“Excellence in Action” Nominees and Winners 2013

Each year, the Staff Senate sponsors an “Excellence in Action” award to recognize campus departments and staff members who consistently exhibit excellence in their work at Puget Sound. The 2013 nominees and winners were recognized during the annual Staff Recognition Luncheon, held on Friday, May 24. Below are listed the nominees and winners. Congratulations to all.

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Puget Sound Staff “25 or more years of service” Honorees

At the Annual Staff Recognition Luncheon on May 24, 2013, several University of Puget Sound staff members were recognized for their many years of service to the campus community.

25 Years of Service

Ava Brock, director of Student Financial Services, Organizational Systems and Operations.

Ava was born in San Mateo, Calif., but has been in the Pacific Northwest since 1978. Prior to joining Student Financial Services, she operated a home daycare and owned a vegetarian restaurant. Once on campus she continued to take on increased responsibility within Student Financial Services, currently serving as the functional lead for Optimize Student Financials implementation and overseeing university accounts receivable. When asked what she most enjoys about working at Puget Sound, Ava says, “working with a community of wonderful, enthusiastic, dedicated colleagues.”

In 2004 Ava earned her bachelor’s degree from Puget Sound in art history, and in 2009, she earned her master’s degree in organizational systems renewal from Seattle University. Among several career highlights, she includes being named Staff Member of the Year, chairing Staff Senate, and serving as emcee for many Staff Recognition Luncheons.

Before moving to Washington and starting her family, Ava worked as the assistant to the editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar in New York City. She loves gardening and calls it “my passion and my art.”

Richard Mairs, maintenance mechanic in Facilities Services.

A native of Tacoma, Richard worked at Puget Sound Plywood before joining Facilities Services as an operating engineer in 1987.  In 2011, he became maintenance mechanic, responsible for work on the university’s boilers and maintenance of campus equipment. Having been on campus through three presidents and the building of three new residence halls and the Facilities Services complex, Richard is familiar with campus change. One thing that hasn’t changed is his goal of building a live steam engine, which he continues to work on, as he has for the past 12 years.

Donn Marshall, associate dean of students and director of Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services in Division of Student Affairs.

Before joining the counseling staff at Puget Sound, Donn worked in a community mental health center in Columbus, Ohio, and taught undergraduate psychology at The Ohio State University. He completed his pre-doctoral internship in psychology at Southern Illinois University, and came on staff as a psychologist in Puget Sound’s Counseling Center in 1987. Donn has held numerous roles in student affairs and CHWS, and is currently the chief psychologist and administrator of CHWS, overseeing Puget Sound’s integrated health and mental health services. In addition to supervising a team of 24 full- and part-time staffers, he is highly involved in training, case management, crisis response, outreach programs, and more. Donn takes an active role in campus rape education and prevention, HIV/STD prevention, and sexual identity programming. He serves on several campus committees, including the International Education Committee, Bias & Hate Response Committee, Accessibility Work Group, and Enterprise Resource Planning Steering Committee, and he chairs the Undocumented Students Work Group. Away from campus he fills his free time playing mandolin and guitar.

Puget Sound has undergone many changes in the 25 years since Donn joined the staff. He notes that when he arrived, Lawrence Street ran through campus, Dean Kris Bartanen was merely a faculty member, there was no gay/straight alliance group on campus, Puget Sound’s annual MLK Day observance had not yet begun, and neither Diversions nor Oppenheimer Café existed. “With all those changes,” Donn says, “Serni Solidarios looked just like he does today.”

Barbara Racine, manager of the University of Puget Sound Bookstore.

A native of Detroit, Barbara worked at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind., before joining the staff at Puget Sound. She oversees operations at the Puget Sound bookstore, where she enjoys meeting a wide variety of people. One of Barbara’s career highlights was being elected to the National Association of College Stores Board of Trustees. In her spare time, you can find Barbara outside. She loves outdoors activities, including hiking, kayaking, and snowshoeing, as well as traveling.

