Marlene F. Richman Award

This award was created in honor of Marlene F. Richman, who served students with extraordinary commitment and care during a career that spanned four decades. Marlene was a revered career counselor for 36 years and the Resident Master of Burton-Judson during her career at the University of Chicago.

Sadly, Marlene Richman passed away on January 7, 2014. We continue to honor her legacy by annually bestowing this award to an individual who deserves recognition for their excellence and dedication to students. 

Each year the recipient will have his or her name inscribed on a plaque that hangs in the second floor of the Reynolds Club and will receive an award certificate and extra service payment. Awards are given out during the annual Campus and Student Life picnic each year. 

Nominations

Only students may submit nominations. The 2020-2021 winner will be announced during Autumn Quarter 2021. No late nominations will be accepted. 

Evaluation

Nominees will be evaluated by four major criteria: communication, time, responsiveness, and respect.

All nominees will receive a certificate recognizing her or his service. 

Eligibility

All full-time staff members of the University are eligible. This award excludes senior management (i.e. deans, directors, and officers of the University) and faculty members. Nominations are invited from all students in the University. Previous winners of the Richman Award are not eligible.

Selection Committee

The selection committee is comprised of:

  • Student representatives
  • Two Deans of Students
  • Two staff members from Campus and Student Life
  • The previous year's Richman Award recipient

2021 Winner: Eman Alsamara, Harris Public Policy

Eman Alsamara is an Assistant Director in the Dean of Students Office at Harris Public Policy. In this role, she advises students to support them in achieving their goals and enhance the student experience.

Multiple student nominators praised Eman for her kindness, responsiveness, and having an unwavering commitment to her work. Whether she’s connecting with students over email, Zoom, in-person office hours, and even WhatsApp, she reliably and promptly assists students with academic and personal issues. Nominators also praised Eman’s passion for issues of justice and diversity, and, as a member of the UChicago Muslim community, “she exemplifies someone who values their religious traditions and helps those of other faiths to also appreciate them.”

One student wrote, “Eman is one person you know who will go above and beyond for her students and the Harris community at large. There is never a bad time to reach her or any topic off limit. She’s someone you can be completely honest with.”

Another added, “I can feel that Eman really loves her job, and she is full of positive energy. I am grateful I met her before I start my career because she is the kind of person I want to become at work.”

Previous Winners

Julie is the executive administrator for the Institute for Biophysical Dynamics. She has touched the lives of countless UChicago students, particularly in her role as the director of the Beckman Scholars Program, which gives students the opportunity to work full-time in a research lab alongside other undergraduate researchers. Julie is a constant, ever-reliable champion of Beckman Scholars—from guiding these students through the program’s rigorous interview process with her encouraging feedback to offering her sage advice on their post-graduation plans. While the Beckman Scholars Program has limited spaces available for students, nominators were quick to point out that Julie organized a summer program for students who applied but weren’t chosen for the program to give them the opportunity to engage in research as well.

Student nominators described Julie as kind and reassuring and praised her responsiveness to students’ concerns and questions and her deep investment in students’ success. One student nominator wrote, “the same problems that I am not prepared to share with other mentors I can share with Julie without second thought. Not only does she respond with sympathy, she also provides examples of similar troubles she has encountered.”

Another student nominator wrote, “Everyone who has been part of the physical or biological sciences communities at UChicago has been positively touched by Julie; her cheerful attitude, availability to students, unyielding belief in our potential, and earnest efforts toward our academic and personal success are unmatched by anyone I've met during my time in college.”

2020 Marlene F. Richman Award Nominees

  • Eman Alsamara, Harris School of Public Policy
  • E.G. Enbar, MAPSS
  • David Lerner, UChicago Careers in STEM
  • Elizabeth Kearney, Law School
  • Brandon Kurzweg, Harris School of Public Policy
  • Jen Lombardo, Harris School of Public Policy
  • Patrick Phillips, Career Advancement
  • Laura Rico-Bec, Pritzker School for Molecular Engineering
  • Hanna Seferos, Harris School of Public Policy
  • Ashlyn Sparrow, UChicago Arts
  • Malynne Sternstein, Slavic Languages and Literature
  • Alyssa Szynal, Harris School of Public Policy

The 2019 winner is Milvia Rodriguez, the Assistant Director of Student Affairs, Academic Advising, and Financial Aid at the Harris School of Public Policy. Milvia serves as an academic advisor for the Masters in Public Policy program and oversees student financial aid and advising and processing. In addition, she provides staff support to a number of student organizations, including Minorities in Public Policy, Latin American Matters, and Black Action for Public Policy. 

