Distinguished Service Awards Recipients

  • Elaine Mullen (2017)
  • Pat Kostouros (2016)
  • Gerry Cross (2014)
  • Lee Easton (2012)
  • Mardy Roberts (2009)
  • Marlene Kingsmith (2008)
Elaine Mullen, Department of English, Languages, and Cultures
DSA Recipient 2017

Distinguished 0Elaine Mullen started at Mount Royal in 1969; so, her many contributions to this institution and to the Association are far too numerous to list here in any detail. However some of the highlights include her significant contributions to MRU through ADC’s Instructional Support Program and to the MRFA through the PDC, Executive Board and Awards Committees. Elaine co-developed the Instructor Support Program (ISP) which assisted new faculty members improve their teaching. This has had significant and long lasting impact. She was a trusted person whom faculty sought out to provide mentorship and support in their teaching practice. Though it was not a formal relationship, many faculty have viewed Elaine as their mentor over the years. No matter the faculty members’ needs or the issues they faced, Elaine was always there to support them. One of her legacies at MRU is a commitment to the support for quality teaching and teaching development. Also, Elaine was instrumental in forming early connections between the MRFA and new faculty members by facilitating the involvement of the MRFA in the ISP program. Though her contributions to the MRFA go far beyond that. To list only a few of her MRFA service roles, she was the MRFA Faculty Representative to the Board of Governors for 4 years and a Member at Large for two years, she was the Chair of Awards Committee for 5 years and a member of the PDC for 18 years. She was instrumental in developing the MRFA’s Teaching Excellence Award, having brought to this committee many years of service on the University’s awards committees. The creation of this award is a lasting legacy in which the Association membership demonstrates its continued commitment to the importance of quality teaching at MRU. Elaine was, also, instrumental in the creation of the MRFA’s Annual Spring Retreat in 1990. The benefits this annual event provide to the Association and its members are several, it promotes collegiality, promotes the development of relationships across the university, supports faculty members in their various roles as academic staff, connects members to the MRFA who otherwise would not be, and provides a much needed break for faculty at the end of each academic year. For these things, and so many more, we are grateful for immeasurable contributions Elaine has made to the Association and the University over the years. And, we look forward to her continued involvement in the years to come.


Pat Kostouros, Department of Child Studies & Social Work
DSA Recipient 2016

Distinguished 1Pat’s scholarly interests include mental health of post-secondary students, vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. While maintaining a very active scholarship program, Pat pursues extensive internal and external service. She has served on various MRFA and institutional committees, including the MRFA Executive Board. Her external service is, likewise, extensive: she is involved in the Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta and Post-Secondary Student Mental Health.


Gerry Cross, Department of Mathematics and Computing
DSA Recipient 2014

Distinguished 2Gerry Cross’ dedication to the Mount Royal Faculty Association spanned his entire career at Mount Royal. Before moving towards phased Retirement, Gerry spent four years as President of the MRFA and, prior to that, several years on the MRFA’s Negotiating Committee and as the MRFA’s VP Negotiations. Through bargaining, Gerry was instrumental in negotiating the changes required for MRU to become a University. As MRFA President, Gerry was a strong advocate for the proper administration of the Collective Agreement and focused other Association efforts on Advocating for Post Secondary Education.


Lee Easton, Department of English
DSA Recipient 2012

Distinguished 3Lee Easton joined the English Department at Mount Royal in 1996 and served as the Chair of the department for several years. His special interests include media and representation, gender/queer theory, literary theory, multimedia, and film.

Lee was selected to be the recipient of this award for his many years of service to MRU and the MRFA. Particularly, his service on the MRFA Negotiating Committee. He is our longest standing member of the Negotiating Committee and was integral in bargaining the changes in the Collective Agreement required for the transition from a College to a University.


Mardy Roberts, Department of Psychology
DSA Recipient 2009

Distinguished 4Mardy was, and as Professor Emerita continues to be, a knowledgeable and committed teacher who is particularly responsive to students. She has been creating excellent learning experiences for her students from the first time she entered a classroom.

Mardy was selected as the recipient of the DSA for her dedicated service to the MRFA over the years and in many capacities, including the Negotiating Committee and the Executive Board.


Marlene Kingsmith, Department of Child and Youth Studies
Inaugural Recipient of the DSA in 2008

Distinguished 5Marlene’s dedication to creating community amongst faculty members across campus, through the MRFA Social Events Committee, inspired the Association to create the Distinguished Service Award. Her dedication to serving the MRFA in this capacity has had a long lasting impact on the MRFA and all of its members.

Marlene has been dedicated to the welfare of children and youth for more than 35 years. She has fostered more than 40 adolescents, served as a Child Welfare Worker, worked in a variety of treatment facilities, and operated a six-bed group care program for 18 years. In 1989, Marlene began mentoring others to be advocates for   vulnerable children, youth, and families as an instructor at Mount Royal University. Marlene plans to retire from Mount Royal University in 2017.