Outstanding Employee Awards

group photo of 2017 outstadning employee award recipients

2017 Outstanding Employee Award Recipients

Classified Employees

Arnita Albertson
Scheduling & Academic Support Specialist
American English Institute

Tom Coates
Fabrication Lab Supervisor
College of Design

Travis Hadwen
Food Service Worker 3
University Housing

Loring Hummel
Web Services Team Lead
CAS Information Technology

Kim Larsen
Office Specialist 2
Center for Applied Second Language Studies

Dee Rawson
Senior Human Resources Specialist
Human Resources

Laurie Schneider
Grants/Contracts Coordinator
Physics Department

Officers of Adminstration

Megan Banks
Sustainable City Year Program Manager
Sustainable Cities Initiative

Melissa Bowers
Department Manager
English Department

Paula Braswell
Director of Admissions
Clark Honors College

Missy Matella
Assistant General Counsel
Office of General Counsel

Arturo Zavala
Academic Advisor
College of Design 


Human Resources facilitates an annual employee recognition program to honor and acknowledge excellence at work. Outstanding Employee Awards recognize officers of administration and classified staff who:

  • demonstrate excellence on the job, and
  • exemplify key components of the university mission, and
    • critical thinking
    • effective reasoning
    • clear communication
    • creativity
    • act ethically
  • foster admiration among colleagues, and
  • model high performance standards.

Award Criteria

Award recipients are UO employees who embody the mission of the university, produce quality work, and consistently display characteristics valued and appreciated by coworkers.  They are a reliable compass continually pointing the university in the direction of its goals and aspirations. 

To be considered, the nominee should exhibit on-the-job performance that fulfills the following criteria:

  • Build Community
    Promotes a sense of community (within work group, department/unit, or across campus) by bringing groups/individuals together for a common purpose.
  • Promote Inclusivity
    Welcomes and values diversity of opinions in discussions, demonstrates tolerance of others, considers accessibility, diversity and inclusivity in aspects of job assignments, enhances the campus climate, adheres to respectful workplace expectations.
  • Demonstrate leadership qualities
    Provides on-going high quality performance, directs people to resources, sees work assignments from a big picture point-of-view, seeks to improve university operations, handles difficult situations and assignments well, personifies dependability.  [This criterion does not require supervisory responsibilities or formal supervisor designation. Any employee who displays leadership skills meets this criterion.]
  • Exemplify mission
    Embodies the UO mission statement, purpose, vision and values, advances the priorities of his/her unit and department through completion of work assignments, recognizes his/her role in achieving university goals, motivated by the university’s pursuit of being a comprehensive public research university committee to exceptional teaching, discovery, and service. 

Nomination Process

Any UO employee can nominate an officer of administration (OA) or classified employee for an Outstanding Employee Award.  Nominations are submitted through a two part process:

  1. Submit a Nomination Form to formally nominate an OA or classified member for consideration, and
  2. Submit Letters of Support for the nominee.

The 2017 nomination period has ended. The 2018 nomination period will begin in October 2018.

Selection Process

Outstanding Employee Award recipients are selected by a committee comprised of OAs and classified staff.  Committee members are obtained from the following sources: OA and classified Senate representatives, Classified Staff Training and Development Advisory Committee (CSTDAC), OA Council, and diversity committees or units.  The committee also includes a representative from Human Resources (Chief Human Resources Officer or her designee).  The Employee Engagement Manager facilitates the selection process.

The committee makes selection decisions based on the information submitted on the nomination form and in the letters of support.  Award recipients are determined by their demonstrated ability to meet the established criteria as detailed and explained in the nomination materials.  Committee members do not seek additional information on nominees to make final decisions.  Detailed information about a nominee as described by those submitting the nomination and contributing a letter of support is the determining factor. 

At least one OA and one classified staff will be honored each year.  The committee may choose to recognize multiple employees at its discretion.

The supervisor for each nominee is contacted by the Employee Engagement Manager to provide a supervisor response.  This response is intended to substantiate a nomination and ensure that employees meeting performance expectations are considered for this prestigious honor.  Employees with performance concerns may be excluded from consideration.  The supervisor response is not used to collect additional information for the committee to consider in the selection process.  Supervisors contribute to a nominees consideration by submitting a letter of support in accordance with the nomination process. 

