Spirit Awards Recognize Deserving UConn Employees

The awards celebrate extraordinary contributions by UConn staff members

Logo of the Spirit Awards on top of a blue ribbon

Honorees in the ninth annual UConn Spirit Awards, which celebrate exceptional employees at UConn, were announced at a ceremony for the University community on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 in the North Reading Room of the Wilbur Cross Library.

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.

A total of approximately 150 eligible nominations were received this year for the Spirit Awards.

Their ceremony was also live-streamed and an archived version is available for viewing.

“Every year when we have this ceremony, I can’t help but think how many people it takes to make this University the wonderful place that it is,” says UConn assistant vice president and chief human resources officer Chris Delello. “So whether you were a winner, a finalist, a nominee, or attended the event, you all deserve a lot of credit.”

“It takes so many people to make what happens here at UConn on daily basis,” says Anne D’Alleva, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. “There is education, research, and outreach that happens here every day, and it does not happen without every person who works at UConn.”

This year’s winners and finalists are:

Unsung Hero Award

Winner: Joanna Rivera Davis, First Year Programs & Learning Communities – Academic Achievement Center

Finalist: Kathy Erickson, Department of History

Finalist: Brandy Nelson, School of Business Undergraduate Programs

Rising Star Award

Winner: Quoron Walker, School of Fine Arts/University Communications

Finalist: Michelle Everard, Office of the Provost

Finalist: Lyndsey Masterson, Student Activities

Inclusive Excellence Award

Winner: Ada Rivera, Academic Achievement Center

Finalist: Officer Justin Cheney, UConn Police Department

University Citizen Award

Winner: Shoshana Armington, Engineering Undergraduate Programs

Finalist: Heather Parker, Department of History

Finalist: Susana Ulloa, Center for Access and Postsecondary Success (CAPS)

Behind the Scenes Award

Winner: Ivette Santiago, UConn Stamford Operations

Finalist: Richard Knowlton, Facilities Operations

Finalist: Roberto Rios, Facilities Operations

Behind the Scenes Team Award

Winner: University Mail Services (Dora Guilbeault, Scott Gilchrist, Dakota Harvey, Luis Hernandez, Megan Masterson)

Team Award

Winner: Graduate School: Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Affairs Team (Cinnamon Adams, Karen Bresciano, Stuart Duncan, Megan Petsa)

Finalist: Office of Clinical Placement Coordination (Rachel Chasse-Terebo, Bambi Mroz, Karen Nuttycombe, Kimberly O’Connor)

Finalist: Facilities Operations Snow Team Equipment Operators (Bert Augmon, John Baldesweiler, Joseph Blain, Dan Boyington, Matthew Burdick, Robert Burns, Trevor Calve, Daryl Cashin, Robert Chieka, Ryan Clark, Justin Davis, Chris Gisleson, Glenn Haley, Tim Hemingway, John Henderson, Travis Jurcik, Michael Kovach, Leo Lavigne, Tyler Linsley, Carlos Maldonado, Jim Mayo, Craig McMahon, Andrew McQueeney, William “Ed” Miller, Paul Mondor, Martin Montalvo, Thomas Neborsky, Alex Ott, Mark Phegley, Jim Rummel, Joshua Quick, Tomas Rivera, Robert Schadtle, Stephen Smith, William Solito, George Sprague, Matthew Thomas, Steve Verizzi, Paul Vertefeuille, Shawn White, Robert Waters, Christian Wilson.