Staff Excellence Awards, Are dogs smarter than cats, forensic science

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CAS - Compass E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

December 2017

Dean Lauren BentonDear Arts and Science community,

This is a good time of year to recognize the talented staff who contribute so much to the success of the College of Arts and Science. Across the college’s many departments and programs, more than 240 staff support all aspects of the college’s mission and advance the goals of our students and faculty. I salute their service.

In November, the college announced its first Staff Excellence Awards. We received nominations for scores of qualified and deserving staff.

Patrick Retton, chief business officer for the college, read testimonials about the kindness, competence and creativity of this year’s award winners:

  • Sandra Bohn of English, Staff Excellence Award for the Humanities
  • Christen Harper of History, Staff Excellence Award for Social Sciences
  • Peggy McGowan of Physics and Astronomy, Staff Excellence Award for the Sciences
  • Lilliana Rodriguez of Spanish and Portuguese, Staff Excellence Award for the College of Arts and Science

Staff from the dean’s office were not eligible for these awards, so I must add a word of thanks to the exceptional staff I have had the honor to work with in the last several years. Without fanfare, they anticipate problems daily and advance the interests of the college routinely in ways too numerous to list. I am profoundly grateful for their professionalism and dedication.

Just a few days after celebrating the Staff Excellence Awards, we celebrated again when Carol Wiley of Biological Sciences was announced as the recipient of Chancellor Zeppos’ Heart and Soul Award. Carol, a grant manager for the department and an employee of Vanderbilt for more than 17 years, has repeatedly gone above and beyond her assigned duties. Her nomination letter told of a time when a severe winter storm was forecast and Carol volunteered to spend the night on a cot in her office so she could be there to meet a crucial grant deadline the next day.

The extraordinary performance of the staff helps make the college a wonderful place to work and study.

I wish all of them, and all of you, very happy holidays.

Best regards,

ean Benton Signature

Lauren Benton
Dean, College of Arts and Science
Nelson O. Tyrone, Jr. Professor of History

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