Student life debuts new recognitions

After months of planning, Lewis & Clark’s Student Life Staff Development Committee launched their Awards and Recognition program, which will give out five awards to outstanding staff members annually. 

The awards are chosen by submitting nomination forms on the Student Life webpage. Students, staff and faculty can nominate staff members for three of the awards, while the other two awards only take nominations from Student Life staff members. The nominations are vetted by an awards committee, chaired by admissions staff member Bridget Flaherty, that announces the winners. Flaherty could not be reached for comment.

Jessica Sweeney, the executive assistant to Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students Robin Holmes-Sullivan, credits Holmes-Sullivan with the idea for the awards. 

“She went over some things that she wanted to do in order to build community and bring people closer together,” Sweeney said. “One of the things that she wanted to have created was an awards program.”

Holmes-Sullivan created a similar awards program when she worked at the University of Oregon. Sweeney was tasked with setting up LC’s program, talking to staff members to determine what they wanted out of an awards program and researching similar policies at other schools.

There are five awards listed on the Student Life webpage. The Team Award is given to a Student Life staff member who excels at building consensus and collaborating with others. The Excellence in Innovation Award honors a staff member who has improved the functioning of a Student Life office through innovative, creative and inclusive initiatives. The Student Life Highest Award recognizes “excellent administrative and/or professional performance” in general. Students, staff and faculty are all welcome to fill out a nomination form recommending someone for one of these three awards.

The other two awards are the Student Life Medallion and Student Life Partner. The Medallion is awarded to a staff member who has been at LC for under five years, who “goes above and beyond in their efforts to support the student experience,” according to the website. The Partner award is given to a staff or faculty member outside the Division of Student Life who has assisted Student Life in their goals. Nominations for these awards can only be submitted by Student Life staff.

So far, one award has been given: the Medallion award. Unlike the other awards, the Medallion is awarded once per semester, rather than once per year, so the fall semester Medallion was announced at Student Life’s winter divisional meeting in January. Its first recipient was Amanda Wheaton, the employer relations coordinator at the Career Center. Wheaton was surprised by her win — she said she did not know she had even been nominated. She believes that she won because of her promotion of virtual career fairs in cooperation with several other Pacific Northwest colleges.

The deadline for submitting a nomination for an award is March 15, and the winners will be announced in May. Wheaton recommends submitting a nomination. 

“There are so many dedicated professionals in the Division of Student Life who work extremely hard every day to make the student experience at Lewis & Clark meaningful and valuable,” Wheaton said via email. “I’m very lucky to work with them, learn about their area of specialty and help to serve students as they navigate both college and post-grad life. I greatly appreciate the work the committee is doing to recognize the Division of Student Life Staff and the leadership Robin Holmes-Sullivan has exhibited in making this an institutional priority.”

About Tor Parsons 41 Articles
Tor Parsons '24 is a well-known figure on campus. I interviewed three random LC students to gauge the public opinion on Tor. "Who?" - A student with a really cool backpack "I have no idea who you're talking about." - Some dude on the Pio Express "He's cool, I guess." - Tor's roommate

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