As the recipients of the 2005 Outstanding Staff Awards, each received praise from colleagues, supervisors and students.
The Outstanding Staff Awards program was established in 1989 to show appreciation to TTU’s most outstanding clerical and support staff. Awards are based on job performance, attitude toward work and the university, attendance and perseverance, professional development and suggestions for improvement.
Hired at TTU in 1976 as a general laborer assisting carpentry, masonry and painting crews, Eddie Frizzell began working in the university’s electrical shop in the early 1980s and was promoted to superviser earlier this year.
His initiatives since his appointment have helped earn his department a reputation for improvement, say university officials.
“He has earned this position through hard work and dedication to the university,” said Larry Wheaton, facilities engineer for TTU’s Facilities and Business Services. “He keeps up with professional programs related to the electrical field.”
Don Shockley, director of Maintenance Services, describes him as “the type of employee that every employer would certainly like on his staff,” pointing out that Frizzell keeps a computerized list of different types of lights and where they are located in different campus buildings.
“Having worked together with Eddie on several facilities-related projects over the past 20 years, I have seen first hand his willingness to do more than his fair share and how seriously he considers his responsibilities,” said Jim Cobb, director of Environmental Health and Safety at TTU.
Ken Phillips, maintenance and custodial superviser, agreed, saying, “I’ve worked with Eddie on special events for the university, and he is a team player who is committed to getting the job done in the most efficient manner.”
A secretary in TTU’s accounting and business law department, Gwen Paul not only does an excellent job in her routine work, but she also performs tasks above and beyond those expected of a secretary — such as coordinating scholarship submissions for 10-15 accounting majors, maintaining an alumni mailing list and forwarding job opportunities, and examining students’ compliance with prerequisites.
“The work Gwen does for the department and the college goes far beyond her job description. She doesn’t merely do what is asked of her — she anticipates problems and comes up with even better solutions,” said Melanie Earles, associate professor of accounting. “That’s exactly what makes her outstanding, and why I think she is so deserving of the Outstanding Staff Award.”
Accounting professor Charles Caldwell agreed, saying, “One only has to spend a short time with her to be aware of her love for Tennessee Tech and her dedication to her work and to our accounting majors. We are indeed fortunate to have a person of her caliber.”
Her pride in her work shows, said accounting professor Jon Booker. “We have many outstanding staff employees on our campus, but I can think of no one who deserves this award more than Gwen Paul,” Booker said. “She has come to work on days when she was ill and worked just as hard as always. When I suggest that she go home and rest, she always tells me she will once her work is done.”
Robert Elmore, chairperson of accounting, credits Paul’s work in coordinating student applications with the department’s success in obtaining scholarships. “Our students have placed either first or second in each of the past four years, among all other colleges and universities in the state, in the number of scholarships awarded by the Tennessee Society of CPAs,” he said.
With about 40 years of experience as a secretary in TTU’s military sciences department, Peggy Rittenberry is described as an indispensable staff member. Among her accomplishments are monitoring administrative files and personal records for numbers of cadets that reach as many as 1,000 during the Vietnam era, creating TTU’s ROTC Hall of Fame and drafting a “Student to Second Lieutenant” transition handbook.
“She is the glue that keeps the department in line with literally thousands of policy regulations and guidelines, from both the military and the university,” said Lt. Col. Stephen McMillan, military science professor.
Tom Hamilton, vice president of University Advancement, commends her attitude and commitment. “She is committed to making ROTC, as well as the entire university, the very best it can be. There are no boundaries to her efforts — she simply responds to the needs of her cadets, volunteers for committee assignments, and takes on any tasks that will contribute to making TTU a better institution,” he said.
Marvin Barker, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, agreed, saying, “She has a cheerful, positive, outgoing attitude that is designed to serve the students, the staff and the faculty of her unit. How I wish everyone on campus had her attitude!”
“She has been a constant source of excellence for TTU’s military science department for almost 40 years,” said Maj. Trey Brannom, assistant professor. “She is a constant source of brightness for our whole department.”