2022 Staff Awards Header

Congratulations to our 2022 Staff Award Winners. The following individuals were selected by their peers amongst 66 nominations. In addition to a monetary gift, the winners are recognized at the Faculty and Staff Honors Luncheon and receive a plaque to commemorate their achievements.

View the Awards (Qualifications & Prizes)

More Questions? Review the FAQs or process, or call Laura Pusateri: 404-894-3246

2022 Staff Award Winners

Acting with Ethics First Award

Terry Lee Grumley Bridges, Unit Director-Ethics and Compliance, Georgia Tech Research Institute

Nominators Noted: As Unit Director, Ethics and Compliance for GTRI, Terry Bridges truly understands the importance of ethical decision-making and building trust with her colleagues, making her the ideal candidate for the Institute’s initial Acting with Ethics First Award.​


Excellence Award

Stamps Health Services

Team Member Names

  • Ina Collins, Nursing Manager
  • Benjamin Royce Holton, MD, Senior Director
  • John W. Scuderi, Director, Health Systems
  • Theron Harold Stancil III, Assistant Director, Health Systems
  • Nina Lee Thoman, Pharmacy Manager

Nominators Noted: Ina Collins, Dr. Ben Holton, John Scuderi, Theron Stancil, and Nina Thoman created the largest vaccination effort within the USG institutions that gave 42,055 doses of vaccine to 20,662 employees, family members of the Georgia Tech community, and USG personnel.


Leading By Example in Sustainability Award

Emma C. Brodzik, Campus Sustainability Project Manager, Facilities - Building and Equipment Maintenance 

Nominators Noted: Managing waste and recycling is an essential need on campus and Emma Brodzik contributes by assisting the recycling crew with collecting hard-to-recycle materials, attending game days to interact with football fans, breaking down boxes, monitoring cardboard collection points during move-in weekends, and offering compost carts to sustainability-themed events.


One Giant Leap Award   

Office of the Arts

Team Members

  • Justin Camp, Theater Production Assistant
  • Paul D. Cottongim, Theater Production Manager
  • Joe T. Davis, Stage Audio Tech
  • Ben A. Dostal, General Operations Manager
  • Dorcas Louise Ford-Jones, Administrative Professionally Senior
  • Elizabeth B. Geiger, Communications Officer I
  • Rachel C. Haage, Event Coordinator II
  • Almelida Rene Merriewether Baker, Patron and Events Assistant
  • Holley E. Mitchell, Box Office Coordinator
  • Twanesia Rucker, Box Office Assistant
  • Aaron David Shackelford, Director - Office of the Arts

Nominators Noted: At the height of the pandemic, staff members from the Office of the Arts recognized the need for safe, viable venue options for campus performing arts programs. Through their creative collaboration, the Skyline Series was born, creating an accessible outdoor venue equipped with a professional-level stage and outdoor “pod” seating atop a central, scenic parking lot.


Service to the Community Award

Richard A. Bedell, Electrical Engineer II, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Nominators Noted: Richard Bedell is deserving of the Service to the Community Award based on his continued, exceptional service in support of the ongoing research and teaching missions of the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, as well as his contributions to the development of portable respirators and plasma cleaners during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Sarah Strohmenger, Student Life Program Director, Student Engagement and Well-being

Nominators Noted: Sarah Strohmenger embodies the motto of “Progress and Service” through her continued advocacy for community service and the way she has provided opportunities for students to think differently about how they serve when emergencies arise. 

Cultivating Well-being Award

Denise Ocasio Thomas, Assistant Director-Retention Initiatives, OMED

Nominators Noted: In addition to systematically addressing factors of well-being that impact student persistence, Denise Thomas focuses on improving psychological safety for students and infusing DEI well-being initiatives into her job.


Leadership in Action Award

Kevin M. Ellis, Aerospace Engineering, Assistant Director, Financial Operations

Nominators Noted: Because of Kevin Ellis’s communication and leadership ability, team members note they have an in-depth understanding of how their roles and responsibilities contribute to the goals of Aerospace Engineering and the overall Institute’s mission.

