Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tech Employees Given Awards

Five Tennessee Tech University employees have won 2009-10 Outstanding Clerical and Support Staff Awards for their ongoing dedication to the university, stellar job performance and great attitudes. Sharon Buckner, executive aide at the Angelo and Jennette Volpe Library and Media Center, and Shannon Terry, administrative secretary at the Joe L. Evins Appalachian Center for Craft, won clerical awards. Custodians Ruth Snyder and Rosemary Taylor, and Joe Williams, mason supervisor, all Facilities and Business Services support staff, received support staff honors. Established in 1989, the awards show appreciation to our most dedicated and outstanding clerical and support staff members. These awards are based on job performance, attitude toward work and the university, attendance and perseverance, professional development and suggestions for improvement.

Valeri Oliver with the Tech public affairs office put together the following profiles:

Sharon Buckner

This has been a standout year in Sharon Buckner’s career. When the library’s director asked to be re-assigned, Buckner didn’t miss a beat. Her knowledge of all aspects of the library’s administration – from service to budgets, personnel, policies and vendors – played a critical role in keeping operations humming smoothly.

“If you did not know we had a change in leadership this year, much of the credit is due to Ms. Buckner,” said Deanna Nipp-Kientz, the library’s interim director. “Ms. Buckner’s attitude is: ‘If it needs to be done I’ll do it.’ And not only does she get things done, but she also identifies what needs to be done.”
Buckner is quick to step up and take on additional responsibilities. She serves on the staff advisory committee to TTU President Bob Bell, the evaluation committee for the university’s office supply contract, the library’s social committee and the library’s disaster preparedness committee. Buckner, who began working as a library clerk in 1983, holds a certified professional secretary rating and is an active member in the association that supports the ratings program, the International Association of Administrative Professionals. She also holds a bachelor of science in business administration. She regularly attends seminars and workshops to expand her knowledge and skills.

Shannon Terry

Shannon Terry may just be the Appalachian Center for Craft’s secret weapon when it comes to student recruitment. Terry takes such an interest in attracting new students, she doesn’t mind giving prospective freshmen her personal phone number in case they have questions on Terry’s days off.

“When I asked her about it she said, ‘Everyone was a freshman at one time. It can be overwhelming.’ It is this personal investment that she makes in developing relationships and her commitment to helping others that makes her stand out so much,” said Curtiss R. Brock, professor of art.
Terry joined the center in 2003 after graduating from TTU with a bachelor’s degree in English-journalism. As a student, she covered the center’s activities for The Oracle student newspaper.
“I fell in love with the place immediately. I had no idea how working here would change my life and give me a place to grow,” she said.
Terry is considered the “go-to” person for questions of any nature when it comes to the Craft Center. She works tirelessly to organize procedures and special events for the Craft Center, said Kathie McGlamery, assistant director for the center.
“Shannon is the most dependable employee at the Craft Center,” McGlamery said. “Many students said that Shannon was the reason that they made their final decision to attend here.”

Ruth Snyder

Ruth Snyder, as custodian at Cooper/Dunn residence halls, said she like to think of her job as “cleaning up the world one small space at a time.” Her dedication hasn’t gone unnoticed by students and co-workers alike.

“I have never seen a bathroom unstocked or dirty. After the weekends when there are messes everywhere, she makes them disappear. When I go to my 8 o’clock classes, I see her even separating the recyclables from the trash! Her work ethic is higher than any I have seen,” said student Mary Christine Niver.

Snyder just received her five-year service pin and is often called upon to perform additional duties because her work is so admired by others.

“When I was promoted to lead worker in Capital Quad, I often asked Ruth to train the new employees due to her outstanding job performance and ability to consistently get the job done,” said Lyn Littrell.

Snyder says she doesn’t just view her job as one as just “janitor.” She enjoys mentoring the students as well. “Some of them have never been away from home before now. As an older person with many experiences, some of the students benefit from my listening to them and offering advice.” During her time at TTU, Snyder has taken advantage of the employee benefit to take one free university class per semester. She’s now a sophomore.

Rosemary Taylor

The faculty, staff and students who work and study in Johnson Hall regularly tell College of Business Dean James Jordan-Wagner that the building is the cleanest on campus.
Custodian Rosemary Taylor, who joined TTU in 2004, is the reason why.

“Ms. Taylor’s performance of her duties is second to none. I regularly receive comments about the cleanliness of our building from faculty, staff and even students,” Jordan-Wagner said.
It isn’t uncommon for Taylor to be found working in the building before regularly scheduled work hours to handle a problem that has or may arise, the dean said. “We have occasional problems with flooding in Johnson Hall, and Ms. Taylor has come in during periods of heavy rain just in case there is a problem. This attitude and dedication has saved the university significant money in averting repairs."

Taylor’s work ethic and commitment are enough to set her apart for the staff award, said Curtis Armstrong, decision sciences and management chairperson.

“But it is her positive attitude that really distinguishes her. She always has a smile and a warm hello.”

Joe Williams

Joe Williams is a mason supervisor for Facilities and Business Services, but the first objective listed on his resume is to “serve as an ambassador of TTU and as a positive role model.”
According to many, his contributions to TTU go well beyond what his job title might imply. He joined TTU in 1993 after 35 years of commercial work in masonry. Williams has been instrumental in finding innovative ways to maintain campus roofs and sidewalks as well as water proof buildings. His work has saved the university tens of thousands of dollars. His talent and critical thinking were instrumental in the oversight of high quality masonry work done at the new School of Nursing and Health Services Building.

“Joe’s work and experience is nothing short of superior and he is willing to do anything, anywhere, anytime when asked,” said Don Shockley, director of maintenance services.

As a master brick mason, Williams is always willing to help co-workers with problems and is the first to volunteer to find new ways to prevent maintenance problems.
Among Williams’ strongest assets is his ability to build and maintain effective relationships, especially with is co-workers.

“His caring, service-oriented attitude is very effective in his work with others both in the unit and across campus,” said Susan A. Elkins, Extended Programs and Regional Development vice president and School of Interdisciplinary Studies dean.

Williams’ attention to detail is probably best shown by the work he and his crew did transforming an unexciting concrete wall at Tucker Stadium into a structure rich in character, said Glenn B. Binkley, Facilities and Business Services assistant director.