Melanie Sullivan, degree evaluator in Office of the Registrar.

Melanie spent 10 years as a travel agent with Prestige Travel before joining the registrar’s office in 1987. She began at Puget Sound in registration services, moving up over the next 10 years to records services specialist and academic recorder. In 1998 she became degree evaluator, working with the senior class to make sure students are on track to complete all their degree requirements and helping to collect and coordinate Commencement data, including walking order and department honors.

In 1996 Melanie was recognized as Staff Member of the Year. She enjoys working with the students, faculty members, and her co-workers, and appreciates feeling that she makes an impact working at Puget Sound. Melanie’s interests include all things Disney World, the Oregon coast, bingo, movies, games, and sharing the days with her husband of 31 years.

30 Years of Service

Cheri Finnegan, senior financial accountant in Accounting and Budget Services.

A Tacoma native Cheri joined the staff at Puget Sound after holding positions at Whatcom Community College, Columbia Wards Fisheries, and Pierce County Parks and Recreation. One of Cheri’s responsibilities has been to account for the university’s endowment, which she has seen grow from $14 million to $281 million during her tenure.  Those of us who know Cheri well, know that she works, moves and talks FAST!  This has earned her several nicknames over the years, including Hyper Harriet, Cheetah, and Done! Cheri’s personal interests include reading, gardening, vacationing with her family, and volunteering. In 2000, she was named Pierce County Volunteer of the Year.

Kumeko Jaworski, cook in the Dining and Conference Services department.

Kumeko began working at Puget Sound on September 1, 1982. She started as a Cook’s Helper and was promoted to the position of Cook in 2000. For many years, Kumeko arrived at the crack of dawn even during inclement weather and major storms.  She has enjoyed helping create authentic Japanese recipes and once developed a special menu for a group of visiting Japanese students who longed for traditional homeland foods.   During a year when Puget Sound was focusing particular attention on Asian cultures, Kumeko helped plan a reception hosted by a past president to include authentic Asian foods and ice carvings. Kumeko is an avid home gardener.  She takes pride in sharing the fruits and vegetables from her garden with her co-workers.

Carol V. Moyer, secretary in the department of Math and Computer Science.

Born in Callao, Peru, Carol attended Puget Sound, graduating in 1992 with a degree in French. Her first position on campus was as clerical specialist in the Natural Sciences Division. Currently she is the support staff member for the math and computer science department. One of the things she enjoys most about working on campus is the wonderful group of people she works with. Over the course of her 30 years at Puget Sound, Carol saw both of her sons graduate as Loggers, which she considers a highlight of her career.

Carol’s hobbies include needlepoint, listening and dancing to music, and sports. She’s a Seattle Sounders and Logger basketball fan, and loves to be part of the action, preferring to watch games live than on TV.

Anette Tremblay, records management coordinator in the Office of Admission.

Born in Owosso, Mich., Anette began her career at Puget Sound in 1982 as the occupational and physical therapy admission assistant in the Office of Admission. In 2010 she became records management coordinator, responsible for admission’s use and storage of student applications and related filing processes and procedures, directing applications through the admission cycle, and working with others in admission to recruit a diverse and talented pool of future Loggers.

Anette most enjoys her interactions with students through the course of her work and working on a campus surrounded by a park-like setting, noting that even with all the new construction over the past three decades, the university has maintained the charm of being nestled in the North End.

Off campus Anette loves to spend time with her children and four grandchildren, and really enjoys going on cruises. She has been to Mexico and Alaska twice and is currently looking forward to her next cruise—wherever that may be!

Leah Vance, administrative assistant in the School of Music.

Coming to Puget Sound from Eastern Washington University, Leah held several positions in Career and Employment Services early on in her career on campus. In fact she spent 29 of her 30 years at Puget Sound in CES, most recently as operations and internships coordinator. In 2012 Leah moved to the School of Music, where she supports our music faculty and students. Among numerous career highlights, Leah counts her involvement with the Northwest Career Education and Employers Association, for which she served as president in 1998–99, and currently serves as vice president of finance. She received the organization’s first-ever Ambassadorship Award in January 2003, receiving several nomination letters from students, employers, and alumni, and was recognized with the NCEEA James Lawson Outstanding Service Award in 2005.

