
  • Alan Harper - Director, IT for SLMS, SLASH and the Institute of Education
  • Dean Stokes - Interim Director of Planning
  • Cathy Brown - Director of Strategy and Operations, OVPA
  • Joanna O’Brien - Divisional Manager, UCL School of Pharmacy 
  • Anouchka Sterling - Administrative Manager, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Dr Sian Christina - Head of Career Pathways

Ways of Working, Personal Excellence Award

Recognising commitment, outstanding service and integrity. We received a huge amount of nominations in this category. Our judging panel ranked the first three so closely that we found them impossible to separate. As a result, there were there three winners for this year’s award.

Winners: Laura Tomson, Wing-Chau Tung and Orla O'Donnell

Laura Tomson is a Senior Employment Policy Advisor in HR. She was was nominated by her colleagues for being supportive, respectful, kind and inclusive - going out of her way to support her colleagues and continually seeking best practice.  

Wing-Chau Tung is the Institute Manager in the Institute of Health Informatics. She was nominated by her colleagues for being incredibly committed, fair and knowledgeable, bringing sound leadership style and a huge capacity for justice and human compassion to the workplace.

Orla O'Donnell is the Finance Lead and Site Manager at the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care at the Royal Free Campus. She was nominated by her colleagues for taking huge pride in delivering an outstanding service within UCL, being helpful, supportive and patient with others and being proactive in striving for high quality outcomes. 

Ways of Working, Working Together Award

Recognising communication, collaboration and shared learning.

Winners: The TEF Subject-level Pilot team

This year’s winners were the TEF Subject-level Pilot Team, made up of teams from across UCL – primarily OVPESA, Arena, Careers and the student union. Too many people are involved to recognise everybody individually, but the following people have been recognised for their particularly excellent efforts in providing support, data and writing input to departments to enable them to produce the TEF submissions: Sukhi Bath, Rebecca Allen, Alex Standen, Stephen Gurman, and Raj Sidhu.

Shortlisted teams

The Transforming Construction Network Plus team – Lisa Hanselmann and Dorine Plante from The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management.

The UCL Donor Wall team, with particular recognition to Sam Wilkinson, Kathryn Hageman and Jess Burrell.

Ways of Working, Outstanding Individual Contribution to Achieving Our Mission

Recognising vision, innovative practice and ownership.

Winner: Nadine Mogford

Nadine Mogford from the Division of Biosciences for her work in addressing Equality, Deiversity and Inclusion (EDI) barriers in PhD researcher development. Colleagues commended Nadine as someone whose work in the postgraduate EDI realm exemplifies the key characteristics of clear vision, profound commitment and ownership of a “wicked problem” of many interacting parts.

Shortlisted nominees

Nicola Phillips from the Dept of Chemistry for her work in creatively rolling out a series of initiatives to support the department’s Athena SWAN development.

Virginia Vaughan from the Department of Political Science for her work in creating systems and processes that have supported the efficient running of the department.

Ways of Working, Outstanding Team Contribution to Achieving Our Mission. 

Recognising vision, innovative practice and ownership.

Winner: The Welcome to UCL app team 

The award went to the team behind the Welcome to UCL app for student induction led by Wes Durdle and Adam Vidler from Student Support and Wellbeing. The app was launched in 2018, providing a central schedule of all welcome and induction events happening over the first few weeks of term. This was a great innovation in helping around 20,000 new students settle in, connect with each other and set up for success.  

Shortlisted and nominated teams

Gillian Mackenzie, Vicky Robertson, Noreen Beecher and Breege Whiten from the Library Services team who independently devised and ran some very successful Customer Service Excellence workshops.

Green Impact team from UCL Sustainability. This team brings together students, academics, researchers and professional services staff to tackle our sustainability issues at first-hand within our operations and departments and through behaviour change and engagement.

Community Spirit Award

Recognising colleagues who do amazing things beyond the boundaries of specific roles or/and beyond the boundaries of UCL 

Winner: Samantha Baker

Samantha Baker from Organisational Development. Sam is one of the volunteer photographers for “Remember my Baby” a UK based charity which offers a gift of baby remembrance photography to all UK parents experiencing the loss of their baby before, during or shortly after birth. Her colleagues tell us that this is time that Samantha could have been spending with her own young family yet she makes the time to be there for families she hasn’t met before and gives them solace during the grieving process.

Shortlisted nominees

Catherine Thomson from the joint faculties of Arts and Humanities and Social and Historical Sciences for her work in Greece volunteering with the charity FoodKIND, preparing meals for more than 400 refugees a day. 

Liz Moore from UCL Estates, for her outstanding work hosting, planning and preparing numerous fundraising events for a whole range of charities.

Outstanding Contribution to Staff Experience

Recognising those who bring joy on a day-to-day basis to the experience of UCL members of staff. As this was another category for which the panel found it very hard to separate the three closest nominations, there were also three winners for this year’s award.

Winners: Maks Ivkins, Madiha Sajid and Maria Coker

Maks Ivkins is the Building Attendant for the Pearson Building. The panel heard that Maks makes everyone feel welcome - greeting staff, students and visitors with a friendly face while maintaining security for the building - undertaking his role with care and attention to detail.

Madiha Sajid was nominated for her work as a co-chair on the UCL PACT (Parents and Carers Together) Network. UCL PACT network was founded 5 years ago and has steadily grown over the last few years with more than 300 members from across the university getting benefit from the network.

Maria Coker works on reception at 26 Bedford Way. Her nominators told the panel that that Maria is always ready to greet everyone with a friendly welcome. If people are experiencing difficulties then Maria will go out of her way to help them. Her level of service is second to none and she is loved by staff and students alike.

Leadership Award for Outstanding Contribution

Selected by Fiona Ryland, Chief Operating Officer

Winner: Kevin Argent, Deputy Director of Estates

Kevin was nominated for various awards by his own team and by a range of academics. His work has been far-ranging and incredibly impactful to UCL - delivering 76 major projects over the last 5 years, with more nearing completion. His team told the panel that the successful delivery of these projects is a credit to his transformation and leadership of the team. He is described by customers as a great strategist, a brilliant leader and a natural communicator. He has worked on the amazing New Student Centre project, Bentham House and UCL East to name but a few.