Deborah Bourassa, secretary in the Department of Communication, has been a member of the department and the University community since 1985. For her supervision of the department's office work and its work-study students, she has drawn outstanding reviews throughout her tenure.

In her hands, records have consistently been kept up to date — including multiple sets of accounts books — documents and support services for students always available, and discipline, performance and collegiality maintained at the highest level. Part of these accomplishments is due to the human touch added by Bourassa. She provides essential advisement services to undergraduates and serves as a liaison for students to University administrative offices that can best aid these students.

She has a natural talent for problem-solving and advisement, and counseling, and has been thanked for her efforts by present and past students, and even from academic programs at other institutions. She has been called the single most knowledgeable person in her department in terms of University regulations and both undergraduate and graduate requirements - not only for her department, but for other departments whose courses are frequently of interest to the communications department's majors. She has "walked" numerous transfer students through unknown (for them) territory, and always with patience and sensitivity.

In addition, Bourassa has often taken on assignments that assist her faculty with extra- curricular activities, such as book series, journal editorship, and editorial board membership; and she has helped in organizing conferences both here and internationally involving department faculty. She has also aided initiatives campus-wide, such as the Summer Planning Conference, and drawn enormous praise for her work.

Blessed with a sharp memory, a thoroughly organized and meticulous mind, and extraordinary esprit de corps, Deborah Bourassa is a model of dedication, initiative and achievement.

1997 Excellence Awards