Staff Honored at Annual Staff Awards Celebration

May 31, 2011

olin library team
Olin Library staff receives the inaugural Service Excellence Department Award. Photo by Leon Hayner.


With a jubilant and celebratory spirit, the Rollins staff officially ended the 2010-11 academic year at the Annual Staff Awards Celebration on May 27. Designed to honor the many accomplishments and career milestones of employees, the event brought hundreds of colleagues together in Alfond Sports Center’s McKean Gym for a luncheon and awards ceremony. 

While attendees enjoyed a delicious buffet lunch, President Lewis Duncan and Director of Human Resources Matt Hawks led those gathered in recognizing recent staff graduates and retired employees and acknowledging staff celebrating 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years of employment at the College. They then announced recipients of the Helen A. Ward Crossley Distinguished Service Award, the Thaddeus Seymour Staff Award for Community Engagement, the President's Award for Diversity and Inclusion and the new Service Excellence Department Award.

Dawn NagyDawn Nagy, associate director of alumni relations for Crummer Graduate School of Business, was given the Thaddeus Seymour Award for Community Engagement. Established in 2006 as a means of recognizing Rollins staff members for sustainable and demonstrated service in local and global communities, the award is granted annually to a staff member who has transformed the community through community engagement. 

“This year’s award recipient has a sustainable record of creating progress both in Central Florida and around the globe,” President Lewis Duncan shared. Nagy was recognized for her work as a campaign congressional district leader for ONE, a grassroots campaigning and advocacy organization, as well as her involvement with CARE and the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC). 

It was for his efforts in serving as an advocate for the interests of under-represented populations and championing recruitment and retention efforts aimed at improving diversity that Robert Whetstone, senior shift supervisor for campus safety and security, was honored with the 2011 President’s Award for Diversity and Inclusion. 

Robert Whetstone

President Duncan shared with the capacity crowd inside McKean Gym how Whetstone has “dedicated himself to creating a safe and inclusive environment for all those who seek his support. Although it is not a part of his formal job at the college, he is known to mentor and coach students to help ensure their success and integration at Rollins; introducing them to the different organizations and programs on campus available for diverse students.” 

As the awards ceremony continued, President Duncan named Steve Gauthier, associate dean of the Crummer Graduate School of Business, as recipient of the Helen A. Ward Crossley award, a prize established more than a decade ago to honor staff members with more than 25 years of exemplary service at Rollins. 

“He goes “above and beyond” on a regular basis,” Duncan said of Gauthier. “There is no task too large or too small for him to take on or to lend a hand in when needed. He leads by example each and every day, showing us that together all things can be accomplished; showing that he is always willing to assist and advise; and always providing coaching and encouragement.” 

Finally, the much-anticipated Department Service Excellence Award was announced, new this year to the awards celebration. Determined by a selection committee, the award is given to a department whose contributions to the College most closely reflect and embody the four cornerstones of Service Excellence. 

Steve Gauthier

20 nominations for 19 different departments were received making the decision difficult for the selection committee. “There were many, many departments who deserved the award and who are making a difference at Rollins,” Matt Hawks, director of human resources, said. “But the Committee was able to select a winner this year.” 

Olin Library was acknowledged for being a role model for Service Excellence and for being eagerly and cheerfully responsive to requests.  

“We are delighted to have received this recognition from our colleagues,” beamed Olin Library Director Jonathan Miller. “Thank you to all the students, faculty and staff of Rollins who make serving this community such a pleasure.” 

As the event drew to a close, Rollins employees, many of whom don't often get the chance to have lunch together, heartily congratulated staff graduates and co-workers on another great year.

By Kristen Manieri

Office of Public Relations & Community Affairs
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