Melinda Scott loves being Dean of Students at University College because it means she gets to help students find their way – one of her favourite things to do.
Ms. Scott is the winner of the 2015 Chancellor Award – Emerging Leader. She has been UC’s Dean of Students for the last three years.
“It was very special to be nominated” by UC Principal Donald Ainslie and other senior UC officials, she said in an interview. “It’s wonderful to be recognized for something I love to do.”
As Dean of Students, “it is really special to see students the moment they arrive” at U of T, and “sometimes even before they start” at UC, and then see them grow and develop through the years until they graduate, she said.
In a letter of support signed by Principal Ainslie and other UC officials, they say “her demonstrated excellence as Dean of Students and in her prior roles has benefited UC and U of T enormously. She has created significant improvements to business processes; shown leadership and dedication to service and support of students; and displayed an ongoing commitment to the University that goes well beyond her job requirements.
One of her accomplishments is developing the UC student sUCess Centre through partnering with Central Student Life services to provide students with onsite access to international student advising, career development workshops, health and wellness programming and one-on-one counseling.
Ms. Scott also played a primary role in the development and implementation of PRE U of T – a collaborative project during Orientation 2014 involving student orientation co-ordinators, faculty and administrative staff from across the Faculty of Arts & Science that provided first-year students with an orientation to the disciplines they were about to start studying.
Since she joined U of T in 2002, she has been Residence Life Co-ordinator at UC, and assumed several roles within the Office of Student Life, culminating in the Assistant Directorship and then Dean of Students in June 2012, following a short period in a senior position at George Brown College.
Andrea Carter, Director, High Risk Matters at U of T, said “as Melinda’s career has transitioned through student life, she has continued to gain the respect of her colleagues both at the centre and within the divisions. She is a recognized leader in assessment planning, the development and assessment of learning outcomes, data analysis, and the reporting and utilization of assessment results in higher education.”
Lucy Fromowitz, Assistant Vice-President, Student Life, said Ms. Scott has all the key attributes of a leader – honesty, the ability to communicate, a commitment to positive change and creativity. “And most importantly, she is the person people want to work with. She is a dynamic leader who brings energy to everything she does, and in turn, derives energy from those who work with her.”
Ms. Scott is also working towards her PhD in Higher Education but has yet to decide what her plans will be when she gets it in 2017. “I’m very happy in my current position,” she says, and clearly UC students are happy to have her.
Ms. Scott is one of this year’s recipients of the Chancellor’s Award, which is presented along with several other faculty, staff and student awards under the banner of Awards of Excellence. A complete list of this year’s recipients and their citations can be viewed on the Awards of Excellence website. This award program annually recognizes the outstanding members of the University of Toronto community who have made rich and meaningful contributions to the University, their communities and to the world.
The Chancellor’s Award is adjudicated by the office of Human Resources & Equity in conjunction with the central Alumni Relations office, within the Division of University Advancement. Alumni Relations is the steward of the Awards of Excellence program on behalf of the University of Toronto Alumni Association, and co-ordinates the vital contributions of other University stakeholder groups toward this prestigious award program.
Ms. Scott and the other 2015 Awards of Excellence recipients will be honoured at a ceremony at the Isabel Bader Theatre on April 13.