CASL Staff Recognition Awardees
Celebrating All Staff Loyalty
Awardees for Summer 2023
Congratulations to Liz Clark and Kiara Marshall for receiving the Summer 2023 prize!
Although very assertive, Rachel is a motivator and educator in her own right.
Rachel gives 200% of herself to whatever is entrusted to her stewardship and will inconvenience herself for the greater good of whatever the cause, CASL, BSCI, students, and staff.
Rachel demonstrates superb leadership by truly "walking what she talk and talking what she walk."
It is an honor and a privilege to nominate Liz Clark for this recognition. Liz does a tremendous job supporting student internships for CASL. She provides a warm and welcoming presence to students and is a fantastic public face of the university to the community partners where we place interns.
I have worked with Liz for years, mostly when she was in the Humanities Internship office, where she placed so many of our WGST students. I spent numerous hours with her brainstorming the best opportunities for our students and checking in as those students moved through the internship process. I always recommended Liz without hesitation to every student in CASL that I met. "Even if you are not in the Humanities," I would say, "you should consider getting an internship through Liz's office."
Every student I spoke with afterwards thanked of for this recommendation. This is no surprise because Liz is great at what she does. She is brilliant at finding great opportunities for our students in cultural, non-profit, social service, and corporate settings. She also does a fantastic job of making students she was working with - many of them first generation and/or returning students - feel comfortable and confident in their positions. In addition she has been a great support to the skill building activities they were engaged in with their internship classes.
When I was director of WGST I was delighted to see that many of the internships that Liz found for my majors and minors led to positions after the students graduated. The work she did was crucial in helping them translate the skills they had in college to real-world career and social change work. She is one reason why so many of our WGST alums are so successful.
Liz is not one to bring attention to herself, but she is most deserving of recognition and that's why I am nominating her.
I want to highlight and acknowledge the outstanding work done by the Dean’s Office staff (Sue Gedert, Nada Bachir, Kiara Marshall, Brandon Wulf, and Angie Palek). The number of times that I have witnessed this group, or individual members of this group, stepping up to assist a student, faculty member, or a staff colleague are too many to count. They are the most conscientious, diligent, customer-focused, helpful group of individuals I have ever had the privilege of working alongside.
Their commitment to the college and to its collective success is second to none. They go above and beyond in everything that they do. I know that they will continue to provide the college and our new Dean with the best service imaginable.
Thank you all for your support and for all that you do for CASL! I will miss working with each and every one of you.
Kiara has been exceptionally helpful with our planning for a Faculty Senate retreat in late August. She has gone far beyond basic assistance to suggest additional ways to make our event more efficient, comfortable, & productive. She is a great asset to the office, and we appreciate her!
Kiara and Liz have enthusiastically agreed to take over the Drupal ambassador role for the college, which oversees the 400+ CASL webpages and the 25 Formstack forms, upon my retirement.
Both are currently spending time learning the programs and the "behind the scenes" set up of the forms and webpages. These new duties are in addition to the numerous responsibilities they already hold ... Kiara in the Dean's Office and Social Sciences Dept. and Liz in the Internship Center.
As they both have good knowledge of the college structure and personnel, I have the utmost confidence in them both to do a terrific job!
Awardees for Winter 2023
Congratulations to Brandon Wulf for receiving the Winter 2023 prize!
Asma deserves this award because she is an essential staff member for the Center for Arab American Studies. She is an outstanding research and administrative assistant, who carries on a lot of duties with poise and equanimity. From supporting the publication of the Center's monthly newsletter to co-producing the podcast, scheduling meetings, managing public events, producing beautiful outreach material, and handling day-to-day administrative tasks for the Center, Asma brings creative energy, an engaging smile, and skillfulness to all she does.
If there's something she doesn't already know how to do, she learns how to do it! If there's an idea she has for the Center, she shares it. Asma also takes direction constructively and builds on it with her own contributions. She is curious, thoughtful, and engaged, and she brings a wealth of her own research knowledge and cultural sensitivity to the work she does at the Center.
As interim director for the Center of Arab American Studies at UM-Dearborn, I am so happy I get to work with Asma as my assistant! I can also vouch that she is well-liked by faculty, staff, and students alike.
While there are many reasons why Nada deserves this recognition (her excellent work guiding the P&T process, her work on the Chancellor's Staff Recognition Committee, etc.), I want to highlight and acknowledge the outstanding guidance and mentorship that she is providing to her peers here in the Dean's Office.
