Ruby Jordan and Leesa Harris, Senior Custodians in UTC Facilities, were especially helpful when Dr. Jennifer Boyd of Biological and Environmental Sciences, suffered severe morning sickness in spring and summer of 2010. “Let’s just say that my morning sickness resulted in a lot of extra cleaning duties for them, which I definitely think fits the category of ‘above and beyond’ their normal duties,” Boyd said. Jordan and Harris also checked on Boyd to see how she was feeling, and kept her pregnancy a secret until she was ready to share the news with her department. “I always appreciate the work that they do on a daily basis keeping our hallways and facilities clean in Holt Hall, but I think Lisa and Ruby are deserving of special recognition for going the ‘extra mile’ to help me out,” Boyd said.
Dennis Everett, Senior Power Plant Operator in UTC Facilities, helped UTC Rowing Coach Robert Espeseth get his team to the Hobbs Island Regatta on time. Espeseth explained that the UTC Rowing semi-truck and trailer is longer than an 18-wheeler and difficult to move. With Everett’s help, Espeseth was able to clear the path for loading, and position the trailer before parking spaces were occupied on First Street near Manker Patten. “Dennis really saved me,” Espeseth said. “I could not wait a few hours to find additional help. Without him stepping up, when he did not have to do so, he saved me from a big problem and a bad situation.”
Richard Russell, Craft Supervisor in UTC Housing, was responsible for the apprehension of a bicycle thief on campus. Police suspect the person who was arrested was responsible for stealing bicycles chained to railings outside campus housing units. According to Steven Hood, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Housing, the illegal action of the alleged thief was caught on videotape, hopefully providing the evidence needed for conviction. Hood adds that Russell “takes great pride in his work and always strives to maintain great housing facilities. Although in my mind, Richard went above and beyond in this case, I suspect that he saw this as part of his job in providing quality housing the residents of UTC.”
Bud Sisler, housing maintenance supervisor, initiated the process of adding screens to ground floor windows in Guerry and Decosimo apartment buildings on South Campus. “His rationale was by adding fixed screens residents would not be able to use their windows as entrances. This will result in having to replace less windows as well as adding extra security,” said Mary Jean Broyles, Assistant Director of Housing Administration and Operations.
Sue Brackett cheerfully helped Pat Branam when she needed to make ten copies of a document during a day-long conference in the University Center. Branam, Associate Vice Chancellor for Development, said Brackett quickly recruited her student worker for help and the ten copies were produced in no time. “In my opinion, Sue went above and beyond to solve an immediate problem that wasn’t her problem, and her quick and positive response was noted by a member of the outside business community. Sue deserves to be recognized as an example to others,” Branam said.
June & July
Donna Bonner and Ann Boyd, senior custodians, were exceptionally helpful during summer sessions when maintenance work on the exterior of Frist Hall created safety hazards, according to Dr. Bryon Kluesner, Adaptive Technology Coordinator, Office for Students with Disabilities. “Ms. Stroud and Ms. Boyd consistently look for safety hazards that interfere with access to the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD), as we have students who are blind and who have mobility impairments who were enrolled in summer school,” Kluesner said. “Ms. Stroud and Ms. Boyd understand that students need access to our office and are constantly observing for open construction holes, poorly marked access points to the building, and pathway obstructions. They both ensure that entry to the building is always accessible.” When Frist Hall flooded during heavy rain downpours, Stroud and Boyd checked on OSD each time it rained, Kluesner said. He also added that Stroud and Boyd always assist the OSD staff with moving furniture and preparing rooms for group meetings. “They both go far beyond their job duties to assist the students and staff at OSD,” Kluesner said.
Pat Boyer, Accounting Specialist I, Bursar’s Office, “does not merely mimic customer service best practice, she lives it,” said Dr. R.J. Covino, Assistant Professor, History Department and the University Honors Program. “I always tend to tell my students who have Bursar-related questions and problems to seek her out as they are guaranteed to not only get the answers that they’re after in one fell swoop, but also because she always has a smile on her face and is genuinely helpful. I have now received several glowing reports back from my kids…” Covino admires Boyer’s “can-do attitude and demeanor” saying in the University’s drive to retain students, the importance of staff’s friendliness and efficiency cannot be underestimated.
