RIT honored employees for outstanding service and dedication to the university during its annual Presidential Awards for Outstanding Staff ceremony Oct. 8 in Ingle Auditorium. Awards were presented based on commitment to student success; integrity and ethics; respect, diversity and pluralism; and teamwork and collaboration.
Staff Excellence Award winners are:
The Rising Star Award is presented to a staff member with three years or less of service and who presents progressive examples of high-quality service, has demonstrated a willingness to work collaboratively with colleagues and constituents, and shows imagination, creativity and innovation that embody the RIT spirit. This year’s winner is David Bagley, director of RIT’s Center for Residence Life. Bagley’s nomination cited that “his professionalism, knowledge, student focus, enthusiasm and strong ability to lead were apparent within minutes of his arrival on campus. In the short time he has been at RIT, he has made an unbelievable, unparalleled difference within the Center for Residence Life, initiated positive change, instilled confidence in his team, and improved the quality of life for students living on campus.”
The Dancy Duffus Award for Outstanding Citizenship recognizes staff members who demonstrate creativity and innovation, imagination and integrity that embodies the RIT spirit. This year’s recipient is Karen Pelc, coordinator for wellness education. According to colleagues, “She reaches out to students repeatedly via all means necessary, involves others when needed, works with families, faculty, staff and outside agencies to ensure that every possible option is offered to our students in need. She is also there to provide those students with a successful transition back to RIT when they have left for a period of time due to the need for treatment. She often serves as their ‘Rock of Gibraltar’; many students cite her as the reason they were successful and persisted at RIT.” Others said, “Karen has the ability to be very supportive, candid and challenging, and her students know she truly cares. The feedback I receive from students after meeting with Karen is overwhelmingly positive; students are enlightened and feel empowered to make better life choices.”
The Isaac L. Jordan Sr. Staff Pluralism Award recognizes a staff member who demonstrates passion and commitment to spreading the goals of diversity and pluralism across our campus and into the greater community. This year’s recipient is Alex Jones, residence coordinator, Center for Residence Life. Jones has been described as “a valued confidant and respected colleague, a thoughtful, experienced and dedicated professional committed to enabling balanced dialogue on diversity and pluralism among various campus constituencies.” Jones has actively served on various committees and in groups focused on teaching American Sign Language to students, and the recruitment and retention of diverse students, faculty and staff including No Voice Zone; the Deaf Professional Advisory Group; the NTID Diversity Group; the AALANA Faculty/Staff Association; and Partnerships in Pluralism. He serves as a co-adviser for International House and chair of the NTID Diversity Group.