2017 Selection Committee

Miranda Broadbent, Classified Staff Training & Development Advisory Council

Jen Mirabile, HR Representative

Katie Bumgardner, OA Council

Stephen Mosley, VPFA Diversity Committee

Cheryl Ernst, UO Senate

 


Contact HR with questions about the Outstanding Employee Award program:

Sandee Bybee
Employee Engagement Manager
sandeeb@uoregon.edu
(541) 346-3000
 

Previous Outstanding Award Recipients

Description: 

2014
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Heidi Gese, Humanities Consortium
Cindy Ferguson, College of Business
Adam Jones, Enterprise Risk Services & Larry Peterson, Campus Operations
OFFICER OF ADMINISTRATION
RECOGNITION AWARD
Mandy Gettler, Center for Applied Second Language Studies
Julie Brown, Office of Strategic Communications
Outstanding
Classified Employees and Officers of Administration Recognition Award Recipients
These two recognition programs were specifically created to acknowledge excellence in officers of administration and classified employees. Each year, a selection committee comprised of faculty, administrators, classified and student representatives is formed to review the nominations and selects award recipients using the established criteria listed on the nomination applications. Using the criteria outlined in the application the selection committee bases its decision solely on the information provided on the two distinctive nomination applications and letters of support.
2013
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Jacob Bartruff, Geography
Richelle Chambers Krotts, Education Studies
Sabrina Leathers, Law
OFFICER OF ADMINISTRATION
RECOGNITION AWARD
Rebekah Hanley, Law
Ken Kato, Geography
2012
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Donna Miller, Counseling & Testing
Dave Stemple, Geological Sciences
Cindy Wiser, Human Physiology
OFFICER OF ADMINISTRATION
RECOGNITION AWARD
Jennifer Joslin, Academic Advising
Ryan Stock, Athletics
2011
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Marcy Dirckx
Tina Hammock
Cindy Nelson
OFFICER OF ADMINISTRATION
RECOGNITION AWARD
Rick Friedrich
Dale Smith
2010
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Chris Baird
Group Recognition: Raphelle Allison, Beki Holbrook, Lisa Montgomery,
Jenny Rouch and Rebecca Lynn
OFFICER OF ADMINISTRATION
RECOGNITION AWARD
Tracy Bars
Bill Kasper
Brandy Todd
2009
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Annie Elling
Sherry Stahl
OFFICER OF ADMINISTRATION
RECOGNITION AWARD
Erick Hoffman
Jessi Steward
Janet Stewart
2008
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Linda Miller
Becky Vaughan
OFFICER OF ADMINISTRATION
RECOGNITION AWARD
Herb Horner
Darrel Kau
Patty Valenzuela
2007
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Mandy Chong
Doug Clegg and Kathy Mangold
Frank Haworth
Cindy Smith
OFFICER OF ADMINISTRATION
RECOGNITION AWARD
Gordon Burke
Cindy FitzGerald
Vicki Strand
2006
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Kay Bailey
Susan Dickens
Kenny Gates
Robyn Hathcock
Doug Hodson
C. J. Nelson
Donna Williamson
OFFICER OF ADMINISTRATION
RECOGNITION AWARD
Stephanie Bosnyk
Jerry Dominy
Lori O’Hollaren
Janet Stewart
Paul Swangard
Debbie Thurman
2005
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Michael Bardossi
Dianne Bass
Chad Hartvigsen
Kathleen Heinz
Judy Hochhalter
Jim Horstrup
Patrick Neve
OFFICER OF ADMINISTRATION
RECOGNITION AWARD
Fumiko Breest
James Chang
Linda King
Susan Lesyk
Tom Mills
Judy Newman
2004
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
RaDonna Aymong
Neil Cambell, Art Corliss,
Jeff Gerot, Don Neet,
Del Smith, Jay Sahabdeen,
Larry Stromberg
Petra Hagen
Jim Rasmussen
Chingling Reed
Shawn Rubino
OFFICER OF ADMINISTRATION
RECOGNITION AWARD
Cris Cullinan
Greg Haider
Tammy Lutz
Chris Murray
Ginny Stark
Helen Stoop
2003
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Vera Kewene
Ann Menge
Leslie Sullivan
Alexandra ’Lexy’ Wellman
Elizabeth Wick
OFFICER OF ADMINISTRATION
RECOGNITION AWARD
Greg Kerber
Mary Rigby
Vicki Wanner
Laura Wille
2002
