President Katherine Bergeron acknowledged members of the Connecticut College staff for their valuable contributions at the annual Presidential Staff Recognition Breakfast and Awards Ceremony May 12.
Bergeron handed out awards in five different categories, including individual service excellence, inspiration, citizenship, rising star and the first-ever award for service excellence by a team. She also administered a special Recognition of Valor, honoring Eric Roode, of campus safety, who administered CPR to save the life of a colleague this past year.
“The true strength of this awards program has to do with the excellence of all of you—our remarkably dedicated staff at Connecticut College,” Bergeron said. “You make this College what it is: you contribute to the student experience; you support the excellence of the faculty; you maintain the beauty of our stunning campus; you serve, nourish, guide, organize, create, train, build, and rebuild, in a great spirit of teamwork and collaboration.”
Eric Roode - Special Recognition of Valor
Presented to an individual whose actions exceed the Selection Committee’s normal criteria for the staff awards.
Last January, Campus Safety Officer Eric Roode saved the life of a colleague who had collapsed. Roode, who joined the Conn community in 2006, administered manual chest compressions and used a defibrillator to keep the man alive until paramedics could arrive on campus. The Emergency Room doctors at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital said that Roode’s swift response made the key difference between life and death. After reviewing multiple accounts of Roode’s heroism, the Awards Selection Committee decided he deserved to be honored with a newly created Recognition of Valor.
Kyle Berg – Rising Star Award
Recognizing an individual who has worked at the College for less than two years, yet has already made a notable impact.
When Kyle Berg took over as the business services supervisor in Facilities Management, he immediately demonstrated his natural leadership skills and an eagerness to learn. In a short period of time, he has forged very positive working partnerships with architects, engineers and contractors, and has significantly improved the daily operations in Facilities Management. While Berg has been an efficient and effective leader and project manager, he has also been successful in cultivating a positive team atmosphere.
Mike Kmec - Inspiration Award
Presented to an individual who excels at building relationships and motivates others to perform at a higher level.
Mike Kmec has made a real impact on campus. As director of auxiliary services, he has proven his talent for creative problem solving, and has consistently motivated his colleagues with his positive attitude. Kmec’s team-oriented style has made him one of the most effective leaders on campus.
The Rev. Claudia Highbaugh - Citizenship Award
Honoring an individual who has enhanced the quality of life on campus and made a substantial difference for the College community.
As dean of religious and spiritual life, the Rev. Claudia Highbaugh has shown compassion, dedication and support for the entire Conn community, particularly when it comes to her determined advocacy for the College’s Muslim students. Always displaying a friendly smile, Highbaugh’s contributions to the spiritual wellbeing of the campus are unparalleled.
Cheryl Banker - Service Excellence Award
Honoring an individual who demonstrates distinction in the conduct of his or her responsibilities at the College.
For 23 years, Cheryl Banker has been committed to helping Conn students ensure that their experience at the College is positive and productive, and that they find a career path that’s right for them. As senior associate director of the Career and Professional Development office, Banker has built a reputation as a trusted resource for both students and colleagues.
Printing and Mailing Services - Team Service Excellence Award
Presented to the staff team that demonstrates distinction in the conduct of their responsibilities at the College.
The first ever award for team excellence went to Chris Barclay, Mark Bliven, Kristi Kerr, Donna Lloret and Marie Murphy for the diverse range of tasks they take on for the entire College community, and for their professionalism and grace under pressure. Their innovative thinking has led to creative solutions that have improved campus sustainability, and their skilled responses to everything from last-minute printing jobs to system malfunctions have made them an indispensable part of the community.