The sight on campus today of President Lynn Pasquerella, carrying balloons and flowers and surrounded by an entourage, could mean only one thing— two employees were about to be surprised with the announcement that they won the third annual President's Award for Outstanding Service.
And the look of astonishment on the faces of housekeeper Margaret Federkiewicz and assistant director of operations Kris Bergbom when Pasquerella delivered the honors proved that the ruse succeeded.
The recipients of this year's award, which includes a certificate of recognition as well as a cash prize, were chosen after the selection committee received a number of nomination forms attesting to their merit. But different this year is that most of the nomination forms came from students, and not just from fellow staff or faculty.
Bergbom, a longtime employee in the Office of Student Programs who among other things oversees the production management of events in Chapin Auditorium and Blanchard Campus Center, received nominations from the students, both current and former, that Bergbom supervised on the stage crew. In their nomination forms, they wrote that Bergbom's interactions with them contributed greatly to their personal and professional growth.
"As Stage Crew's supervisor, Kris always acts out of her deep respect for each of us as individuals," they wrote. "Kris considers herself to be one of the team, allowing us all to share knowledge and learn from each other with every single event."
Federkiewicz was nominated by a number of residents in Mead Hall, all of whom expressed gratitude for her hard work and cheerfulness.
"Mead would not be the community it is without Margaret," one student wrote. "She is vital to its beauty and its friendliness."
A total of 14 staff members were nominated for this year's award. Each will receive a letter of recognition from Pasquerella.