Staff Recognition Awards shine spotlight on outstanding service

Six RIT staff members recognized for outstanding service and involvement




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Rising Star Award recipient Laurie Ackles and Outstanding Citizenship Award recipient Brian Haygood

RIT honored employees for outstanding service and dedication to the university during its annual Staff Recognition Awards ceremony today in Ingle Auditorium.

Awards were presented based upon RIT’s core values: student-centeredness; professional development and learning; integrity and ethics; respect, diversity and pluralism; innovation and flexibility; and teamwork and collaboration.

Staff Excellence Award winners are:

Michelle Bishop-Utano, manager of student and faculty services, computer science department, Golisano College. Comments on the nomination ballot included: “Michelle can be described as a hard-working individual who possesses strong organizational and analytical skills. In addition, she is a very caring person who finds it easy to put the needs of others above her own.”

Liane Fitzgerald, manager of advising services, computer science department, Golisano College. Fitzgerald was nominated in part for her desire to go above and beyond her job duties. “She felt she needed to learn German to help her students better understand what it means to go to Germany for a semester.”

Jennifer Hinton, assistant director of student experiences, interactive games and media department, Golisano College. Nomination comments include: “Jenn is a person of great personal integrity. She is proactive, knowledgeable, diplomatic, easy to work with, has a great sense of humor and fulfills her commitments.”

Bill St. Jean, assistant director, Residence Life. St. Jean was nominated for his “humility, incredible work ethic and total commitment students.” St. Jean is a “great mentor to his students” and “allows those around him to shine in their own way.”

The Rising Star Award is presented to a staff member with three years or less of service. This year’s winner is Laurie Ackles, project director of the Spectrum Support Program. Ackels’ nomination cited her overall involvement and commitment in advocacy for students with autism. “Laurie is motivated by the demanding but rewarding work of support students with autism spectrum disorders at RIT. She really can’t imagine doing anything else.”

The Dancy Duffus Outstanding Citizenship Award recognizes staff members who demonstrate a high degree of excellence, professionalism and integrity. This year’s honoree is Brian Haygood. He has worked at RIT for nearly 22 years and is affectionately known as the “mayor” by his co-workers at Crossroads. His nomination cited his hard work and effort as well as the “excellent care he takes in making sure that everything is OK with the people that work under him and around him.” Haygood believes that people’s work ethic is a reflection of themselves, and he “wants his reflection to shine brightly.”

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Rising Star Award recipient Laurie Ackles and Outstanding Citizenship Award recipient Brian Haygood

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Michelle Bishop-Utano and Liane Fitzgerald

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Jennifer Hinton and Bill St. Jean