Margo Baptista and Joanna Campbell Named as GPOP’s 2015 Award Recipients


IMG_5100 Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

Recipients of Inaugural Awards Are Influential, Inspirational Leaders

Congratulations to Margo Baptista and Joanna Campbell, who will be receive GPOP’s inaugural awards at the association’s 2015 AGM. GPOP Board members unanimously endorsed the Awards and Recognition Committee’s recommendations of Baptista and Campbell, whom Board Chair Shelagh Donnelly described as inspirational and influential leaders.

Baptista_Margo photoMargo Baptista – 2015 Award for Distinguished Service: This award recognises the significant personal and professional contributions made by a current or past member. It is bestowed upon an individual whose dedicated service has improved and enhanced GPOP’s presence in the higher education community, and recipients will have contributed to the development and progress of the profession.

Margo Baptista, University Secretary at Grant MacEwan University, is widely recognised for her passionate committment to governance excellence. A member of the Canadian University Boards Association (CUBA) and the Council of Western Canadian University Board Secretaries (COWCUBS), Baptista is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE) and a founding member of that body’s Governance Affinity Group.

For her graduate study research, Baptista explored the governance roles of board succession planning and presidential search within the Alberta and BC post-secondary systems. She has presented extensively at provincial workshops and national conferences, and at the Association of Governing Boards’ (AGB’s) Workshop for Board Professionals. Baptista is valued for her readiness to share the governance expertise she has acquired over the course of almost 30 years of service in the post-secondary sector. She typically deflects others’ celebration of her accomplishments into an opportunity to support peers’ professional growth, and is heavily invested in the evolution and recognition of the role of the board professional.

While Baptista is no longer an active GPOP member given Grant MacEwan’s transition to university status, she is recognised as instrumental in this association’s existence and progress over the years. As a founding member of Canada’s Professional Board Staff Network, from which GPOP has evolved, Baptista played a prominent role in planning annual meetings and facilitating professional development for her peers. GPOP is proud to formally recognise this greatly admired adviser and innovator.

Campbell, JoannaJoanna Campbell – 2015 Award for Professional Achievement: This award recognises significant contributions to higher education, and/or professional success achieved by a current or past member. Contributions to the leadership and advancement of GPOP are among the criteria, and recipients must have achieved a professional milestone or accomplishment that is viewed by the Board as significant and worthy of recognition.

Over the course of the past 18 years, Joanna Campbell has served as Executive Assistant to the Presidents of first Okanagan University College and now Okanagan College. Originally from New Zealand, she immigrated to the Okanagan Valley in 1996. Having worked for a polytechnic in New Zealand, her second or third temporary assignment at OUC was in the OUC President’s office. Months later, with a new President at the helm, the 23-year-old Campbell was recruited to the role she holds to this day.

A longstanding GPOP/PBSN member, Campbell has served as a presenter and panelist at provincial and national conferences. When ACCC announced Okanagan College’s Penticton Campus as the site of its 2013 conference, it was Campbell who co-chaired the organising committee and managed most of the logistics. On campus, she has led the development and growth of a number of successful initiatives, including an annual employee recognition event and the President’s Recognition Dinner for Student Ambassadors, a showcase of student leadership. She was pivotal in the creation of the College’s event planning protocols, a model of efficiency and effectiveness that she has shared with GPOP peers.

In his nomination package, Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton offered that Campbell “… constantly goes above and beyond expectations. Because of that attitude, her innate diplomacy, and her incredible work ethic, she enjoys the respect of staff at every level and has been a key contributor to the success of the College over the past decade.” GPOP members admire Campbell for her gentle mastership of the executive office, and GPOP is proud to formally recognise this much respected Kiwi, a champion of change and collaboration.


GPOP’s 2014-15 Awards and Recognition Committe: 

Linda Le Gallee (Okanagan College),Christabell Pinchin (Nova Scotia Community College), Sandi White (Holland College) and Committee Chair Elaine Vandale (Red Deer College)



2 thoughts on “Margo Baptista and Joanna Campbell Named as GPOP’s 2015 Award Recipients

  1. Congratulations to Margo and Joanna … very well deserved!!!!! I hope this gets everybody thinking about who they can nominate for next year because believe it or not it will be here before we know it.

    • Agreed on both counts, thanks, Christabell. The good news is that one board Chair has already approached us about making a nomination for 2016. – SD