Diane Mills honoured with Western Award of Excellence

Congratulations to undergraduate academic counsellor Diane Mills who has been recognized with the 2023 Western Award of Excellence.

This year, seven individuals and one team of nine were honoured with Western's highest level of campus-wide recognition for outstanding performance. Recipients demonstrate "exceptional commitment to the university’s values: integrity, respect and commitment to service."

As part of the nomination package, John Cuciurean, Associate Dean (Undergraduate Admissions & Programs), noted, "I was struck early on by the fact that former students and alumni would frequently come by to visit Diane in her office, bearing gifts of thanks for service that she provided. The lasting and profound impact her work had on their lives has been and continues to be deep and profound."

Fellow nominator Sonya Rizzo, Director of Administration at the faculty of music noted "Diane lives and breathes her role and consistently goes above and beyond. She is the "go to" person for everything in the faculty, not only because she has been there for 41 years but because of who she is. She is the most authentic person I know and extremely kind, caring and compassionate."

Beloved by students past and present, Mills is known for her kindness, care and compassion. Undergraduates soon come to know Mills’ door is always open and are grateful for her "masterful understanding of the requirements needed for every situation on track to graduation."

"Diane Mills is one of our faculty's greatest treasures. She has supported every student in the faculty through their academic endeavours and has been a rock for all of us," noted Mia Haug, Faculty of Music Students' Council President, 2023-24.

The formal Award Ceremony took place on February 14, 2024 in Western's historic Great Hall when Western's president Alan Shepard presented each recipient with their award. A large contingent of friends, faculty and staff were on hand to celebrate in person and a video was shared for those in attendance (see below). 

In the video, Cuciurean summarized "Diane is quite simply the lifeblood of the undergraduate student experience in the Don Wright Faculty of Music. Her constancy makes her our North Star. Given her professionalism and expertise, coupled with her compassion and disposition, I can't imagine this faculty without her. Her presence makes coming to work a genuine pleasure for everyone who works with her. Given the long term positive impact she has had on countless music students over her long career, she is, in my decidedly biased opinion, among the most deserving recipients of the Western Award of Excellence."

Photo credit: Christopher Kindratsky/Western Communications

Read Western News article Western Award of Excellence winners help others succeed (January 23, 2024)

View video (shared by the Award of Excellence/Staff Recognition team in Western's HR Department)