Samuel Evans III, Fleet Services Manager, Facilities- Motor Pool

Nominators Noted: Known for his inclusive spirit and can-do attitude, Sam Evans collaborates with his team to formulate the best solutions and challenges them to think big, whether it’s how they will impact the greater community or continue to better themselves professionally.


One Small Step Award

Shandra R. Jones, Public Services Associate Lead, Library

Nominators Noted: Shandra Jones piloted a program to track those who were not complying with COVID policies and developed a Student Ambassador program to model good behavior amongst peers.


Putting Students First Award                                                                                                           

Laura Tyler Paige, Academic Advisor II, Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience

Nominators Noted: Laura Paige continually seeks ways to improve the graduate student experience, evident in her efforts to streamline student administrative functions via DocuSign and the launch of the “Resilient Scientist” workshop. ​

ChBE Advising Team

Team Members

  • Adrienne Rice Hillman, Academic Advisor II
  • Allen Murkison, Academic Advising Manager
  • Ami B. Waller-Ivanecky, Academic Program Manager I

Nominators Noted: The Chemistry and Biochemistry Advising team exemplifies “Students are our top priority” in the way they continually engage with ChBE students and faculty to identify needs and issues and to develop ways to address these needs through continuous process improvement.


Rising Wreck Award

Samba Diop, Digital Learning Specialist Sr, Office of Information Technology

Nominators Noted: Samba Diop’s helpfulness, resourcefulness, and willingness to help all Jackets achieve success through remote instruction makes him the ideal Rising Wreck awardee.


Spirit of Georgia Tech Award

Lauren B. Evans, Program and Operations Manager, Honors Program

Nominators Noted: Laura Evans’ contributions to our community can be seen in the way she advances and inspires the leadership growth of our Honors Program student leaders. 

Robert William Hampson, Administrative Manager II, History and Sociology

Nominators Noted: Since his arrival in History and Sociology, Robert Hampson has thoroughly reorganized oversight of History and Sociology’s finances, reconciled and eliminated neglected accounts, and improved responsiveness to faculty requests. 

Joshua E. Stewart, Media Relations Rep, Biomedical Engineering 

Nominators Noted: Josh Stewart encapsulates Georgia Tech’s spirit and motto of progress and service with his steadfast dedication to faculty, staff, and students, his passion for inclusion at all levels, and his dependable work ethic. 

Nomination Process

Before You Begin
You will need the following three things to complete the online nomination process

Your Georgia Tech login (ID and password) to access InfoReady, the nomination system.
Questions to Answer. Each award includes its own set of questions to answer. This is in lieu of you writing a nomination letter. You can go to the award of your choice and click on the Start the Nomination button and download the questions.
Two letters of support. Thoughtfully consider people who can explain different aspects of the employee’s accomplishment. The letters can come from a supervisor, colleague, client, student, or other members of the community who was directly affected by the employee’s work. The goal is to fully describe, from as many different viewpoints as possible, the employee’s attitude, specific behaviors, approach, and results.

group of people

Here are some tips for writing a successful nomination or support letter.

After You Submit a Nomination

Expect an email from InfoReady confirming your nomination was received. Please ensure you have completed the following:

  1. Completely filled out the application in InfoReady.
  2. Filled out the questionnaire and attached it within InfoReady.
  3. Requested two letters of support. You can do this via InfoReady or through your own methods. If you send the request via InfoReady, supporters will have the opportunity to attach the letter directly within InfoReady. If you reach out to them outside of InfoReady, they can send you their letter and you can attach the letter within InfoReady.

Once the Nomination Process Closes

The Staff Awards committee will review all applications equally. However, if an application is missing any of the nomination criteria (missing questionnaire or not enough letters of support), their application will no longer be considered. 

Tips for Preparing a Successful Nomination

Follow these tips as you prepare your nomination:

  1. Ensure your application is filled out completely. Check for any misspellings!

  2. Get support. Split up the nomination questions with coworkers who are willing to help.

  3. Avoid jargon and be sure to spell out acronyms. While you are familiar with your nominee’s work, more than likely the members of the selection committee won’t be.

