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January 8, 1998

Long-term staff, winners of annual chancellor's award for staff excellence honored at recognition reception

A crowd that Chancellor Mark Nordenberg called the "biggest, best and noisiest group that has ever gathered on a December afternoon for this purpose" jammed the Assembly Room of the William Pitt Union Dec. 10 for the annual staff recognition reception.

More than 430 University staff with 20 years and 25 or more years of service were honored this year, including eight individuals each with more than 40 years of service. In addition, 10 winners of the Chancellor's Awards for Excellence for Staff, five from 1997 and five from 1998, were recognized.

The unusually large number of honorees was due to the fact that the administration expanded the event to include staff who have worked at Pitt for 25 or more years. Previously, the only staff recognized at the annual reception were those marking their 20th year of service.

"It's an even bigger milestone when you get 30 years and 40 years of service," interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Ron Frisch said. "We had forgotten about those folks. So, we decided this year would be sort of a catch-up year." Although the details have yet to be worked out, Frisch said that the event probably will recognize staff with 20, 30, 40 and 50 years of service next year. Since the event included 433 individuals this year with 20 years and those with 25 or more years of service, only the eight staff members with 40 years or more of service were personally recognized by the chancellor. "It would have been virtually impossible to call up all 433 people," Frisch said. "We would have had to start on Monday in order to be finished on Wednesday at 5." Each of the eight staff members recognized for 40 or more years of service were presented with a certificate and an engraved gold watch by Chancellor Nordenberg. They included:

* Julia Schiller Laird, Placement Service, Office of Student Affairs.

* Annette M. Galluze, Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

* Farris Harris Sr., Purchasing, Office of Budget and Administration.

* Anthony D. Ciotti, Printing, Office of Business.

* Raymond Buzzelli, Printing, Office of Business.

* Paul C. Magee, biostatistics, Graduate School of Public Health.

* Thomas McCray, Division of Facilities Management, Office of Facilities Management.

* Rose M. Reynolds, Germanic languages, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Also called to the podium for personal recognition were 1997 and 1998 Chancellor's Award for Excellence for Staff winners. Each 1998 winner received a certificate and check for $2,500. They were selected on the basis of their work at the University and in their communities. This year's recipients were: Carol Brosier Calloway, James Alexander Cox Jr., Mary M. Derkach, Willa M. Grier and Celestine Washington.

Calloway, registrar and assistant to the vice president for Administrative Affairs at Pitt's Greensburg campus (UPG), has been an employee of the University since 1966. Calloway joined the Greensburg campus staff in 1985. Prior to going to Greensburg, she worked at the Pittsburgh campus in the anthropology department and in the former School of Library and Information Science, now the School of Information Sciences.

Calloway is active in community service in the Westmoreland County area with the NAACP, the Girl Scouts of America, the Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education and the National Black MBA Association's Pittsburgh chapter. She also has been active in the annual Scouting for Food Drive, expanding UPG's drive to include other institutions of higher education in Westmoreland County.

She earned both her bachelor of science and master's of business administration degrees from Pitt.

* Cox has been a student counselor in the University's Counseling Center since 1992. He previously worked at Penn State's Hershey campus, Dickinson College, Duquesne University, HealthAmerica and for the Sickle Cell Society.

Cox's community activities include membership on the board of directors of the Alma Illery Medical Center, volunteering with the Calvary Baptist Church Youth Outreach, serving as a Sunday school teacher at Calvary Baptist Church and as a core member of the Center for Family Excellence. He also is vice president of the School of Social Work Alumni Association.

Cox earned a bachelor of science degree from the State University of New York, Albany and master's degrees in education and social work from Pitt.

* Derkach is an administrator and assistant dean for Student Administrative Services. An employee of Pitt since 1979, she started at the University as an administrative assistant in what is now the School of Information Sciences. She has worked in the Graduate School of Public Health since 1981. Prior to coming to the University, Derkach was employed by the Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Ukrainian State Exhibition of Economic Achievements, Kiev, USSR.

Derkach's community service includes work with Neighborhood Legal Services' Protection From Abuse Pro Bono Referral Program and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's pastoral services department. She earned her bachelor of arts from Pitt and a law degree from Duquesne University.

* Grier, a staff specialist in the Office of Student Activities, began her career at Pitt in the Graduate School of Public Health in 1972 and transferred to Student Activities in 1973.

Grier is active in many community organizations, including the NAACP, her church, the Girl Scouts of America, the YMCA/YWCA and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

At the University, Grier serves on a volunteer basis as the adviser to Some of God's Children, Pitt's student gospel choir.

* Washington is a student services specialist and assistant director in the Office of Student Activities with primary responsibilities for the Black Action Society and the Freshman Activities Fair. She worked for the YWCA of Washington County prior to coming to the University in 1985.

She is a board member of the Washington County NAACP and is active in the Friendship Baptist Church, the Washington Women's Shelter, the Washington County Historical Society, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence and a variety of other activities in the Wilkinsburg/Pittsburgh area.

In presenting the awards and gifts, Chancellor Nordenberg noted that staff perform duties across all disciplines at all five of Pitt's campuses. "Your work responsibilities are as diverse as they are important," he said. "You provide valuable support to our faculty and to other members of the staff. You offer assistance to students and to visitors. You extend the University's reach into the surrounding communities. You maintain our facilities and keep our equipment operating efficiently and effectively." Nordenberg especially praised staff with 20 or more years of service and winners of the chancellor's awards for excellence: "Without your dedicated service, your commitment going above and beyond the call of duty, the University of Pittsburgh would not be what it is today."

–Mike Sajna

Filed under: Feature,Volume 30 Issue 9

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