(l. to r.): Ray Hedrick '97, Ellen Stack, Debbie Napier, Susan Reilly-Cassidy, Saleema Ansari, Su-Chen Lo, President Lindgren(not pictured: Jeff Hague)
Before presenting the awards, Lindgren paid tribute to the staff members who recently put in extra-long hours because of inclement weather.
“Members of our Physical Plant were out early even when we were closed or opened late,” he said. “In addition, staff from Campus Safety, Residence Life, the Library, the Athletic Department and the Provost’s Office were on the scene making sure that the needs of our students were being addressed and that all were safe. There are too many people to name individually, but I have listed them on the screen behind me and I ask all of you to join me in recognizing the yeoman work of this incredibly dedicated group with a huge round of applause.”
The Excellence in Service Award is given to an employee who provides excellent service to students, staff, faculty, parents, alumni, or visitors.
Debbie Napier (admissions)“Debbie’s hard work and contribution to Randolph-Macon College is very much ‘behind the scenes,’” said Lindgren as he presented her with the award. “Debbie is responsible for the original generation of all of our student records and insures that all of the data elements flow through our various systems. Debbie has been a constant source of competency and efficiency for over 25 years, while the advances in technology and volumes of data have changed dramatically. She has adapted to new systems, new technology and new challenges with professionalism and grace.”
David Lesesne, vice president for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid, said this of Napier in his nomination letter: “Debbie has been a leader in learning and managing our new and improved admissions database and in helping the office run more efficiently. Debbie has tremendous skills, a wonderful attitude and deep commitment to the college. She is a most deserving recipient of the Yellow Jacket Award for Excellence in Service.”
Ray Hedrick ’97 (athletics)“We know up front that Ray’s baseball teams are consistently at or near the top of the ODAC, and they are getting to be ‘regulars’ in the NCAA Division III baseball tournament,” said Lindgren. “Despite that public recognition, much of Ray’s exceptional service goes unrecognized. Ray works tirelessly to develop his team members as athletes. It is not unusual for him to attend meetings including his students and their professors in order to emphasize how seriously he takes academic work. Beyond his work with individual students, Ray models the good citizenship he expects of the young men he mentors. He serves as a member of the college’s judicial council, and he is frequently the ‘game manager’ for high-profile athletic contests. He is an advocate for the prevention of sexual assault and relationship violence and he has worked closely with other faculty and staff members to promote a climate of respect for all students on our campus.”
Susan Reilly-Cassidy (Brock Center)Cassidy is in her 11th season as the coach of the Dance and Cheer teams. The teams are an active part of every home football and basketball game and also at ODAC Conference Tournaments.
“Susan has also worked with her collegians to fund raise and practice so that they can compete at the regional and national levels of their sport,” said Lindgren. “Her teams have won several regional championships and consequently have been invited to compete on the national level in their class. Under her skilled coaching, they have consistently placed in the top five in every national competition and are currently ranked #5 in the U.S. Susan has dramatically improved the skill level of our spirit teams and increased their public visibility at both community events and competitions. She is a part-time employee with full-time loyalty for the Jackets.”
The Excellence Behind the Scenes Award is given to a staff member who provides excellent service behind the scenes, showing initiative and drive, and making Randolph-Macon a better place for work and study. Three staff members were presented this award.
Saleema Ansari (housekeeping)Ansari has worked in Old Chapel, Conrad and Mary Branch, and is currently responsible for the Welcome Center and the second floor of the Copley Science Center.
“Saleema often provides housekeeping support at R-MC sporting events and she has formed friendships with several elderly spectators who attend the games,” said Lindgren. “She can be seen helping them from the bleachers, and she has also mentored several of our students through the years and served as actual sponsor for at least one graduating senior during Commencement ceremonies. Recently, while supporting an admissions event, on her own initiative she served coffee to several prospective students and parents. This is just one example of how far she goes above and beyond to support the college. Saleema is a dedicated, hardworking and compassionate employee who is respected by all who know her.”
Jeff Hague (ITS)“Jeff has been given this award because of his excellent service and contributions to improve ITS, the R-MC network, and servers used on campus,” said Lindgren. “As a network manager, most of Jeff’s work is done behind the scenes, and he is rarely the public face of IT, unless there is a problem. Jeff has made several important contributions during this year that have expanded wireless services, improved network security, increased network bandwidth, and made it easier for guests on campus to utilize the R-MC wireless network. He has also been instrumental in adopting new change communication procedures and assisting with the development of strategic plans for improving ITS services. Jeff has been called at all hours of the day and night to correct network or server problems having major impacts on college services, and he has responded willingly and with a positive attitude."
Su-Chen Lo (provost's office)“To quote a nominator, ‘Su-Chen has a big job,’” said Lindgren. “She is the support person for all of the science departments. That means making sure that laboratory sessions in the departments of physics, chemistry and biology take place safely, and with all of the correct equipment and supplies. She does all of this with a high level of competence and a smile. The departments simply could not function without her. Behind the scenes, she negotiates prices, finds similar products to the ones specified at large discounts, and makes sure that everything arrives on time, saving the college hundreds if not thousands of dollars each and every year. Su-Chen’s job is to keep things in working order, and she extends that effort beyond the equipment and supplies to our students and the faculty members she supports. The quiet, effective manner in which Su-Chen accomplishes each and every one of her tasks allows those department leaders to assume that all is well in the lab, that details have been attended to, and that effective laboratory work will happen in every session.”
The Excellence as a Team Member Award is given to an employee who exhibits outstanding teamwork and cooperation, both in his/her own department and with others.
Ellen Stack (advancement)“In so many ways Ellen works behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly and Randolph-Macon at its best,” said Lindgren. “As her nominator states, ‘Ellen Stack gets things done! She works collaboratively with the Advancement team, ITS and other offices on campus while continually looking for solutions to problems and unblocking logjams to productivity.’ It is not within Ellen’s nature to pass the buck. She will go the extra mile to get a project done, often being the first to roll up her sleeves, regardless of the task. She is extremely thoughtful of her staff’s time and, as a result, is willing to put in many extra hours so that others don’t have to. Vice President Diane Lowder sums it up as simply as this: ‘Ellen is a can-do person with a work ethic to match. She makes R-MC a better place.’”