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Jami Barnes
Linda Campbell
Jim Horstrup
Lynn Woolfe
OFFICER OF ADMINISTRATION
Coleen Ebert
Rebecca Goodrich
James Meacham
Marilyn Reid
2001
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Carol Kleinheksel
Mary Ellen Mansfield
Carla McNelly
Karyn Smith
Linda Walton
OFFICER OF ADMINISTRATION
RECOGNITION AWARD
Linda Kyhn
Marla Lowen
Fred Tepfer
Mark Turner
2000
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Debbie Burrington
Sheree_ Johnson
Terrie Penfold
Adam Yapp
OFFICER OF ADMINISTRATION
RECOGNITION AWARD
Leslie Bennett
Dorothy Grover
Anne Leavitt
Judith Ogasawara
1999
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
William Baxter
Douglas Gorder
Dennis Harrington
Abe Ocon
Ronald Stockman
David Espinoza
Marcia LeBlanc
Susan Hair
Claudia Vincent
OFFICER OF ADMINISTRATION
RECOGNITION AWARD
Vicki Bockes
Paul Csonka
Elaine Green
James Heiss
Jane Wagner
1998
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Sharla Davis
Bonnie Faulk
Tim Hehn
Suzanne von Kleist
Stephen Willow
OFFICER OF ADMINISTRATION
RECOGNITION AWARD
Stephanie Carnahan
Ronald Finley
Joanne Hugi
Joan Nelson
1997
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Teresa Benedict
Brett Giles
Nick Miller
Jerry Reese
Jane Spagnola
Sandra Stewart
Debbie Thurman
MANAGEMENT SERVICE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Sharon Fox
Laurie Matsen
Mark Turner
1996
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Nancy Blake
Connie Tapp
Paul Jasheway
Kenny Ly
Georgia J. Scott
Tina Songer-Haynes
Daniel Wectawski
MANAGEMENT SERVICE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Marjorie Bigelow
Rachele Raia
Gary A. Smith
Laura Willey
1995
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Pat Edwards
Carol Giantonio
Laurel Hanley
Marian Moser
Nancy Farmer
Juan Gonzalez
Sharon Leutschaft
Martina Versoza
MANAGEMENT SERVICE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Jerry Dominy
Barbara Luton
Ceci LaFayette
Kathie Stanley
1994
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Velda Arnaud
Rebecca Boustead
Don Graling
Loo-Ann Grove
S. Joseph Harris
Mike Kraiman
Sherrie McArthur
Shelley Studer
MANAGEMENT SERVICE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Gail Currin
Toby Joy Deemer
Linda Johnsen
Cathy Method
Joan Walker
1993
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Sheryll Benson
Katie Geiser
Sallie Kirkpatrick
Dennis Kunkel
Marilyn Martin
Ernie Rimerman
MANAGEMENT SERVICE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Daralyn DeHaven-Murdoch
Lori Jirges
Tim King
Jim Lacock
Shirien Stevens
1992
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Dianna DuClos
Karyn Kaplan
LaVerne Norman
Linda Ritchie
MANAGEMENT SERVICE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Donna Franklin
Colette Freitag
Larry Tergesen
1991
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Betty Nichols
Raymond Palacios
Rebecca Pardo
Jennifer Rowan
MANAGEMENT SERVICE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Molly Drahn
Robert Gault
Sandra Lebow
Carol Rydbom
1990
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Shelly Carlson
Deanne DuFresne
MANAGEMENT SERVICE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Rodney Bowman
Dawne Dougherty
James Heiss
1989
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Nancy McKaughan
Hazel Powell
Maxine Lee
MANAGEMENT SERVICE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Carol Babb
Edith Hise
1988
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Chris Stole
Bud Bauman
MANAGEMENT SERVICE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Virginia Byford
Carol Cox
Rebecca Hoglund
1987
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Connie Hixson
Nancy Nathanson
Suzie Prichard
Theron Savelich
MANAGEMENT SERVICE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Sandra Hill
Wayne Merritt
Shirien Stevens
1986
CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Barbara Butler
Susie Endow
William Mumbach
MANAGEMENT SERVICE
RECOGNITION AWARD
Barbara Korando
Jack Steward

