College names winners in Staff Awards of Excellence

The Purdue College of Engineering held its 17th annual Staff Awards of Excellence event on Friday, December 7, at the Shively Club inside Ross-Ade Pavilion.

Mung Chiang, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering, handed out the awards and explained that 32 nominations were received. That number was narrowed to 16 finalists, and those staff members were honored at the ceremony. The nominations came from 16 different schools, divisions, and programs within the College.

In delivering his remarks, the dean named focus areas for 2019. The first PESLA (Purdue Engineering Staff Leadership Academy) cohort will conclude soon, he said, culminating with a poster session on Jan. 29, 2019, that will feature each member’s project. The second PESLA will commence on Feb. 5.

PESLA, described as a program “for staff, by staff,” currently enrolls 11 employees spanning all areas of the College. The group meets twice each month for two hours over the course of two years. The academy teaches participants to become better leaders in their respective units. Members explore real-world case studies, engage in interactive presentations, and are provided tools to facilitate strategic thinking in their leadership.

Chiang also announced the launch of the Support Staff Series and the Professional Renewal Grant programs in early 2019. The Support Staff Series will focus on providing professional development opportunities and will be led by invited CoE staff leaders, who will focus on developing specific job-related and professional skills.

The Professional Renewal Grant will offer 10 grants each year to CoE staff members, who will receive five days to focus on professional development or a special job-related project of their choosing. In addition, $1,500 in grant money will be awarded to support project work or development, such as attending a professional conference or taking a project management or Lean Six Sigma certification course.

Before presenting the 2018 awards, Chiang thanked the Dean’s Staff Affairs Committee, who spent many hours reviewing nominations. Members of the committee evaluated each of the 32 nominations, including several hundred pages of documentation. In total, 80 letters of recommendation were received and reviewed.

Nominees and winners are as follows:

Administrative/Professional Customer Service Award

Yvonne Hardebeck
Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Jennifer Merzdorf
Chemical Engineering

Richard Womack
Engineering Education (WINNER)

Clerical/Service Customer Service Award

Debra Burrow
Civil Engineering

Phillip Qualio
Dean’s Office (WINNER)

Rosemary Son
Materials Engineering

Leah H. Jamieson Leadership Award

J. David Kotterman
Industrial Engineering

Corey Linkel
Biomedical Engineering (WINNER)

Joseph Tort
Office of Professional Practice

New Employee Award

Andrew Balmos
Electrical and Computer Engineering

Norvin Bruns
Biomedical Engineering (WINNER)

Anne DeLion
Engineering Education

Professional Achievement Award

Cindy Cory
Mechanical Engineering

David Rater
Civil Engineering

Nadezhda Zyaykina
Environmental and Ecological Engineering (WINNER)

Team Award presented to IE Student Alumni Mentoring Initiative Team

Jerry Alberts, Elizabeth Allum, Patrick Brunese, J. David Kotterman, Morgan Kuryla, Annika Mabe, Anita Sun Min Park, Philip Waclawik

Related Link: 2018 Staff Awards of Excellence Recipients