People's Choice Award a career highlight for 2023 winner

18 Apr 2024
Senior Scientia Advisor Evelyn Mike accepting the People's Choice Award in 2023

Evelyn Mike received the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for her work with the Scientia Program.

Senior Scientia Advisor Evelyn Mike was on annual leave when she was nominated for the 2023 Vice-Chancellor’s Awards. 

It was, she said, a lovely surprise to return to.

 “I checked my email just before returning to work and found I had received a number of nominations over the previous week. What made it special is that I was able to read the whole nomination. The emails are de-identified, so you don’t know who nominated you, but it was very humbling and rewarding to read them.” 

The Vice-Chancellor’s Awards celebrate individuals and teams who not only embody the core values that define UNSW, but also actively demonstrate them in their day-to-day actions.

In 2023, Evelyn received the People’s Choice Award, awarded to the most popular nominee through a staff vote. 

In her role managing the UNSW Scientia Program, Evelyn facilitates recruitment for the program and supports Scientia researchers through mentoring and development opportunities to maximise their impact on health, wellbeing, the environment and society.

“My current position is the most fulfilling of my professional life and I feel privileged to have this role,” she said.

“I’m also an alumna, so it feels like a full circle of giving back.”

For Evelyn, it was particularly meaningful to win the People’s Choice Award.

“I received so many lovely emails of support following the award,” she said.

“To hear from so many of the Scientia academics that I had an impact on them was incredibly rewarding. I have a deep respect for my colleagues and do my best to make their work lives better, and to know that I was supported in this way was very moving. It was the highlight of my professional career.”

Evelyn received her award at a ceremony in June.

“I only found out that I had won the Peoples’ Choice Award at the event,” she said.

“I was stunned. I had been nominated for the ‘Demonstrates Excellence’ and ‘Builds Collaboration’ categories and was a finalist in the latter. Then when the VC read out the finalists for the People’s Choice Award and I was one of them, I was taken aback. It’s hard to describe how meaningful it was, in many unexpected ways.”

The award also gave Evelyn a tangible reward for her impressive work.

“Winning the award provided me with new opportunities, including the $5000 professional development prize,” she said.

Nominations are now open for the 2024 Vice-Chancellor’s Awards

Nominations for the 2024 Vice-Chancellor’s Awards close on Sunday 5 May 2024. Evelyn encourages all staff to consider nominating a colleague or team. 

“So many people could win this award because there are thousands of passionate, committed staff here at UNSW. It’s an inspiring place to be.

“When you love your work, and the people you work with, and have a genuine desire to make a valuable contribution, you are already rewarded. This opportunity to nominate a peer and be nominated yourself is the icing on a very large cake.”

Voting for the People’s Choice Award will open from Monday 27 May to Sunday 16 June 2024, following the nomination phase.

The winner of the People’s Choice Award and each values category will be announced at the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards ceremony on Wednesday 19 June 2024.

Visit the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards app to nominate a colleague or team.