As virtually all of the Dean's office staff is new to their positions, Nada's knowledge of the college and of how things are done has been of the utmost importance. Indeed, my staff regularly sing her praises and compliment the work that she does with them. Nada's eagerness to assist our team in succeeding is deeply appreciated and merits this recognition.
I wish to recognize Nada for going above and beyond to assist the CASL Dean Search Committee while she was on a scheduled vacation. Unfortunately, the search timeline did not align with Nada's scheduled time off. In spite of being out of the office, however, Nada communicated her willingness to assist the committee in moving forward with arranging schedules/distribution of dossiers for the finalists for the position. As a result, this search did not miss a beat and continues to meet its scheduled timeline. Service such as this is very typical of Nada and truly represents an effort that goes beyond the norm. On behalf of the committee and the college, I want to thank Nada for her work.
A better question than "Why do you feel this person (or group) deserves this award?" in Sue's case would be, "are there enough accolades to share about Sue and her work.
As I sat down to write this, I received an email from a faculty member letting me know how helpful Sue had been in designing a program for an upcoming event. Emails such as this one are nearly daily occurrences when it comes to Sue. You are an inspiration to us all Sue! Thank you for all that you do for CASL!
Kiara is a tremendous addition to our team. Her work is always first rate and customer focused. She is also always willing to take on new responsibilities/tasks. In this capacity, Kiara recently volunteered to try a job share between the college and the Department of Social Sciences where she currently works as an Administrative Specialist. This is an entirely new position for her and entails the mastery of a brand new skill set.
This is also a new model of staffing for the college. Kiara has taken to her new role very well and, because of her outstanding attitude and work ethos, is roving that this type of an arrangement is a viable one for CASL. The college owes Kiara a huge debt of gratitude for her outstanding work!
I want to take a moment to recognize Angie for the tremendous work that she has done for the college relative to organizing LEO work and in ensuring the college's compliance with the LEO contract. Her work in this vein has been wide ranging (template letters, timelines, Teaching Professor process, etc) and thorough and all of it has been done in a manner that has built greater trust between the college and its LEO employees.
This was a thorny set of tasks to take on and Angie has been very successful in this work. Thank you Angie fr your efforts on the college's behalf.
Tasha is the biology laboratory manager and is responsible for coordinating all the labs. This is a very detail oriented job with a lot of moving parts such as ensuring all the lab courses and all the experiments are well planned; all the reagents are prepared in a timely manner in order to ensure the students are receiving the best experience in lab. She is responsible for training all the staff. She is the glue that keeps the labs going. Tasha’s dedication to her job is evident when sometimes something does not go as planned during the labs, and she ensures that it is taken care immediately. She also works closely with the instructors to make sure that things go smoothly.
It has been a pleasure working with her and it makes the teaching more enjoyable for both my students and myself.
Brandon's contributions to the college are many and his work is both excellent and very much appreciated. I would like to especially single out the work that he is doing to lead the working group that has been tasked with overseeing the move of the SSCI department to the CASL Building. His leadership in this group has been widely praised and he is guiding the process in an even-handed way; ensuring that all are being heard and that a full and transparent discussion of the process is taking place.
This work falls far outside of Brandon's assigned duties and exemplifies his always positive and thoughtful approach to everything he does. Thank you, Brandon.
I cannot say enough about the work done by this group relative to the ongoing move of faculty and the Social Sciences department from the SSB to the CB. This group has worked tirelessly to make a stressful and complicated process unfold seamlessly and smoothly and to reduce stress levels across the college. We are grateful to all of you for work very well done! Thank you!
Awardees for Fall 2022
Congratulations to Marlene Dupre for receiving the Fall 2022 prize!
Rachel is always willing to help and ensures the department run smoothly. Even when she is clearly busy, she provides assistance and guidance to anyone in need of it.
She goes over and beyond to ensure that people feel taken care of and are able to accomplish what they need or want to. She is responsive even when it's unexpected. She makes the office approachable and fun, decorating and providing a friendly face. She really is an asset to the department and the university, and as a new faculty member it has been invaluable having her as a resource.
I am pleased to nominate Marlene Dupre for this award. In the 25 years that we have worked together, I have seen Marlene offer crucial support for students and faculty through her role in the Advising office. For me personally her assistance has been indispensable in my own student advising work in Women's and Gender Studies, Economics, and SOAR. She has been particularly helpful to students of mine from historically underrepresented groups. Those students' experiences with Marlene, they reported to me, made them feel like they had a champion in the Advising office. Feeling like someone in the College has your back can make such a difference - especially to socioeconomically disadvantaged students and adult learners struggling to balance work, school, and care obligations.
