Who’s True Blue?

The True Blue Award emerged from the most recent Speaking Up: Faculty & Staff Experience Survey. The results showed that feeling valued and recognized in the communities in which they work rated highly among employees.

The True Blue Award complements the recognition programs already in existence at the University of Toronto (U of T) and provides staff and faculty with an opportunity to recognize their colleagues in a more informal way. Award recipients are nominated by their colleagues for embodying U of T’s true-blue spirit.

Read on to find out why.

Carla Baptista


Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering


Portrait of Carla Baptista

“Carla goes above and beyond her job requirements. Throughout my undergraduate degree, Carla always had a positive outlook, the know-how, and the willingness to help me navigate my ultra-complicated and messy life to make sure that I made it through school okay – and she has done the same for many of my classmates.”

“Carla embodies what staff at the University of Toronto should aspire for; genuine commitment and service to helping student lives.”

“Carla is an extraordinary counsellor and coordinator; so much so that many of my former classmates have wished for “another Carla.”

Dione Dias


Sustainability Office


Dione Dias stands near a bicycle on a sunny sidewalk

“Sustainability has been a big part of St. George Campus for years and through the efforts of Dione we can see the results of programs and events that the Sustainability Office has brought to students, staff and faculty across St. George campus.

Sustainability is an evolving concern for all of us and requires that Dione (the Sustainability Office) maintain a professional, contemporary, relevant and interesting presence in order for a large community such as the St. George Campus to be engaged while on campus as well as when they leave.”

Jess Dawe


Sustainability Office


Jess Dawe sits holding a tote in the grounds in front of a large stone building

“Sustainability has been a big part of St. George Campus for years and through the efforts of Jess we can see the results of programs and events that the Sustainability Office has brought to students, staff and faculty across St. George campus.

Sustainability is an evolving concern for all of us and requires that Jess (the Sustainability Office) maintain a professional, contemporary, relevant and interesting presence in order for a large community such as the St. George Campus to be engaged while on campus as well as when they leave.”

Elizabeth Cragg


University Operations


Elizabeth Cragg, laying in an Ikea ball pit“Through a mix of humor, incisiveness and diplomacy, Elizabeth Cragg has proven to be an indefatigable administrative leader at the University of Toronto. When construction next to Simcoe Hall raised questions, Elizabeth stepped forward to prepare a weekly email update to Simcoe Hall occupants that detailed the pace of construction next door. This ensured Simcoe Hall occupants knew what to expect. And, in advancing the priorities of the University Operations portfolio, Elizabeth has formed effective partnerships to extend these important messages to the broader U of T community. For these reasons, I consider Elizabeth Cragg “True Blue.”

Ryan Cerrudo


University of Toronto Mississauga


Ryan Cerrudo“Ryan is a consummate communications professional who gets the job done, always exceeding expectations.”

“Ryan creates a sense of community and inspires those around him through his work ethic, enthusiasm and good cheer.”

“It’s all the little things he does – quietly and without fanfare, day in and day out – to bring people together and make a difference on campus. Although he likely doesn’t know it, Ryan is a leader and an unsung hero at the University of Toronto Mississauga.”

Shelly Elsliger


Rotman Commerce


Shelly Elsliger“Since starting with us in 2015, Shelly has run dozens of workshops and helped hundreds of students and staff to put their best foot forward and to shine both in person and on the very popular social media platform that employers go regularly to hire and engage with our students.”

“Shelly has been a mentor of mine since she started at Rotman Commerce. I have met with her many times for career advice, interview tips, and more.”

“She brings a great amount of expertise from her experience and makes it easily transferable to her students. Shelly has helped me build my personal professional confidence and has guided me in tough career situations for which I would have to make difficult decisions. I am so grateful to have been able to work with and learn from her.”

Jeremy Knight


Faculty of Medicine


“In his short time with the Faculty of Medicine, Jeremy has become well-attuned to the needs of researchers in the Medical Sciences Building and an effective advocate on their behalf.

“As manager of research administration and operations, he has helped to ensure that research continues in a safe environment within the Medical Sciences Building while major renovations are underway. In doing so, he has demonstrated tact, collegiality and genuine concern for the well-being of others. For these reasons, I think he is true-blue.”

Jesse Carliner


University of Toronto Libraries


“Jesse has stepped into the role of the communications librarian a few years ago and has made a significant impact on connecting the library with the rest of the U of T community.

“His attention and care around social media, communications, profiling library staff, and highlighting strengths of team members has really built a sense of community. He is excited about his projects, makes time to consult, provides input to others interested in communications, and is a pleasure to be around.

“A genuinely warm human being.”

Does this remind you of someone you know? Nominate them for a True Blue Award.