Congratulations to this year's distinguished panel of Outstanding Award recipients:
Doug Burzell is known as “the heart of UO Portland.” As a leader in the IT department, Doug believes everyone has the ability to successfully use technology no matter what their background may be. He has fantastic customer service skills and is an outstanding role model for his fellow employees, particularly the student workers as he focuses on both the how and the why. He provides instruction on how to get things done and offers perspective for the impact the work has on the university. He is dedicated to his job and always makes himself available, whether it is in his IT lane or just the right the thing to do in support of a co-worker. Those who have had the privilege to work alongside Doug say that this is just how he is. As one person said, “He cares about everyone, supports the team, and is an exceptional person."
Zach Fairchild is the mastermind behind many of the Student Life events that go on around campus. His leadership, dedication, and resourcefulness where put on display during this year’s Days of Service during Week of Welcome when he stepped up to a critical role in the event’s success. His contributions ensured accessible transportation and project options and engaged new and more diverse groups of incoming students.
Beyond the success of the events he coordinates, Zach is being recognized as an Outstanding Employee for the way he connects the university and its students. Zach creates a place and opportunity for everyone he works with to make a contribution and feel like they are part of the success. He empowers the people around him by not telling them what to do, but by giving them support and providing tools to do what they envision to make the event success. A co-worker shared, “I am inspired by him because when I need assistance he didn’t do the work for me – he gave me the resources and encouragement to do the work and grow as a professional.”
As a dedicated nurse, Nancy Harvey is known to be universally liked by everyone she meets. She is able to communicate compassionately and effectively with people of all walks of life, culture, genders and races. One co-worker described Nancy as a champion of her patients and her co-workers by seeing past immediate emotional reactions to discover the best possible solutions to personal and work crisis situations. Her positive attitude and personal drive to treat all with fairness and empathy is a key factor in her success as both a medical professional and a health center leader. Nancy’s experience, dedication, empathy, inclusion, and kindness are an inspiration to those working and visiting the University Health Center.
Over the past 15 years, Amy has grown and developed the First-Year Interest Group Program making it significantly more effective. Amy’s hard work and unique contributions are building an experience that connects first-year students to a community, helps them navigate the institution effectively, and make meaning out of their general education requirements. Through her leadership, the University of Oregon will have an innovative, effective first-year experience for all students by fall 2020.
Amy has had an “immeasurable ripple effect” at the university. The hundreds of undergraduate First-Year Group assistants (FAs), Amy mentors each year pay her kindness and leadership in their work with thousands of undergraduate students. During her 15 years of service, it is conservatively estimated that Amy has touched the lives of hundreds of FAs, and those FAs have touched the lives of well over 16,000 students.
Abigail Leeder has found a way to infuse creativity and humanity into all of her collaborative projects and has incredible ingenuity when it comes to transforming campus culture. She has spearheaded a number of projects and initiatives specifically dedicated to community engagement. Examples of her work include two national award winning student theatre troupes: Rehearsals for Life and the Sexual Wellness Advocacy Team, that address social issues on campus, and "Intertwined" an annual personal storytelling event for members of the UO community. Abigail's work is all about creating an environment for the campus community to share vulnerably about their lived experiences in an effort to foster a sense of belonging for everyone. Abigail is deeply committed to helping students and students consistently comment on how empowered they feel by her leadership. In the words of one of her colleagues, “Abigail has worked tirelessly to expand safe and affirming spaces on campus as a commitment to students, faculty and staff. I have no doubt that in the years to come, Abigail will continue to be a positive and transformative force for social climate change at the University of Oregon and beyond.”
Kristina Mollman represents the magic that happens behind-the-scenes to keep departments throughout our schools and colleges operating smoothly while faculty are educating the next generation of leaders. Kristina is the Department Manager for Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). Her colleagues credit her with creating clear policies, processes and communications that help undergraduate students find their way through the program, access supportive resources, and solve problems as easily as possible. As one person stated, “she has masterminded the administrative changes associated with a substantial reform of the Political Science major.” Kristina’s impact and success has made her a model for other departments in CAS. Others are frequently directed to her for advice and guidance for developing procedures. Many of her recommendations and adaptations in Political Science have been adopted across CAS.
