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Carla Dawson wins Graduate Students Association Award

Oct 5, 2021

Carla Dawson

Carla Dawson has won the Graduate Students Association Award for Contributions by Non-Academic Staff for 2020. This award honours the extraordinary contributions that members of McMaster University’s support staff extend to its graduate students. These awards are administered by the School of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Students Association. Dawson is the administrative assistant, Graduate Nursing Program, School of Nursing and the clinical placement coordinator for the Ontario Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner Program.  

The nominator, a student in the program, wrote (in part): “I would like to nominate Ms. Carla Dawson for this award, as she is an invaluable asset to the graduate student community, and truly embodies the School of Nursing’s value statements of caring and excellence.  As the front-facing person of the graduate office, she ensures that it is a warm, welcoming environment that all students may feel comfortable in. Carla goes above and beyond, sending out gentle, individual reminders for benchmarks to ensure that you can achieve your goals. It is a relief to know that Carla is in your corner, as nothing is missed! Her expertise in navigating current students and potential applicants through their inquiries and issues is second to none. No question seems too small or trivial for Carla, and she is quick to provide answers and encouragement. This seemingly small act is so significant, as you feel heard and valued. As an applicant, this left a positive impression on me and made me feel confident in my decision to pursue graduate education at McMaster.”  

For Dawson, the award means a lot. “I love my role and working with students and being there to support them. I love hearing about their decisions to come to graduate school, their goals for their time in the program and their plans for their future (and even more so the pride you feel when a past student reaches out in their new role looking to become a preceptor for current students!). I love hearing their stories of their kids at home, their hobbies and I miss being able to catch them in the hallway on Tuesdays!  It is important to me that they know we are here to support them and want them to succeed, and that the door is always open for them to reach out to us. Reading the nomination letter meant more to me than the actual award. To know that it is appreciated and has made a difference especially during these difficult times, makes me very happy,” she says.

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