Several supporters of Adrienne Teague, Administrative Specialist III in the Office of the Chancellor, wrote in support of this valuable employee and UTC alumna, who often serves others with special distinction. Lauren Boehm of the Benwood Foundation recognized Teague’s ongoing work with the George T. Hunter Lecture Series. “She is keenly devoted to her work…Adrienne has an incredible skill in juggling multiple projects at one time and executing each one with a smile on her face. I can’t think of anyone else more suitable to be awarded this distinction.” Bob Boyer, Patten Performances Director, talks of Teague’s readiness to be in two places at once with her “kind offer to help Mark Stone transport members of the Acting Company from the Fine Arts Center back to the hotel in the midst of helping prepare the Chancellor’s reception for Patten Performances subscribers.” Director of Alumni, Jayne Holder, points out that Teague’s job is “certainly not 8-5 because of the numerous evening and weekend events facilitated by that office. However, she is always willing to step in and help other departments in their time of need…Recently when our office was preparing to host a dinner for 160 folks, our printer suddenly went down. Because we knew that Adrienne had used the same place card program, we called to see if we could use her printer. She offered to do the place cards herself to save us time and they were beautifully done. That was certainly not expected, but very much appreciated.” And finally, Teague’s supervisor, Terry Denniston, Executive Assistant to the Chancellor, said, “Adrienne is one of those people who expects nothing in the form of praise or awards. That is the kind of person, who, in my mind, deserves recognition…Adrienne has to interact with faculty, staff, students and community members and I can honestly say, without reservation, that I receive comments from all four constituencies on how positively she represents the University and how kind she is…She understands what it takes to make an organization work and she is dedicated to improving the life of those around her—whether she knows them personally or not.”
The hard work of Michelle Pelfrey, Administrative Support Assistant in Military Science, has saved the University a lot of money, according to MAJ Ben Smith, Department Head, Military Science. Most recently, the Department was looking for a way to replace the circuit training stations that were displaced and removed by the construction of the ARC. “Through her own initiative, Michelle sought out and identified a local lumber company and building materials company who donated the lumber and concrete necessary to construct our own circuit training area,” Smith said. “This effort directly resulted in the construction of circuit training stations outside Stagmaier Hall, including inclined sit-up benches, pull-up bars, and dip bars – all at no cost to the department or the university. This equipment is used to enhance our physical training regimen and provides ready access for cadet/student use.” Pelfrey also devotes her own time and resources to accompany the cadre and cadets to off-campus training sites to photograph and document training and create a photographic, historical record of the battalion. This often occurs late in the afternoon, after normal business hours, and even on the weekends.
According to c/CPT Mark Vines, “the ROTC program here just would not have been able to keep up with the influx of cadets without the help of Mrs. Pelfrey. She is like a mother to all the cadets. She is very patient when dealing with us and needing our paper work done. But she will definitely instill in us a sense of urgency to get it completed and turned in on time.”
And these kind words came from, Louis V. Netherland, Major, Armor:
“From the absolute bottom up, Mrs. Pelfrey was challenged with not only learning the labyrinthian system that is U.S. Army Personnel Management, but also balancing the policies and procedures of UTC and creating a viable series of solutions that would serve as the groundwork for the success of the Department…Mrs. Pelfrey’s efforts enabled us, as instructors, to devote all of our energies to the students…Mrs. Pelfrey’s worth to the department is measured in the success of every UTC cadet that commissions as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army each year. With reassignments every two to three years, Army officers like myself will come and go through UTC as instructors, but Mrs. Pelfrey remains the keeper of the foundational knowledge and continuity that will allow the program to remain strong and productive.”
Mark Fairchild in the Graduate Office is “incredibly helpful at all times,” someone who “makes time for anyone who needs his help regardless of his work load,” according to Dr. David Ross, coordinator of the research masters program in psychology, Department of Psychology. Fairchild’s interaction with prospective graduate students, his professionalism and helpfulness combine to present a positive image of the University, according to Ross. “Mark is extremely innovative and taught me how to use the new system on campus to electronically download the records of prospective applicants,” said Ross. He adds that Fairchild is always cheerful, his door is always open and he often goes the extra mile for Ross and the entire department.
Mike Parham, Heavy Duty R/A Mechanic, Repairs and Maintenance and longtime employee of the University, earned the nomination for the Blue Ribbon Award from HVAC Shop Foreman, Alan West. West called Parham “a self motivated, highly responsible leader, going the extra mile to achieve success in whatever task he is given.” After Christmas break, the failure of Hunter Hall’s hot water valve, a cold building, and students arriving the next day for class drew prompt service from Parham. “Mike located the problem and moved forward with removing the valve for repair, with a down time not acceptable due to the cold weather and students returning. It was evident the heat would have to be run manually, requiring 24-hour attention to maintain building temperature. Mike stepped up and took his turn on the midnight shift, but due to his nature and experience was able to devise a mechanism from salvaged parts and pieces to get the building back to an automatic heating mode until the replacement valve arrived,” said West. “Due to his effort and commitment faculty, staff and students in Hunter Hall were never aware of what could have been and the HVAC department did not have to man the operation 24-hours a day.” This seems to be an extraordinary occurrence, but West said it is the way Parham faces each day in his personal and professional life. Congratulations to Mike Parham!