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2023 Provost’s Unit Awards for Excellence Announced

Memorial Belltower

The Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost has recognized five outstanding staff members as recipients of the 2023 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.

Award recipients were honored at an in-person ceremony held Thursday, March 23 in Tally Student Union.

The following text includes excerpts from nomination materials.

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

Jiakaira Dixon, Classroom Support and Learning Spaces Coordinator, DELTA

  • Spirit of North Carolina – SHRA
Photo of Jiakaira Dixon with the provost and her supervisor.

Jiakaira clearly personifies the Think and Do mindset. In most cases, she recognizes what needs to be done before being asked and completes these tasks promptly and thoroughly. She has worked feverishly over the years with numerous directors and managers to strategically identify and resolve issues that impacted the workflow of the team, in addition to producing semester-long schedules outlining all logistics and personnel requirements in support of digital education courses on campus.

Jiakaira displays an extremely positive attitude and has fostered strong working relationships with individuals at every level of the department and campus. She is committed to leading by example and dedicates her time to helping others.

Melissa Edwards Smith, Director of Education and Campus Engagement, Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity

  • Efficiency and Innovation – EHRA
Photo of Melissa Edwards Smith with the provost and her supervisor.

Melissa has made a transformational impact on workplaces and classrooms to exhibit inclusive excellence. With the reimagined and reintroduced Inclusive Excellence and Strategic Practice unit of the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED), she has been instrumental in several key initiatives including the Inclusive Excellence certificate program, the Strategic Practice certificate program, the Credential, DIY/DEI, LinkedIn Learning and TIPS (Toward Inclusive Practice).

Melissa is collaborative, curious and creative. She is the epitome of the Efficiency and Innovation Award, consistently moving OIED forward by providing the workforce with vital skills and competencies. At every juncture, Melissa sees possibilities, which is a remarkable trait in challenging work environments.

Angela Hallman, Human Resources Consultant, DELTA

  • Human Relations – SHRA
Photo of Angela Hallman with the provost and her supervisor.

Angela is the primary human resources consultant for DELTA and NC State Continuing and Lifelong Education, and she provides consulting services to the business officer for NC Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She has demonstrated consistent leadership in a time of significant change and had the vision to develop and launch significant human resources initiatives. Angela is always positive and puts employees at ease effortlessly. When a major problem arises, directors and managers turn to her for her creativity in solving problems.

Angela includes her team in every step along the process, empowering them to freely provide their input in the decision-making process, assisting them in achieving their goals and celebrating their successes. She is always caring and consistent.

Jonathan Holloway, Leadership Program Manager, Office for Faculty Excellence 

  • Efficiency and Innovation – SHRA
Photo of Jonathan Holloway with the provost and his supervisor.

In his role as leadership program manager for the Office for Faculty Excellence, Jonathan has developed highly effective faculty programs that are truly innovative and efficient due to his ability to form and sustain high functioning collaborations with other campus units. These programs include Faculty LEAD, the Provost’s Faculty Fellows program and the Provost’s Global Leadership Faculty Fellows program. 

As demonstrated by his work, Jonathan consistently uses collaboration and partnerships to innovate and create efficiencies for NC State. His ability to cultivate, sustain and employ partnerships across campus goes above and beyond what one might expect for faculty development programming and has resulted in opportunities for faculty that are not only effective and efficient, but also highly innovative and unique.

Daniel Spencer, Senior Research Scholar, DELTA

  • Customer Service – EHRA
Photo of Dan Spencer with the provost and his supervisor.

Serving as DELTA’s first senior research scholar, Dan exemplifies a commitment to assisting faculty and his DELTA colleagues in conducting empirical research that furthers the advancement of digital education, especially research that informs what DELTA does to help students succeed at NC State. Dan has shown an unwavering commitment to helping faculty fulfill their digital education research and publication goals, specifically those who were awarded a DELTA Grant.

A majority of Dan’s work and faculty support happens behind the scenes. His quiet and humble commitment to helping faculty and students succeed is exemplary. Dan absolutely deserves recognition for his many accomplishments, from championing faculty research to his efforts to put DEI at the forefront of all the work he does.

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

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

  • April Baer, Equal Opportunity Officer, Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity
  • Meg Chester, Director of Business and HR Operations, Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
  • LaTissa Davis, Executive Assistant to the Senior Vice Provost for Instructional Programs, Office of Instructional Programs
  • Justin Haynes, University Library Specialist, NC State University Libraries 
  • Courtney Hewett, University Library Specialist, NC State University Libraries
  • Kimberly Little, Assistant Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, NC State Continuing and Lifelong Education
  • Yan Shen, Lead Instructional Designer, DELTA
  • Meredith Wynn, Web Developer, NC State University Libraries

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