Five staff members were honored at the 2019 Staff Excellence Awards, which took place earlier this afternoon in the AMU, Monaghan Ballroom.
Four staff members were honored with the Excellence in University Service Award and one staff member was honored with the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award.
The Excellence in University Service Awards recognize staff members who have contributed to the essential work of Marquette at the highest levels. The 2019 recipients for Excellence in University Service are: Dennis Daye, director of environmental health and safety, Facilities Planning and Management; Calvin Jemison, conference center and mail room facilitator, Raynor Memorial Libraries; Lori Montezon, administrative assistant, Office of the Provost; and Tom Teipel, senior architect, Facilities Planning and Management.
Cindy Bauer, vice president and general counsel, and Lora Strigens, vice president for planning and facilities management, co-presented the first Excellence in University Service Award to Dennis Daye, director of environmental health and safety, Facilities Planning and Management.
Bauer thanked Daye for “his unrelenting efforts to keep all members of the university safe.” She pointed out his keen sense of organization as one of his greatest strengths and a quality that makes him uniquely suited for this role.
While accepting the award, Daye recalled a moment nearly 13 years ago when he first saw the job posting for the director of environmental health and safety at Marquette. He was having lunch with his wife and told her, “This is my dream job — I have to go for it.”
Daye said he appreciates the opportunity to work at a university with such a great community of employees. “I wouldn’t be successful in this role without great leadership and support from my colleagues,” he said.
The second award was presented by Janice Welburn, dean of libraries, to Calvin Jemison, conference center and mail room facilitator, Raynor Memorial Libraries.
Jemison has worked at Marquette for 19 years, serving in a variety of roles at the libraries, ranging from event management to mail services. His service includes nearly 700 events with more than 29,000 attendees, 100 facilities requests and approximately 12,000 pieces of mail.
“As dean, I often receive compliments about Calvin’s work,” Welburn said. “One student shared with me that Calvin is a great source of kindness, caring and hope. He always maintains a positive attitude and is willing to help whoever needs it.”
Jemison thanked God for his many blessings. He shared that he feels a mix of emotions to receive this award, saying he feels honored but joked that he’s been trying to get this award for years.
Gary Meyer, senior vice president for faculty affairs, presented the next award to Lori Montezon, administrative assistant, Office of the Provost.
Meyer joked that there are three things in life you can count on: “death, taxes and Lori Montezon.”
Continuing with the “rule of three” theme, Meyer called out three of Montezon’s greatest qualities:
“Lori is timely, steady and generous,” Meyer said. “She comes into the office every day ready to work — Lori exudes patience, compassion and grace in everything she does.
Montezon thanked everyone who nominated her for the award and congratulated her fellow recipients. She also recognized her administrators and colleagues: “In my 16 years at Marquette, I have been able to work for several administrators — they have taught me leadership and helped me grow both academically and spiritually. My experience at Marquette has been one of true joy because of reliable and supportive colleagues.”
Strigens returned to the stage to present the fourth award to Tom Teipel, senior architect, Facilities Planning and Management.
Teipel has worked at Marquette for 37 years. Strigens noted how this experience makes Teipel an extremely knowledgeable and resourceful asset to the facilities team.
“I believe Tom has worked with every unit and department on this campus — his institutional knowledge of Marquette is invaluable and remarkable,” Strigens said.
She added that Teipel puts the university’s mission at the forefront of everything he does. “He takes a great deal of pride in his work but certainly isn’t one to seek accolades,” Strigens said.
Teipel thanked the entire facilities group and their contractors for a strong partnership that has resulted in hundreds of successful projects throughout the years. Teipel joked that he is looking forward to another 30 years.
Marquette’s Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award was established to recognize one faculty member and one staff member who demonstrate exemplary leadership and has shown an ability to put the ideals of diversity, equity and inclusion into action. Jackie Walker, financial aid counselor, Educational Opportunity Program, is the staff recipient of the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award.
The 2019 staff recipient of the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award is Jackie Walker, financial aid counselor, Educational Opportunity Program.
Dr. William Welburn, vice president for inclusive excellence, presented this final award.
Welburn noted that he was humbled by the opportunity to speak about Walker, who has served the EOP program for nearly 40 years with a constant, deep concern for not only students’ success but also their emotional welling.
“She treats each student with respect and with the care of a mother-like figure who’s always in your corner but who provides tough love when necessary,” Welburn said. “She is a powerful force for good at Marquette who embodies perfectly the famous Maya Angelou quote that we should all seek to ‘be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud.’”
Walker graciously accepted the award, thanking her colleagues, family and friends. “This award is special because it also recognizes the EOP program, which serves low-income and first-generation students,” Walker said. “My greatest reward is always to see my students succeed.”
President Michael R. Lovell closed the event by reiterating the excellent service of each award recipient, calling out each awardee personally and thanking them for the dedication to Marquette.
“They do their jobs in a way that inspire all of us to be better,” President Lovell said. “It is my honor to watch these colleagues get the recognition they deserve – and a little fanfare too.”
President Lovell concluded by saying how proud he is of all Marquette employees for being the difference in their everyday work. “Our greatest asset as a university is our people,” he said. “I am reminded at events like this how important our Catholic and Jesuit values are. It has never more important for us to be committed to our mission – and I can see that in each one of you and the work you’re doing to make Marquette better.”
A video of the event is available online.
A PDF of the 2019 Excellence booklet is also available online. A limited number of physical copies are also available. Contact Stacy Tuchel, firstname.lastname@example.org, in OMC to request a copy via campus mail.