Innovation Award

This award is given to a staff member who has generated novel and valuable ideas, and has used these ideas to develop new or improved processes, methods, systems, programs, or services. The award recognizes creative ideas that have made UChicago a better place to live and work.

2021-2022 Recipient: Sarah Andriacchi, Associate Director of Summer Conferences, Housing & Residence Life

Nominators recognized Sarah for always offering help when Housing & Residence Life needs additional assistance. She was praised for her ability to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic by coordinating the University’s on-campus housing isolation process, resulting in working 60–70-hours per week throughout the pandemic. Thanks to Sarah, students in isolation were able to receive meals, medication, and mail/parcels. She also coordinated communication and transportation of students and the cleaning of isolation housing during this time.

“So many student lives were positively impacted by her work in a time of very high need and we are thankful for her and the team work that made this possible,” one nominator wrote.

Outstanding Newcomer Award

This award is given to an outstanding staff member who has worked at least six months but no more than three years in their current department. Nominees must demonstrate excellence in overall job performance; show willingness to assist beyond normal expectations; and show initiative and creativity in his or her work.

2021-2022 Recipient: Cindy Agustín, Director, Student Support Services, Center for Identity + Inclusion

Since joining the Center for Identity + Inclusion in November 2021, Cindy has brought energy, enthusiasm, and expertise to work every day. Tasked with supporting FLI graduate students, she has gone above and beyond to also support those in the College. In the past year, she has developed and launched several workshops and trainings to help students, staff, and faculty understand the experiences of undocumented/DACAmented students, the impacts of federal and state policy, and UChicago resources. Cindy also facilitates the food security program which provides grocery vouchers to students in need and works as a mentor and advocate for FLI student groups such as the Socioeconomic Diversity Alliance (SDA).

“Cindy has been a welcomed addition to our CI+I team, and has made a true impact on the FLI student community that she serves,” said one nominator.

Outstanding Service to the University Community Award

This award is given to a staff member who has demonstrated concern and commitment to fulfill needs and ensure satisfaction when providing services to members of the University community including faculty, staff, and students.

2021-2022 Recipient: Colbey Harris, Associate University Registrar for Curriculum Management and Classroom Services

Colbey has dedicated the past 18 years to helping students, faculty, and staff navigate academic advising, registration planning, curriculum management, classroom scheduling, and instructional evaluation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she played a critical role in reconfiguring classroom spaces to accommodate social distancing and engaged with the Collegiate Masters to develop courses that supported remote, hybrid, and in-person instruction. Colbey was also admired by colleagues for her collaboration and diplomacy with the academic units and administrative offices

“While her role is critical on a daily basis, Colbey’s position was impacted as much as any by the pandemic,” one nominator said. “In a hugely stressful time for curriculum managers, Colbey adapted to major changes gracefully and implemented improvements for students, staff, and faculty that will last beyond the Covid-impacted quarters.”

Outstanding Service to Students Award

This award is presented to the staff member who has provided outstanding service to individual students or student groups on a consistent basis, whether through personal advising, development of programs, or improvements to university systems and policies that affect students.

2021-2022 Recipient: Elizabeth Webb, Interim Director of Health Promotion, Student Wellness

Elizabeth has been instrumental in leading multiple student health initiatives for addiction and mental health. Her many accomplishments include establishing UChicago’s first student recovery group, leading the Alcohol and Other Drugs collaborative group, and creating the Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students program. Nominators praised her willingness to help and empower students. Elizabeth was also recognized for supporting the creation of safe spaces on campus and her dedication to improving the wellbeing of students.

“Her energy and enthusiasm for serving our students is inspiring and infectious,” noted a nominator.

“Elizabeth has dedicated her work to making UChicago a safer space and healthier environment for students from all walks of life,” another nominator wrote. “I was so lucky to work with her and see how tirelessly she works to make UChicago a better place for everyone who is a part of the community.”

Stephen P. Klass STAR Award (for Service, Teamwork, Attitude, Reliability)

In honor of Stephen P. Klass, who served as Vice President and Dean of Students form 2002–2006, this award is given to the staff member who has, with a positive and forward-thinking attitude, consistently excelled, made outstanding contributions in the area of service, promoted teamwork and collaboration, and worked quietly behind the scenes to improve the unit or their department.

2021-2022: Amima Diagne, Associate Director, Student Services, Office of International Affairs

The numerous nominations Amima received, which admired her for her patience, dedication, and leadership, are a testament to her work ethic and impact on the University community. Amima is an exemplary leader who always encourages and supports her team members, whether it’s through professional development activities, one-on-one meetings, or team building opportunities. She successfully guided her team through the difficult stages of the pandemic while keeping her sense of humor and remaining dedicated to students and her advisers.

One nominator wrote, “Amima always provides outstanding customer service to our international students, administrators, faculty and community members. She treats everyone equally and never loses her cool. She is grace under pressure, for sure!”

“She is one of the most patient and empathetic people I have met and she treats everyone with compassion. Her love of the work she does, comes across in her work ethic and dedication to University of Chicago students,” another nominator said.

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