One of the more notable accomplishments shared by Kristina’s colleagues is the active role she has played in the creation of a departmental Equality and Inclusion committee, contributing substantially to the discussion over its mandate and the interaction of faculty and staff responsibilities. In the department’s first Tenure-Track Faculty search within the new Institutional Hiring Plan, Kristina carefully redesigned the entire search process to upgrade recruitment of diverse populations and the systematic consideration of diversity at every stage of our search process.
Jenny San is widely considered a key “part of the backbone and infrastructure of the School of Journalism and Communication.” Jenny is often the first point of contact for most students whenever there is an issue. She is a kind, helpful and understanding individual who knows exactly how to deescalate high-tension conversations, which is admired by her colleagues.
As the Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Jenny has helped re-envision the Student Ambassador program by developing intentional activities and content designed to effectively hire, train and supervise student ambassadors. Her passion and dedication to student success is continually demonstrated through her work. One colleague described it best by saying “her holistic approach results in students feeling cared for and supported as they navigate the challenges and successes of college.”
Jennifer Smith’s “team first” attitude is contagious and contributes significantly to the community spirt and success of the Labor Education and Research Center. She plays an integral role in the daily ins and outs of the department and on numerous occasions she has stepped up in critical moments. When a colleague fell ill and was unable to coordinate the biggest program of the year, Jennifer got up to speed quickly and assumed immediate responsibility for delivering on critical tasks, so that the Labor Education and Research Center summer school event could not only take place but it was one of the largest and best organized sessions they have ever had. She even took it upon herself to document her work along the way, so the department would have a new and improved framework for the program.
Jennifer has had a direct impact on the faculty experience through her work in developing and executing a new full day faculty orientation for new faculty members. As one colleague stated, “She takes notable pride in ensuring that our programs, and the university’s reputation, are always shown in the best light.”
Betsy Tanenbaum is making her mark on the university at the Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact. She is building community through the launch of the Alumni Network for the master’s industrial Internship Program and her leadership of an Inclusion Network for master’s students. Betsy mentors a large number of students through her work. Her colleagues describe her impact in this way “Betsy helps students accept their authentic selves by providing a warm, open environment. She also is critical in the mentorship of student's professional skills- helping them become better interviewers and resume writers. This enables them to become more competitive for internships and employment opportunities.”
Students tell Betsy’s supervisor that participating in the inclusion network is the first time they have felt like they belonged in science. Through the professional development inclusion series and a full-day symposium, Betsy creates an environment where students can be themselves and be recognized for the talent they bring to the table. Betsy’s supervisor says it well: “Her work showcases UO's commitment to building inclusive leaders and fostering an environment that ensures all students are successful.
Stacey York has been a pivotal force in building community within the Knight Campus Internship Program as she has worked tirelessly to bring two existing programs under one umbrella within the Knight Campus. Under Stacey’s leadership and vision, she has hired new track directors, expanded programs, developed numerous new corporate partnerships, added many new internship partners, and re-engaged alumni. She has even raised industrial funding, such as a $100,000 gift from Thermo Fisher Scientific, for STEM scholarships for under-represented students.
Stacey has added critical professional development elements to the internship program to enhance diversity and inclusion. She launched the Inclusion Network in 2017 to help students learn skills necessary to be inclusive leaders and team members in the 21st century. One of Stacey’s colleagues sums up her contributions to the university best by saying ”Stacey is committed to the success of the Master’s Industrial Internship Program students and alumni, but she also actively identifies opportunities for synergy with other parts of the University of Oregon to advance its organizational mission. She has elevated the professional development element of the program and continues to work with faculty to create curriculum that will best prepare students for careers in industry.”