Campus staff members, organizations honored with chancellor’s award

Kevin Hahn/Staff
Chancellor Robert Birgeneau congratulates recipients of the 2013 Chancellor's Outstanding Staff Award at a ceremony Monday.

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Fourteen campus staff members and six organizations received the Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Award for their dedication to the university at a ceremony on Monday.

The annual award, now in its 21st year, is given to campus staff and organizations in honor of their dedication to their jobs and commitment to the campus community. The recipients of the award this year included people in a wide variety of positions, including a nanoscientist, the university carillonist and a capital projects director.

These awards, given to university employees who have been working for at least a year, are among the highest honors bestowed upon staff by the chancellor, according to the Chancellor’s Staff Advisory Committee’s website.

A limited number of awards are given each year, and nominations are evaluated based on dedication to the university’s mission, leadership and sustainability, among other factors. The award recipients were selected out of a nomination pool of 41 individuals and 13 teams.

One recipient, Gillian Edgelow, a staff member of the department of gender and women’s studies, said she was honored to have received the award.

“During this challenging time for the university, it means a lot to be recognized,” Edgelow said, referencing the recent budget cuts to which the university has been adjusting. “It’s very apparent how hard all the staff members are working, and I’m honored to be a part of that.”

Edgelow was described during the awards ceremony as a team player who embraced change during departmental restructuring. Edgelow said her secret to success was simplification.

In addition individuals, the awards recognized campus organizations, such as the Technology Transfer Program at the campus’s Institute of Transportation, which trains and provides resources to professionals in transportation.

The TTP recently lost a state subsidy of more than $1 million. This year, the program was forced to make cuts, reducing its staff of 20 to six.

“A couple years ago, we didn’t know if our program would survive because we lost two major contracts,” said Eduardo Serafin, a member of the Technology Transfer Program team. “The biggest challenge we overcame was to reinvent ourselves the way we did.”

Serafin added that the organization no longer receives any money from the state and is completely self-sustaining.

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, who was present at the event, acknowledged the difficult times the university faces.

“We have such an extraordinary staff during what’s been a challenging time at the university,” Birgeneau said. “I appreciate how hard they’ve worked, and it’s a privilege for me to be able to honor these staff members.”

Zack Phillips, co-chair of the COSA committee, also expressed his gratitude to the hardworking campus staff members.

“It’s a real privilege to be able to recognize staff for their amazing achievements,” Phillips said. “This is the highlight of what we do at the COSA.”

Contact Matt Trejo at [email protected].