Awards of Distinction

honor 11 of Emory's finest

The 11 staff members honored as part of the 13th annual Awards of Distinction program have a wide range of experiences, from Purchasing to Campus Life, from Facilities Management to the Barkley Forum. While their jobs and professional backgrounds may have few similarities, all the recipients share a dedication to the University and a commitment to excellence in their work that goes far beyond what is expected of them. The recipients will be honored at a banquet on March 25, where President Bill Chace will present them with their award and a $500 savings bond. The 1997 honorees include:

Reta Cobb

Secretary, Campus Life

Oxford College

An Oxford staff member since 1981, Reta Cobb is one of the few clerical personnel asked to advise a student organization. "Ms. Cobb has a gift for not only fulfilling her job responsibilities," said Oxford Dean William Murdy, "but also understanding the mission of our work with students at Oxford." Murdy said that Cobb's behind-the-scenes support and encouragement of the small bur growing number of African American students at Oxford in the '80s has had a tremendous impact on the College's ability to attract larger numbers of African Americans.

Camellia Flanigan

Director of Custodial Services

Residential Services

A respected leader in Residential Services for two decades, Flanigan is noted for tremendous support of and advocacy for her staff as well as her ability to motivate staff to provide the highest quality maintenance for the residence halls. "After many years of constant dedication and very hard work, Camillia has managed to turn the residence halls into a warm and enjoyable environment for Emory's on-campus students," said Winnie Saulter, facilities coordinator in Residential Facilities. Assistant Dean for Campus Life Brit Katz credits Flanigan with "perpetuating a winning standard of performance among her associates."

Cecil King

Supervisor, Special Events

and Staging, Facilities

Management Division

An 18-year Emory employee, Cecil King is known campuswide for her service to organizations such as Emory's United Way Campaign, the Employee Council, Staff Fest and the President's Commission on the Status of Minorities. King developed a successful Staging Shop Customer Service Form to obtain feedback from customers. "Cecil demonstrates a positive, lead-by-example type of leadership," said Bob Hascall, associate vice president for Facilities Management. "She is calm and cool in her response to stressful situations and always maintains a pleasant, customer-service attitude."

Donis Leach

Administrative Assistant

Goizueta Business School

Among Donis Leach's varied responsibilities is serving as the business school's special events coordinator, which involves providing support for major events such as the Dean's Speaker Series, the Partners' Dinner and Dean's Advisory Council meetings. "Donis manages the facilities and receptions for each of these events, which are always well planned and executed," said Al Hartgraves, senior associate dean. Leach also participates in numerous community activities, including the planning of the school's annual holiday program to support needy families and coordinating with the Henry Grady Foundation for faculty and staff to provide toys, clothing and food for needy families each year.

Mary Ellen McClellan

Business Manager

Purchasing Department

A 17-year Emory veteran, McClellan has become well-known to her peers outside of Emory. She coordinates Emory's presence at the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council's Annual Business Fair; served for three years as a regional judge on the panel to select the National Small Business Prime Contractor and Subcontractor of the Year; and serves as Emory's procurement compliance officer. Her service to Emory includes membership on the President's Commission on the Status of Women and coordinating the United Way campaign for the Procurement and Materials Services Division.

Jacqueline Muther

Coordinator, Pediatric AIDS

Program, Department of


"Jacque has worked to develop and maintain an outstanding nationally and internationally recognized program," said Andre Nahmias, Richard W. Blumberg Professor of Pediatrics. Muther is a voting member of the Metropolitan Atlanta HIV Planning Council, also serving as a member of the council's executive committee and chair of its public policy committee. As a member of the group's board of directors from 1994-96, Muther helped establish the new greater Atlanta and Northeast Georgia chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She served on the Executive Council of the International Society for HIV/AIDS Education and Prevention for several years, and was president in 1993-94.

William Newnam

Associate Director

Barkley Forum

Newnam is known nationally as a leading figure in interscholastic and intercollegiate speech and debate. One of the nation's three leading experts in computer tabulation rooms for tournament competition, Newnam also is co-author of a well-regarded argument textbook and has served as a political commentator in numerous debates for public office. Barkley Forum Director Melissa Wade said of Newnam, "He is a quiet, gentle intellect who cares about the whole student and values the appropriate academic, social and competitive development of the debater."

Karen Salisbury

Director of Student Activities

Campus Life

As the former director of University Conferences and as Emory's representative to the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG), Salisbury has interacted with almost every department on campus. As ACOG representative, Salisbury negotiated on Emory's behalf to arrange for use of Emory facilities before and during the Olympic Games. "Karen was a part of the first presentations of Emory facilities to ACOG back in 1988 and remained with it through the end," said Vice President and Dean for Campus Life Frances Lucas-Tauchar. "Karen was a key person within the University to assure us that we could manage the complexities of the Games while still continuing business as usual."

Karon Schindler

Director, Health Sciences

Publications, Institutional


With editorial responsibility for the alumni magazines for the schools of medicine, nursing and public health, Schindler keeps thousands of health sciences alumni in touch with Emory. In addition to the alumni magazines, Health Sciences Center colleagues credit Schindler with creating other publications that have helped in recruitment, research and minority affairs programs. Acting Director of Publications, Susan Corini said of Schindler, "I recognized in her a mentor whose counsel would be invaluable for anyone who takes the work of writing and editing seriously."

Buddy Smith

Facility Services Technician

The Carter Center

Buddy Smith helped build The Carter Center, literally from the ground up. Formerly an employee of the contracting firm that built the Center in 1986, Smith decided to stay on as a permanent staff member. As part of the maintenance and events/conference staff, Smith sees that meeting room arrangements are in order for both in-house and external events. Carter Center Executive Director John Hardman said of Smith, "His interpersonal skills and willingness to assist others endear him to those who work with him."

Elizabeth Soilis

Program Administrative

Assistant, German Studies

An Emory staff member for seven years, Soilis is a perennial favorite among German students. "The students in the department love her because she listens to their problems and helps them find solutions," said department Chair James McMahon. "Former students come back to visit her, often from faraway places, just because they remember her so fondly." McMahon also praised Soilis' ability to master new tasks and solve problems "with a diligence and a level of intelligence that are sometimes amazing to watch."

-compiled by Dan Treadaway

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