2023 Oglethorpe faculty and staff awards recognize excellence in service, community building

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

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

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force

Team winner, the DEI Task Force: (top row) Derek Harootune Otis, Peter Dye, Dr. Jamie Iredell, Ethan Hawkland; (bottom row) Autumn Johnson, Grant Utter, Dr. Maria Magdalena Carrasco Reyes, Dr. Laura Renée Chandler, Dr. Anna Ziering and Elizabeth Peterson

The Community Builders award was presented to the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force as a team, Dr. Rhana Gittens-Wheeler for faculty and Daniel Manget and Colleen Donaldson 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 Dylan Whitney and Ethan Hawkland. 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.

Community Service and Team Builder Award Winners

Award winners Ethan Hawkland, Daniel Manget, Dylan Whitney and Colleen Donaldson

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

“Today we celebrate community, and we look ahead together,” said Dr. Kathryn McClymond in her opening remarks. “The keynote speaker at LASS, Anjali Enjeti wrote a line in her book — they were in a place of infinite new beginnings. We are in just such a place — a stepping forward place with our sights set building a community where our students and all of us can thrive.”

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. Brooke Bays

Vulcan Materials Company Teaching Excellence Award – Dr. John Nardo

SGA Community Appreciation Award – Kendra Murphy

Donald C. Agnew Award – Peter Dye

ODK Outstanding Faculty Member Award – Dr. Peter Kower

ODK Outstanding Staff Member Award – Kendra Murphy

Core Instructor Awards – Dr. Lanier Basenberg (2022) and Dr. Jaclyn McWhorter (2023)

Core Teaching Awards – Dr. Robert Hornback (2022) and Dr. Iona Wynter-Parks (2023)

Coaches of the year and award winners 2023

Jim Owen, Daniel Manget, Phil Ponder, Jon Akin and Cindy Vaios

Coaches of the Year – Taylor Martin and Jim Owen

Teams of the Year – Men’s and Women’s Golf (Coaches: Jim Owen, Mark Random and David Potts)

In addition, the following employees were presented with service awards for significant work anniversaries:

Celebrating 5 years:

  • James Gregg, IT Systems Support Administrator
  • Dr. Kate Keib, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies
  • Dr. Nick Bujak, Assistant Professor of English
  • Dr. Linda deCamp, Assistant Professor of Mathematics
  • Dr. David Nasser, Senior Lecturer of Marketing
  • Dr. Rebecca Clark Schmerer, Lecturer Core Studies
  • Jessica Winestock, Assistant Director of First Gen & Student Support Programs

Celebrating 10 years:

  • John Daniel Tilford, Museum Curator & Development Associate
  • Katie Young, IT Application Administrator
  • Elizabeth Peterson Jennings, Director of OU Museum of Art
  • Kat Frisby, Assistant Coach for Women’s Basketball
  • Mersiha Varupa, Senior Library Associate

Celebrating 15 years:

  • Cindy Vaios, Assistant Director of Athletics for Operations and Senior Woman Administrator
  • Jean Hudgins, Library Cataloger

Celebrating 20 years:

  • Dr. Lynn Gieger, Professor of Mathematics
  • Jon Akin, Head Coach of Men’s Soccer

Celebrating 25 years:

  • Phil Ponder, Head Coach for Men’s Basketball

Celebrating 40 years:

  • Dr. John Orme (1983), Professor of Politics
  • Coach Jim Owen (1981), Director of Golf
  • Dr. Mike Rulison (1982), Professor of Physics
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