Milvia was praised by her student nominators as a staff member who shows a genuine interest in students' well-being. Several mentioned her supportive participation in many student events, even on evenings and weekends - from playing piano at the Follies (an annual comedy event at Harris) to celebrating Black History Month. 

One nominator wrote, “Milvia is committed to student success: whether academic, career, or personal. She supports students in whatever way they need—whether offering a friendly greeting in the hall, or through a specific academic-related request.”

Another nominator wrote, “Milvia makes herself available to anyone and everyone. Her warmth and care are apparent in every interation. Her support goes beyond that of an academic advisor. She shows that she cares about her students by attending our events, occasionally bringing us homemade treats, offering to connect us with her network, and counseling and comforting us in times of overwhelming stress.”

The 2018 winner is Greg Redenius, associate director for facilities and operations at the Logan Center for the Arts. In his role, Greg works to schedule Logan Center space, assist with event coordination and production, manage Logan Center facilities, and manage the Performance Hall.

Student nominators wrote that Greg thoughtfully and patiently helps with each professional, academic, or personal request that comes to him, and promptly offers creative solutions and compromises if a request cannot be fulfilled. He quickly responds to students’ questions—even after hours and on weekends—and doesn’t complain, even when last-minute or time-consuming requests are asked of him.

The nominators wrote, “Considering that Greg oversees the needs of countless classes, programs, and events in the Logan Center, it’s easy to imagine that a single student’s request would be low on his list of priorities. But this is never, ever the case. Greg is always quick to respond, and always takes our needs seriously.” They added that he “makes us, the students, and our projects feel as important as any University official, faculty member, or visiting artist that passes through the Logan Center.”

The 2017 winner of the Marlene F. Richman Award is Candace Bergeron, assistant director of student affairs at the Law School. In her role, Candace works closely with student organizations at the Law School. Students praised Candace's tireless dedication in helping them to effectively manage their organizations and host enriching programs. Students noted that Candace often arrives early and stays late to ensure the programs go off without a hitch. She was also commended for her responsiveness and approachable nature.

"Candace truly cares about us and ensures that our community is fun, positive, and bright," one nominator wrote. "Given the rigors of law school and the isolation that students can experience, her dedication to us and her attention to all matters, big and small, have been absolutely invaluable."

Numerous students nominated Alison LaTendresse, the Associate Director of Programs and Student Affairs in the Department of Visual Arts, for this award, writing that her responsive, intelligent, and kind nature has had an immeasurable impact on their experience at UChicago. Students highlighted the many selfless ways Alison shows her unwaivering support for them, be it through thoughtful responses to questions over email or in person or attending events such as open studios to show encouragement for their work.

One student wrote, “Alison is simultaneously the steady rock, holding down all the craziness that is working with professional and young emerging artists, and the soft place to land—meaning, she is the person all of the DoVA students know they can go to with any question, anytime.”

The nominations for Jamie Gentry show that she works tirelessly to fulfill her role as the Office Manager and Student Affairs Coordinator for the Center for Latin American Studies. She continues to make a meaningful impact on many UChicago students' lives.  

One colleague said, “Indeed, we can think of no one who better personifies the characteristics of respect, responsiveness, time investment and communication as she.” Another continues, “Jamie is exceptional because her commitment to her job never seems to exhaust her unwavering positive demeanor. A rare combination, Jamie is as pleasant in her disposition as she is committed to her students.” They also said, “She invests an inordinate amount of her time beyond what is expected to make sure things run smoothly and students are supported.” A student reflects, “Jamie’s attentiveness to my questions and concerns often put me under the illusion that I was the sole student in the program. It’s an amazing feeling to have, knowing that no matter what, Jamie is going to do anything she can to help.”  

The nominations for Joyce Kuechler were impressive and filled with stories of all the thoughtful ways she has had an impact on students’ lives at UChicago.

From being an advocate for students to ensuring the department runs smoothly, Joyce is always thinking about what students need in order to be successful.

One student summed her up this way, “Joyce is a rare mixture of compassion and practical advice.”  Others talked about her dependability: “Not only does she make sure the department runs smoothly, but she makes sure that as students, we are kept abreast of what is going on.” “Her responses to student questions and problems are fast and reliable.”  And many nominations mentioned her supportiveness: “She is extraordinary in helping the students in almost every aspect in their life.” “Joyce provides structure and aid to students who come to her.” “Joyce is so sensitive to the needs of students in the department.”  “Joyce is our fiercest advocate.” 