2016 Outstanding Employee Award Winners

Congratulations to this year's distinguished panel of Outstanding Award recipients:

picture of barbara arena-crandall

Barbara Arena-Crandall
Early Childhood Associate Teacher
Early Childhood CARES

Barabara exemplifies the UO community spirit each and every day as she delivers special education to children in need across Lane County. Barbara is an early childhood teacher with Early Childhood CARES.  Her leadership in the classroom is deeply valued.  One supporter said “she leads the team in a gentle way, taking input freely and achieving consensus and unified vision for how the classroom should run.”  Those who nominated Barbara for this award describe the challenges of her work as she provides critical development opportunities for preschoolers heavily impacted by autism spectrum disorder.  Her ability to adjust her teaching style and methodologies to the individual needs of each child is remarkable and admired by her coworkers.  Her classroom is described as “a living demonstration of best practice teaching strategies.” Barbara demonstrates in her work that the combination of technical expertise and interpersonal effectiveness delivers excellence on the job.

Craig Ashford

Craig Ashford
Assistant General Counsel and Interim Director
Office of General Counsel and
Purchasing and Contracting Services

Craig, who many know through the general counsel office, has embraced the meaning of leadership stepping into the interim director role in Purchasing and Contracting Services facilitating transformative change.  His recognition is unique in that his nomination was spearheaded by his colleagues in Purchasing and Contracting.  This is a genuine reflection of the qualities of leadership and community that Craig demonstrates in his work.  He is described as a servant leader who makes sure everyone has a seat at the table and is given a chance to speak.  This statement from one of his colleagues paints an excellent picture of Craig in action, “I have quite a bit of admiration for Craig’s ability to encourage creativity and problem solving from all members of the team.  He makes everyone feel included and respected.  While expecting our best and giving us tools and support to reach our best.”

alicia de gonzalez

Alicia De Gonzalez
Divisional Personnel and Budget Specialist for the Social Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences

Alicia works day in and day out as a budget specialist in the College of Arts and Sciences.  She is considered a go-to person for the programs and department managers within CAS division of social sciences.  Her expertise both in her day-to-day work and the various committees across campus she has served on is sought out and valued.  Alicia is described as the herder of all cat herders; it is her disposition that sets her apart and deeply impacts those around her.  One supporter said “No matter how busy she is, she always has a minute and a smile for the people she works with and supports.”  Another offered this, “Alicia has an incredible work ethic and high standards, which she expects of others around her.  But she is also someone who everyone likes and enjoys in the office because of her good humor, easy going personality, and willingness to help with any task.” 

rebecca flynn

Rebecca Flynn
Co-Director
Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics

Rebecca received high accolades from her nominators and supporters.  Rebecca is described as an energetic, creative and enormously competent leader who has helped make the Wayne Morris Center for Law and Politics one of UO’s most dynamic and respected programs. 

zudegi giordano

Zudegi Giordano
Office Coordinator
Planning, Public Policy and Management

Zudegi is the office coordinator for Planning, Public Policy and Management.  Her work is broadly recognized as impeccable and thorough, but it is her presence and devotion to every individual who crosses her path that leaves a lasting impression on those around her.  One of her many cheerleaders said, “She considers no issue, problem, or concern as being too little or unimportant and is focused on promoting opportunity for all students.”  In fact, students often describe leaving interactions with her feeling empowered and call them Zudegi-moments.  She has a unique ability to connect with students, faculty and staff providing critical support and expertise while also making each person feel important. 

amy harter

Amy Harter
Academic Programs Assistant
Department of Education Studies

Amy is an academic program assistant in the department of education studies.  She is revered in her department for her dependability, hard work, and boundless support of the graduate students in the program.  Her innovation developed data retrieval method for the program staff to target specific students into scholarship recommendations and other university opportunities.  This has resulted in increased funding and resources for well over half of the students in the program.  One of her colleagues shared, “Amy works tirelessly for our program.  I’m not sure she knows another way to be.  I often feel she is the glue that holds it all together.  I have so much respect and appreciation for her.  There is no one more deserving of this award.”

suzie heilman

Suzie Heilman
Housing and Homestay Coordinator
American English Institute

Suzie is recognized as an outstanding employee in large part because of the successful home stay program she has helped build in American English Institute.  Research has shown that international students often have difficulty acculturating and building relationships outside of their own cultural groups, which can impact student success.  The attention to detail and deep care Suzie gives to connecting students with host families lessens the challenges AEI students encounter and assists them with becoming a part of the campus and local community, which improves their overall success.  Suzie is described as the ultimate matchmaker as she gleans information from students and host families to create connection.  While her expertise with recruiting and screening is duly noted, Suzie brings a level of kindness and professionalism that defines the home stay program at AEI.

