Oglethorpe faculty and staff awarded for service, community-building

As another academic year came to a close, faculty and staff were recently honored at the annual Employee Appreciation Celebration and several employees were recognized by their peers for exceptional service to the Oglethorpe community.

This year, faculty and staff submitted their nominations for two awards: Excellence in Service and Community Builders. Each award was accompanied with a small cash prize.

Employee Appreciation Lunch 2022

Staff honorees pictured from left to right: Kayla Matta, Miriam Smith, Dwayne Smalls and Keith Morgan.

The Community Builders award was presented to Dr. Iona Wynter-Parks and Dr. Sarah Terry for faculty, and Kayla Matta and Dwayne Smalls for staff. This award recognizes both faculty and staff members who demonstrate shared decision-making and collaboration; foster cooperation and open communication; and create opportunities to partner with other campus areas.

The Excellence in Service award was presented to Miriam Smith and Keith Morgan. This award recognizes staff members who consistently deliver high quality service, and inspire others by their commitment to learning and developing professional competence. Often through creativity or innovation, the recipients strengthen their department or the university overall.

Recipients were selected from the many nominations from across campus submitted to the Senior Administrative Leadership Team.

“Today we celebrate our community in a year of Herculean effort by many,” said President Nicholas Ladany in his opening remarks. “I am incredibly thankful for each of you and to be part of this university.”

The celebration also recognized the faculty and staff who were honored with awards earlier in the semester:

Lu Thomasson Garret Award for Meritorious Teaching – Dr. Lea Alford

Vulcan Materials Company Teaching Excellence Award – Dr. Seema Shrikhande

SGA Community Appreciation Award – Dr. Natasha Byrd

Donald C. Agnew Award – Leron Burge

ODK Outstanding Faculty Member Award – Dr. John Nardo

ODK Outstanding Staff Member Award – Barbara Henry

Spirit of the Alpha Phi Omega Award – Alan Loehle

Spirit of the Alpha Phi Omega Award – Greg Williams

Coaches of the Year- Autumn Johnson and Jim Owen

Teams of the Year – Men’s Basketball (Coaches: Phil Ponder and Will Long) and Women’s Lacrosse (Coaches: Autumn Johnson and Danielle Fuller)

In addition, the following employees were presented with service awards for significant work anniversaries, many of which were marked during the pandemic, when the event was on hiatus:

Celebrating 5 years:

  • Kim Hahn, Senior Accounts Payable Specialist
  • Caitlin Douglas, Director of Admission Operations
  • Dr. Lea Alford, Associate Professor of Biology
  • Dr. Katherine Zakos, Associate Professor of Communications Studies
  • Mary Rinaldi Winn, Director of Alumni Relations
  • Dr. Mariel Meier, Associate Professor of Physics
  • Kirk Shellhouse, Head Coach of Track & Field
  • Sandy Butler, Director, Human Resources
  • Dr. Glenn Sharfman, Professor of History

Celebrating 10 years:

  • Dr. John Merkel, Associate Professor of Mathematics
  • Matt Huff, Associate Professor of Theatre
  • Dr. Justin Wise, Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Collen Donaldson, HR Manager, Professional Development & Wellness
  • Renee Vary, Senior Director of Communications
  • Jessica Handler, Lecturer of English
  • Belinda Jones, Financial Aid Counselor
  • Johnathon Nooner, Assistant Professor of Scenic Design & Technical Theatre
  • Alex Richey, Head Coach, Women’s Basketball & Assistant Professor of Compliance
  • Dr. Brian Patterson, Associate Professor of Mathematics
  • Dr. Sarah Terry, Associate Professor of English

Celebrating 15 years:

  • Dr. Karen Schmeichel, Professor of Biology
  • Esker Ligon, Assistant Registrar

Celebrating 20 years:

  • Dr. Mario Chandler, Professor of Spanish
  • Dr. Cassandra Copeland, Professor of Economics
  • Dr. Robert Hornback, Professor of English
  • Dr. Peter Kower, Professor of Economics
  • Dr. Stephen Herschler Mattern, Professor of Politics
  • Dr. John Nardo, Professor of Mathematics
  • Dr. Seema Shrikhande, Professor of Communication Studies

Celebrating 25 years:

  • Dr. Charlie Baube, Professor of Biology
  • Kate Fitzpatrick, Mailroom Manager
  • Dr. Viviana Plotnik, Professor of Spanish

Celebrating 30 years:

  • Lee Knippenberg, Instructor of Theatre
  • Alan Loehle, Professor of Art

Celebrating 35+ years:

  • Dr. Joe Knippenberg, Professor of Politics
  • Dr. John Orme, Professor of Politics
  • Jim Owen, Head Golf Coach
  • Dr. Mike Rulison, Professor of Physics
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