Staff Awards

Recognition of accomplishments is one of many activities that are critical to creating and improving employee morale. Georgia Tech continues to build on the previous success of our recognition program and to align the staff recognition awards closely with the intent of the Institute’s Vision for the future, core values, and the Strategic Business Operations Framework.


Oct. 17, 2016
Jan. 27, 2017
Award nominations accepted. Nominators may consider contacting nominee’s colleagues familiar with employee's work who can support nomination.
Complete and submit the online nomination form.
Ensure that those supporting the nomination complete and submit a letter of reference.
Jan. 27, 2017   
Nomination period closes
February 2017  
Nominations reviewed and vetted by committee
February 2017
Nominations reviewed with managers/supervisors
March 2017
Winners Notified
April 21, 2017
Faculty & Staff Honors Luncheon

Nomination Process

The Ideal Nomination
In addition to the qualifications, the ideal nomination will also describe how the individual’s efforts and approaches impacted others. The most compelling nominations will be those that bring to light the employee’s behaviors, not only the details of the projects in which they were engaged. As a nominator, you will be responsible for formulating the most complete narrative about the nominee’s merit. You will likely want to do that from multiple perspectives; peer, supervisor, customer, executive, other unit supervisor or staff, etc. When the nominator completes the online nomination process, they will be able to request a letter of reference from individuals from either inside or outside the Institute via email.

Complete the online nomination forms. In addition to nominations from others, self-nominations are invited and encouraged. Staff, faculty and students may nominate employees, departments or teams.

Letters of Support
Thoughtfully consider others who can relate different aspects of the employee’s merit for the award. The goal is to fully describe, from as many different points of view as possible, the employee’s attitude, specific behaviors, approach and results.  Ask three additional individuals to provide a letter of reference.

Administrative Excellence Award

A single individual or a group of individuals working together can significantly shape the future. This award recognizes an individual or a team who — consistent with the Institute’s mission, vision, and goals — has been a game changer for Georgia Tech. This award is given in recognition of larger-scale efforts. What was achieved is important, but how it was achieved is  equally, if not more, important.

Qualifications: This award will be presented to a team, staff member, or an academic professional (acting in an academic support role) who has:

  • Exhibited multiple behaviors listed below that are believed to be critical to achieving the GT Strategic Plan (these behaviors are further defined here)
    • Leadership, innovation, excellence in continuous improvement of processes & systems, entrepreneurship and service to the community
  • Extended their efforts across multiple GT departments, units, or entities
  • Achieved results which impact a large constituency of Georgia Tech employees

Monetary Award: $5,000

2017 Winner: The Petit Institute Team, Office of the Executive Vice President for Research
Angela Ayers, Marketing Communications Mgr. | Karen Ethier, Admin Mgr II | Colly Mitchell, Events Manager | Andrea Soyland, Assc Dir-Exec Ed Programs | Tim Whelan, Web Developer Sr. | Michelle Wong, Asst Dir-Business Ops

Outstanding Management in Action Award

In addition to solid business management, a great manager brings out the best in every employee. This award is given to recognize those who excel in achieving significant results through their teams. Qualifications: This award will be presented to a staff member or an academic professional (acting in an academic support role) who is responsible for supervising at least one other person’s work (non-student).

  • Communicates completely: Goes far beyond simply passing along information, email, and details. Communications help connect employees to the bigger picture and help each to understand how his or her activities contribute to our institutional mission.
  • Creates a sense of purpose: Develops a vision – for ad hoc projects as well as for the organization he or she manages – and inspires employees to achieve it.
  • Recognizes and appreciates good work: Finds public and private venues to praise and reinforce good work and desired behaviors demonstrated by employees.
  • Cares about the whole person
    • Cares about performance: Conduct difficult conversations and offers candid assessments of performance without sacrificing the working relationships or damaging morale.
    • Cares about professional growth & development: Incrementally and constantly develops employees.
    • Cares about the employee’s sense of pride and accomplishment: Regularly coaches employees in order to expand what each one is capable of producing. Sponsors and promotes employees’ accomplishments to others.

Monetary Award: $2,000

2017 Winner: Dr. Gerome Stephens, Director of Student Engagement, Department of Student Life Engagement

Outstanding Staff Performance Awards

  • The Entrepreneurship Award
  • The Staff Leadership Award
  • The Innovation Award
  • The Process Improvement Excellence Award
  • The Service to the Community Award

This group of awards celebrates staff who best exemplify the values and approach of the strategic business operations framework, and are given in recognition of efforts that impact a department or unit. What was achieved is important, but how it was achieved is equally, if not more, important. Nominate an individual or a team for any of the awards in the group.

