If there is any discipline that requires a topnotch and willing-to-share technician, it is surely in the area of science, so it is quite fitting that Andrew Fuchs, a technician in the Physics department, is the winner of the 2011-2012 Above and Beyond the Call of Duty (ABCD) Vanier Employee Recognition Award. As one of the awards created by Director General, Gilbert Héroux, to recognize the contribution of faculty and staff to the College, the ABCD Award honours a Vanier employee whose actions and activities contribute to the positive well-being of the Vanier community above and beyond expectations.
Members of the committee, who nominated Andrew for the ABCD Award, praised his dedication and support for teachers and students in the innovative use of technology in the classroom. Several years ago the use of WeBWorK was introduced for homework assignments in Mathematics. According to the nominating committee, largely through Andrew’s ABCD efforts, all teachers in the Mathematics department now use WeBWorK, as well as many in Physics, Chemistry and the Social Sciences. Given that many teachers initially find WeBWorK complex, Andrew allows them to send him a class list to be loaded into their WeBWorK courses, aids them in setting up assignments, and helps them to access grade information. Thanks to his efforts, teachers eventually gain the expertise to manage on their own.
When Vanier first developed diagnostic testing for incoming Science Program students, Andrew’s help was invaluable. Without his efforts this development would have stalled, indicate the nominators. “He set up a server to run diagnostic testing; obtained extra computers temporarily from within the college, assembled them in one lab each year during testing; assisted and helped teachers in many data collection sessions; reformatted data to be usable; performed basic and advanced analysis; and reported diagnostic testing results to the committee.”
Andrew has also enabled teachers to complete their projects successfully by creating scripts to manage data or installing software and training in its use. As well, he has taken an essential first step to support the Physics department’s Active Learning Initiative, by taking the lead in negotiating with Michigan State University and Vanier’s IT department to set up a Lon-Capa server.
Finally, Andrew does all this with a smile, full of friendliness, and inspiring confidence that when asked for assistance, he will respond positively. When the College was mounting the Oratorio Terezin performance, rights approvals were required from a museum in Prague. No amount of emails, faxes or telephone calls would do the trick. Andy happened to be on vacation in Prague, and it took just one request from Vanier for him to head off to the museum and secure the written approvals required for the performance. Just another example of how Andy is a credit to Vanier College, and, state the nominators, “goes Above and Beyond the Call of Duty.”
Congratulations to Andrew Fuchs, winner of the 2011-2012 ABCD Award.