Oglethorpe faculty and staff recognized for excellence in service, community-building

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

For the third year, faculty and staff submitted nominations for Excellence in Service Awards and Community Builders Awards.

The Community Builders Award is presented to two individuals and one team. The team award was presented to the OU Housekeeping team.

Winners of the Community Builders award OU Housekeeping

The Oglethorpe University Housekeeping team is the recipient of the Community Builders Award.

Professor of Biology Dr. Karen Schmeichel received the faculty award, and Facilities Operations Coordinator Luetrell Langston ’24 received the staff award. The award recognizes faculty and staff who practice shared decision-making and collaboration, foster cooperation and open communication, and create partnership opportunities. Recipients are recognized for teamwork and a commitment to building a better OU community.

The Excellence in Service Award was presented to Grant Utter, assistant director of Marketing and Communications, and IT Systems Analyst Julia Rodriguez. This award recognizes staff members who consistently deliver high-quality service and inspire others with their commitment to learning and developing professional competence. The recipients often strengthen their department or the university through creativity or innovation.

Recipients were selected from many peer nominations across campus by the Senior Administrative Leadership Team and previous winners.

“I so appreciate all the small sacrifices and the big sacrifices that I see you make on behalf of our students,” said President McClymond. “I see the love and the care that you put into all the little details that make Oglethorpe such a special place. So, thank you for that.”

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

  • Coach of the Year: Rob King for Women’s Soccer
  • Coach of the Year: Jim Owen for Men’s and Women’s Golf
  • Athletic Teams of the Year: Men’s and Women’s Golf (Coaches: Jim OwenMark Random and David Potts)
  • ODK Outstanding Faculty Member Award: Dr. Peter Kower
  • ODK Outstanding Staff Member Award: Eli Arnold ’06
  • Spirit of the Alpha Phi Omega Faculty Award: Dr. Justin Haynes
  • Spirit of the Alpha Phi Omega Staff Award: Barbara Ambles
  • Champion of Inclusive Excellence Faculty Award: Dr. Anna Ziering
  • Champion of Inclusive Excellence Staff Award: Peter Dye
  • Core Teaching Award: Dr. Joe Knippenberg
  • Core Instructor Award: Dr. Kate Marsden
  • Sensei Bob Steen Faculty Humanitarian Award: Dr. Jannelle Pham
  • Early Career Faculty Award: Dr. Allison Roessler
  • Early Career Lecturer Award: Dr. Judith Levy
  • Lu Thomasson Garrett Award for Meritorious Teaching: Dr. Janelle Pham
  • Vulcan Material Company Teaching Excellence Award: Dr. Kate Keib

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

Group photo of all the faculty and staff members celebrating 5 years of service.

Faculty and staff members who were celebrated for five years of service.

Celebrating 5 Years:

  • Dr. Marisa Atencio, Assistant Dean & Director of Global Education
  • Dr. Lanier Basenberg, Lecturer of Core Studies
  • Dr. Brooke Bays, Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Regina Mincberg, General Counsel & Chief of Staff
  • Saurav Bhandary, Manager of Advancement Operations
  • Todd Brooks, Director of Athletic Programs
  • Dr. Natasha Byrd, Associate Director of Student Wellness
  • John Casey, Instructor of Accounting
  • Dr. Melany Chambers, Lecturer of Communication Studies
  • Katie Clark, Dual Enrollment Manager
  • Paul Danielson, Head Tennis Coach
  • Dr. Maura Dudley, Adjunct Instructor of Biology
  • Ethan Hawkland, Director of Enrollment Operations
  • Kathryn Henderson, Director of Alumni Engagement & Giving
  • Dr. Lejla Marijam Ibrahimbegovic, Lecturer of Core Studies
  • Dr. Jamie Iredell, Lecturer of Core Studies
  • Autumn Johnson, Associate Director of Donor Relations & Stewardship
  • Chantel Jones, Assistant Director of New Student & Family Programs
  • Dr. Jaclyn McWhorter, Lecturer of Core Studies
  • Dr. Janelle Pham, Assistant Professor of Sociology
  • Dr. Andrew Walden, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
  • Nick Zakos, Digital Media Lab Administrator

Celebrating 10 Years:

  • Patti Gouvas, Affiliate Artist in Music
  • Dr. Lisa Hayes, Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Dr. Reshmi Hebbar, Associate Professor of English
  • Angela Hughes, Human Resources Coordinator
  • Naomi Norris, Assistant Registrar
  • Julia Rodriguez, IT Systems Analyst
  • Dr. Brent Runnels, Senior Lecturer of Music
  • Dr. Amanda Whooley, Associate Professor of Philosophy
  • Dr. Iona Wynter Parks, Assistant Professor of French

Celebrating 15 Years:

  • Eli Arnold ’06, Director of Library Services
  • Kathleen Guy, Director of the Campus Store
  • Dr. Leah Zinner, Professor of Psychology

Celebrating 20 Years:

  • Dr. Roarke Donnelly, Professor of Biology
  • Dr. Kendra King Momon, Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs
  • Chris Summers ’03, Director of Financial Aid

Celebrating 25 Years:

  • Dr. Nicholas Maher, Associate Professor of History

Celebrating 30 Years:

  • Dr. Jeffrey Collins, Senior Lecturer of Interdisciplinary Studies

Celebrating 40 Years:

  • Dr. John Orme, Professor of Politics
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