  4. Include measurable results. Numbers are powerful! Where appropriate, include measurable results that show how the nominee was able to save money, improve upon a process, saved time, increased staff morale, etc.

  5. Be descriptive in your nomination. Try to write more than one-sentence answers for each question. Elaborate and prove to the committee why your nominee is the best person to win the award. Use adjectives. Think about the impact your nominee has had and what it would be like if your nominee had not done what they did for you to nominate them.

Recognition Best Practices

Quick Guide to InfoReady

  1. Select the award you would like to nominate someone for. Click the Start the Nomination button. You will be re-directed to the InfoReady site. 
  2. If you have not logged in to the InfoReady site, you will need to log in and then search for the award: 
    1. In the top right corner, click Log In. 
    2. Click on the box that says "Login for Georgia Tech Users." Click the blue Georgia Tech Login button and use your GT ID and password to sign on.
    3. You will be presented to a page full of award for staff AND faculty. You can scroll to find the award or use the search box to find the award. 

Frequently Asked Questions

For questions not answered below, please contact Laura Pusateri.

Do I qualify for an award if I am not director level or above?

Absolutely! The staff awards are for all staff who have been employed in a full-time, permanent position for at least 12 months and in good standing. If you or someone you know meets the criteria for an award then, nominate them!

Can I nominate myself?

Definitely! You just need to fill out the application and answer the questions as if you were nominating someone else (i.e., submit your nomination in 3rd person). You will still be responsible for acquiring two letters of support.

Who is on the Staff Awards selection committee?

The Staff Awards selection committee is comprised of 10 to 12 individuals from a variety of job classifications and departments.

What is the judging process like?

Once the nominations close, the Staff Awards selection committee reads every single nomination, questionnaire, and support letter. Each nomination goes through a series of behavioral questions that varies by award and each behavior is ranked on a scale from 0 to 3. The scale is:

0 – Does not exhibit the behavior at all

1 – Exhibits basic level

2 – Exhibits intermediate level

3 – Exhibits exceptional level

Will the selection committee have the flexibility to move nominees to an award category that better suits the nominee?

Yes. The selection committee will have the ability to place a nominee in another award category that the nominee may be better suited for. A member of the selection committee will notify the nominator and discuss their recommendation if needed.

How long does the nomination process take?

The nomination process varies by individual, however, follow the three steps under the Before You Begin section to ensure you’re prepared before starting.

Is there a minimum number of years you have to be employed before you can be considered for a nomination?

Yes. A nominee needs to be in a full-time, permanent position for at least 12 months and in good standing in order to be nominated for an award.


Is there a limit to the number of nominees one college or department can submit?

Not at all! Colleges and departments are encouraged to submit nominations for employees who meet the qualifications for each of the awards.

Are research faculty eligible for staff awards?

The staff awards are for staff and non-tenure track faculty. However, if a research faculty member is nominated for their work in a non-research capacity—an administrative or organizational capacity—the nomination will be considered. Otherwise, research faculty nominations should be directed to the other Institute awards listed at http://www.specialevents.gatech.edu/events/faculty-staff-honors.

Is there an approval or vetting process for award recipients?

Yes. After the committee has selected a winner for each award, the names of the recommended award recipients will go to (1) the nominee’s direct manager, (2) the nominee’s unit HR Business Partner or representative, and (3) senior Institute leadership to ensure that the employee is in good standing with the Institute.

Can individuals previously nominated be nominated again this year?

Previous nominees can be nominated again this year if the nomination represents new accomplishments from the past year.

Can previous winners be nominated again this year?

If an individual won an award by themselves and not as a member of a team, they cannot be nominated as an individual winner for another three years. However, if the individual who won is now being nominated as a member of a team, or won previously as a member of a different team, they can be submitted for consideration. Our intent is to ensure as many people are recognized as possible and we do not want to disqualify an entire team if just one individual has won recently.

How many people are considered a team?

A team is considered a group of two or more people.


Back to the Top