Student Staff Recognized at Residence Life Awards Luncheon

Danny Glassmann with award winners Ali Keeter, Clara St. Urbain, Heather Burgess, and Christie Pearce.

Danny Glassmann with award winners Ali Keeter, Clara St. Urbain, Heather Burgess, and Christie Pearce.

The Residence Life Appreciation Luncheon and Awards was held May 15, 2014 to celebrate the achievements and honor the accomplishments of student staff members who work in the Office of Residence Life at Oglethorpe, as well as recognize community members who have help support the work of Residence Life this year.

The Resident Assistant (RA) of the Year for 2013-2014 went to Alison “Ali” Keeter, RA of Jobe Hansen Residence Halls, in recognition of her dedication, passion, and leadership in building a strong sense of community for residential students at Oglethorpe University.

Raphael Coleman, assistant director of residence life and housing operations, presented the award and spoke about the important contributions Ali has made to Residence Life in terms of programming, team building, and availability.

In appreciation of their ongoing support of Residence Life and safety of the campus, the Office of Campus Safety was recognized with the Friend of Residence Life Award. The award was presented by Danny Glassmann, assistant dean of students and director of residence life, who shared how overwhelmingly the staff felt Campus Safety was one of Residence Life’s biggest partners on-campus and how appreciative the office is of their hard work in keeping our campus safe and secure.

Additional awards were presented in other areas to student staff members who exemplified excellence in individual areas. The winners of these awards were:

Traer RA of the Year: Christie Pearce
Bowden Magbee/Upper Quad RA of the Year: Clara St. Urbain
Jobe Hansen RA of the Year: Alison Keeter
Dempsey RA of the Year: Heather Burgess
Best Programmer of All Staff: Tirzah Brown and Christie Pearce
Social Program of the Year: Vagina Monologues, presented to Alison Keeter
(Honorable Mention: Bond Week, presented to Christopher Strickland and Samuel Lyon)
Academic Program of the Year: OgleBee, presented to Clara St. Urbain, Christopher Strickland, Elisabeth Carter, and Ben Caoili)

Congratulations to all of this year’s award winners, as well as the rest of the Residence Life staff who have done an outstanding job this year!

Staff and Faculty Honored at Employee Recognition Luncheon

Award winners Mark Gross, Jon Akin, Renee Vary Keele, Danny Glassmann, George Kopec and Melissa Briley.

Award winners Mark Gross, Jon Akin, Renee Vary Keele, Danny Glassmann, George Kopec and Melissa Briley.

The second annual Employee Recognition Luncheon was held this week and a number of staff and faculty members were recognized for their exceptional service to Oglethorpe.

Oglethorpe staff members were invited to nominate their peers for six awards that recognized individuals who have gone “beyond the call of duty.” All awards included a monetary prize.

The Staff Member of the Year Award for the 2013-14 academic year went to Renee Vary Keele, director of University Communications. Her award was presented by co-worker and nominator J. Todd Bennett, executive director of University Communications, who spoke of her revitalization of the university’s Carillon magazine and media relations efforts, which both garnered several national awards over the past year, among other accomplishments. “As the university’s editor-in-chief,” Todd said, “she has improved or created tools to tell the Oglethorpe story including the OU Stories, OU Newswire, and the Carillon. Renee’s taken on the work of arts promotion, including all marketing and promotion for the museum. She supports practically every office and department on campus, and does it exceedingly well.”

Additional awards were presented to staff members who exhibited exemplary conduct during the past year in specific categories. The winners of these awards are:
Customer Service Award: George Kopec, Director of Development Services
Professionalism Award: Danny Glassmann, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life
Quality Award: Mark Gross, Assistant Director of the Academic Success Center
Teamwork Award: Jon Akin, Head Soccer Coach
Creativity Award: Melissa Briley, Accounts Receivable Manager

The Staff Recognition Committee was responsible for reviewing and evaluating all of the nominations to determine the winners. This year’s committee was comprised of last year’s award winners Laura Masce, Suzy Lane, Judy Zahn and Katie Paden.

Additionally, pins were presented to employees who celebrated notable work anniversaries at Oglethorpe. Celebrating 5 years of service were Lesley Cole, Leah Zinner, Devon Belcher, Suzy Lane and David Dixon. Celebrating 10 years of service were Daniel Adams, Peter Howell, Kendra King, Lynn Guhde, Roarke Donnelly, Anne Salter and George Kopec. Celebrating 15 years of service were Nick Maher and John Carton. Jeffrey Collins celebrated 20 years and Alan Loehle, Jay Lutz and Barb Henry all celebrated 25 years. John Orme and Monte Wolf celebrated 30 and 35 years, respectively.

Congratulations to all of this year’s honorees, and thank you to everyone who dedicates their professional lives to benefit Oglethorpe University!

“In Love with the World”: Study Abroad in France

51Geneva3

Shea Pitre ’15 at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland

Before I began my study abroad at L’Université Catholique de Lille, I had never been out of the country and had rarely ventured out of the southern U.S. I’m an International Studies and French double major, so studying in France was a necessity, but the decision to do it for a year was both insanely easy and incredibly frightening. I was worried about all the usual things students worry about before they begin their study abroad. Would I like it? How was I going to handle being so far away from home for so long? Did I know enough French to actually live in France?

Not long after my arrival in France, all of my worries were put to rest. The first few months were not without their fair share of struggles and homesickness, but I quickly fell in love with my surroundings. Being constantly surrounded by the French language and culture was, and still is, absolutely thrilling. I am constantly learning new things in and out of the classroom, not only about the world around me but also about myself.

London

London!

In the classroom, I have been able to attain a higher level of French. I have also been able to gain a different perspective on international relations and what is going on in the world. Most of my classes this year have focused on international political ties and foreign policy from a French and broader European view, and it has truly enriched what I already knew and loved about my International Studies major.

My time abroad so far has been a truly transformative experience. Thanks to Europe’s connectedness, I’ve now been to 24 cities in 13 different countries, and I have learned so much in each place from experiencing it, rather than reading it out of a textbook. Besides finally realizing my childhood dream of going to Paris (which was amazing), one of the most exciting experiences I’ve had during my exchange was visiting the Palace of Nations and the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. It was so wonderful to learn its history and be in a place where so many important decisions have been made on the international front.

Lille

Lille, France

Thanks to all of these amazing experiences that I have had and the fact that I have been submersed in a completely different culture for seven months, I am more confident and inspired, and I have fallen in love with the world. However, as amazing as this experience has been, I am ready to return home to see where everything I have learned leads me in life and in the rest of my time at Oglethorpe. I urge every Oglethorpe student to talk to Dr. Collins and take advantage of one of the many amazing study abroad opportunities our school has to offer. You won’t regret it.