Raquel Lehto Wins Annual Algoma U Thunderbird Award

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Thunderbird Award

(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – August 14, 2015): It is with great pleasure that Algoma University congratulates Raquel Lehto on winning the annual Algoma University Thunderbird Award.

The Thunderbird Award is given to Algoma University Staff Association members who are nominated by their peers. The award winner must make exemplary contributions to campus life, and exude a commitment to service excellence and the University’s mission and vision. The final decision is then made by the Award’s Committee.

Darla Pirillo, the Director of Human Resources at the University, highlighted Lehto’s attributes and strong work ethic. “This year’s recipient, Raquel, received endorsements from her peers in various departments across the University. Raquel’s can-do attitude, enthusiasm, and passion helps make the halls at Algoma U a pleasant place to work and learn. She can be described as someone with an ongoing commitment to go above and beyond.”

Lehto is the Learning Strategist and Assistive Technologist in The Learning Centre at the University, and has been with the University for over 13 years. Her primary role is to provide academic support to students in order to further develop their academic skill set, and she does so through one-on-one sessions, workshops, web-based tutorials, and hard copy resources. She is a member of the Service Excellence Committee and the Raise My Hand Initiative, and also served on the Diversity Committee. Lehto often works long hours, or volunteers to meet with students outside of regular office hours or at various University events, including at Convocation and recruitment events. Lehto plays a valuable role in retention, assisting students who may be at risk of failure or academic probation, by helping them achieve academic excellence and success through the Bounce Back program. Most importantly, she works closely with secondary school students in the STAR (Students Taking Academic Responsibility) Summer Transition Program, helping them to achieve the confidence needed to succeed in post-secondary education.

This year, in her spare time, she also Co-Chaired Algoma U’s volunteer team, the Thundertunes, in the annual charity event, Soo Sings for Kids, raising $1,500 for the Sault Area Hospital’s Pediatric Unit with their special song and dance to Mambo Number 5. Lehto has also been instrumental in spearheading a “Biggest Loser” competition at the University, helping staff and faculty shed extra unwanted pounds and helping them live and maintain a healthier lifestyle. Hundreds of pounds have been lost thanks to Lehto. She is also a regular participant in the University’s volleyball intramural program.

The announcement was made today at the University’s 50 Years of Employee Excellence BBQ in front of staff, faculty, administrative, and former members of the University community.

About Algoma University

Algoma University offers a wide variety of liberal arts and sciences degree options including programs in Psychology, Computer Science, Business Administration, Fine Arts, Community Economic & Social Development, and Biology in Sault Ste. Marie, Brampton and Timmins. As a partner with Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, Algoma U is committed to respecting Anishinaabe knowledge and culture. To learn more about Algoma University, visit www.algomau.ca.