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Five College staff members received individual awards at Connecticut College’s fifth annual Presidential Staff Recognition Awards, on May 11, 2018.
This year marked the announcement of the new Student Support Award, created to honor a staff member who has bolstered student success and facilitated a positive student experience. The inaugural Student Support Award went to Jeannette Williams, associate director of student engagement and new student programs, who was called “one of a kind,” a person who “puts the interests of students first.”
The other award categories are rising star, inspiration, service excellence and citizenship. Two team awards—Team Service Excellence and Team Citizenship—were also handed out at the breakfast.
The selection committee received 85 nominations from across campus for these awards.
“The strength of each nomination indicates how fortunate we are at Connecticut College to have so many exemplary staff committed to professionalism and service,” President Katherine Bergeron said.
Rising Star Award: Recognizes an individual who has worked at the College for less than two years and has made a recognizable impact. The Rising Star award went to Makayla Grays, assistant director of institutional research and planning, who was commended for being “unwavering in her professionalism and expertise.”
Service Excellence: Honors an individual who demonstrates distinction in the conduct of his or her responsibilities at the College. Kimberly Sanchez, director of community partnerships, was honored for her support of the Holleran Center, and for providing “resources, training and guidance to faculty who want to implement community based learning into their coursework, research and teaching.”
Inspiration Award: Presented to an individual who excels at building relationships and motivating others to higher levels of performance. The Inspiration Award went to Richard Schenk, musician and composer for dance, who supplies the musical needs for every dance class in the department. Schenk was commended for “taking the time and effort to get to know each student, for his mentorship, and for attending the many performances in which the students are involved.”
Citizenship Award: Honors an individual who has enhanced the quality of life and made a substantial difference for the College community. The Citizenship Award went to Jim Luce, grounds supervisor, who was commended for his “tireless commitment to beautifying the campus, taking care of his co-workers and advocating for students.”
The Team Service Excellence Award went to academic department assistants for outstanding support to faculty, and by extension, the entire campus community. The winners were Liz Smith, academic assistant, biology, botany and environmental science; Donna Graham, academic assistant, education, human development; Donna Holman, academic assistant, theater, film studies; Nancy Lewandowski, academic assistant, anthropology, economics, sociology, american studies, history, Hispanic studies; Ellen Maloney, academic assistant, anthropology, economics, sociology, American studies, history, Hispanic studies; Stacey Lion-Gardiner, academic assistant, math, physics, computer science; Sharon Moody, academic assistant, government, international relations, Italian studies, classics; Paula Orbe, chemistry, BCMB; Jenny Bonnano, GWS; Aimee Couture, dance; Nancy MacLeod, psychology; Diane Monte, philosophy; Katie Trautlein, English; Nancy Zuelch, music.
The Team Citizenship Award went to the human resources staff for being resilient, driven and incredible problem solvers. “This team is committed to the College in a way that empowers and inspires others.” The winners were Kelly Slack, resource coordinator; Jackie Silvia, HR operations specialist; Amy Gendron, HR generalist; Beth Blaisdell, benefits account compliance specialist; Joumana Hajj, coordinator of benefits and wellness; Tina White, assistant director of employee benefits; Liz Eames, associate director of human resources; Cheryl Miller, assistant VP of HR and professional development.