On Wednesday, Clayton State University honored those who make a difference on campus and in the community. The annual President’s “Making Things Better” Awards recognized a group of faculty, staff and campus departments who play an integral in the University’s success.
“My belief [is] that there is a need every once in a while to recognize colleagues who are making things better for each of us on campus,” said University President Dr. Tim Hynes. “These awards go some distance at starting to give the institutional appreciation that that work deserves every day.”
The six winners were selected out of nearly 100 entries from around campus. In addition to a plaque, the honorees each received a $500 cash award funded by the Clayton State University Foundation.
Among faculty, psychology professor Dr. Antoinette Miller and physics professor Dr. Tatiana Krivosheev were recognized for their ability to provide an engaging academic atmosphere.
Miller, who leads the university initiative Partnering Academics and Community Engagement (PACE), was praised for the value the program has brought to students and partner institutions. Since it was launched in the fall of 2014, more than 1,000 students have completed over 100 different community-based projects for local public agencies, businesses and nonprofits.
“Under Dr. Miller’s leadership, this has taken on an extraordinary important part of the institution,” Hynes said.
Those who nominated Dr. Krivosheev pointed out her ability to make complex physics concepts more understandable for students using real-world examples in the classroom. She was noted for her enthusiasm for field research and her motivational spirit.
Hynes noted what Krivosheev’s colleagues describes as folks in the physics community who “follow her as she walks around campus.” He said it embodies what many on campus would like to see come out of learning experiences-- students want to interact with professors and find value in those relationships.
Staff members Sandra Starr and Dolores Cox were honored for their commitment to create a positive impression of Clayton State to the students and community members who visit the University each day.
Starr, administrative assistant in the Admissions division, is said to be the life of the office who makes it her mission to make new employees feel home. Colleagues described her as a trouble shooter, always looking for ways to assist students, and someone who does her work with a spirit of excellence.
As one nomination noted, “Without Sandra, we would be lost.”
Cox, operations manager in the College of Business, was recognized by her peers as a wonderful asset to the university. She’s known to foster meaningful relationships with students and has, over the years, carried her brand of excellence and hard work to whichever department she is associated with.
Hynes noted at Wednesday’s ceremony that Cox has been especially integral to helping bring film and television crews on campus, making Clayton State a popular setting for blockbuster productions.
“The contribution I think is exceptional is this great warmth of personality—a true, authentic, genuine sense that Dolores really wants to help individuals get to know something more about Clayton State University,” he said. “And she really has taken ownership in a lot of ways of making film people feel happy. That is no small task.”
Two departments, Center for Instructional Development (CID) and the Office of Career Services, were also honored at the awards ceremony. Many faculty and staff nominated CID for a “Making Things Better” Award for the department’s innovative work in improving classroom instruction. The Center was recognized for offering a number of valuable resources for professors, as well as helping instructors design creative materials for class.
The Office of Career Services was praised for being at the frontline for students to transition from college to the workforce. The team was commended for its outstanding customer service to the campus and local community through career and graduate school fairs, in addition to its internship program that has served almost 300 students per semester.
“It feels wonderful to be recognized by our peers and especially our president who has supported Career Services from his first day on campus,” said Bridgette McDonald, director of Career Services. “We are one of those offices that truly collaborate with every constituent on and off campus to help our students reach career aspirations.”