karyn kaplan

Karyn Kaplan
Zero Waste Program Manager
Campus Operations

Karyn works tirelessly across campus, leading hundreds of student employees over the years, to promote recycling and deliver on our university value of sustainable living.  One of her champions says, “The Zero Waste program and its contributions to the mission of the university would not be what it is today had it not been for Karyn’s commitment and passion for making a difference in the world and in people’s lives.”  Karyn is a regarded as an expert in her field, and her work is being modeled at a number of universities around the country and across the globe.  To quote another supporter,  “Her passion for her mission is greatly inspiring, she sticks with it, firmly grounded ethically in the reasons to recycle.” The program Karyn leads is diverting 59% of the universities waste to reuse, recycle or waste reduction on campus. 

nick mahlum

Nick Mahlum
Office Specialist 2
Department of History

Nick serves graciously as the face of the Department of History sitting front and center in the department’s main office. Nick is a master of promoting inclusivity among the office staff.  He greets every person who walks through the door with a smile and a genuine, ‘Hello, how are you?’” Nick models consistency, dependability and approachability as he goes about his work, but it is the effort he makes going above and beyond wearing many hats as he supports faculty, students and staff.  He remains cheerful, approachable and helpful even under stress.  One Nick supporter echoed the sentiments of being by saying “Nick is always on the ball and someone we all want in our corner.”

beth roy

Beth Roy
Executive Administrative Assistant
Art Department

Beth Roy as the Executive Administrative Assistant, "the center of everything," is integrally involved in every aspect of the Art Department. It is the mix of her professionalism and personal connection that makes her one of the department’s most valuable assets.  Her contributions are evident in the department’s work product as described by one supporter, “Beth consistently provides support that goes above and beyond what is expected in order to not only make a project happen but improve how it happens so that it can be even better next time.  She works as an intermediary between faculty and staff paving a smooth pathway for community connections to flourish.”  In Beth’s nominations materials, she was paid one of the highest compliments.  Beth is described as “good keeper of a respectful workplace.” 

karyn schultz

Karyn Schultz
Administrative Program Assistant
American English Institute

Karyn works diligently to make the international students enrolled in AEI feel welcome and at home.  She bridges the physical distance between the various parts of AEI endlessly striving to share information and facilitate communication.  One supporter wrote, “She strives for excellence in everything she does and is a great encouragement to others to do the same.”  Karyn’s commitment to doing whatever it takes to get the job done is recognized and admired by those around her.  Her contributions are best summed by this statement shared by another supporter, “She is always professional, eager to solve problems with a win-win solution and seeks the ethical decision when making decisions.”

leslie stephenson

Leslie Stephenson
Coordinator of Finance and Operations
College of Education

Leslie is the Coordinator of Finance and Operations for Counseling Psychology and Human Services.  She is recognized for outstanding work in a complex environment. The faculty consistently report that she is creative and intelligent in her problem solving strategies, gracious in her attempts to help students, staff and faculty and she is always friendly and positive.  One of Leslie’s many supporters says, “In her work and professional interactions, she embodies excellence, critical thinking, sound reasoning, ethical decision making, and strong leadership skills.”  Above and beyond Leslie’s demonstrated knowledge and skill, her supporters indicate that she brings her sense of humor to her work, which allows everyone she works with to feel more positive about the work environment.

cynthia stockwell

Cynthia Stockwell
Office Manager/Project Manager
Department of Comparative Literature

Cynthia strives to build community between graduate and undergraduates students in the Comparative Literature Department through her development of a mentorship program.  She wears many hats as an Office Manager and Project manager and is described by her colleagues as one of the most committed people to the mission of the public university they know.  Cynthia has brought technical expertise to the department’s work making meaningful impact through numerous projects.  While valued for her boundless knowledge and commitment to education, Cynthia is also recognized for her leadership.  Her supporters say that she is a gracious and tireless leader who leads by example.  This quote really captures who Cynthia is and what she brings to the university, “Cynthia has chosen to devote her considerable gifts—her intelligence, her mental agility, her capability, her strength of character, and her patience—to fostering the life of the mind.”

