Above and beyond: Chancellor honors exceptional employees at recognition event

Spanning from years of exceptional service to exceptional service during the past academic year, more than 70 members of the UM Dearborn community were honored during the 2015-2016 Chancellor Staff Recognition Award Ceremony.

“How is this campus as successful as we are in furthering our mission, in educating our students, impacting our community? It is the commitment and engagement of the staff and faculty at UM-Dearborn,” said Chancellor Daniel Little at the event’s breakfast and program, which took place over the summer in Fairlane Center North. “I am honored to recognize some exceptionally wonderful people in an already exceptional group.”

Winners of the five recognition awards were nominated by staff, faculty and students—44 letters of support were sent in this year—and the recipients were selected by the 2015-2016 Staff Recognition Committee.

Chancellor’s Staff Recognition Awards

Exceptional Service Award
Chancellor’s Staff Recognition AwardsRobert Simpson, Information Technology Services, senior desktop support specialist

Have you been in a conference room or a classroom that was recently upgraded? If so, you’ve experienced one area of Simpson’s impact. In addition to his many IT tasks, Simpson was the lead in developing the A/V standard for classrooms and is consulted across campus on the work he’s done to bring UM-Dearborn to the digital age.

Exceptional Performance Award
Chancellor’s Staff Recognition AwardsSoraya Patton, Registrar’s Office, associate registrar

Because of her calm, collected, detail-oriented nature, Patton oversees the UM-Dearborn commencement ceremonies and has made sure each is flawless. This year, because of the large graduating class, she organized the campus’ Winter 2016 graduation in Ann Arbor. Although it was a new venue and she had to plan from 30 miles away, she created a memorable, well-organized ceremony that was enjoyed by the thousands in attendance.

Exceptional Service to the Metropolitan Community and University Award
Chancellor’s Staff Recognition AwardsWilliam Emerson, Veterans’ Affairs coordinator

Emerson is not just the coordinator of the three-year-old office, he also has worked tirelessly to develop the programming, outreach efforts and student veteran opportunities. He has worked with a number of veteran organizations at the federal, state and city level. But not only is he promoting University of Michigan-Dearborn, he is—even more importantly—reaching student veterans and linking them to new educational goals and opportunities.

Exceptional Long Term Achievement Award
Chancellor’s Staff Recognition AwardsPatricia Rutkowski, Mardigian Library, senior information resources assistant

In 1981—when she began—the library’s collection was mostly paper books and journals. Today, there are still paper materials, but the vast majority of the collection is digital and online. Not only did Rutkowski transfer and add to her information resources skills, she was always looking for “what was next” and was open to trying something new to advance the university library and bring the best and latest information to students, faculty and staff.

Exceptional Team Award
Chancellor’s Staff Recognition AwardsCASL Advising and Records

This team of dynamic individuals works with students from the point of admission to graduation. They assist students—recognizing and addressing issues of concern—on finding success, becoming engaged with the university  and developing the right path  for each educational journey. The office served more than 4,000 students during the past academic year.

Team members include:
Lisa Andrews, academic adviser
Frances DeYoung, academic records assistant
Marlene Dupre, academic records assistant director
Susanne Gassel, senior adviser
Anita Miller, academic adviser
Marie Shearer, academic adviser, retired
Jesse Stanghini, academic adviser
Giannina Wilson, academic adviser
Karen Wittkopp, academic advising director

Milestone Work Anniversaries

5 years
Ismael Ahmed, William Carter, Maria Gonzalez, Jennifer Irwin, Ann Lampkin-Williams, Kristin McDonough, Marsha Miller, Paul Pollard, Keith Putnam, Stephen Perkola, Karen Shea, Annette Sieg, Carla Vecchiola, Fred Thompson, Tommy Williams

10 years
Rebekah Awood, Paul Bielich, Keisha Blevins, Mike Callahan, Karen Cristian, Rhoderick Foney, Joseph Goraj, Lusine Hambardzumyan, Nikki Hollandsworth, Janice Jones, Monica Porter, Vivian Saroki-Keller, Tameka Simmons, Sue Steiner, Maureen Sytsma, Joanna Tennant, Robin Wagner

15 years
Shelly Harris, Thomas Hissong, Inessa Karasik, Daniel E. Little, Tiffany Mara, Dorothy McLeer, James Raredon, Belinda Soliz, Bernadette Trisko

20 years
David Blacker, Kurt Cafini, Deb Coleman, Laura Drabczyk, Linda Lapansee, Gerald Ottenbreit, Jr., Karl Perez, Felicia Sanders, Judith Starosta, Patricia Turnbull

25 years
Mike Gibson, William Keener, Katharine Markotan, Grace Williams

30 years
Pamela Chmiel, Susan Cushnier, Marlene Gordon, John Loreto, Dennis Underwood, Susan Wells

35 years
M. Jeanne Girard, Michele Rushman, Nancy Kachman Wojtas

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