Dr. Monika Winn Receives a 2016 President’s Distinguished Service Award

And the award goes to … Dr. Monika Winn for her leadership on sustainability and social responsibility.

She is the recipient of this year’s President’s Distinguished Service Award for Excellence in Leadership. “This is a great tribute to the wonderful work that Monika has done both within the school and throughout the university,” says Dr. Saul Klein, dean of the Gustavson School of Business. 

Since arriving at UVic in 1995 as a business and strategy scholar and instructor, Winn has flown the sustainability flag right across campus and within the Gustavson School of Business.

She began by establishing connections across campus in order to create and advance awareness of sustainability and social responsibility issues. She was instrumental in calling for the appointment of UVic’s first sustainability co-ordinator in 2001 who set standards and helped co-ordinate efforts to make the entire university a sustainable enterprise.

Within the business school she raised the banner by developing courses in Business and Sustainability at undergraduate, masters and PhD levels. She steered their adoption as core courses for all Commerce undergraduates as early as 2001 and for MBA students in 2004 – unique among business schools.

Monika has also expanded the faculty-wide vision from focused courses to a school-wide integration of S/SR as well as establishing a strategic pillar for sustainability and social responsibility. Today, the faculty includes S/SR in 100% of required and 90% of elective BCom courses, and in 92% of required and 72% of elective MBA courses.

The Centre for Social and Sustainable Innovation (CSSI) was officially launched in 2011 with Monika at the helm as its inaugural director, a post she still holds. Under her leadership, the CSSI helps to integrate business, sustainability and social responsibility into every aspect of education at Gustavson via a wide range of initiatives, ranging from annual carbon footprint assessments to weekly communiques offering faculty and staff links to teaching and media resources.

 “Monika has put us on the map through the strength of her research record,” says Klein.  As the Sustainability Champion and Director of CSSI, she is helping us build a strong strategic position as a School.  It is remarkable how much we have achieved in this area and I look forward to working with her as we continue to define the pioneering role we envision in creating sustainable value.”

Additional Background

Research leadership

Her leadership and excellence as a researcher have been recognized at UVic with Gustavson’s three-year Leader of Excellence in Research Award (2014-17), and twice with the three-year Francis G. Winspear Scholar award.

Strengthening Connections

She has strengthened and reinforced connections between UVic and several leading European management schools by attending the 2015 Model United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and ensuring student participation.


Winn mentors and supervises undergraduate and graduate students on a range of projects related to corporate sustainability and responsibility, thereby nurturing future leaders and fostering a new generation of research and practice. She actively mentors new faculty members with interest in these areas.

The President’s Distinguished Service Awards celebrate outstanding contributions of university employees to the betterment of the university and its community.