Published: Mon Oct 31, 2011
Tennessee Tech University has recognized four employees as winners of the 2011-2012 Outstanding Clerical and Support Staff Award.
TTU President Bob Bell congratulated the winners Thursday and said, “I appreciate you, and it’s obvious that others appreciate your work as well.”
As nominated by TTU faculty, staff and students, the award recipients are Diana Lalani, secretary, the Women’s Center; Nelda Gaines, senior library assistant, Angelo & Jennette Volpe Library; Hazel Newman, custodian, Facilities and Business Services; and Gary Bradford, electronic and multimedia specialist, Angelo & Jennette Volpe Library.
Lalani’s nominators commended her for her organization, student involvement and pursuit of a U.S. Department of Justice grant for the Green Dot program, which aims to lessen violent activities by changing campus culture.
Gretta Stanger, director of the Women’s Center, wrote that Lalani is passionate about her work and the mission of the center. While talking about her job, Lalani said, “you couldn’t get anything that suits me better.”
Each year the award program recognizes a support staff member, and this year that recognition went to Newman. Newman works in MS Cooper Hall, and TTU staff commended her for her dedication, kindness, cheerful attitude and high standards. Multiple nominators agreed that Newman takes great pride in her work and goes out of her way to help students, even finding blankets, microwaves or other essential needs if they are without them.
“You get to meet people every day and you get to help them,” Newman said, saying those are the best things about her work.
Gaines and Bradford were recognized specifically for their work this year on the library renovations.
Gaines’ nominators praised her “phenomenal effort” relocating the library’s bound periodicals collection to make way for the new Learning Commons. In addition to physically moving tens of thousands of journal volumes, she updated the library database to make sure students and faculty could still find the periodicals they needed throughout the move.
Gaines is proud of the new Learning Commons area, and she said students and faculty have been kind and accommodating throughout the renovation process. “We had to embrace the changes,” she said, adding that the reward for the hard work is seeing the library full of students every day.
“The new studio in the library is amazing,” Bell added, crediting Bradford’s extensive work on the upgrades.
“Students think electronically, and with $10 million in library and campus technology upgrades, Tech students can go online or use their phones to be in any library in the world in a matter of seconds,” said Bell.
Bradford is relied upon for his “extraordinary expertise, his customer service ethic, and his commitment to all things media,” one nominator said. He helps faculty and staff with all their audio, video, lighting, recording and computer presentation needs and provides technical support for special events, including commencements. Since joining the university in 1996, Bradford has handled a space shuttle mission broadcast, audio renovations in Derryberry Auditorium, and the recent upgrades to the library broadcast studio.
The Outstanding Staff Awards are presented annually to regular clerical or support staff who have been employed at the university for at least three years. The awards are based on job performance, attitude toward work and the university, attendance and perseverance, professional development and suggestions for improvement.
Any member of the TTU community -- staff, faculty or student -- may make nominations, typically in April. The university president appoints a review committee that includes clerical and support staff, a faculty member, an administrator and a student. The committee recommends winners, who are then certified by human resources before receiving the award from the president.