Waterloo’s raving fan retires

May 25, 2023 Tina Roberts (BSc ’80) is one of Waterloo’s proudest, loudest and biggest ambassadors By Staff Marketing and Undergraduate Recruitment Tina Roberts (BSc ’80) dedicated her career to Waterloo and its community. Her career spanned more than 40 years and made a significant impact on the University’s marketing and recruitment efforts. 

A proud Waterloo graduate, Tina began her career in 1981 as a liaison officer and academic advisor in the Faculty of Human Kinetics and Leisure Studies, now the Faculty of Health. She was one of the first on campus to champion an evidence-based approach to marketing post-secondary institutions and recruiting undergraduate students. 

In 1997, Tina was asked to lead the new Marketing and Undergraduate Recruitment (MUR) team, based in the Registrar’s Office. As MUR’s inaugural director, she led a centrally co-ordinated approach which transformed how the University recruited students. 

"Basically, Tina revolutionized how undergraduate recruitment is done at Waterloo, establishing the University of Waterloo as a Canadian leader in using a data-driven approach to market post-secondary institutions, and undergraduate student recruitment in particular," says William Chesney, professor emeritus, who worked with Tina for many years.

She also connected a diverse community of more than 85 campus partners through a weekly undergraduate recruitment roundtable and brought together marketers and communicators from across campus through the Enrollment Management Marketing Roundtable. These meetings foster a consultative approach to common goals and information-sharing that help communications colleagues from across campus evolve their work and grow professionally. 

Tina’s commitment to a coordinated approach also fostered many innovations, including the popular Fun Run (one of Waterloo’s longest alumni and community traditions), a coordinated recruitment experience for future students, and Waterloo’s iconic Ontario Universities’ Fair booth.

Tina’s strengths have always been about creating connections. She was involved in several cross-campus initiatives -- helping to pilot Organizational and Human Development’s mentorship program, chairing the Keystone Campaign’s communication group for several years, leading the marketing committee for the University’s 50th anniversary, and meeting with campus parters who sought her marketing advice. She was also a key member of the iC3 challenge leadership team, which led to installation of iconic Waterloo campus entrance sign, now located in the Arts Quad.

During her time in MUR and the Registrar’s Office, Tina grew a small but enthusiastic team of three staff to the impressive unit with more than 30 team members - all while ensuring that the team’s collaborative culture and values remained at the forefront of their work. She celebrated her team’s and colleagues’ unique strengths, and was an advocate for ongoing personal and professional growth. She often leveraged her Myers-Briggs Type Indicator expertise to help team members and colleagues craft personalized growth plans. 

Tina was often a friendly face to new members of the Waterloo community. Each year, she gave her "raving fan" presentation on how any member of the campus community could be an ambassador for the University, whether it was helping a student find their way on campus or chatting with parents of high school students at the grocery store.

Tina’s focus on creating high-quality materials and experiences for future students contributed to her team winning 14 US-based CASE District II Accolades Awards and 26 CCAE Prix d’Excellence Awards. Tina was also individually awarded the CASE Quarter Century Achievement Award.

William Chesney says that that Tina’s authentic interest in the lives of every member of the UW community made her an ideal, and much-admired, mentor for countless peers, junior colleagues and co-op placements. "I count myself as one, working with Tina on a number of designand policy-related initiatives relative to marketing the Faculty of Arts at UWaterloo to the world," says Chesney. 

Her leadership, dedication and collaborative approach leave a lasting impact on the University. Many of her team members and student ambassadors have gone on to leadership roles in other departments at Waterloo and at other universities. Tina’s legacy is one of excellence and commitment to making the University of Waterloo a better place. Her expertise and dedication will be greatly missed.

Thank you, Tina, for your many years of being such a raving fan for the University of Waterloo.