Employees honored for dedication and service
Princeton NJ — Five University staff members were recognized for their exceptional performance during the annual Service Recognition Luncheon March 16 at Jadwin Gymnasium.
President Tilghman (second from right) congratulated the winners of the President’s Achievement Award honored at the March 16 luncheon (from left): Kenny Samuel, Michelle Johnson, Stan Chidzik, Bernardine Van Uiter and (at right) Fred Clarke. (photo by Denise Applewhite)
Those honored as recipients of the 2005 President’s Achievement Award were: Stan Chidzik, senior technical specialist in the Department of Physics; Fred Clarke, director of labor relations in the Office of Human Resources; Michelle Johnson, data management support staff member in the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School; Kenny Samuel, sergeant in the Department of Public Safety; and Bernardine Van Uiter, department manager in the Department of Psychology.
The award was established in 1997 to recognize members of the support and administrative staff with five 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 and a $2,000 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, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45 years of service were presented with a certificate during the luncheon; those with 25 or more years of service also received commemorative gifts. A total of 366 University staff members with a collective 7,185 years of service were honored for their dedication this year (see “By the numbers” on page 2).
In introducing the award winners at the luncheon, President Tilghman said, “Today, we honor five employees whose creativity, energy and dedication to their jobs and to our University community have left a lasting impression on their workplace. They have used their talents and skills in ways that have far exceeded expectations.”
Chidzik, who joined the staff in 1984, is known for his skill with electronic circuits. In her remarks, Tilghman quoted physics department chair Daniel Marlow, who said, “When it comes to design, Stan is an artist. When it comes to assembly, Stan is a magician. … When it comes to debugging, Stan is a genius.”
In addition to his technical expertise, Chidzik is admired for his patience, courtesy and willingness to go out of his way for others. He has mentored generations of students and invested himself in their projects. As one student put it, “His low-profile and modest personality, combined with his hard work, constitute an outstanding paradigm for graduate students.”
Clarke has worked in labor relations at the University since he joined the human resources staff in 1991. Tilghman noted that he has done his job “not only with humility but with finesse.” She quoted Vice President for Human Resources Lianne Sullivan-Crowley, who said, “If he was a different practitioner or different kind of man I would say his footprints are deep … but Fred’s skill has been in leaving no footprints … giving the credit and keeping the peace.”
Tilghman cited Clarke’s excellent listening skills and his “quiet determination to narrow the gap between the parties.” She noted that, while he plans to retire from the University this fall, his spirit will continue to inspire those work at Princeton.
Johnson has been a member of the Graduate School admission staff since 1996. Those with whom she works praised her outstanding organizational abilities. Tilghman quoted Dean William Russel, who said, “Michelle’s outstanding knowledge of the entire admission operation, and how much it can (or cannot) be changed, allows us to meet the needs of applicants and academic offices in a way that assures success for all.”
In addition, Johnson was credited with smoothing the office’s transition from a paper-based to a digital environment, including implementing an online system for notifying applicants of admission decisions and a database for tracking international students and their visa status. She also has played a major role in designing and maintaining the Graduate School’s extensive Web site.
Samuel joined the public safety staff as an officer in 1966 and has been a supervisor since 1995. He was praised for his proactive efforts to reach out to students, faculty, staff and visitors. Public Safety Director Steven Healy wrote in his nomination, “Rarely in my professional career have I had the pleasure of working with someone who has so consistently displayed such a positive demeanor and approach to a job that is sometimes thankless and under-valued.”
Samuel was instrumental in launching the “Tiger Patrol,” a program that now involves more than 100 students in various aspects of public safety work. Because of his success in forming strong relationships with students and their organizations, sports teams and residential colleges, he has become a model for his colleagues.
Van Uiter came to Princeton in 1968 as a support staff member in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. After serving as an executive assistant in the Office of the Dean of the Faculty from 1979 to 1985, she joined the psychology department and quickly became recognized for her devotion to the job.
Department chair Deborah Prentice wrote in her nomination, “She finds the space in which a faculty member can run a complicated study, the money with which to hire an extra AI for an oversubscribed course and the staff member who can stay all night to get a grant in on time. In fact, she is often the staff member who stays all night to get a grant in on time!” Van Uiter also was recognized for the collegial and professional culture she has fostered in the department.