Trudi Langendorf is an Assistant Director at the University Community Service Center. She was the unanimous choice by a committee of students, Area Deans of Students, and CSL staff members. As evidenced by the heartfelt nominations students submitted, Langendorf has been and remains a major source of support for students at the University Community Service Center. 

One student’s nomination simply said, “Trudi…makes me feel at home in Chicago.”

Several talked about Langendorf's effect on their development: “She has taught me more about being a good student and a good person than any other individual.”

Another nominator wrote about how effectively Langendorf assists students in reaching their goals: “Trudi must have some magic powers, because she is always there making wonderful things happen.”

Other nominations focused on her kindness and dedication: “Not only is she the nicest person that I know on campus, she will go to the ends of the earth for her students.” “…she listens to students…she always finds the time to sit down with them and talk them through their problem.” “I know of no person who is more looked up to as a source of stability and calm.” 

Trudi Langendorf was honored at the annual Campus and Student Life picnic on June 21. She received an award certificate, an extra service payment and her permanently inscribed on a placard on the Marlene F. Richman award plaque at the Reynolds Club.

Over 100 students submitted letters of nomination for 41 staff members eligible to receive the award – faculty and senior management staff were specifically excluded so that the award would recognize University staff members who work directly with students outside the classroom. The selection committee included undergraduate and graduate students, staff members from Campus and Student Life and divisional Deans of Students. In this large field of nominees, Ms. Cook-Conley stood out from the rest and was the unanimous choice of the committee.

As evidenced by the heartfelt nominations students submitted, Cynthia has been and remains a major source of support for students at the Harris School. She is an exceptionally compassionate, professional, and dedicated member of our community, as you'll hear in the following comments from her nominating letters.

She cares about the students and their well-being and is one of the most compassionate individuals I have ever met. The truth is that Cynthia is a very dear friend and supporter to each of the students with whom she has crossed paths.

It is on top of her regular duties that Cynthia shows her extraordinary prioritization of her students. She always makes sure she takes the extra time to say hello when she sees us, ask us about our progress and lives, tell us how much she believes in us, and offer additional words of encouragement whenever needed. She always listens, shows us the utmost respect, and is profoundly generous with her time.

She encourages, inspires, and recognizes our accomplishments, which is priceless (cliché as it sounds).

Cynthia is simply a friendly face that we can all count on seeing each day. She is one of the most professional, positive people working at our school, and it is a pleasure to run into her in the hallways. She always has a smile on her face, and her energy uplifts each of us on a daily basis while we live in a world of stress and deadlines. She is unselfish with her time and dedication to our program.

Cynthia is completely committed to the students. She is very involved in our entire process. Provides great amounts of encouragement when needed. I have always felt immensely supported by her during the qualifying exam process when I was extremely nervous about passing them. Also, she provides good advice on how the PhD job application process and one can make good decisions based on the advice. She has vast amounts of experience and guides us well. She is ALWAYS willing to talk and help out.

Cynthia always seems to know when I lose my balance and need a steady hand and a kind word to remind me to stay focused and to be thankful for what I do have. This is a rare and inspiring quality in a family member, or a close friend, but to see such a quality and commitment in someone with whom you work, with whom so very many of us work, is truly awe-inspiring. I hope that I will always comport myself with the grace and focus, kindness and generosity of spirit that Cynthia has demonstrated for us all.

The Richman Award Committee is proud to honor Cynthia Cook-Conley today with the 2012 Marlene F. Richman Award. We are all very grateful to Cynthia for the incredible level of commitment and support she demonstrates every day in her work with students. The 24 nominations submitted on her behalf show the deep appreciation and respect she has garnered through her selfless work at the University.

Cynthia Cook-Conley will be honored at the Annual Campus and Student Life Picnic June 14 and at a Harris School celebration that will take place later this summer.

She will also receive an award certificate, an extra service payment, and her name inscribed on the Marlene F. Richman Award Plaque, which hangs in the stairwell of the Reynolds Club.

The other 40 nominees will receive a certificate and letter highlighting some of the comments included in the students' nominations.