 

2017 Outstanding Employee Award Winners

Congratulations to this year's distinguished panel of Outstanding Award recipients:

photo of Arnita Albertson

Arnita Albertson
Scheduling & Academic Support Specialist
American English Institute

Arnita exemplifies the spirit of an Outstanding Employee each and every day as she expertly navigates the twists and turns of course scheduling, instructor preferences, and room availability. That in and of itself deserves an award, but Arnita Albertson is recognized for more than her scheduling expertise; she delivers so much more than her title of scheduling and academic support specialist indicates. Arnita’s preparedness, attention to detail, and systems thinking has made her an integral part of the decision making process at the American English Institute. Arnita is described as “dependable, an excellent problem-solver, and amiable team member who juggles complex tasks with grace on a daily basis and maintains her composure under tight deadlines.” According to one of Arnita’s many supporters, her contributions to AEI are voluminous, but above all, she makes a significant contribution as AEI seeks to meet the UO vision, and Arnita allows faculty and staff who interact with students to fulfill the university’s purpose.


photo of Megan Banks

Megan Banks
Sustainable City Year Program Manager
Sustainable Cities Initiative

Megan Banks leads a program in the Sustainable Cities Initiative department that embodies what this university is all about—our vision of enriching the human condition through collaboration, teaching, mentoring, creative inquiry, outreach and public service. Each year, Megan matches 25-30 existing university courses and their professors to community-defined project areas in an Oregon community. She often works with faculty in five UO Schools (Business, Law, CAS, Design, and Journalism) and must meet their individual needs and collective goals to achieve an outcome that is much bigger than any individual part. A key indicator of Megan’s success is the community of faculty she has built who proudly identify as a Sustainable Cities Yearly Program contributor. The 500+ students who participate in the program annually also identify with this larger program community as one of the most important academic and professional experiences they have at the UO. The impact of Megan’s work is summed up by one of her supporters who represents a city involved in a recent program. He shared that while the goal of the operation is a partnership, there are always competing interests that Megan fairly balances to ensure the program is a success for all involved, students, faculty, and City staff and decision makers.


photo of Melissa Bowers

Melissa Bowers
Department Manager
Department of English

Melissa is recognized for transforming the culture and atmosphere of the Department of English. She has facilitated this change by empowering staff, making key hires, and setting a standard for leadership and expectations. She has also made courtesy and customer service a top priority while providing an exemplary model of both. The Department Head, David Vazquez, shared that he is amazed at Melissa’s ability to make such positive changes for the staff, students, and faculty in such a short period of time. Melissa joined the English Department less than 3 years ago. Members of the department share their accolades by saying she demonstrates the most professional, efficient management style they have ever experienced in 25 years while working at numerous universities. Melissa’s value and contribution has extended beyond the English Department as she steps into a larger leadership role within the College of Arts and Sciences. One supporter summed it up best by saying Melissa has contributed to the mission of the department and the university in her focus on supporting students and teachers in their various work; she has enhanced the work culture, the sense of community and inclusion among office staff, faculty administrators, and all department stakeholders; and, by example and gentle guidance, she provides leadership within the department and beyond. I don’t know about you, but I am planning a visit to the English Department very soon, to check it out and learn from one of our university's prized leaders. Melissa, congratulations on earning this award.


photo of Paula Braswell

Paula Braswell
Director of Admissions
Clark Honors College

Paula exemplifies the university’s mission in every interaction, be it an internal honors college staff meeting, an interview with a prospective student or parent, on the road presenting to Portland about the honors college, or in the grocery store. Paula’s clarity about the university’s mission that values excellent academics aimed at civic engagement, her personal integrity, her understanding of processes and interest in improvement – on both a human and systems level – and her devotion to personal responsibility, dependability, and humane compassion have earned Paula the respect and trust of her faculty and staff colleagues as well as the students in the Clark Honor College. Paula’s excellence is evidenced in the enrollment at the college as admissions are up this year and the student body is more diverse. Her supporters describe her as the beating heart of the Honors College, beloved by all and absolutely essential to their existence. No one is more masterful at conveying the heart, as well as the rigor, of the Clark Honors College.


photo of tom Coates

Tom Coates
Fabrication Lab Supervisor
College of Design

Tom Coates transforms his talents literally into tangible products for all to treasure. Tom's management of the wood shop in the College of Design has built a site where new and experienced students alike can feel empowered to pursue their research and ideas in a welcoming and non-judgmental environment. Fabrication shops can feel intimidating to new students in particular. This is where Tom's real contribution comes through. Tom's genuine warmth creates an environment where my students feel like they can access Tom's expertise without judgement. Tom has made the College of Design's wood shop a beehive of activity and inclusiveness. One supporter adds that Tom has positively affected so many students with his love for wood working and his cleverness for problem solving. He goes the extra mile for students, creating tutorial videos of how to use the equipment, building structures and storage so the shop is in excellent condition, and he repeatedly stays after normal work hours to help students complete their projects during midterms and finals. He embraces the ideas and creativity of both students and faculty, and he works with each and everyone of them to achieve their goals no matter how odd the project may be. He once helped an art student engrave an image on a chocolate bar.  Tom’s unwavering support and dependable calmness inspires those around him.


