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2022 Provost’s Unit Awards for Excellence Announced

The Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost has recognized five outstanding staff members as recipients of the 2022 Provost’s Unit Awards for Excellence.

The University Awards for Excellence represent NC State’s highest honor for non-faculty members. Each nominee demonstrated excellence in one of the following areas: customer service, efficiency and innovation, human relations, outstanding state government service, public service, safety and heroism, and the spirit of North Carolina.

Along with this year’s winners, the recipients of the 2021 and 2020 Provost’s Unit Awards for Excellence were honored at an in-person ceremony held Thursday, March 24.

The following text includes excerpts from nomination materials.

This year’s recipients of the Provost’s Unit Awards for Excellence are:

  • Judy Austin, awards and events coordinator, Office for Faculty Excellence
  • Customer Service

Judy AustinJudy Austin consistently goes above and beyond her normal job responsibilities as university awards and events coordinator in the Office for Faculty Excellence. In her work, which spans the entire university, she interacts with faculty, staff and administrators and has a special ability to connect with all people no matter their title or rank, making them feel valued and appreciated. It makes the difficult task of asking for nominations and recommendations more successful because of her focus on customer service and kindness. Often working independently, Judy singularly impacts the experiences of faculty, administration and staff in a tangible and very positive way going above and beyond to serve all. There are three areas of Judy’s work in which she demonstrates her excellence in customer service — awards, events and coordination. 

  • Lauren Ball, assistant director for programs, Office of Global Engagement
  • Customer Service

Lauren BallSince a substantial focus of the Office of International Services (OIS) is compliance due to constantly changing regulations and governmental guidance, colleagues consider Lauren Ball, assistant director for programs, their “true north” compass in keeping their work compassionate and centered on the needs of students and scholars. During her 12-year tenure, the many programs and events that Lauren has put together evidence her remarkable and incredible capacity for human connection. From anti-immigration policies, rising xenophobia, COVID-19 impacts, and currently, a major new international conflict, OIS has been directly impacted, swiftly adapting to changing circumstances and at the forefront, finding ways to support our student and scholar population through every new crisis. Despite these challenges before her, Lauren’s commitment to customer service to international students, scholars and their dependents is exceptional.

  • Adrienne Davis, director,  Bias Impact Response Team, Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity
  • Human Relations

Adrienne DavisAs director of NC State’s Bias Impact Response Team, Adrienne Davis has developed responsive and restorative practices to handle issues of bias incidences. Since the team’s inception, its network of responders has provided a crucial resource. NC State has been consistent and vocal in communicating its values as a diverse, inclusive and equitable community. Should an individual act outside of those values and expectations, Adrienne’s work is critical in assisting NC State to respond appropriately to address such breaches. Building this unit from the ground up and working independently, Adrienne and team have responded to nearly 100 reports this year despite the pandemic-produced rising tensions. She is a gifted and dedicated professional who has worked tireless hours this past year to ensure that issues are handled with expertise and extreme thoughtfulness.

  • Neal Hairston, university library technician, NC State University Libraries
  • Customer Service

Neal HairstonNeal Hairston, university library technician, is described by his colleagues as a bedrock member of Ask Us, Access Services, and the ‘overnight crew’ since day one. He is reliable, and very quick to step up when additional support is needed. Over the past year, as service models have evolved and changed, Neal was able to take every change in stride, and without issue. In his dedication to customer service, Neal constantly strives to learn and come up with actionable solutions that further assist patrons in getting access to the technology and / or resources they need to achieve success. He exhibits dependability, selflessness, and infectious positivity. Colleagues praise him and say “without Neal’s hard work, dedication, and flexibility, Ask Us, as a whole, would not function.”

  • Alexis Lockett, online and distance education program manager, DELTA
  • Efficiency and Innovation

Alexis LockettAlexis Lockett joined DELTA in the then newly-created role of online and distance education program manager on March 2, 2020. Nine days later, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chancellor Woodson announced that classes would go online and in-person gathering would be limited, which ushered in emergency remote working across campus. Under what must be among the most challenging circumstances imaginable to start a new job, and in a role that was new to DELTA, Alexis hit the ground running and did not look back. Her individual accomplishments, outstanding leadership and contributions to the organization in the intervening span, and particularly during the past year, to further efficiency and innovation have been simply outstanding.

Each winner will receive eight hours of paid leave, a framed award certificate and a cash award for $250. They will now move forward for consideration for the university-wide Awards for Excellence.

Certificates of recognition will be given to the other 11 nominees:

  • Jennifer Beaman, liaison for engineering and operations, The Graduate School
  • Christine Belledin, lead project manager, DELTA
  • Jordan Booth, support services associate, NC State University Libraries
  • Jason Evans Groth, digital media librarian, NC State University Libraries
  • Janine Kossen, interim director, Women’s Center, Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity
  • Nellie Maurer, human resources specialist, NC State University Libraries
  • Alex Stacy, PHP developer, DELTA
  • Kevin Stover, IT manager, McKimmon Center
  • Kaitlyn Tarley, testing associate, DELTA
  • Trevor Thornton, IT analyst/programmer II, NC State University Libraries
  • Jessica White, lead instructional designer, DELTA

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