2007: Anne Gamboa, Committee on Social Thought

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. 

For the past five years, the Richman Award has honored an individual whose exceptional professionalism and commitment to students has made a deep impact on life at the University.  Each year, the Award recognizes a University of Chicago staff member who demonstrates the highest levels of dedication, care and compassion in the service of students. The winner of this award exemplifies the qualities demonstrated by Marlene F. Richman during her decades of untiring effort to guide students in the articulation and achievement of their dreams, to be a true friend and leader to colleagues, and to promote students' happiness and well-being.

The winner of the 2007 Marlene F. Richman award is Anne Gamboa, who 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. 

The nominees for the fifth annual awarding of this honor included the following full-time staff members: Juanita Denson, Student Affairs Coordinator in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures; Brian Lynch, Facilities Administrator in the Department of Geophysical Sciences; Meyosha Smiley, Secretary, Committees of Geological Sciences and International Relations, and MAPSS; Julie Less, Student Affairs Administrator for the Department of Economics; Marjorie Walsh, Student Affairs Administrator for the Department of Psychology; Norval Glover, Residence Halls & Commons; Scott Landvatter, Bibliographer for the Department of Music; Sylvia Robertson, Assistant Dean, Admissions and Financial Aid, Office of Medical Education; Bernie Zanck, M.B.A. Evening and Weekend Program, Department of the Graduate School of Business; Deborah Fallahay, Associate Director of the Executive M.B.A. Program. Each nominee received a certificate and letter highlighting some of the comments included in students' nominations.

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.