From the Office of the Vice-President for Campus Life and Dean of Students in the University and the President of Student Government:

June 6, 2011

"The first day I walked into the SALC [South Asian Languages and Civilizations] office, Alicia was introduced to me as the 'Foster Mother.' The name couldn't be more apt. She is very much the mother of Foster Hall and, more precisely, a surrogate mother for the students in the department. Her door is always open should we just need someone to lend an ear. And, moreover, she engenders similar supportive feelings in us for our fellow students. She really goes above and beyond the demands of her position. She simply makes it easier for us to do what we came to the university to do: she makes it easier for us to be students."

The above comment was one of many tributes to Alicia Czaplewski, the Administrative Secretary for the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations and the 2011 winner of the Marlene F. Richman Award for Excellence and Dedication in Service to Students. Marlene Richman served students with extraordinary commitment and caring during her career at the University that spanned four decades and included serving as Resident Master of Burton-Judson and 36 years as a CAPS career counselor. The award was established at her retirement in 2002 and awarded yearly since 2003.

Over 100 students submitted letters of nomination for 38 staff members eligible to receive the award – faculty and senior management staff were specifically excluded so that the award would recognize University staff members who work directly with students outside the classroom. The selection committee included undergraduate and graduate students, staff members from Campus and Student Life and divisional Deans of Students. In this large field of nominees, Ms. Czaplewski stood out from the rest and was the unanimous choice of the committee.

Students from the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations spoke of her dedication to her tasks as well as her availability. "She is amazingly organized and great at juggling many duties at once. Her door is open at all times and even when I know she is busy with her administrative responsibilities, I also know that it's okay to drop in with any question or concern that I may have." Others emphasized her communication and responsiveness. "Alicia is excellent in communication both in terms of conveying the departmental policy to the students and the students' perspectives to the department. She is the perfect liaison between the students and the department. She is extremely efficient in balancing her administrative responsibilities and time commitment to students. At the hour of need she is always there for us no matter what the situation is." A graduate student in History wrote "Not only is Alicia always warm and personable and goes out of her way to make the lives of students in her own department better, she even extends this kindness to students such as myself who are affiliated with the department but not strictly a part of it." Numerous students spoke of her going out of her way to help out with social events, workshops and conferences.

"Moving from a foreign country a month before studies began," wrote an international student, "Alicia was the first person to greet me and help me get settled in my new home away from home. From my first day at SALC, Alicia has made an effort to make my family and me comfortable in our new setting. I have seen Alicia act similarly with my fellow students as well as with prospective students. Whether regularly checking up on an ill student or bringing a box of crayons for my child to play with at a departmental event – Alicia shows us that we are on her mind in a way that exceeds administrative duty or office hours...I always joke with her that she cannot leave until I finish my dissertation."

The nominees for the 2011 award included graduate student administrators from departments and schools across campus, members of the Housing and Dining staff, staff at CAPS, in the deans of students offices, college admissions, college advising, college programming office, Office of Multicultural Student Affairs. Each nominee will receive a certificate and letter highlighting some of the comments included in students' nominations. Alicia Czaplewski will be honored at the Humanities Division spring staff meeting with Karen Warren Coleman, Associate Vice President for Campus Life, presenting the award. She will receive an extra service payment and her name will be inscribed on the Marlene F. Richman Award Plaque hung in the Bartlett Lounge with other University honors and awards.

The winner of the 2010 Marlene F. Richman award is Kathy Holmes, who has served the University community and her department for many years. As evidenced by the heartfelt letters students submitted with their nominations for this award, Kathy has been and remains a major source of support for students in her department. She is an exceptionally caring, professional, and thoughtful member of our community, as you’ll hear in the following comments from her nominating letters.

With Kathy Holmes, every individual – faculty, student, or friend of the department – receives the same consideration and help, no matter what it is you need.

Kathy maintains a collegial relationship with every member of the department. She has a great sense of humor, takes the concerns of students seriously, and is the one person who keeps the department running efficiently and pleasantly.

I simply hope that this nomination reflects my deep admiration for a uniquely caring and helpful individual, and that she finally receives the recognition she so justly deserves in some small way; after all, donning cumbersome angel wings each day might impede some of her daily duties.

She is that silken thread of the department that maintains stability and governance…

The Richman Award Committee is proud to honor Kathy Holmes today with the 2010 Marlene F Richman Award. We are all very grateful to Kathy for the incredible level of commitment and support she demonstrates every day in her work with students. The nominations submitted on her behalf show the deep appreciation and respect she has garnered through her selfless work at the University.

