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Employees honored in recognition program
May 5, 2011
Community College of Rhode Island employees recently were honored in four categories – Innovation and Efficiency, Technology Champion, Excellent Customer Service and Teaching Excellence – in the annual Employee Recognition Program.
The Employee Recognition Program was established in 1989 to honor individuals for their commitment to the college as demonstrated by their willingness to help students, faculty and staff beyond the requirements of their position. Since the inception of this program, the college has recognized 76 outstanding individuals. This year’s recipients are:
Assistant Controller Sharon A. Picard of Attleboro, Mass., received the award for Innovation and Efficiency, which is given to an individual or team who has developed and implemented a new program, service or process that has had a measurable, positive impact on the college. Picard is described as someone who has worked closely with her own department and the departments of Information Technology and Human Resources to implement such initiatives as direct deposit for monthly lecturers and student payrolls; Web-based electronic timesheets for all non-classified employees; automated wire transfers and clearing house transactions; and maximizing the use of Banner’s capabilities to eventually enable the college to process its own biweekly payroll. Each of these initiatives has saved the college significant amounts of time and money.
Bruce F. Herrick of Warwick and Cecile Dunbar of North Providence, both technical staff assistants in the Physics Department, received the Technology Champion Award, which recognizes an individual in a nontechnical position who has developed or implemented a technological innovation or advancement that significantly improves the way work is accomplished. Herrick and Dunbar are described as “indispensable,” “always interested in acquiring and mastering new technology” and “expert in making electronics and computers work properly.” Faculty and students alike appreciate their commitment to preparing and maintaining equipment for physics, physical science, astronomy, Earth science, oceanography and geology classes.
This year, two awards also were given in the Excellent Customer Service category. This award is given to an individual whom the college community consistently acknowledges for understanding customer needs, delivering quality service, and continually displaying exceptional courtesy, diplomacy and helpfulness to students, faculty, staff and visitors.
One recipient was Diane M. Alba of Pawtucket, supervisor of central mail services in the Physical Plant. Alba received several nominations and is described as upbeat, courteous, cheerful, dedicated, dependable, reliable and a team player who always has a smile. She was said to take great pride in her job and provide the highest level of customer service and professionalism to each individual department, enabling college employees to meet time-sensitive deadlines.
The second recipient was Michael A. McNally of Cranston, information technology support specialist II. His nominators described him as charming, courteous and helpful. His interactions with many of his customers in the academic departments are described as “ensuring seamless transition by working with each department member when technology was upgraded or replaced” and “thinking in an economical, practical way while ensuring that departments reach high outcomes in tolls and support systems needed.” He particularly is credited for helping to establish a Macintosh platform to enable the college’s growth in teaching digital media.
Patricia B. Wilhelm of Barrington, professor of biology, received this year’s Teaching Excellence Award. A full-time faculty member for 14 years, she is internationally recognized for her authorship of the text “Human Anatomy” and “Human Anatomy Laboratory Manual.” Students find her class challenging but say she gives them every opportunity to succeed; many have commented that she is readily available for help outside the classroom and is understanding of students’ needs. She is an enthusiastic instructor whose love of teaching is evident: Students describe her as “amazing” and “extraordinary” and highly recommend her to their peers. Her professional endeavors – presenting at professional meetings, reviewing course materials, contributing to Practice Anatomy Lab software and consulting on new media products under development – directly benefits her students and brings prestige to the college.
A committee of employees representing CCRI’s four campuses reviewed nominations and chose the winners, who were honored at a recent Employee Recognition Awards Luncheon. The winners’ names will be added to the plaque located in the Human Resources Office on the Knight Campus in Warwick.