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Lander Presents 2017 Staff Excellence Awards

Winners of the 2017 Lander Staff Excellence Awards are (left to right): Tracy Clifton, director of Student Conduct; Rodney Jones, work-study coordinator and financial aid counselor; and Trish Clark, library specialist. Not pictured are Victor Smith, energy manager; and Mary Jo Carpenter, administrative assistant for Lander's School of Nursing.

Five Lander University employees were honored for their work during the annual Staff Excellence Awards breakfast on Tuesday, May 9.

The awards are presented to staff members who demonstrate outstanding dedication to their work and exemplify the university's family spirit. Winners are selected on the basis of nomination by their co-workers.

The 2017 winners are:

  • Tracy Clifton, director of Student Conduct for Student Affairs and deputy Title IX coordinator
    With 15 years of service as a Lander employee, Clifton is described by her nominators as exhibiting a "high degree of honesty, loyalty and integrity to the entire university community. Through her interaction with students, faculty, staff, coaches and other administrators, she does a remarkable job in communicating and working with other parties to achieve mutual understanding of issues and promote harmony and teamwork."
  • Trish Clark, library specialist for Administrative Support and Cataloging
    A Lander employee since 2013, Clark is described as a "steady worker but not unavailable to those who may need her assistance. She is always smiling, radiating positivity, and willing to pitch in and adjust her work plans to help with whatever bend comes along the road."
  • Rodney Jones, work-study coordinator and financial aid counselor
    Jones, a Lander graduate who began work as an employee in 2009, has been "a valuable asset to Lander for many years," his nominators say. "With an exceptional work ethic, he excels in everything that he does. He's ambitious and continually willing to learn more. He's a champion of all things Lander, and a tireless supporter of our students."
  • Victor Smith, energy manager with Lander's Physical Plant
    Smith has worked at Lander since 1996. In nominating him for the award, his colleagues said, "Victor is constantly able to quickly and effectively take care of whatever issues arise. Whenever anyone needs anything with which he can help, he offers. He works hard every day to keep many hundreds of people happy and comfortable in an effective teaching and learning environment."
  • Mary Jo Carpenter, administrative assistant for Lander's School of Nursing
    Nominators said Carpenter, who has been with Lander since 2015, "is seen as a positive force and always willing to help out. She's made improvements to the admissions processes and helped to streamline Lander's data collections system. Beyond her duties in working with faculty and administrators, she happily works with students and all other departments across campus."

Addressing the more than 270 employees in attendance, Lander University President Richard Cosentino said, "Your work is greatly appreciated by (the administration), and especially by Lander students. They regularly tell me how much they love you, appreciate all that you do for them and how well they're taken care of during their four years here. Your level of excellence overwhelms me; you demand a lot from yourselves and one another, and you're amazing representatives of the entire campus."

Also announced during the breakfast was the establishment of a 13-member staff senate, which will participate in University governance directly with President Cosentino.