From the Office of the Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students in the University, and the President of Student Government:

June 11, 2009

I have always found Kathy to be exceptionally kind and helpful, and willing to go far out of her way for all the students in the Classics Department.

It gives us great pleasure to present the seventh annual Marlene F. Richman Award for Excellence and Dedication in Service to Students to Kathy Fox, the Administrative Assistant for the Classics Department.

Kathy has served the University community and her department for many years. As evidenced by the swelling campaign by students who have nominated Kathy for this award for several years, she has been and remains a major source of support for students in her department. Kathy is an exceptionally caring, professional, and kind member of our community, as you'll read in the following comments.

Here are some highlights from Kathy's nominating letters...

Whenever I have a problem, either academic or personal, I feel that I can go to Kathy for help, advice, or perspective. She is not just an administrator, but also a friend and mentor. Kathy is always available for me, and ... I am deeply indebted to [her] for the kindness and care she has shown me since I first came to the University of Chicago.

Kathy doesn't just address the immediate, ad-hoc needs of students. What is far more important, she helps us grow and learn from our experiences, to become more aware; and in doing so she drives us to be more respectful not only of our close colleagues but also of all members of the university community.

Her commitment to students always has gone far beyond her job description. She is far more than administrative support to us. Her office is home to so many graduate students.

The Richman Award Committee is proud to honor Kathy Fox with the 2009 Marlene F Richman Award. We are all very grateful to Kathy for the incredible level of commitment and support she demonstrates every day in her work with students. The nominations submitted on her behalf show the deep appreciation and respect she has garnered through her selfless work at the University.

Kathy Fox received an award certificate, an extra service payment, and her name is inscribed on the Marlene F. Richman Award Plaque, which hangs in the stairwell of the Reynolds Club.

From the Office of the Vice President and Dean of Students in the University and the President of Student Government:

June 16, 2008

Juanita is truly an outstanding administrator, whose patience, humor, attention to detail, discretion, and constant presence have made my experience at the University of Chicago so great.... She is irreplaceable.

It gives us great pleasure to present the sixth annual Marlene F. Richman Award for Excellence and Dedication in Service to Students to Juanita Denson, the Department Administrator for the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.

Juanita Denson has served the University community for the last 40 years. Many of those years were spent in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, where she has perhaps left her greatest mark on the students who nominated her for this award. Juanita is an exceptionally committed, professional, caring, and – as you’ll see in the following comments – beloved member of our community. 

Here are some highlights from Juanita’s nominating letters:

Juanita has a personal style that is unmatched, and a wonderful twinkle in her eye. She is a person who loves life and shows it by making the lives of others run more smoothly. I appreciate and enjoy her so much!

Juanita is like the soul of this department!

If I ever decided to become an administrator or have a non-academic university job, I would without any doubt contact her first to get some tips and be inspired!

Finally, they wrote: “Our department has been lucky to have her for so many years! I would like to give her this award as a token of my appreciation for her hard work and commitment.”

Today we are doing just that. The Richman Award Committee is proud to honor Juanita Denson today with the 2008 Marlene F Richman Award. We are all very grateful to Juanita for the incredibly personal level of support she provides to our students. The nominations submitted on her behalf show the true appreciation and respect she has garnered through her selfless work at the University.

Juanita Denson received an award certificate, an extra service payment, Marlene’s chocolate cake, and her name is inscribed on the Marlene F. Richman Award Plaque, which hangs in the stairwell of the Reynolds Club.

From the Office of the Vice President and Dean of Students in the University and the President of Student Government:

June 14, 2007

Anne, more than anyone else, fosters a sense of community within the department, through her respect for students and her whole-hearted dedication to the program. She is simply irreplaceable.

It gives us great pleasure to present the fifth annual Marlene F. Richman Award for Excellence and Dedication in Service to Students to Anne Gamboa, the Student Affairs Coordinator for the Committee on Social Thought. 

Anne Gamboa has been the Student Affairs Coordinator for the Committee on Social Thought for the last 14 years. Anne is clearly an exceptionally committed, caring, sharp, and - as you'll see in the following comments - beloved member of our community. 

Here are some highlights from Anne's nominating letters...

Anne is the best public face the Committee could hope for. Since I've known her, Anne has been warm, helpful, even motherly well beyond the call of duty. What would we do without her timely shepherding-through of all our paperwork, and her little email reminders to change our clocks for daylight savings time?

Anne is willing to act as intermediary between students and faculty, whether reminding both of appointment times, or gently nudging professors to fulfill promises they have made to their students. By doing so, she narrows the distance between us.

