Mar. 29, 1999
Volume 51, No. 25
Twelve exemplary employees given Awards of Distinction
The 15th annual Awards of Distinction were given out at a banquet last Wednesday, March 24, at the Emory Conference Center. Each recipient received a $500 savings bond and an award plaque from President Bill Chace at the dinner.
Administrative Assistant, School of Nursing
Brenda Baxter joined the nursing school staff in 1981 as a secretary for a then-small group of midwifery faculty. Promoted to her current position in 1996, she now supports 39 faculty. "No task is too ordinary and no challenge too demanding for [Brenda]'s attention," wrote Interim Dean Margaret Parsons in her nomination letter, who also commended Baxter's sensitivity and competence with students.
Baxter was instrumental in establishing the school's Community Outreach Committee, a group of faculty and staff who respond to community needs on a regular basis, whether it be preparing meals at the Ronald McDonald House or undertaking clothing drives. For her professional and extracurricular duties, Baxter received the School of Nursing's EXCEL award last year for outstanding staff contributions.
Director of Academic Computing, Oxford College
Jim Brown moved to the Oxford campus in 1994 after six years at Emory. He has developed and implemented short courses at Oxford to help staff master various forms of software as well as LEARN@Oxford, the Oxford equivalent to Resnet. He maintains seven computing laboratories and supervises 45 student assistants.
"With all of these responsibilities, Jim still takes time to spend one-on-one support time with faculty, students and staff-sometimes going to their homes to troubleshoot a computer problem," said Financial and Information Services Director Myra Frady in her nomination letter. "[That's] certainly above and beyond the call of duty!" she added.
A licensed pilot, Brown has offered free rides to anyone who wants to see Emory's original campus by air.
Plant Operations Manager, Facilities Management
Kyle Duncan has worked for the University since 1986, when he was hired as a maintenance mechanic. A series of promotions led him to his current position, where he has assumed overall maintenance responsibilities for Emory West. During the course of his career, Duncan has managed more than 3.5 million square feet of University space and 90 employees. "Kyle provides strong, focused leadership, serving as an ideal role model for his work force," said Senior Associate Vice President of Facilities Management Bob Hascall.
Administrative Assistant, College Office
An Emory employee since 1988, Karen Fain was first hired as a medical secretary. By 1992, she had joined the College Office, where she has received three promotions and now holds major responsibility for the college budget. "Although they may not know it, faculty, students and staff throughout Emory College benefit daily from Karen's presence here," said Dean Steven Sanderson in his nomination letter.
An active participant on many college and University committees, Fain has served on the Employee Council and the President's Commission on the Status of Women. She is a regular volunteer for Staff Day as well as the Emory-hosted Special Olympics games and the Egleston Festival of Trees.
Enforcement Supervisor, Parking Office
Bobby Jones' "professionalism and attention to detail have earned him the respect of his supervisors, his fellow employees and students, as well as the Emory community," said nominator Bill Collier, director of parking. An Emory employee since 1967, Jones is often the first person campus visitors encounter as they make their way around Emory's campus. A hard worker who's been known to log 60- or 80-hour work weeks, Jones can be found assisting during commencement, registration, trustees meetings or any other University-sponsored events where his services would be valued.
Well known throughout campus, Jones does his job with "commitment, fairness, firmness, and always with compassion," noted Collier.
Custodial Supervisor, Residential Services
A 15-year employee, William Nash was promoted after only five months on the job and by 1991 had obtained his present position. The implementation of the Phoenix Plan created a new custodial area, for which Nash was given responsbility. He has won over often-reluctant fraternity brothers to the new plan, thereby that ensuring their houses on Fraternity Row have become safer and cleaner places to live. Camellia Flanagan, director of custodial services, called Nash a "fair man, who works exceptionally well with those he leads." His character traits are quite evident in motivating staff who sometimes find it difficult to face "post-party" clean up on Fraternity Row. "I never worry about an area if I know William Nash is in charge," Flanagan added.
Administrative Assistant, School of Law
Radine Robinson's nomination letter came with multiple letters of support from faculty and staff, among the many she has supported in her long career at the law school. "The plain fact is that every faculty member wishes he/she could work with Radine," wrote Professor Richard Freer. "Her work is flawless." Professor Frank Vandall lauded her adherence to deadlines.
Added Dean Howard "Woody" Hunter, "Through her diligence, commitment, talent and understanding of the work of the academy, she ensures that all members of our faculty receive the secretarial and administrative support required to enable them to produce the outstanding teaching, scholarship, and University and community service expected of them."
Director, University Communications
In her role as chief University spokesperson, Nancy Seideman has spent the past nine years promoting Emory programs and achievements to media outlets around the world. She has been praised for her clear thinking and adept management during a crisis. "Whatever the complexities of a particular issue, Nancy has the innate ability to quickly evaluate the implications from every angle, whether it be University, community, political, regional or national," said Director of Community Affairs Betty Willis. "She seizes every opportunity to promote the best interests of Emory."
Seideman's job requires her to be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, said Jan Gleason, University Communications assistant vice president. "Her knowledge of how the media works and excellent interpersonal skills have allowed her to provide wise counsel to a variety of University administrators, faculty and staff."
Sharon "Sharri" Siegmund
Assistant Director for Academic Programs, Rollins School
Sharri Seigmund's primary role is advising students in the Department of International Health, but her colleagues acknowledge she does much more. From assisting international students and their families in finding housing, to serving on Rollin's Curriculum Committee, to advising each year's Hubert Humphrey fellows, Seigmund wears many hats.
"She is thorough, conscientious, dependable, well organized, unflappable and has many other responsibilities that she handles with the same degree of sincerity," said Humphrey Fellows Program Director Phil Brachman. "She is a dedicated individual-committed to our department and to the school."
Physical Plant Associate Superintendent, Yerkes Center
Yerkes Director Tom Insel called Darryl Stanley's job title a "misnomer." "It merely skims the surface of the services Darryl performs," Insel wrote in his nomination letter. "His drive, determination and constant striving to make Yerkes' operations outstanding have made him a mainstay for the well-being of not just buildings but monkeys, humans alike."
Stanley has intimate knowledge of the systems involved in Yerkes' physical plant upkeep-filtration systems, security, telecommunications and hazardous materials disposal, among others. He is on call 24 hours a day, responding to the emergency needs of staff and faculty at the center. "Darryl Stanley is a model for not only getting the job done but [for] far surpassing expectations," Insel said.
Director of Special Events, Health Sciences Center
From graduation receptions, to dinners for major donors, to trustee luncheons, to forums for internationally renowned speakers, Cecilia Verner adroitly anticipates, plans and coordinates such events for the Health Sciences Center, said Health Affairs' Associate Vice President Ronnie Jowers and Senior Associate Vice President John Blohm in their joint nomination letter. Many times these events are simultaneous, but Verner gives each--from the most intimate dinners to the most elaborate parties--"the same exacting degree of detailed attention," they wrote. "She possess and demonstrates qualities that all Emory employees should represent: knowledge, kindness, efficiency, respect and dedication."
Custodian, Facilities Management
Carolyn Whatley has been a custodian of Bowden Hall for eight years, often sharing additional work in other buildings or taking it on by herself. "Regardless of these extra demands," write her nominators, Molly Verene and Donald Verene of the Institute for Vico Studies, "she is always an excellent worker; she never complains; she never neglects her duties and responsibilities." Whatley takes pride in her work, and her personal touch makes her all the more valuable, said the Verenes. "Carolyn cares about each of us who work in Bowden Hall. She knows the names of our children; she rejoices and sympathizes with events in their lives and ours, and we in hers."
--compiled by Stacey Jones