Four Rhodes employees recently received the college’s 2015 Outstanding Staff Awards based on nominations submitted by faculty, staff, and students.
Outstanding Administrative Services Staff Award
This year’s Outstanding Administrative Services Staff award winner is Debra Manning, executive housekeeper. Nominators wrote “She is welcoming, warm, charming, unwavering, and dependable. She must be all things to all guests during the many events held at the President’s home and exhibits incredible judgment on a moment’s notice. She coordinates schedules and keeps the ship running. Above all, her loyalty and devotion to Rhodes are exhibited daily. She is so very deserving of this wonderful tribute to her years of service to the college.”
Christy Waldkirch, departmental assistant for the psychology and anthropology/sociology departments, received the Outstanding Administrative Staff award. Her colleagues describe her as having an exemplary work ethic and consistently bringing enthusiasm and positive energy to every task. Nominators wrote, “When plans change at the last minute, Christy is sure to adapt and continue in stride . . . She is an honest, caring person who will always go the extra mile in her job, whether coordinating candidate searches or giving a reassuring smile to stressed students (and faculty) during finals.”
Outstanding Administrator Awards
Outstanding Administrator awards were presented to Drew Gibson, head athletic trainer, and Stacy Pennington, associate database analyst.
Gibson’s nominators wrote that he works early morning, late night, weekends, and logs numerous miles traveling with teams. “Drew is second to none in his care and dedication to students, whether the student is involved in athletics or not. He listens to the student about an injury, evaluates carefully, explains what he has learned, makes referrals, ensures transportation, provides follow-up, talks to parents, and does it again and again . . . He’s regarded by our coaches, athletes, and his peers as one of the best certified athletic trainers in the country.”
Pennington is known as a superb database administrator, programmer, system integrator, and business analyst. Richie Trenthem, director of information technology services, however, wrote that Pennington’s true mission is helping the Rhodes community work better together and connecting people with tools and techniques for success. “If you are lucky enough to see him in action, you will see also an astute and self-aware ethnographer, instinctively curious about the lives and labors of his friends and colleagues. I believe it’s the finest of the myriad hats he wears for us, and we are all the better for what Stacy brings to this place.”