When Anne Gamboa wishes you "good luck" it's really a very good luck that follows. This is true about presentations, exams, fellowship and grant applications, dissertation proposals and doctoral lectures. It might seem magical, but the truth is that Anne has already taken care of all logistics so thoroughly, that the students can devote all their efforts to demonstrating their merits; that's why her "good luck" wishes lead to success.

She really made the 3rd floor of Foster seem like a kind of academic home. Especially in the Committee, where professors are often in one quarter and away the next, Anne has provided a powerful sense of stability that we very much need.  She has always genuinely cared about my experiences at the University and my progress through my studies. She genuinely likes the students and is sincerely supportive. We are very lucky to have her as secretary in the Committee.

Finally, one student wrote: "She is our MVP, and should be recognized as such."

The Richman Award Committee sought to do just that by honoring Anne with the 2007 Marlene F Richman Award. We are all very grateful to Anne for the incredibly personal level of support she provides to our students.  The nominations submitted on her behalf show the true appreciation and respect she has garnered through her selfless work at the University. 

Anne Gamboa received an award certificate, Marlene's chocolate cake, and her name is inscribed on the Marlene F. Richman Award Plaque, which hangs in the stairwell of the Reynolds Club.

From the Office of the Vice President and Dean of Students in the University and the President of Student Government

June 15, 2006

Anne's professional commitment to our department seems tireless.  She clearly believes in the department's mission and is personally committed to guiding students new and old.  I believe there is scarcely a student in the Anthropology Department's graduate school program who has not been personally encouraged or otherwise affected by Anne.  For my part, I can only say that I would not have gotten this far without her.

The above comment was one of many tributes to Anne Ch'ien, the Student Affairs Administrator in the Department of Anthropology and the 2006 winner of the Marlene F. Richman Award for Excellence and Dedication in Service to Students. Marlene Richman served students with extraordinary commitment and caring during her career at the University that spanned four decades and included serving as Resident Master of Burton-Judson and 36 years as a CAPS career counselor.

More than 80 students submitted letters of nomination for 6 full-time staff members eligible to receive the award – faculty members and senior management were specifically excluded so that the award would recognize University staff members who work directly with students outside the classroom. The selection committee included undergraduate and graduate students, members of the University Dean of Students senior staff, and a divisional Dean of Students.

The winner of the 2006 Marlene F. Richman award is Anne Ch'ien, about whom Marlene, herself, said upon learning of the nomination list: "I am delighted to see Anne Ch'ien is nominated.  What a treasure she has been for the University."

An unprecedented 70 nominations were submitted for Anne, a testament to an exceptionally committed, caring, sharp, and beloved member of our community. Here are some other tributes to her work in the Department of Anthropology:

"From the moment that prospective students start to receive materials from the department, Anne knows their names and research interests and shows a general concern for their needs. This concern continues through the 8-10 years that those students will spend in the department: their recommendation letters will be mailed out promptly; they will receive helpful emails from Anne from 5am to 11pm; their hands will be held as they attempt to navigate the bureaucracy of the University and the institutions that students apply to for jobs and grants; they will know that no relevant job or grant announcement will fail to be sent their way; joy will be shown when they win fellowships; and they will be made to feel (truthfully) that they have a friend and ally in a graduate-student life that is sometimes brutally discouraging and competitive.  I have never in my student or professional life met an administrator who so seamlessly combines the qualities of professionalism, dedication, and kindness."

"Very often, her guidance makes the critical difference in allowing some important matter to be resolved smoothly."

"Anne is also a formidable intellectual presence.  She has an astonishing body of knowledge at her disposal, gleaned from years of devoted study of the anthropology and amazing experiences abroad (she travels during vacations as hard as she works during the school year!).  Perhaps this is why she has such rapport with students: she, and we, are fascinated by the same things.  Our exchanges on scholarly issues are always provocative and enlightening.  She's not just a staff member; she is very much a colleague."

Each nominee received a certificate and letter highlighting some of the comments included in students' nominations.  Anne Ch'ien was honored at the annual picnic for the Student Services division, hosted by Steve Klass, Vice President and Dean of Students in the University.  She received an award certificate, Marlene Richman's chocolate cake, and her name is inscribed on the Marlene F. Richman Award Plaque displayed in the stairwell of the Reynolds Club.

