The Odette School of Business announced the winners of the first Sue Skrobiak Awards for Excellence and Sue Skrobiak Scholarship in a streamed ceremony Tuesday, Jan. 12. A video of the event is available here.
Sue Skrobiak Awards for Excellence
The Sue Skrobiak Award for Excellence is intended for an individual or organization that has made a substantial contribution over a sustained period of time to the Odette MBA program.
Andrew Templer, a long-time Odette faculty member, was presented with the Sue Skrobiak Award for Excellence for his impact on the academic and experiential components of the MBA.
In announcing the award, professor Gerry Kerr noted: “Andrew was an ongoing and enthusiastic advocate of combining cutting-edge classroom education with exposure to the world of work, and he did not shy from innovation. As someone who worked day-by-day with Sue for years, I am convinced that she would regard Andrew as a fitting recipient as well.”
Presenting the award to Dr. Templer was faculty colleague Martha Reavley. Her nomination letter explains his positive presence in Odette: “He was a mentor to many. He shared and reflected Sue’s values and worked tirelessly to ensure that we created an environment where students and faculty could thrive.”
In accepting the award, Templer spoke of “the astonishing legacy left by Sue,” and noted: “I feel humbled to be included in her story.”
FCA Canada was also presented with the Sue Skrobiak Award for Excellence for decades of interaction with the Odette MBA program. In announcing the award, marketing professor Dave Bussière highlighted the company’s contributions, including hiring graduating MBAs, co-op students, sponsoring MBA events and competitive teams, providing guest speakers, and more than a decade of participation in the Odette MBA Apex Corporate Partner Program.
FCA Canada president David Buckingham accepted the award, explaining it was important to the company as a demonstration of “our long history of multi-faceted collaboration” that helps develop the next generation of leader.
Also speaking for FCA Canada was Jacqueline Oliva, head of human resources, who noted that there is a two-way relationship in “the valuable opportunities that we provide to the students as well as the many contributions that they provide to FCA.”
Manager of retail incentives Rama Pantula (MBA 2001) and forecast and consolidation analyst Robert Costa (BSc 2015, MBA 2017) spoke of the importance of the connection between the two organizations and of their memories of Skrobiak.
Sue Skrobiak Scholarship
The scholarship recognizes an MBA student who personifies the spirit of Sue Skrobiak. Victoria Pedri (MBA 2021) is the inaugural recipient.
In presenting the scholarship, MBA director Kent Walker noted that Pedri was able to maintain academic excellence while overcoming adversity outside the classroom. He also spoke of her commitment to the community: “She led an event that raised over $7,000 for the Black Women in Motion charity based out of Toronto. She also organized an event called the Hygiene Heist which collected almost 16,000 hygiene products that were donated to five organizations across Windsor-Essex.”
Pedri’s remarks highlighted the importance of resilience.
“2020 reminded us that although we have a great deal of power over our lives, there are some things we simply cannot control,” she said. “There was a point during the MBA that while I was adjusting to online classes, I also had a three-year old at my feet, was pregnant, and battling COVID.”