Qualifications: These awards will be presented to a team, staff member, or an academic professional (acting in an academic support role) who regularly shows a high level of any of the behaviors listed below that are believed to be critical to achieving the GT Strategic Plan. These behaviors are further defined here.

Monetary Award: $2,000 per award

2017 Winners:

  • The Entrepreneurship Award – Jennifer Wooley, Director, Professional Master's Programs
  • The Staff Leadership Award – Chris Walker, Assistant Director of Client Marketing, Georgia Tech Professional Education
  • The Process Improvement Excellence Award – Kelly Cross, Director of Student Organizations, Student Affairs
  • The Service to the Community Award – Sirocus Barnes, Program Director, Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC)
  • The Innovation Award – The Counseling Center Team, Student Life
    Ruperto Perez, Director, Counseling Center | Andrew Adelman, Licensed Psychologist, Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator | Mack Bowers, Associate Director for Training, Licensed Psychologist | Jason Braun, Licensed Psychologist, Peer Coaching Coordinator | Lacy Currie, Licensed Psychologist, Suicide Prevention & Crisis Response Coordinator | Irene Daboin, Pre-Doctoral Intern | Irene Dalton, Assistant Director & Practicum Training Coordinator, Licensed Psychologist | Erin English, Licensed Psychologist, Collegiate Recovery Program Coordinator | Janice Harewood, Licensed Psychologist, International Student Services Coordinator | LaRonda Hollis, Clinical Case Manager | Shervonda Horn, Administrative Professional I | Tiffiny Hughes-Troutman, Assistant Director for Outreach & Wellness, Licensed Psychologist | Lisa Korey, Licensed Psychologist, Assessment Services Coordinator | Julia Kronholz, Pre-Doctoral Intern | Michelle Lyn, Associate Director for Clinical Services, Licensed Psychologist | Lauren Marx, Post-Doctoral Resident | Krystal Meares, Licensed Psychologist, Graduate Student Services | Christina Owens, Recovery Program Assistant | Matthew Seitz, Pre-Doctoral Intern | Andy Smith, Licensed Psychologist, Group Program Coordinator

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a minimum number of years an individual needs to be employed at Georgia Tech in order to be nominated?
Yes. An individual needs to be employed at Georgia Tech in a full-time, permanent capacity for a minimum of 12 months in order to be nominated for a Staff Award.

Is there a limit to the number of nominees one college/department can submit?
No. Colleges and departments are encouraged to submit nominations for employees who exhibit the behaviors described for each of the awards.

What is the composition of the selection committee?
The selection committee will include a diverse cross-section of Georgia Tech employees to recommend recipients for the three staff awards. The committee will include primarily staff members; however, faculty and researchers will be represented on the committee.

Are there different selection committees for each award?
No. There will be one selection committee for all awards.

Will the selection committee have flexibility to move nominees to an award category better suited for the nominee?
The selection committee will have broad latitude to place a nominee in another award category. The selection committee will contact the nominator and discuss their recommendation if needed.

Are research faculty eligible for staff awards?
The staff awards are for classified staff and non-tenure track faculty. However, if a research faculty member is nominated for his/her work in a non-research capacity  but an administrative or organizational capacity  the nomination will be considered. Otherwise, research faculty nominations should be directed to the other Institute awards listed at

Will there be an approval/vetting process for award recipients?
Prior to final selection, the selection committee will provide the names of the recommended recipients to (1) the nominee's direct manager, (2) the nominee's unit HR Representative, and (3) senior Institute leadership to ensure that individuals are in good standing with the Institute.

Which awards can I nominate a team or group for?
Individuals and teams may be nominated for both the Administrative Excellence Award and the Outstanding Staff Performance Awards. The Outstanding Management in Action Award is only available to individuals.

Can previous winners be nominated this year?
Previous winners can be nominated this year if the nomination package represents accomplishments from the past year. The nomination package should reflect new accomplishments from the previous award package.

Can individuals previously nominated be nominated again this year?
Previous nominees can be nominated this year if the nomination package represents accomplishments from the past year. The nomination package should reflect new accomplishments from the previous award package.

How many people are considered a team?
A team is a group of two or more individuals.