During Sweet Briar’s 108th Opening Convocation on Wednesday, Aug. 28, the College also honored several staff members with the annual Recognition of Staff Excellence (ROSE) Award.
“It is an honor to recognize them now, as it is to serve with them every day,” said President Jo Ellen Parker.
Nominations for the ROSE Awards come from co-workers and must have the support of each nominee’s supervisor. This year, the College recognized three staff members.
Stormy Hopkins, a customer service representative with Telecom, was the first recipient to be called to the stage. Her nomination was endorsed by 21 of her colleagues.
“Many of us know Stormy as the voice we hear when we call Telecom because we forgot our password and can’t retrieve our voicemail messages — that would be me,” Parker said. “Stormy helps students and parents in search of a package, residents who have trouble with their cable service or a new employee trying to understand the phone system. Stormy never fails to go above and beyond to help others. Stormy Hopkins is recognized today for exceeding expectations and providing dedicated service to the College.”
After the applause died down, it was Dawn Gatewood’s turn to be honored, again accompanied by lots of cheers. Gatewood serves as executive secretary to the vice president of alumnae and development.
Parker described her as “the ‘glue’ that holds the alumnae and development department together,” adding that Gatewood was “patient, creative and pragmatic. She anticipates the needs of a large and diverse department and has helped it navigate several personnel and organization transitions. She is unfailingly gracious to alumnae and colleagues, often stepping in to fill a void without having to be asked.”
Gatewood, she added, went beyond her job duties and made the campus a better environment by — among other things — sponsoring international students.
The third award went to a staff member everyone on campus knows by name: mail carrier Stacey Carter.
“More than one nominator mentioned that seeing Stacey is the highlight of their day,” Parker said. “Stacey always has a smile on his face and pep in his step that are contagious. He always goes the extra mile by lifting a box off of a top shelf, holding a door for another, and saying an encouraging word. He is always courteous, helpful, accommodating and cheerful.”
Parker’s praise was reflected in the overwhelming applause Carter received from students, faculty and staff.
After handing out the ROSE Awards, Parker asked two additional staff members to stand and be recognized for honors they had received as part of the Unsung Heroes program at the end of the 2012-2013 academic year: Gloria Smith, administrative assistant in the co-curricular life office, and Sylvester “Bo” Booker, who works in physical plant. Both were selected by students to receive awards during the luncheon they host each spring for hourly staff.
“These ROSE Award recipients and Unsung Heroes represent the dedication and professionalism of the entire staff,” Parker said. “In recognizing them, we honor the contributions of all staff members.”