I recently read in the CASL Connect newsletter that Marlene has been at UM-Dearborn for 39 years. What a legacy of sustained, exemplary service to create a more inclusive and welcoming campus and foster student success! The award could begin to recognize and celebrate this legacy.
Awardees for Summer 2022
Congratulations to Elisa Madrigal and Becky Chipchase for receiving the Summer 2022 prize!
I wish to recognize the vitally important role that Nada has played in the hire of five new staff members here in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters over the last 6 months.
During a time where the Dean's Office was very short staffed and when she was moving into a new and expanded professional role (not to mention the additional work she was doing to fill in for vacated staff positions in the Dean's office), Nada committed her time to serving on search committees for two departmental Administrative Specialists (Natural Sciences and Mathematics and Statistics--the latter of which ran through two cycles due to an unsuccessful initial search), an Administrative Specialist Intermediate in the Dean's Office, and the Business Administrator Senior and Business and Financial Operations Administrator positions in the Dean's office.
In all of these searches (as reflected in comments by the participating Chairs and other search committee members) Nada offered great insight into the various candidates' strengths and weaknesses and greatly assisted in the addition of five outstanding new staff members to the college. This is a vitally important contribution and one that should be recognized.
Thank you Nada for helping to shape the future course of our college through your outstanding work in these searches.
This summer, the Center for Math Education launched a four week summer math camp, Math Corps U(M)-Dearborn@KRONK. The camp was free for 28 middle schools student, supported 12 high school students with stipends, and supported 6 college students with summer salaries. From the field work with the kids to the logistic support from the department, this was an enormous undertaking. Three separate grants were needed to funded the entire camp.
As camp director, I relied on Elisa and Becky so much. They worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure that the camp was a success. Not only did Elisa and Becky quickly handle all of my correct requests and forms, they expeditiously corrected and processed all of my error-filled submissions (error-filled submissions were by far the majority). I am so very grateful for how Elisa and Becky supported our first Math Corps summer program. Their support helped kids in our community learn mathematics in a safe and supportive environment.
Lindsay has held down much of the administrative duties in the department this past academic year, as her excellent fellow administrators Lisa and Lori have had to be out for personal reasons at different times.
Lindsay is always helpful, very responsive, and it's great to work with her. I really appreciate the hard work that she and Lisa and Lori do to make the department function.
I am pleased to nominate Belinda Soliz for the "Celebrating All Staff Loyalty" award. Belinda epitomizes this award, consistently going above and beyond her job duties to support any faculty, staff, or students who come her way. Not only does Belinda do an outstanding job providing crucial support to the Social Sciences Department, she also makes it a point to welcome and support other faculty and staff who work out of the Social Sciences Building.
I have experienced this firsthand being one of the few CWP faculty working and teaching primarily in SSB. Despite not being "officially assigned" to work with me, Belinda has never hesitated to provide all kinds of assistance to myself and my students, as well as to go out of her way to provide additional support to campus student orgs.
More than this, Belinda manages to remain cool, calm, and collected in the face of any challenge, quick to brainstorm and problem-solve viable solutions. Her vast knowledge about and experience on campus is invaluable, and her warmth and positivity are absolutely contagious--a rare and special quality that is essential to creating an inclusive environment on campus. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award than Belinda Soliz.
I am a less-than-perfect account keeper. Sue works with me and makes sure everything is right. She "rescues" me from time to time. Her work with me on my Ottawa accounts in invaluable.
I've been working closely with Greg for the past 18 months on a grant funded project to record and digitize the Aspects of the Holocaust course. Greg’s been a wonderful collaborator on the project, serving as cameraman, executive producer, engineer and creative consultant, all the while trying to keep me on track. Greg also worked with Sidney Bolkosky to record an earlier version of this course for the CASL Reach program in the early 2000’s.
I’ve also been privileged to work with Greg for over 22 years in my role as curator of the Voice/Vision Archive. He’s filmed and recorded numerous events and speakers hosted by the archive. Greg also played a key role in filming a large portion of the interviews found in the archive and his work plays a key role in the success of the archive.
Greg’s work on the earlier version of this course and his work with the Voice/Vision archive made him an invaluable collaborator on this project.