2010 - Present'
Leslie Chalmers is the manager of the class scheduling service that prepares the class timetable every year, which can be one of the most thankless and difficult jobs in the University. Each year she faces countless obstacles, from McGill’s deferred maintenance situation that takes large classrooms out of action for terms or whole years, to professors who submit unavailability forms that make it literally impossible to schedule their classes, to other, sudden and random events that cause havoc with the schedule, such as classroom flooding, fires, and all the disruption and rescheduling caused by elections, snow days, and so on.
Leslie quietly fixes all of these and many more problems, behind the scenes, with minimum fuss and the utmost professionalism, even maintaining a sense of humour in the process, like her response to my call during add/drop to ask if we could double the size of a POLI class with the pithy “Are you high?” She found me a larger room, regardless, taking the time to understand the request and exploring every option. Those investigations take time, knowledge, and flexibility to make adjustments in the face of very limited resources and parameters. Often those adjustments have knock-on effects that cause more work for Leslie or her team, but she makes them anyway. Most of the time, students, professors and department chairs are unaware of the work that has gone on, which is why I think she is the perfect unsung hero.
Nominated by a staff member from the Faculty of Arts