University of Vermont

College of Arts and Sciences

Resources for Staff

Dean's Staff Awards for Superior Performance

Administrative Support/Technical Support

Please note: The deadline for Nominations is May 31.

These awards recognize outstanding effort and achievement by staff in the support of the mission of the College. As of 2010, two awards are given annually: one for superior administrative support and one for superior technical support. Each recipient will have his/her name engraved on a commemorative plaque, and will receive a personal cash award of $250 from the Dean's Office. The awards will be presented and the recipients formally recognized at an event held each year.

Eligibility and Nomination
  • Any staff member of the College of Arts and Sciences employed in his or her current position for at least two years is eligible for these awards.
  • Letters in support of the nominee should go to the department chairperson.
  • The department chair must submit a completed nomination form and one summary letter of support to the Dean’s Office by May 31st of each year.
  • Past nominees are eligible but must be re-nominated. Materials need to be resubmitted and appropriately updated.
Criteria for Evaluation of Nominations
  • Impact of employee's efforts to assist faculty, staff, students and/or administration in meeting the mission of the Department and College
  • Innovation in work methods that allow better utilization of resources
  • Influence on improvements within the Department, and among colleagues
  • Efforts to improve peer interaction within the Department and College
  • Involvement with Department, College and/or University committees and organizations; participation in workshops, seminars and programs
Nomination Procedure and Deadline

The nomination form and letter of support must be submitted to Linda Burnham, CAS Business Operations Manager, no later than May 31.

Selection Process

A Review Committee of department chairs appointed by the Dean will evaluate the nominations and make recommendations to the Dean.

Nomination form (PDF)

Superior Performance Award Winners

2014

Paul Decausemacker, Technical Studio Supervisor
Paul Decausemacker
Technical Studio Supervisor
Art and Art History
Paul Decausemacker has provided high-quality service as the technical studio supervisor in the Art and Art History Department for the past 32 years. During that time he has exhibited extraordinary problem solving skills while guiding thousands of students who need assistance translating conceptual puzzles into works of art. He has a spotless safety record and his attention to the health and safety of all shop users has always been meticulous. He is skilled at moving from a first-year student's naïve experiences with a power tool to a faculty member's questions about their own research projects. As the current department Chair says, "His ability to discuss solutions with individuals working at various degrees of sophistication is remarkable."
Salli Griggs - Dept of Sociology
Salli Griggs
Department Administrative Coordinator
Sociology
Salli Griggs has worked in her position for 9 of the 18 years she has been at UVM. As her department chair said, "She goes well beyond the necessary bounds of her job description and has made an enormous contribution to the teaching and research in the department and the College." Members of the faculty commented that they regularly consult her about complex matters such as solving a problem in Excel, writing a budget for a grant, fixing the classroom technology, or translating an arcane file emailed from overseas in an unknown format. It was noted by the current Chair that, "In the end, she is our hub. Send her an email about a problem or question and she's at your door in seconds." Says her former Chair, "There was no job that she shied away from when I was Chair. No task was too great." And her always-full basket of chocolates and expertise at wisecracks mean that everyone stops by her office at least a few times a week, if not a few times a day.

2013

Mike Hamblin, Physics Dept
Michael Hamblin
Scientific Equipment Tech
Physics

Michael J. Hamblin has supported the experimental research program in his department for the past seventeen years. Prior to this job, he was a staff member at UVM's Instrumentation and Model Facility for nearly twenty years. A graduate of Cornell University with a B.S. in engineering, he is a highly skilled machinist who has gained the respect and admiration of the entire department. His service goes beyond the department, helping students and faculty in chemistry, engineering, and physics over his career. One example of his commitment to helping others took place recently when he worked with a student to significantly improve the design of an apparatus to test solar cells. The cost was only the price of a halogen light bulb, and the unit was otherwise built from scraps of materials, including an old mirror found in a drawer in a teaching lab; a commercial unit of this type would have cost tens of thousands of dollars

Candace Smith, Political Science Dept
Candace Smith
Department Administrative Coordinator
Political Science

Candace L. Smith has worked as the Political Science Department's administrative assistant for 32 years. As her former department chair said, "She is truly the institutional memory of the department." Members of the faculty commented that they consider her a colleague in the management of many tasks, looking to her not simply for administrative support, but for advice and counsel as well. She knows how to prioritize students' needs and is extremely helpful when it comes to the department's curriculum and major requirements, handling student issues with assurance. Clearly it helps that she was a major in the same department during her undergraduate years at UVM. Faculty also mentioned that she is funny! "She gets jokes and gives jokes right back." Says a faculty member, "Given how many tasks she has to juggle and how many different personalities with which she must deal, her sense of humor is an invaluable part of her management portfolio."

2012

Lori Jean, Admin Coordinator, Philosophy Dept
Lori Jean
Administrative Coordinator
Philosophy

Superior Administrative Support:

Faculty in the Philosophy Department were unanimous in their praise of Lori Jean as the "best administrative assistant" they had worked with in their entire careers. They described her as "...the department's expert on PeopleSoft, on Excel, and on everything else we might need to understand...," and further noted that she "...has created such a warm, welcoming and low-stress environment, not just with her demeanor and attitude, not just with her ability to organize and maintain the department's affairs in such an efficient, problem-free way, but with her kindness and concern for others. [S]he has ...done so much to create an environment of mutual respect and consideration...."

Technical Director and Facilities Manager, Theatre Department
Patrick Orr
Technical Director & Facilities Manager
Theatre

Superior Technical Support:

F. Patrick Orr teaches students the proper ways to use large stationary power tools in accordance with OSHA safety regulations; he also singled-handedly oversees every production mounted at Royall Tyler Theatre, from scenery construction to electrical coordination of lighting and sound. Highlighting his 29 years of service and dedication to the department and its students, faculty described Patrick as "the consummate professional" and "a one-man work force" who never shuns responsibilities, often working after hours, weekends, and even holidays (including volunteering to play Santa Claus in "The Toys Take Over Christmas" for the past 21 years).

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M. Shea
Administrative Coordinator
Global and Regional Studies

Superior Administrative Support:

The directors of the various GRS programs all agreed that Ms. Shea is an outstanding administrator, describing her as "a wonder," "an indispensable member of the GRS program," and "an outstanding colleague whose rational and efficient work style is matched by a warm and welcoming personality and collegial spirit." They were particularly appreciative of her organizational skills and her dedication and initiative, citing her regular and enthusiastic involvement in various events for students and faculty alike, as well as her "remarkable drive to improve her work and her capabilities" through training initiatives and workshops.

2011

Geography Departmental Coordinator, Vibeke Burley
Vibeke Burley
Departmental Administrative Coordinator
Geography
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Patricia Corcoran
Patty Corcoran
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Dean's Office

2010

Lise Larose Acad. and Student Svs
Lise Larose
Acad. and Stud. Services Advisor
Dean Office - Student Affairs
Gabriela Mora Geology Dept
Gabriela Mora-Klepeis
Dept. Technician
Geology

2009

Shari Dike - Economics
Shari Dike
Dept Admin Coordinator
Economics

2008

Marilyn Eldred - Physics
Marilyn Eldred
Dept Admin Coordinator
Physics
Gail Kirby - Psychology
Gail Kirby
Business Manager
Psychology

2007

Kathy Carolin - History Dept
Kathy Carolin
Dept Admin Coordinator
History
Dale Thibault - CMSI
Dale Thibault
Business Manager
Communication Sciences
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