Pictured: Silver memorial plaque with names on it overlooking a CGPS hallway
Pictured: Clement Memorial Service Award plaque at CGPS

Bold & Ambitious: Clement Memorial Service Award Recipients 2022

On Wednesday, January 18th, the inaugural Clement Employee Service Awards were presented to recognize the outstanding contributions of two USask staff members. Susan Mason, Graduate Programs Advisor with the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (CGPS), and Linda Nemeth, Graduate Administrator with the Department of Veterinary Microbiology, are the first recipients of this award based on their commitment to supporting graduate students.

By Kassidy Guy

The award was granted to USask staff members whose actions best exemplified CGPS’ three 2025 aspirational areas: achieving inclusive academic excellence by mobilizing exceptional graduate student experiences, creating knowledge and skills that supports graduate students beyond traditional degree outcomes, and emboldening USask’s internal and external graduate community.

The Clement Employee Service award was established in memory of former CGPS staff member, Kelly Clement. Kelly was known for her dedication to helping graduate student succeed, her enthusiastic support to coworkers and students, and her ability to bring much-needed clarity to administering grad studies here at USask. She is remembered by those who worked closest with her as, “a staunch defender of due process and the principle of fairness,” who “drew attention to the importance of effective graduate program administration”.

Susan Mason accepts award in presentation with CGPS Dean Debby Burshtyn and Kelly Clement's family

Award-winner Susan Mason, Graduate Program Advisor at CGPS, offers a positive attitude and guiding hand to both grad students and other staff members here at CGPS. As a problem-solver, Susan’s priority has always been to ensure that students are considered and supported first, always offering sensitivity and flexibility when needed. She is a wealth of institutional knowledge and a leader in the graduate community.

“I was fortunate enough to work for many years with Kelly Clement, so I feel very honoured to be associated with an award that carries her name,” Susan shared when asked about the award. “USask is very lucky to have many excellent and dedicated staff members to support graduate students and graduate programs, who are all equally deserving of an award.”

Linda Nemeth accepts award in presentation with CGPS Dean Debby Burshtyn and Kelly Clement's family

In her role as Department Assistant and Graduate Programs Coordinator at the Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Linda Nemeth serves as an essential resource for grad students from the moment they begin the application process right up until they defend their thesis. Linda is known to many international grad students within the department as their ‘Canadian mom’, as she is often students’ go-to person to share their successes and challenges with, and the last person students say good-bye to (usually with a hug), on their way out to the world.  

For Linda, this award is meaningful for several reasons, “First, that it is an award in honour of Kelly. She was so dedicated to her work, to CGPS, and most especially to the student experience. To be considered to possess some of the characteristics she embodied is very humbling,”. In addition to embodying Kelly’s impact at USask, Linda is moved by the students and staff who nominated her for the award, “The vast majority of letters submitted in support of my nomination were from current and former students of mine. One rarely understands the impact you have on the lives of others, but when they put that impact into words, it warms my heart to know that I’ve made a difference.”

Congratulations to Linda and Susan on your achievements and thank you for your dedication to excellence at CGPS.