From the Office of the Vice President and Dean of Students in the University and the President of Student Government

June 16, 2005

I have never in my life met a person who has so much compassion for others as Tyjuan demonstrates on a daily basis. Tyjuan has touched my life in so many ways. He has shown me the value of a friendly smile and warm greeting.

The above comment was one of many tributes to Tyjuan Edwards, the Identification and Privileges Assistant at Regenstein Library and the 2005 winner of the Marlene F. Richman Award for Excellence and Dedication in Service to Students. Marlene Richman served students with extraordinary commitment and caring during her career at the University that spanned four decades and included serving as Resident Master of Burton-Judson and 36 years as a CAPS career counselor.

Over 60 students submitted letters of nomination for 17 full-time staff members eligible to receive the award – faculty members and senior management were specifically excluded so that the award would recognize University staff members who work directly with students outside the classroom. The selection committee included undergraduate and graduate students, members of the University Dean of Students senior staff, and a divisional Dean of Students.

Undergraduate and graduate students from all departments and disciplines submitted nominations for Tyjuan, praising his tireless energy. A graduate student wrote of Tyjuan’s warmth and attentiveness: “One is never made to feel uncomfortable or bothersome when asking Tyjuan for assistance. On several occasions I have seen him offering directions to campus visitors and new students out on the sidewalk during his break, and even personally escorting them to their destinations. It’s quite telling that Tyjuan has an extraordinary amount of friends here on campus; in fact, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say he’s something of a campus celebrity, greeted with hugs or waves or car honks or playful nicknames everywhere one sees him. Certainly only someone who is truly exceptional in his kindness and generosity toward others can attain this level of regard among so many different groups and individuals.”

Edwards’ accomplishments span far beyond the exceptional support he provides for the library. One of the nominations, co-signed by 9 members of the University’s female soccer team shared the following: “Tyjuan spends countless hours at various athletic events – which means quite a bit when spectator turnout sometimes extends only to parents who live nearby. In the case of the women's soccer team, he has traveled to Wheaton twice, both to watch NCAA Tournament regional games and cheer us on in cold and rainy weather. This past season, after we had experience several hard injuries resulting in the loss of several key players and morale, he came and gave us a pre-game pep talk which was just amazing. Tyjuan genuinely cares about us, about the students, and has gone out of his way time and time again in the four years that I have known him to improve the quality of student life here on and off the job.”

Each nominee received a certificate and letter highlighting some of the comments included in students’ nominations. Tyjuan Edwards was honored at the annual picnic for the Student Services division, hosted by Steve Klass, Vice President and Dean of Students in the University. He received an award certificate, Marlene's chocolate cake, and his name is inscribed on the Marlene F. Richman Award Plaque displayed in the stairwell of the Reynolds Club.

From the Office of the Vice President and Dean of Students in the University and the President of Student Government

May 17, 2004

For additional comments on the award, please contact Steve Klass, Bill Michel, Robin Wagner, Sanyu Mojola, Andy Puckett, Jamie Stevens, or Noeline Arulgnanendran.

Stephanie is not just a smiling face who hands us our classroom text copies and keeps a supply of colored chalk; she actively negotiates classrooms for us when ours are not appropriate for a mathematics course, helps us manage our graders, and ensures we are always well informed about our deadlines and departmental policies.

The above comment was one of many tributes to Stephanie Walthes, the Administrator of Educational Grants in the Department of Mathematics and the 2004 winner of the Marlene F. Richman Award for Excellence and Dedication in Service to Students. Marlene Richman served students with extraordinary commitment and caring during her career at the University that spanned four decades and included serving as Resident Master of Burton-Judson and 36 years as a CAPS career counselor.

Over 70 students submitted letters of nomination for 20 full-time staff members eligible to receive the award – faculty members and senior management were specifically excluded so that the award would recognize University staff members who work directly with students outside the classroom. The selection committee included undergraduate and graduate students, members of the University Dean of Students senior staff, and a divisional Dean of Students.

Undergraduate and Graduate students from the Department of Mathematics wrote of Stephanie’s kindness and thoughtfulness in helping them with the logistics of their classes and other activities. “She has been unfailingly helpful and cheerful towards me and everyone she interacts with,” explains one nomination, and in the words of another: “Stephanie is often a department troubleshooter… Just as important, she will give the unforced ‘hi’ or the listening ear that one needs on a bad (or good) day.” “Even the squirrels know that Stephanie is the person to go to for help,” writes another student of the observation that Walthes’ kind-heartedness even extends to some of the non-student members of campus community! Another nomination read in part, “Her door is always open, and she’s always ready to see the humor in any situation – and there always is humor!”

