Campus News

Outstanding Staff Award Finalists and Winners Announced

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 20, 2020) — Over 150 University of Kentucky staff members were nominated recently by their colleges and divisions during the 2020 Outstanding Staff Awards (OSA). This is the 11th year for the awards program, receiving the highest number of nominations — over 300.

Sponsored by the Office of the President and UK Staff Senate, the Outstanding Staff Awards recognize staff members' professional accomplishments, and those who have been given an award within their department on a university level. This year’s ceremony looked a bit different on Zoom, but President Eli Capilouto, Staff Senate Chair Jon Gent and many others were welcomed by the top four finalists of each category, along with their nominators and supervisors.

Twelve finalists and three winners were named for the Outstanding Staff Awards. Each award is driven by nominations from either student, staff or faculty.

Outstanding Staff Award winners and finalists were:

  • Faculty Recognition – Joanie Ett-Mims (winner), Melissa Cowan, Kelley Secrest and Bob Perry
  • Student Recognition – Chris Gurtcheff (winner), Max Brown, Kristie Colón and MaKayla Seifert
  • Staff Recognition – Brett Wolff (winner), Jamie Dunn, Demmie Meyers and Cassie Chisholm

Brett Wolff, the staff recognition winner, was also named Outstanding Staff Member of the Year. Wolff is an agriculture extension specialist. On top of working with the Center for Crop Diversification, a specialty-crops focused extension program, he also contributes to Kentucky State University’s component of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) program. When COVID-19 became an issue back in March, Wolff developed a series of webinars to help farmers and county extension agents deal with the pandemic’s challenges. These webinars helped farmers learn new options for marketing and aided farmers' market managers in dealing with the pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, he traveled extensively around Kentucky and collaborated with agencies and nonprofits to offer educational opportunities to farmers.

“Brett's work shows the greater impact that University of Kentucky staff has outside of the campus, and into the Commonwealth,” Gent said. "All of our winners and finalists show the importance of a job well done, and we’re happy that this event allows us to tell these sorts of stories about the University of Kentucky family.”

The 2020 OSA winners represented more than 40 colleges and administrative units across the university. In addition, UK's Addiction Medicine and Consult Services (ACES) Team was recognized for winning the Quilt of Teamwork Award for Nursing Support.

The 2020 OSA department winners are:

  • Nur Ali
  • Betsy Anderson
  • Jo Lydna Arvin
  • Amber Bach
  • Michelle Baker
  • Jennifer Bell
  • Rachel Bentley
  • Kent Brouwer
  • Heather Burke
  • Dion Coleman
  • Brooke Conner
  • Karen Davidson
  • Terri Dawson
  • Tony Day
  • Loretta DeToma
  • September Diencephalon
  • Joe French
  • Lisa Fryman
  • Brenda Ghaelian
  • Keith Green
  • DeRhonda Hartsock
  • Jonathan High
  • Taylor Houchens
  • Karen Ingram
  • Lisa Kelso
  • Lynn Kelso
  • Nancy Kline
  • Doug Kreis
  • Raja Krishnan
  • Leslie Lay
  • Stephanie Mahan
  • Meg Marquis
  • Kelly McQueen
  • Val Moore
  • Julie Poole
  • Catina Rossoll
  • Alissa Saas
  • Tiffany Scott
  • Robert Seaver
  • Megan Sizemore
  • Michael Slone
  • Sarah Smith
  • Jesse Stallsworth
  • Tymory Stanton
  • Thomas Tribble
  • Sarah Watson
  • Brittney Williams
  • Anna Wilson

For more information on the Staff Senate and the Outstanding Staff Awards nominees, visit the Staff Senate's website.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.