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Annual Showcase honors
Five earn President's Employee Excellence Awards
Monday, Feb. 13, 2012
PULLMAN, Wash. - Five staff members will receive 2011-12 President's Employee Excellence Awards during Washington State University's annual Showcase celebration of excellence on March 30.
Showcase reservations are being accepted at http://showcase.wsu.edu through March 16.
The awards recognize civil service and administrative professional staff for outstanding contributions regarding work quality, efficiency, productivity, problem solving, work relations and community service.
The honorees are:
Donna Clark, executive assistant to the provost and executive vice president, Office of the Provost.
She was cited for productivity, efficiency, problem solving and work quality in a high-pressure, sometimes politically charged position. Her attention to detail and institutional memory were credited for making it easier for others to find help and do their jobs better.
Clark has served 10 provosts, including four interim, guiding the transitions while resolving the countless issues and problems the office faces each day. She deals with the "normal" overload of work, said her nominators, yet also finds time to handle the frequent surprises competently and efficiently. "I am astonished at how many balls she is able to keep in the air without fumbling or dropping any,” said a nominator.
Jean Grammer, scientific lab manager in the School of Molecular Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine.
She was cited for productivity, work quality and problem solving, in particular in her transition between labs doing research in two different fields. She has led efforts to bring new technologies and approaches to lab work that benefit undergraduates, graduate students and faculty.
Grammer collaborates on research, often is the one to solve the problem when a project gets stuck and has authored 18 manuscripts; she was lead author on six. She stepped in to teach a lab, introduced improvements and received glowing evaluations from the students she taught. Her teamwork and support are credited by one faculty nominator as "largely responsible for many of the awards I have received."
Nancy Lira, director of administrative services/area finance officer in the dean's office, College of Sciences.
She was cited for work quality, efficiency, problem solving and work relations, in particular in her work of directing finances for the College of Sciences. She "inherited a complex set of financial issues, which she thoughtfully and creatively addressed," said one nominator - especially considering recent funding shortages.
Lira is "the best finance officer I have worked with at a university," said a nominator. "She is very unusual in that she gets the 'big picture' yet also is a stickler for details." She is a model supervisor and colleague, assisting faculty with fiscal issues, sharing knowledge with and empowering co-workers, and using her contacts throughout WSU to facilitate the work of others.
Eldon Loe, custodian 1 in Facilities Operations, Office of Business and Finance.
He was cited for work quality and efficiency for making Dana Hall look better than it has in years, according to nominators. He also was nominated for service to the building's community - the faculty and especially the students who work and study there: "He is a friend, more than anything," said one student nominator.
Loe works cheerfully, without complaint and, when budget cuts make custodial supplies scarce, "puts a bit more elbow grease into his cleaning," said a nominator: "He has a terrific work ethic." He finds time to fit in extra work and special requests. He knows many students by name and knows "a little something" about them. He worries that they get enough sleep and stay healthy, and he makes cookies for them during finals.
Becki Meehan, communications and events manager, WSU Spokane.
She was cited for her work quality, productivity, work relations and community service for setting a standard of excellence, creativity and professionalism in her work coordinating events on the WSU Spokane campus. "It doesn't matter if she is given six months or two days to plan an event, she is always on top of things and never lets last minute details interfere with her pleasant demeanor," said a nominator.
Meehan is described as an ambassador for WSU: "She really 'gets' the importance of working actively" to promote a sense of community within the campus and the greater neighborhoods so that all partners feel welcome, said one nominator. "We are consistently and constantly congratulated on the excellence of our events."