Walthes’ service to students clearly extends beyond the specific responsibilities of her job. Students wrote of her advise and help for the math club, as well as her support for the graduate students’ efforts to organize a mentoring program for undergraduates. As one student wrote, “Stephanie is the glue that holds the math department together, in my opinion – she has the knowledge, the patience, and the friendly disposition to bridge the divides between students, faculty and staff.”

The nominees for the second annual awarding of this honor included members of the Housing and Dining staff, several graduate student administrators from the School of Social Service Administration and from departments in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Physical Sciences and Biological Sciences, College Advisors, and members of the ORCSA, Library, and CAPS staffs. Each nominee will receive a certificate and letter highlighting some of the comments included in students’ nominations. Stephanie Walthes will be honored at the annual picnic hosted by Steve Klass, Vice President and Dean of Students in the University. She received an award certificate, Marlene Richman's chocolate cake, and her name is inscribed on the Marlene F. Richman Award Plaque displayed in the stairwell of the Reynolds Club.

From the Office of the Vice President and Dean of Students in the University and the President of Student Government

May 16, 2003

For additional comments on the award, please contact Steve Klass, Bill Michel, Phil Venticinque, Jonathan Westring, and Enrique Gomez.

Carolyn has elegantly managed my registration and funding status, yet much of her work is “behind-the-scenes”. As a result, I am rarely concerned with my relationship with the university and graduate program. Instead, through her efforts, I have luxuriously focused my energy on my research and intellectual development.

The above comment was one of many tributes to Carolyn Schiller Johnson, the Administrative Director for Graduate Programs in the Darwinian Science Cluster and the first winner of the Marlene F. Richman Award for Excellence and Dedication in Service to Students. Marlene Richman served students with extraordinary commitment and caring during her career at the University that spanned four decades and included serving as Resident Master of Burton-Judson and 36 years as a CAPS career counselor.

Over 70 students submitted letters of nomination for 23 full-time staff members eligible to receive the award – faculty members and senior management were specifically excluded so that the award would recognize University staff members who work directly with students outside the classroom. The selection committee included undergraduate and graduate students, members of the University Dean of Students senior staff, and a divisional Dean of Students.

Students from the departments of Ecology & Evolution and Organismal Biology & Anatomy and from the Committee on Evolutional Biology wrote of Carolyn’s extraordinary warmth and exceptional ability to manage the bureaucratic demands of graduate student life. “You can come to her with any problem and she provided a compassionate ear and shoulder to lean on,” explains one nomination, and in the words of another: “I know I can step into her office at any time, with any question, and leave with a satisfying answer or direction. Whenever a CEB student (or even a faculty member) needs a well-thought and practical opinion about any aspect of our academic lives, it is quite common to hear the suggestion: ‘Ask Carolyn. She’ll know it.’”

“As an international student coming to U.S. for the first time,” writes another student, “I had difficulties following all the administrative procedures and rules. Carolyn helped me through things with patience and understanding. I still remember the little note she wrote for me, which listed things I needed to do step-by-step, and people I needed to contact one-by-one. She even spent a full-hour with me talking about the educational differences between U.S. and China, and the difficulties I may encounter. From that time, I've known Carolyn as a person I could turn to for trust and comfort.”

Carolyn’s accomplishments span far beyond the exceptional support she provides for the students in the Darwinian Science cluster. As one of the letters of nomination reminded the selection committee, “Carolyn is a true Renaissance woman. She teaches courses in humanities, continues to pursue her anthropological work at the Field Museum, and maintains her involvement in a continuing study of Balinese Gamelon puppetry. She is a highly intelligent and rare individual. She would be extremely difficult to replace and, speaking personally, my academic life would be much harder without her.”

The nominees for the first annual awarding of this honor included members of the Housing and Dining staff, several graduate student administrators from the Pritzker School of Medicine and from departments in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Biological Sciences, College Advisors, and members of the ORCSA, Library, Physical Education, Office of Minority Student Affairs, and CAPS staffs. Each nominee will receive a certificate and letter highlighting some of the comments included in students’ nominations. Carolyn Johnson will be honored at the annual picnic hosted by Steve Klass, Vice President and Dean of Students in the University. She received an award certificate, Marlene Richman's chocolate cake, and her name is inscribed on the Marlene F. Richman Award Plaque on display in the stairwell of the Reynolds Club.