Staff members honored for outstanding contributions
On Thursday, March 14, 12 Emory staff members were honored as recipients of the
University's 12th annual Awards of Distinction. The program, which honors
employees who have made outstanding contributions of service to Emory, is open
to all regular general staff and presidentially-approved principals who have
worked at the University for at least a year. Each recipient received a
certificate and a U.S. savings bond from President Bill Chace during a dinner
ceremony at Cox Hall.
Supervisor of Auxiliary Enterprises,
As an Emory employee for close to 30 years, Blakely has gained a thorough
knowledge of the University, its events and infrastructure, and has brought
guidance and leadership to her co-workers. "She has provided a level of loyalty
and service to the institution that is exemplary in every way," said President
Bill Chace, who also called her "a model worker and an inspiration to countless
others. Let us, for her, do the right thing, just as she has done, so many
times, the right thing for us."
Executive Secretary to the Dean,
The first recipient of Oxford's Fleming award for exemplary service, Conner has
been at Oxford College for 30 years, longer than any other employee. She has
worked for four deans, and "her contributions to the work environment of the
college go well beyond normal expectation," according to Dean William Murdy.
Equal Opportunity Programs
Even though she began working at Emory on April Fool's Day, her contributions
to the University have been anything but a joke, according to Associate Vice
President Bob Ethridge. Calling her a "most valuable colleague and friend" and
"a consummate professional and leader in my office," Ethridge said that
Dilworth "listens patiently and assists [faculty, staff and students] in
finding their answers by enabling them to focus on the real issues rather than
getting lost in the extraneous issues which make decision making so difficult."
Executive Administrative Assistant,
Office of the Vice President for Health Affairs
Fincher "represents all things that Emory employees should be: knowledgeable,
compassionate, kind, efficient, respectful and dedicated," according to
Assistant Vice President for Health Affairs Gary Teal. "One of her
responsibilities is to respond to numerous patient complaints . . . usually
very irate and even hostile. She will take the time to listen to everything
they have to say. Her compassion and kindness usually calm the patient. She
will then give this complaint her immediate attention and contact whoever is
responsible and make sure the problem is resolved."
Center for Public Health Practice,
School of Public Health
While her duties with the Center for Public Health Practice are broad and
numerous, Gee fulfills those in a "quality fashion" and goes the extra mile to
"make the life of her faculty and students better in some meaningful way," said
Joyce Essien, director of the center. Her efforts have been integral to the
success of the center and in particular, a multi-community project funded by
the Kellogg Foundation. "Over its four-year history," said Essien, Gee has
"made sure that the faculty and students ...stayed connected to their community
tasks and involvement."
Office of News and Information
When President Bill Clinton and his entourage came to Emory last year for the
Economic Summit, Gleason was at the center of the details, coordinating
activities that ranged from arranging the construction of a large U-shaped
table to soliciting and instructing volunteers to serving as the primary
contact with the White House. One of the driving forces behind the development
and organization of Emory's presence on the World Wide Web, Gleason "has an
unusual ability to combine vision and organization," according to Sylvia
Wrobel, director of Health Sciences News and Information.
Senior Liaison to Food Services,
With a 52-year tenure at Emory, Jenkins is "a nationally known and respected
leader in the field of food delivery services," said Brit Katz, assistant to
the vice president and dean for Campus Life. When Campus Life created "a
life-time achievement award to best recognize a professional for donating
successful and long-time service," it was named the Helen W. Jenkins Award, and
she was the first recipient. Since 1945, "she has overseen the development,
construction and operation of every food service area on the Atlanta and Oxford
campuses," said Katz.
Lee Ann Lloyd
Institute for Women's Studies
Nominated by colleagues, professors, former colleagues and even a retiree,
Lloyd was noted for her organization, efficiency and ability to respond
"creatively and independently to unexpected developments." For example, said
Director of Women's Studies Martine Brownley, when Lloyd realized "before
Women's Studies administrators did, that our graduate application numbers were
falling, on her own initiative she produced a detailed plan for graduate
recruitment to rectify the situation," a plan that resulted in a 37 percent
rise in applications the first year.
Associate University Registrar
Enthusiasm, humor and professionalism were qualities of Millen's that were
noted in the several letters of nomination. "Quite simply," said Associate Dean
of Emory College Peter Dowell, "Tom is someone I know I can count on, whether
it be in carrying out the day-to-day, nitty-gritty details that make things go
well or in dealing with major problems or changes." Last year, Millen
"implemented the Online Student Schedule Change system for all undergraduates,"
said Jody Usher, associate dean of the Graduate School. "This process brought
students into the technological age, requiring hundreds of e-mail notes and
personal conversations. Mr. Millen rose to the occasion."
Manager, Roads and Grounds Branch,
A "consummate team player," Scott is in charge of approximately 50 employees
involved in grounds, streets, moving, staging, construction, landscaping, pest
control, waste management, recycling and vehicle maintenance. In the past year,
he has researched and implemented two initiatives that will save the University
more than $35,000 a year in set-up and take-down costs. He also was
instrumental in starting up the FMD-Emory Recycling program from scratch,
hiring a recycling coordinating, and assisting the coordinator in designing a
comprehensive recycling budget.
Assistant Director of Network Operations,
Information Technology Division.
In an unusual nomination, Wilhoit was endorsed by 42 of his fellow workers in a
letter that recognized his leadership in developing Emory's present computer
network, "known across the country as one of the finest." His co-workers noted
that, "If you go anywhere on campus and ask about Mike Wilhoit, two things will
come up in almost every case: the quality of the network and the quality of the
person. Of all the people we have had the chance to work with, none can compare
to Mike Wilhoit. He has built a "network family" where working is like being at
home away from home."
Mary Louise Wright
Yerkes Field Station
One of only three remaining members of the Yerkes staff who relocated from
Orange Park, Fla., in 1964, Wright was praised by Yerkes Center Director Tom
Insel as "a vast reservoir of information about the Yerkes Field Station and
the primates that live there . . . She can coax a reluctant chimpanzee into
taking his medication and persuade neglectful mothers to pick up their babies."
Described as "dedicated, intelligent, versatile and above all, very well liked
and respected," Wright supervises the clerical staff, prepares reports,
maintains personnel and budgetary records and prepares manuscripts and grant
applications, all the while being "unfailingly cheerful and helpful."
Compiled by Nancy M. Spitler
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