Gustavson spirit and ambition celebrated at 2017 Festival of Distinction awards


The Peter B. Gusavson School of Business’ annual Festival of Distinction awards recognize the efforts, achievements and excellence of the school’s faculty and staff. On May 3, the school gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of the 2017 award recipients; individuals whose passion and professionalism embody Gustavson’s values as a school, and help drive Gustavson’s ambition to be the best.

Long Service

20 Years

Ian Robertson: Associate Director of MBA Programs

25 Years

Mark Bridge: Sessional Instructor

Sang Nam: Associate Professor; Korea Projects

A. R. Elangovan: 3M Fellow & UVic Distinguished Professor; Director, International Programs

Steve Tax: Professor; Francis G. Winspear Scholar; Champion, Service Management Specialization

26 years

Jane Collins: Manager, International Exchange, International Programs

Ignace Ng: Professor; Francis G. Winspear Scholar; Director, MGB Program

Brock Smith: Professor; Francis G. Winspear Scholar; Champion Entrepreneurship Specialization. Brock was also awarded the International Advisory Board’s Community Engagement Award at the Dean’s Community Conversation event on April 4.

Reappointments, Promotions and Tenure

  1. Rick Cotton: Reappointment as Assistant Professor
  2. Stacey Fitzsimmons: Reappointment as Assistant Professor
  3. Brian Leacock: Reappointment as Assistant Teaching Professor
  4. Sue Bengtson: Reappointment as Academic Administrator 
  5. Pat Elemans: Continuing Appointment as Academic Administrator
  6. Sorin Rizeanu: Tenure as Assistant Professor
  7. Chris Graham: Tenure & Promotion to Teaching Professor
  8. Sudhir Nair: Tenure & Promotion to Associate Professor 
  9. Yan Shen: Tenure & Promotion to Associate Professor 

Awards of Excellence

The awards of excellence are presented to those who best personify what Gustavson offers as a business school, either based on merit or colleague nomination.

Spirit Award: Jake Ganzeveld, Assistant to the Associate Dean, Faculty Renewal, Faculty Support & Sheryl Zornes, Faculty Support

The Spirit Award winners are chosen for personifying Gustavson’s values of people, purpose, passion, and adventure. The 2017 recipients could also have been chosen for their sense of humour, determination, initiative, and willingness to find the answer. From ordering furniture, setting up offices, and sending birthday emails, to volunteering for Culture Committee events and organizing 10K Gusto Running Teams, Jake Ganzeveld and Sheryl Zornes are crucial in keeping Gustavson’s spirits up and the school running smoothly - and do it all with a smile (or a joke).

Team Player Award: Wendy Mah, Program Manager, PhD Program, Special Projects Officer

Wendy has demonstrated her ability to be action-oriented, friendly and helpful, and most importantly, truly knowledgeable about processes and details. She assists faculty in their research, PhD students, with post-doc paper work, hosting guest speakers, sharing research conference information, and ‘goes the extra mile’.

Excellence in Innovation Award: Mark Colgate, Professor; Director, Customized MBA Programs and Shari Wierenga, Accreditation Officer

Mark Colgate has been pivotal in strategic planning, mentoring, coaching and supporting colleagues at Gustavson and UVic. With highlights ranging from the development of executive education offerings to TELUS to managers, and in turn the customized and innovative TELUS MBA degree program, to his leadership role in The Whistler Experience, a service management professional development program offered in the high-end tourist destination, Mark has been a truly innovative force in Gustavson’s educational culture. 

Shari Wierenga brings her phenomenal project management skills, critical thinking, and creativity to her work. Playing a key role in establishing Gustavson’s methods to meet AACSB standards and university requirements, as well as refining data collection systems from program areas, Shari has had an innovative impact on Gustavson’s processes and Strategic Plan priorities. 

Excellence in Service: Liana Victorino, Associate Professor and Kevan Gorham, Director, Administration and Finance

Liana is an elected member of the Executive, and has other commitments on Appointment Committees. Some of her ad-hoc service includes being on the Strategic Planning, Culture & Values, and Space Requirements Committees. She has organized Scholarly Development Series, and delivered a Professional Development presentation on Designing Experiences. She continues to be active in service to her academic community in the field of service and operations management.

Kevan is a long-time staff member who continues to take on extra administrative duties regularly with the growth of our school. Her realm consists of everything to do with Gustavson operations, from finance, facilities, and human resources to overseeing GSB EE Inc., and managing the school’s various relationships with the University.
Since starting in 2000, Kevan has successfully managed growth in Gustavson’s academic programs, and the double expansion of our faculty and staff employees.

Excellence in Teaching: Mia Maki, Assistant Teaching Professor

As a professor of entrepreneurship, Mia is true to her goal of showing students the path to success, as well as building students’ financial vocabulary. Through providing foundational tools and skills and embracing a higher level of interpretation of understanding, Mia’s courses and instructor evaluations are consistently in the highest scores for her classes in the BCom, TELUS MBA, MGB and NW-ACE programs. She has won many awards for service and innovation, was part of the collaborative teaching team that won the 2016 STLHE Alan Blizzard Award, and also won the Gustavson Teaching Award in 2010.

Contact: Krista Boehnert (Associate Director, External Relations, Gustavson School of Business) 250-721-6630 or