Celebrating Service Excellence at LUMS
For the first time, LUMS celebrated the Vice Chancellor’s Awards for Service Excellence. Co-sponsored by the Vice Chancellor’s Office and the Human Resources (HR) department, these Awards recognise the sustained, exceptional service of staff that impact the LUMS community and beyond.
Acknowledging their outstanding services, LUMS recently announced the six inaugural winners. They are:
- Ms. Natasha Sohail Barlas, Deputy Manager, Student Success, Office of Academic Advising
- Mr. Umar Brar, Deputy Manager, Administrative Service, Suleman Dawood School of Business (SDSB)
- Mr. Muhammad Faisal Haroon, Assistant Manager, Procurement
- Ms. Shandana Mehdi, Manager, National Outreach Programme (NOP)
- Mr. Hafiz Muhammad Rizwan, Principal Lab Technician, Department of Physics, Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering (SBASSE)
- Mr. Tariq Sheikh, Head of COVID Operations/Senior Manager, Information Systems and Technology
Eighty-five staff members were nominated by colleagues for their exceptional service to LUMS. All nominations were reviewed and ranked by the Selection Committee comprising the Vice Chancellor (Chair), Provost, one Dean, Director HR, two HODs from administrative functions, and a faculty member. From these, the top six were selected for the Award.
The Vice Chancellor, congratulating the group said, “We are extremely proud of you, and your exceptional contributions have provided support beyond the call of duty. Your work is the backbone of the University and your achievements set the bar for service excellence.”
Commenting on the Awards themselves, he added, “Initiating the Service Excellence Awards is a milestone achievement LUMS holds for the dedicated and committed services of its staff”.
Ms. Barlas, who in just two years infused productivity and an exceptional work ethic amongst team members is humbled to have received the Award. She said, “This is an Award for the entire Office of Academic Advising and I am very proud of how immensely talented and supportive the team is. It takes a village to do what we do.”
Mr. Brar who has been engaged for 14 years in his primary role at the SDSB’s Associate Dean's Office while expressing his delight on winning the Award said, “This is a moment of joy, and I would like to dedicate this to my late mother whose prayers have enabled me to be what I am today and keeps me going every day with a new sense of motivation and ambition.”
Ms. Shandana Mehdi commented, “It has been true learning curve for me. At LUMS, I have been able to gain exposure to organisations, NGOs and forge collaborations with them to help create a difference in the educational landscape of the country.”
Similarly, Mr. Rizwan, who is an instrument maker and works as a Principal Technician at the Physics Department remarked, “I have worked hard with all my wonderful colleagues at the Physics Department. This acknowledgement by the administration serves as an encouragement for me as well as all my colleagues.”
Mr. Sheikh has played a key role in transforming the University from a stand-alone computational infrastructure to a distributed/networked computing service, and provided round-the-clock support and leadership during the pandemic He commented, “I felt great after being nominated by my peers, and then for the selection through a competitive process. I think the people who give you space, support, and autonomy to deliver are true leaders. I have been lucky to have such superiors for the 32 years of my service at LUMS.”
Mr. Haroon has worked at the University for over nine years, providing exceptional service to the Procurement Office and the community. Last year, he played an instrumental role to enhance procurement services throughout the lockdown, given acute resource shortages. He said, “I am grateful for this recognition and believe this is a great initiative by the University and will surely help in motivating and boosting the morale of employees.”
Award winners were honoured at LUMS’ 35 years celebration event for faculty and staff. They will also receive a cash award and an invitation to a group lunch with their nominators and the Vice Chancellor. Service awards are given by universities across the globe and help encourage individual excellence along with building a sense of responsibility to the community. They inspire a collective good for the organisation and are a great way of bringing the staff together to work on projects of larger stature.
Dr. Arshad Ahmad, Mr. Faisal Kheiri, Director HR, Ms. Nuzhat Kamran, Director, Office Advancement and Dr. Launa Gauthier, Assistant Professor at the School of Education have been instrumental in the development of these awards. According to Mr. Kheiri, “These Awards are a true example of the rewards and performance-based culture which we are now inculcating at LUMS.”