UU Honors Employees at the Annual Appreciation Luncheon

URBANA, Ohio (April 5, 2013) - Urbana University held its annual Employee Appreciation Luncheon on March 28, 2013 in the Urbana University Student Center Sara Landess room. As the administration, faculty, and staff entered the room, a delightful video presentation was shown that included photos of every employee with four UU Trivia questions interspersed. Former president Stephen Jones opened the program with a welcome and a reflection on his five years at UU. Those present were then instructed and encouraged to answer the trivia questions from the video. Christina Bruun-Horrigan, director of university relations, led the gathering in a time of reflection and blessing for the food.

During the event, more than 20 individuals were honored for their contributions and service to Urbana University. Employees were recognized for their years of service, beginning at the five year mark, and increasing in five year increments all the way up to the 40 year anniversary.

Jennifer Midgley was honored for her 40 years of dedication and service to the University as an employee of the Swedenborgian Memorial Library since a senior in high school. Audrey Stevens ‘94, director of human resources, received an award for 35 years with Urbana. During these many years, she has served the University well in many positions.

Receiving the 15 year award were Dr. W. Dean Pond, Dr. Denise Boldman, and Dr. James "Chip" Weisgerber. Nicholas Christian, Mary Lee Zerkle, Dr. William Blizzard, and Nadynne Parks received an award for their 10 years of service to UU. The following employees received their 5 year plaque, Jeffrey Porter, David Taynor ‘99, Nicholas Roberts, April Reisinger, Christopher Anders, Dr. Stephen Jones, Ryan Enlow, Dale Gresson, Rita Terry, and Timothy King ’94.

Special Urbana University awards were presented to employees nominated by their peers:

• Dr. Weisgerber, vice president of student and enrollments services, presented the Administrator Award to Dr. John Gore M'07 for his leadership in improving the Royal Blues Band program and coordinating all outside programs on campus.

• Chief Financial Officer Barb Stewart awarded Tami Puritan the Staff Award for her dedication and "thick skin" in handling all payments, especially to the outside vendors.

• Senior vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, now serving as the current interim president, Dr. Kirk Peterson presented Margaret Piatt the Faculty Award, recognizing the work she has put into the development of the outstanding theatre program as well as her leadership as chair of the Commencement and Convocation Committees.

• Dr. Jim Judge, faculty liaison to the athletic program, and Nicole Pluger, associate athletic director of compliance and senior women's administrator, received the Innovation Award from Dr. Peterson for their ability to streamline communications and efforts to ensure academic success for student athletes. 

• The Partnership Award went to Synergis Education and the Center for Adult and Professional Studies (CAPS) for their successful collaboration to develop and deliver educational programs that meet the needs of adult learners. This award was presented by Dr. Peterson to Shelly Moore, director of enrollment services and Kelly Evans-Wilson, CAPS operations manager.

• Justin McCulla ’08, associate director of admissions, received the Alumni-Employee Award. He was recognized by vice president of institutional advancement and communications James Thornton for his dedication to the ideals of the university and his constant efforts to promote the university and further its values and service to students and the community.

• Kat Steiner, director of alumni relations, was surprised to receive the Founders Award for Excellence, presented by former president Jones. This award recognized her professional, skillful, and thorough development of the Office of Alumni Relations and her enthusiasm for Urbana University. • Dwayne "Vinnie" Vincent, director of campus services, presented the Sodexo Campus Services Award to John Deere, grounds supervisor, for his leadership and devotion to the upkeep of the entire UU campus grounds and facilities. 

• Brian Steward, director of dining services, presented Cindy Johnson with the Sodexo Dining Award. Cindy has served students and employees for 27 years.   

This year's Employee Appreciation Luncheon was coordinated by members of the Awards committee: Melissa Closser, John Forstoefel, John Gore (chair) M’07, Ann Greer M'05, Cherie Moore, and Audrey Stevens ‘94.

Photos can be viewed online. Photos are courtesy of professional photographer Robert Ogden.

For more information about Urbana University, please visit www.urbana.edu.

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