Michelle Vandepol has been awarded a UFV Staff Excellence award for all her hard work at the Hope Centre. Submitted

Local UFV employee’s efforts earn her a Staff Excellence award

Michelle Vandepol was one of two 2019 UFV Staff Excellence award recipients

The coordinator of the UFV Hope Centre has earned herself one of the organization’s top recognitions: Michelle Vandepol has won one of two UFV Staff Excellence 2019 awards.

The main UFV presence in the community of Hope, Vandepol—as Hope Centre coordinator—handles many administrative tasks, helps students from the Hope community navigate the UFV system, and performs community outreach duties such as organizing special events and representing UFV at meetings and on committees.

Need to find out what UFV courses you can take in Hope? Michelle Vandepol can help you. Want to register for your Abbotsford or Chilliwack courses or get your campus card photo taken without travelling from Hope? She can help you with that too. Need a UFV representative at a meeting in Hope? Vandepol will be there. Want to rent the Hope Centre classroom? Call Vandepol, who’s essentially a one-woman show: while several instructors teach courses at the Hope Centre, Vandepol is the only employee based there.

READ MORE: UFV provides food sharing lifeline

For her dedication to the students of the Hope Centre and the UFV presence in the Hope community, Vandepol has been awarded a UFV Staff Excellence award for 2019.

An UFV alumna twice over herself, Vandepol diligently worked on her Associate of Arts degree in the late 1990s,while a parent to young children. And just last year, she completed her Bachelor of General Studies degree.

So she can relate to the struggles students face, in particular the students at the Hope Centre, who are mainly new to post-secondary studies and taking upgrading courses. She makes sure she creates a welcoming atmosphere by providing hot lunches on Wednesdays, having prize draws, organizing end-of-semester potlucks, and generally being there for students for emotional and logistical support.

“Students who are working and taking care of their families and making it a priority to attend UFV should be celebrated for being here,” Vandepol said. “That’s the type of vibe I try to create at the centre. We’re all human and living this life together.”

Vandepol worked as a freelance writer for several years before joining UFV, and says that the independence fostered by that experience helps in her current role.

“I’m well versed in working alone, practising good time management, anticipating deadlines, cold-calling prospective partners, and networking.”

As part of her UFV outreach work, she co-chairs the Hope and Area Healthier Communities committee and sits on a steering committee for distributing health and well-being funds in Hope for Fraser Health. And she attends just about any other meeting or public event to spread the word about UFV.

“By being out there in the community, I make UFV less intimidating for prospective students and help to build trust.”

In addition to her Hope Centre duties, Vandepol runs writing workshops, advocates for literacy initiatives, and serves as president of the executive of the Adult Basic Education Association of BC.

Her colleagues are full of praise for Vandepol.

READ MORE: UFV introduces first mindfulness graduate program in Canada

“In addition to her excellence in fulfilling her work role, Michelle is an outstanding colleague,” noted UFV Continuing Education director Liana Thompson, who works with Michelle on CE courses for Hope.

“She is one of those rare individuals who can truly function without ego; she whole-heartedly celebrates each and every one’s success, and in doing so lifts the morale of colleagues and students alike. Her core values of service, relationships, and integrity shine through in all she does.”

“Michelle is quick to give kudos to coworkers, shares resources and opportunities, and inspires people to achieve more. She can be counted on to support us — whether it is in the offer of help, some much needed humour, or a note of praise,” added Shannon Draney, a colleague from the UFV Upgrading and University Preparation department.

Vandepol is particularly pleased that her supervisor Laura Wiebe and other colleagues, whom she does not see in person often, nominated her for the award.

“We have a good working relationship but I don’t see them a lot. This made me feel closer to them. There’s not many lunch dates when I’m often working alone in the Centre.”


 

@SarahGawdin on Twitter
SarahGawdin on Instagram
Sarah.Gawdin@HopeStandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Stellar Haze offers up ‘organic rock’ at Memorial Park

Trio hitting the stage for their first live performance this Friday

RCMP, ERT attending incident at Cheam First Nation

Few details are available about the incident, which saw more than a dozen police cars attend

Chiefs kick off exhibition pre-season stint at Hope Arena

Catch the Chilliwack Chiefs on the ice as they prepare for fresh season

Kent quarry opposition receives federal support

Green Party leader Elizabeth May wrote to the provincial government to oppose the quarry application

Agassiz United Church to host 37th annual garage sale

The annual sale will take place on Saturday, Sept. 7

Sts’ailes invites adults to become engaged in Halq’eméylem with new video series

‘Qw’oqwel te Qw’oqwel’ gives language learners an immersive way to learn Halq’eméylem

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

North Van music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

B.C. man tells judge he attempted suicide a month before daughters’ murders

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

‘Plenty of time for a deal’: Teachers’ union expects kids back in school on Sept. 3

BCTF says class size, composition at the heart of the issue

Province funds new shuttle buses for 13 B.C. senior centres

Activity, socializing helps maintain health, Adrian Dix says

Thermal imaging cameras eye Salish Sea in hopes of better detecting whales

Cameras installed at BC Ferries’ terminal on Galiano Island, and off southern Gulf Islands

Province approves Surrey municipal police force

Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth green-lights mayor’s campaign promise

Most Read