photo of  Travis Hadwen

Travis Hadwen
Food Service Worker 3
University Housing

Travis Hadwen is outstanding not only because of his dependability and dedication to serving thousands of students in one of the busiest dining halls on campus, but also because of his keen ability to elevate the work of those around him. Travis goes above and beyond in everything he does serving as a role model for service and excellence on-the-job. His nomination was spearheaded by his immediate co-workers who treasure his kind spirit, humility, resourcefulness, and communication, not to mention his mad food prep skills. Travis influences others to do their best through positive reinforcement and kind-hearted criticism. One of Travis’ colleagues describes him as a remarkably humble person who can admit a mistake while empowering those around him through understanding and mentorship. Above all, Travis transforms a high-pace, pressure packed kitchen into an enjoyable place to work.


photo of Loring Hummel

Loring Hummel
Web Services Team Lead
CAS Information Technology

Loring Hummel exemplifies cross-department collaboration. He serves the College of Arts and Sciences community in a variety of ways by delivering technological solutions to countless needs. As a leader of the web services team, Loring has demonstrated an exemplary combination of technical expertise, professionalism, and leadership. His supervisor shares insight into Loring’s success by saying, “From collaborative planning to shared retrospectives at the end of a project, and at their daily check-ins, the web team has reached a new level of respectful and intensive communication and peer accountability. This shared leadership model is having a beneficial, contagious effect on the rest of our organization.” Another supporter said, “Loring is a skilled developer and database programmer, but his key strengths lie in strategic thinking and project management. Loring reminds us to see the big picture for our college and for the university as a whole. He is always thinking about how our projects fit into our mission and with other projects. In this way, he brings a much-valued sense of strategy and vision. It is apparent that Loring has a remarkable way of bringing people from different departments and areas of expertise together to deliver a collaborative project to completion that elevates the university’s important work for faculty and students alike.  He has a high degree of trustworthiness and diplomacy, which are essential for negotiations with stakeholders of enterprise data and enterprise systems, and Loring's clarity and expertise win trust again and again.


photo of Kim Larsen

Kim Larsen
Office Specialist 2
Center for Applied Second Language Studies

Kim Larsen has evolved her role as an Office Specialist 2 from routine office management to become an integral part of the Center for Applied Second Language Studies’ ability to thrive at this university. She has taken on key processes, most notably editing proposals and other communications, to elevate the success of the center, which relies exclusively on external funding. Originally tasked with simply reading proposals to correct grammar and punctuation, Kim has now become a key contributor by editing proposals for clarity and ensuring that they meet the request for proposal guidelines. The quality of her work has allowed for more of a hand-off approach of less-than-polished drafts, knowing that Kim will help shape them into a quality proposal for submission. Kim has also become a figure of accountability in the office. She works independently with a project management system she helped develop to be sure that project teams are using the system, that information is retrievable within the system, and that project teams have the information they need to do their best work. Her weekly accountability check-ins with project teams have created a structure in which every employee feels supported. In addition to her work within the center, Kim has fostered a community with other units the Riverfront Research Park building. As new units move in, Kim has organized welcome events for them. Even those in other departments recognize Kim’s contributions as they frequently seek her out to ask questions about facilities or to locate resources on campus more generally. Kim exemplifies the attributes of a competent, caring, and committed employee who advances the university’s important work, day in and day out.


