Princeton NJ -- Seven University staff members were recognized for their exceptional performance during the annual Service Recognition Luncheon April 15 at Jadwin Gymnasium.
Those honored as recipients of the 2003 President's Achievement Award were: Nita Cherry and Lorraine Post, data management support staff members in the Office of the Dean of the Faculty; Ann Corwin, director of graduate career services and alumni relations in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs; Howard Cross, assistant manager of the Butler Wilson dining hall; Mahlon Lovett, director of multimedia design in the Office of Communications; Inge Radice, senior associate director of athletics for finance and administration; and Willie Tye, janitor in building services.
The award was established in 1997 to recognize members of the support and administrative staff with seven or more years of service whose dedication, excellent work and special efforts have contributed significantly to the success of their departments and the University. The winners receive a framed certificate, a $2,000 award and have their names inscribed on a plaque that is displayed in the Frist Campus Center.
The President's Achievement Awards are part of the University's Staff Recognition Program administered by the Office of Human Resources. All staff members were presented with a certificate during the luncheon; those with 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45 years of service also received commemorative gifts. A total of 320 University staff members with a collective 5,930 years of service were honored for their dedication this year (see "By the numbers" on page 2).
"This event is truly one of the highlights of my year, for it allows me to honor you, my colleagues," President Tilghman said at the luncheon. "Each of you has made an exceptional contribution to the work of Princeton University, and, directly or indirectly, each of you has had a positive impact on the lives of our students, faculty, staff and alumni."
After introducing each winner of the President's Achievement Award, Tilghman said to those assembled: "You have created a true community of excellence, and I could not hope to do my job effectively without the talent and devotion that you invest in each of yours."
Cherry, a staff member since 1978, and Post, who came to Princeton in 1993, were honored as a team for their "flawless" management of information in the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.
Tilghman noted that because much of the information they handle is related to appointments, salaries and other sensitive matters, even a small mistake can disrupt lives. She quoted from those who nominated the two for the award:
· "Nita Cherry is without a doubt one of the most accurate, reliable and efficient people I have worked with during my career. ... Her record keeping is meticulous, and she is unfailingly patient and cheerful with those who may not 'get it' the first time around. ... I love working with her."
· "Lorraine is consistently helpful, informative and patient, and she always comes up with a workable solution when you're in a pinch. You can count on Lorraine -- the possible she does right away, the impossible takes her just a bit longer."
Tilghman said, "Despite the mountain of paperwork that confronts them, Nita and Lorraine never forget that unique human beings, with unique concerns and needs, stand behind it. That, I think, is the key to their success. "
Corwin has worked in the Woodrow Wilson School for 30 years. "During this time she has not merely touched the lives of countless students, she has helped countless students chart their lives," Tilghman said. "From the moment of their arrival to the moment of their departure, and well beyond, students can count on Ann to guide them to the internships and positions most suited to their talents and aspirations."
In addition to forging connections between students and potential employers, Corwin works to give students the tools they need to succeed by organizing career panels, convening workshops and coordinating a "Practitioner-in-Residence" program. She also plans events for Wilson School alumni and takes on additional assignments outside of her normal duties, such as serving on the MPA admissions committee.
Dean Anne-Marie Slaughter called Corwin "one of the Wilson School's most solution-oriented employees, and thus one of its most innovative." A colleague noted, "No one has done as much to shape the public service ethos of generations of students, to provide professional training ... , to connect them with mentors among our far-flung alums, and to launch them on their careers and sustain them long after their graduation. Ann's commitment to the mission of the school and University, to the students and alumni who so adore her, and to her colleagues (like me!) who rely on her (and too often take her for granted) is unparalleled."
Cross has worked at the University since 1966, beginning his days in dining services between 4:30 and 5 a.m. rather than the scheduled 6:30 a.m. He is known for his resourcefulness in keeping things running smoothly.
"There is not a dishwasher, salad bar or kettle that Howard has not seen or [on which] at some point in his career [he has not] placed a needed patch, screw or bolt to ensure it would make it through a meal," wrote Director of Dining Services Stuart Orefice in his nomination. Others noted the reliable network of tradespeople -- from plumbers to locksmiths to masons -- that Cross has developed in his years at Princeton.
Cross has left another mark on the campus through the ice sculptures he has designed for special occasions, including the carving of Nassau Hall that stood on Cannon Green during the 250th anniversary celebration. He learned this skill from a succession of chefs. "It is this desire to grow in ways that will both satisfy his appetite for knowledge and serve the University that has made Howard's tenure here so positive for him and for us," Tilghman said. "No problem is above or below his notice, and in his quiet way, he reveals a level of dedication to his work that all of us can emulate."
A University employee for 27 years, Lovett has been a leader in bridging the divide between print and electronic media, in creating tools that can facilitate the production process and in making the most of new technologies. On a day-to-day basis, he works on a variety of projects, including the Princeton Weekly Bulletin and its online edition, Commencement programs and the treasurer's annual reports.
"[He] has played an instrumental role in shaping the way in which we as a University present ourselves in print and electronic form," Tilghman said. "He has deftly guided the production of more publications than he can, I am sure, enumerate, and to each of these projects he has brought a level of resourcefulness and persistence that has earned him the respect and affection of his colleagues and clients."
Lovett was cited for his ability to bring out the best in those with whom he works. "When clients are too conservative, he helps them embrace change. When clients are too innovative, he helps them embrace tradi- tion," wrote Director of Communications Lauren Robinson-Brown in her nomination. "He is a team builder and problem solver with boundless energy and much wisdom."
Radice joined the Princeton staff in 1983 as an account clerk and now juggles the needs of 38 varsity sports. "Inge has done more than climb the proverbial ladder of success," Tilghman said. "She has used the talents that have carried her so far to nurture the talents of her colleagues, helping them to realize their full potential either at Princeton or at other institutions. Talent is thereby multiplied, and Inge is a master of this art."
One of her colleagues said, "I consider myself the luckiest senior administrator at Princeton. Lucky, because I can't imagine having a better colleague than Inge Radice. ... In addition to being competent, compassionate and conscientious, she is one of the most humble people I know. I simply can't imagine a more deserving person for this award."
Using a sports analogy, another colleague called Radice the office's "most valuable player. In a world of tight budgets and limited resources, she always seems to find a way to help each of our programs with our special needs or our emergency situations. Her door is always open, and her ear is always ready to listen and to advise, no matter what the topic. ... Inge is an indispensable ingredient in the glue that holds our department together, and the member of our team we look to in the waning seconds of a 'close game.'"
Tye came to Princeton in 1994 and has not missed a day of work in nearly 10 years. Director of Building Services Jonathan Baer wrote of Tye's work in 1901/Laughlin Hall, "he has transformed an old, tired building into [a] clean, fresh environment. I cannot overstate the sweat and persistence it takes to maintain a dormitory daily, let alone to steadily improve one that needed improving. Yet Willie has done this without complaint. Through this, he has been a model for our students to follow: steady, hard working, caring and loyal. ... His excellence has not been broadcast with fanfare or parade. Yet he is as fine an employee as there is at the University."
Tilghman credited Tye for serving as a role model for other janitors and for his dependability. "Willie's director calls him a 'standard bearer for quality,' and, in many ways, he is also a standard bearer for our University," she said.
"How we are perceived by our students is not simply a question of how professors perform in the classroom or how administrators allocate resources," Tilghman continued. "Willie's dedication ensures that the students in 1901/Laughlin Hall will have a positive residential experience, not only because their 'home away from home' is clean, but also because he is constantly adjusting his schedule to accommodate their needs."
For a list of the employees recognized, visit <Web site>.