Leah remembers working with typewriters, carbon paper, and landlines when she first started at Puget Sound, and notes that campus technology has seen the greatest changes in the last 30 years. What haven’t changed are the lifelong friendships she has made with students, faculty, and staff.

In her spare time, Leah likes to read, do cross-stitch, and sing duets with her husband. During the summer she and her husband and their cat, Chloe, enjoy spending time at their cabin at Ocean Shores.

35 Years of Service

Cheryl Percich, building specialist in Facilities Services

A Tacoma native, Cheryl joined the Facilities Services staff in 1978. She is responsible for cleaning and maintaining Todd Hall, and enjoys talking to the students she meets there. Cheryl’s hobbies include gardening, traveling, yard sales, and biking—and working on her ’65 Mustang, and we hope she’s doing some of these really fun things today!

Staff Senate Raffle!

The Staff Senate is holding their annual gift basket raffle this Thursday, April 25 and Friday, April 26 on the first floor of the Wheelock Student Center from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  Proceeds from the raffle benefit the Rosa Beth Gibson Book Scholarship.  Many of the gift baskets are currently on display in the cases outside the Bookstore entrance on the first floor of Wheelock.  Raffle tickets will be $1.00 each – please bring cash!

Rosa Beth Gibson Book Scholarship

The University of Puget Sound Staff Senate will award book scholarships to staff members, spouses, domestic partners, and dependent children working toward a degree or completion of a program at any level, to include graduate work. The applicant may be attending Puget Sound or another university, college or vocational school either full or part time. 

Selections will be made based upon the following:

  • Written essay about educational goals and progress
  • Academic performance
  • Extra-curricular activities/community service

Award amounts will be made based on the number of applicants and funds available.

APPLICATION DEADLINE IS MAY 10, 2013.  Please send applications to Staff Senate Scholarship Committee, CMB 1072.  Contact Laura Edgar at ledgar@pugetsound.edu with questions.

Excellence in Action award nominations being accepted through April 5

The Excellence in Action award recognizes staff members and departments who consistently exhibit excellence in their work at Puget Sound. The awards are presented during the annual Staff Recognition Luncheon, May 24, 2013.

To nominate a staff member or department, complete the Excellence in Action Nomination Form and submit the completed form to hr@pugetsound.edu, or through campus mail to Campus Mailbox #1036, by Friday, April 5.

Call for Donations – Staff Senate Book and Bake Sale

The Staff Senate Special Events Committee is looking for your help.  The annual Staff Senate Book and Bake Sale will take place on Tuesday, December 4 and Wednesday, December 5 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM in the Wheelock Student Center.  Donations of gently used books, CDs, and DVDs are badly needed.  Please bring donated items to Laura Edgar in Kittredge 117, Lisa Beritich in McIntyre 011, or Katharine Appleyard in Howarth 209.  If you have any questions or would like your items picked up from another location on campus, please contact Laura Edgar at ledgar@pugetsound.edu.  Proceeds from the Book and Bake Sale fund the Rosa Beth Gibson Book Scholarship.  Thank you for your help!

Staff Senate to review Staff Compensation Proposal, Oct. 31

All staff members are invited to attend the Staff Senate meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 31, at noon, in Wheelock 101. At this meeting the senate will review a draft version of its Staff Compensation Proposal for the coming fiscal year. A final draft version of this proposal is posted to the Staff Senate SoundNet site (accessible only to Puget Sound staff) .

Each fall the Staff Senate develops a Staff Compensation Proposal to represent staff views on compensation for the next budget year. Once approved by the senate, this proposal is presented to the Budget Task Force (BTF) for consideration in the development of the university’s coming fiscal year budget.