Honorees in the sixth annual UConn Spirit Awards, which celebrate exceptional employees at the University, received their awards at a ceremony in the North Reading Room of the Wilbur Cross Library on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.
The ceremony recognizes the efforts of employees, especially staff, in building community and promoting civility. The Spirit Awards program was originally the result of a survey conducted by the Something’s Happening Committee, which found a significant correlation between supportive interactions among colleagues and productivity on the job.
“There’s no red carpet or paparazzi here today, but in all honesty. this ceremony recognizes work that is far more important and impactful than what gets attention at glitzy award shows,” said UConn President Tom Katsouleas, who was presiding over his first Spirit Awards.
“This is an opportunity to single out some of our outstanding staff members, and also to learn a little bit more about what goes on every day at UConn. The finalists this year provide critical services in everything from mental health to undergraduate student government to working with military veterans in our student population.”
Katsouleas took time to recognize all those that were nominated for the awards and those that took the time to submit a nomination.
“This is also an opportunity to remember that, despite the broad diversity of our roles and assignments, ultimately we have the same, single goal in mind: securing UConn’s place among the best public universities in the country,” he said.
There were five awards presented this year, including one given for the first time – the Inclusive Excellence Awards.
This year’s winners are:
Rising Star Award
Winner: Claudia Pina, Mental Health Resource Center-UConn Waterbury
Finalist: Michele Magliulo, Residential Life-UConn Stamford
Finalist: Jonathan Ramos, Office of Veterans Affairs and Military Programs
Unsung Hero Award
Winner: Brian Boecherer, Executive Director, Office of Early College Experience
Finalist: Dawn Benjamin, Administrative Specialist, Undergraduate Student Government
Finalist: Angela Brightly, Associate Campus Director, UConn Waterbury
University Citizen Award
Winner: Haleh Ghaemolsabahi, Director, Campus Technology Services
Finalist: Kimberly Colon, Assistant Director, Office of Community Standards
Finalist: Jen Person, Director, Payroll
Winner: Regional Campus Mental Health Resource Center
Finalist: Central Warehouse
Finalist: Safety Techniques and Awareness Resource Team
Inclusive Excellence Award
Winner: Hilarie Jones, Student Health and Wellness
Finalist: Monique Cooper, Center for Career Development
Finalist: Professor Linda Halgunseth, Department of Human Development and Family Sciences