Luncheon celebrates staff service

Four University staff members were recognized for their exceptional performance during the annual Service Recognition Luncheon Jan. 31 at the Frist Campus Center.

Those honored as recipients of the 2000 President's Achievement Award were: Sandra Jones, a member of the glassware washing staff in the Department of Molecular Biology; Linda Watson Kaufman, department manager for the programs in creative writing, visual arts, and theater and dance; Christine McKinley, assistant to the dean of the college for administration and finance; and Henry Sykes, senior cook at the Butler/Wilson dining halls.

The award was established in 1997 to recognize members of the support and administrative staff with 10 or more years of service whose dedication, excellent work and special efforts have contributed significantly to the success of their departments. The winners receive a $2,000 cash award and have their names inscribed on a plaque that is displayed in the Office of Human Resources.

The President's Achievement Awards are part of the University's Staff Recognition Program administered by the Office of Human Resources. Staff members with 10, 15 and 20 years of service received a certificate during the luncheon. Those with 25, 30, 35 and 40 years of service were presented with commemorative gifts.

A total of 325 University staff members with a collective 5,800 years of service were honored for their dedication this year.

Nominations for the President's Achievement Award are made by managers and their vice presidents or deans. A committee representing a cross-section of the University staff reviews the nominations and selects the winners.

In addition to receiving the President's Achievement Award, Sandra Jones was honored during the luncheon for her 20 years of service at the University. Faculty members in molecular biology who work with Jones emphasize how extraordinarily conscientious she is and how critically important it is to their experiments that the glassware be extremely clean. One faculty member noted that Jones hand washes all the tissue culture bottles and flasks, puts them through additional rinses, and removes anything that doesn't meet her strict criteria. "What this means is that glassware is not a variable in experiments. She understands that her work is critical for our work to succeed."

Jones also was recognized for showing great initiative; making useful suggestions to improve efficiency; training others; playing a major role in recommending new machines to replace old ones; and managing to do all that while remaining warm, friendly and upbeat. As one colleague said, "She is adept at responding in just the right way to effect positive changes. This takes the form of encouragement when needed, sympathy where appropriate, a firm stance when necessary and, above all, humor and good spirit."

Linda Watson Kaufman was cited for her efforts to ensure the smooth running of several programs and for performing with energy, intelligence, good humor, unflappability, grace under pressure and, as one director put it, "breathtaking promptness." She has been a University employee since 1988, and worked in the Woodrow Wilson School and the philosophy department before joining the staff at 185 Nassau St. in 1995. Another director calls her "the best-organized administrator I have ever worked with," one who has improved morale and demonstrated leadership in meeting a variety of challenges.

One faculty member pointed to the mutual trust, professionalism and genuine good will that she has brought to her office through her "clear thinking, directness, gentle personality and generous character; her kindness and consideration, anchored with reasonableness, honesty, and the exemplary pattern of her own sincere and unfailing good work." Her positive spirit, he said, brings a positive energy to the programs and their students.

Christine McKinley has been called by one of her colleagues "one of those key individuals who really make the University run." A staff member since 1970, she worked at the Alumni Council for 10 years before joining the Office of the Dean of the College. As chief budget and financial officer for a myriad of programs relating to undergraduate education, she manages millions of dollars in many different accounts. As the chief point of contact for parents' programs and publications, she responds to inquiries from parents on every imaginable subject. She administers more than 100 prizes awarded to students by academic departments and programs and a number of administrative offices. She is responsible for the accuracy of the Undergraduate Announcement. And she functions as department manager, personnel officer, systems administrator and organizer of special functions.

As Dean Nancy Malkiel says, "We are forever handing her new challenges: find a way to solve this problem; find a way to get this done. In so many things, large and small, we depend on her to know the right answers and to make the things happen that need to happen to advance the collective enterprise." As another colleague wrote, "Everyone on campus knows her, trusts her, depends on her. The sheer volume of her work is positively daunting; her ability to manage so many varied tasks for so many demanding people is amazing."

Henry Sykes was recognized at the luncheon as a 40-year employee, in addition to receiving the President's Achievement Award. He began working at Princeton in 1960 and has been a senior cook since 1991. One of his supervisors wrote, "Henry has truly gained the respect of his peers through his eagerness to help his fellow workers, his extraordinary skills and his dedication to the students. He is an asset to the University and all who come in contact with him."

Sykes is legendary for arriving before his scheduled time, even under the most inclement weather conditions, to ensure that his unit is prepared to function at optimum capacity; for striving to create the highest quality product with each and every meal he produces; for training many new employees; and for doing whatever is necessary during special events to make them a success, regardless of personal sacrifice. As another supervisor said, "Henry is one of the main ingredients in one of our most highly regarded kitchens," and still another said, "Everyone who works with Henry knows they can count on him."


Employees honored at the Jan. 31 Service Recognition Luncheon in the Frist Campus Center included: ABOVE LEFT: President's Achievement Award winners (from left) Henry Sykes, dining services; Sandra Jones, molecular biology; Christine McKinley, Office of the Dean of the College; and Linda Watson Kaufman, creative writing, visual arts, and theater and dance. ABOVE RIGHT: Minnie Hicks (left), dining services, was one of two University employees recognized for 40 years of service by Associate Provost Joann Mitchell. AT LEFT: Twenty-five-year Plasma Physics Lab employees James Dickinson (left) and John Wheeler (right) enjoyed the reception before the luncheon with Dawn Horner, a 15-year employee who works in the Office of the Vice President for Facilities.


February 12, 2001
Vol. 90, No. 16
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Page 1
Scholars press for printing clues
Study affirms: Two heads are better than one

Page 2
Committee seeks input on sixth college report
Writing teachers needed
People / Spotlight / Briefs / Obituary

Page 3
Luncheon celebrates staff service

Page 4-5
Calendar of events

Page 7
Princeton signs pledge on gender equity
Blind auditions key to hiring musicians
Grant supports cross-training

Page 8
Nassau Notes

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Editor: Ruth Stevens
Staff writer: Yvonne Chiu Hays
Calendar editor: Carolyn Geller
Contributing writers: Marilyn Marks, Steven Schultz
Photographer: Denise Applewhite
Design: Mahlon Lovett, Laurel Masten Cantor
Web edition: Mahlon Lovett