photo of Missy Matella

Missy Matella
Assistant General Counsel
Office of General Counsel

Missy Matella has the difficult task of navigating the legal world of higher education while also facilitating progress and change. She has worked tirelessly to bridge the Office of General Counsel with countless departments and units across the university. She has engaged in outreach efforts widely, bringing an open mind and willingness to listen and hear the concerns of others. Her efforts have built trust with very critical constituents including faculty and staff. One supporter captured the essence of Missy Matella in a nutshell: “While Missy's keen intellect is critical to her success, it is her judgment and interpersonal skills that are fundamental to her effectiveness. Clients across campus seek out her counsel not just because she knows the law, but because she brings sound judgment to her advice, explaining difficult realities and concepts with a disarmingly easy-going, and understandable style. Her work, in particular, on the newly adopted “responsible employee” policy shows Missy’s skill at building consensus, as her work was instrumental in the crafting of a policy that, once highly contentious, was ultimately passed with a strong consensus of stakeholders. In a world that is often critical, or even skeptical, of attorneys, we have a truly outstanding one among us.


photo of Dee Rawson

Dee Rawson
Senior Human Resources Specialist
Human Resources

Dee Rawson has been at the university for 36 years and has worked in numerous offices all related to institutional research, budgeting, finance and administration, and human resources. She is truly the magic behind the curtain as she coordinates with departments and units across campus to ensure employment data is accurate and entered in a timely fashion. While Dee is certainly valued for her dependable accuracy, attention to detail, and institutional knowledge, those who have the pleasure of working with Dee equally value her cheerful disposition, kind collaborative problem-solving, and her healthy balance between compliance and accommodation. Like many of the other award recipients, Dee’s work in HR crosses over into other departments and units across campus. Here is what a few HR partners have to say about working with Dee:

  • "Dee searches for the most efficient way of accomplishing our tasks, while staying within the boundaries of her own strong sense of ethics and compliance."
  • "Dee is always more than happy to help and very quick to respond. Even though a call from Dee often means I probably made a mistake, I am always glad to talk to her. I really appreciate her direct, but at the same time, very kind nature!"
  • "I have only memorized three phone numbers on campus, 1) my main office, 2) my own, and 3) Dee Rawson's. She is such an incredible resource and colleague. She is helpful and knowledgeable, and her attention to detail and grasp of pay procedures blows my mind. Dee applies her knowledge and expertise to work through difficult situations that relate to payroll, issues that are often politically and time sensitive. She is always, and I mean ALWAYS, super cheerful, respectful, accessible, and collaborative."

photo of Laurie Schneider

Laurie Schneider
Grants/Contracts Coordinator
Department of Physics

Laurie Schneider wears many hats within the Physics department. She at any moment can be found navigating an HR service as the business manager of the department, coordinating accounting and purchasing services to get a newly hired faculty member's lab set up, or providing post-ward grant administration. Laurie touches all things to keep the department of physics in operation and do so with exceptional expertise, customer service, and respect. Her colleagues recall numerous occasions when Laurie has successfully resolved what seemed like an intractable issue involving grants or contracts. Her resolve is truly remarkable and valued immensely by the faculty and staff with whom she works. Laurie’s dependability, leadership and graciousness has kept an even keel and provided stability during a period of transition. Her willingness to step up enabled the physics department to continue to deliver outstanding work on behalf of the university.


photo of Arturo Zavala

Arturo Zavala
Academic Advisor
College of Design 

Arturo Zavala reflects what being an exemplary institution of higher education is all about as he touches the lives of countless students each and every day. As an academic advisor in the College of Design, he routinely goes above and beyond to help students make connections across campus. From collaborations with Residence Life to co-advising students with colleagues from the Center for multicultural academic excellence and the Office of Academic Advising, Arturo consistently promotes the idea of an academic team, helping students access advising from a community of campus support. He takes a holistic approach to helping promote student success, which is evident both in his work with individual students and his contributions to groups like the Tuition Refund Committee or University Advisor Cabinet, where he likewise demonstrates a commitment to creating an equitable campus climate. As stated by one of Arturo’s many supporters, he is a champion of collaboration and teamwork within and across departments. One of Arturo’s many notable accomplishments while working at UO is the development of College Block, a Week of Welcome Signature Event that has become a UO tradition involving over 40 departments and more than a thousand incoming students. Arturo’s leadership and emphasis on building community allowed College Block as a means to encourage students to pursue their curiosity, build connections with faculty on campus, and encounter their interests across a variety of academic disciplines. His vision and implementation during College Block’s development process were instrumental in ensuring an event that engages students’ interests while promoting the liberal arts values and research mission of the university. This statement nicely sums up Arturo’s accomplishments and contributions: “Arturo exemplifies the University of Oregon mission on a daily basis by acting on a human scale to generate big ideas. His positive energy, creativity, and commitment to inclusivity and excellence get things done for the students he serves, as well as for his unit, division, and college.”