Fifteen "Excellent Employees" to be Honored at Smith Ceremony September 30
When Kimberly DeJesus was a little
girl, she remembers, she often accompanied her mother, Olga Perez,
to Talbot House at Smith to help her set up a special dinner
for the students Perez called "her girls." That was
nearly 20 years ago, and the residents of Talbot are still coming
home to Perez's candlelight dinners, fresh flowers, and home-made
cookies. The dining room assistant has even been known to provide
pinatas and sombreros, if she's decided the students need a Tex-Mex
Night. DeJesus herself is now a Smith employee, and her mother's
example still sets the standard for the service she tries to
provide to students.
Most employees know the feeling: "If this phone would just stop ringing I could get some work done!" Amazingly, for Liz Anderson, this phrase doesn't seem to apply.
As administrative assistant in Smith
College's Student Affairs Office, Anderson fields scores of phone
calls each day, answers dozens of student and staff questions,
and juggles tasks ranging from running the student parking lottery
to organizing interviews for prospective house staff. In the
meantime, she mentors other support staff, remembers colleagues'
birthdays, and does it all, in the words of a colleague, with
"a smile and an enthusiastic attitude that is very contagious."
Perez, Anderson and Conant are three examples of employees who set a standard for performance at Smith. This year, they join 15 other honorees as members of the first "class" of excellent employees to be recognized for their contributions. The twelve winners of the first-ever Employee Excellence Awards will be feted at a community celebration 2:30-3:30 p.m. Thursday, September 30, in Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage Hall. The award ceremony will be followed by a reception. Also recognized at the ceremony will be employees with milestone years of service ranging from 10 to 35 years.
Ninety-one staff members were nominated by their peers for the Employee Excellence Awards, with nominations or letters of support submitted by 151 individuals. In contrast to most conventional recognition programs, in which bonuses are bestowed by supervisors, the new program was designed to enable all Smith employees to recognize the contributions of their peers or colleagues.
"There are so many people doing such a good job here at the college," explained Gaynelle Weiss, associate director of human resources, who oversees the program. "We wanted to send a message that Smith values excellence and is strengthened immeasurably by employees who aspire to excellence in their work."
Recognizing that employees contribute in varied ways, nominations were sought for excellence in six categories: service, diversity, community, teamwork, cost-effectiveness, and supervision. Winners received a $1,000 after-tax honorarium in June.
Winners of the 1999 Employee Excellence
Awards (listed by town of residence):
Julie Van Doren Thomson
September 15, 1999
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