Lone Pine Excellence Awards Honor Six Staff Members

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The Annual Ceremony and Reception Has Been Postponed Due to COVID-19.


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Photo by Eli Burakian

The winners of the Lone Pine Excellence Awards for 2019, including the flagship Sheila Culbert Distinguished Employee Award, represent six different programs from across campus.

The recipients’ managers were notified earlier this month so they could personally congratulate their employees, the selection committee says. But more formal celebrations will have to wait.

Originally set for April 29, the Lone Pine Excellence Award Ceremony and reception has been postponed due to COVID-19. It will be rescheduled for a later date, after employees now working remotely have returned to campus.

The Lone Pine Recognition program includes its flagship Sheila Culbert Distinguished Employee Service Award, and five awards honoring individuals’ and teams’ outstanding contributions to Dartmouth in the categories of collaboration; passion and commitment; innovation; leadership; and unsung hero.

The recipients were selected from among a pool of 55 nominees.

The 2019 Sheila Culbert Distinguished Employee Award

Amy Hunt, student systems specialist in the Division of Student Affairs, has received this year’s Sheila Culbert Distinguished Employee Service Award. A member of the division’s systems and technology team, Hunt provides technical support for Dartmouth’s student housing database system. Her role includes working closely with the database software company and campus partners, among them the office of Residential Life and the IT department, to streamline communication and improve services and processes. 

In their nomination, her co-workers described Hunt as patient, efficient, and creative, and “one of the easiest people with whom to collaborate.”

“She asks great questions to best understand our goals, listens well when we describe what we need or problems we have, and provides great ideas for solutions,” her co-workers say. “What is most appreciated is Amy’s willingness to think outside the box to come up with solutions. All of us who work with Amy are lucky to have her on our team. We all could learn a lot from Amy’s teamwork and customer service.”

Established in 2008 by then-President James Wright and his wife, Susan Wright, the award recognizes a Dartmouth staff member who has made a difference to the institution and to his or her colleagues; demonstrates a commitment to the highest work ethic and exemplary work performance; is both selfless and unwavering in dedication to the institution; and is relentless in the pursuit of excellence.

The Unsung Hero Award, for going above and beyond without fanfare and being willing to fill in wherever needed to help one’s colleagues and Dartmouth, is presented to Daryl Laware, the registrar at Thayer School of Engineering.

Reflecting on Laware’s 40-year tenure at Thayer, her co-workers say she is the “go-to person when you need to know anything about students or courses,” and note her many responsibilities and achievements, including overseeing key projects and events for the engineering school. They also highlight her kindness, accuracy, and equanimity.

“It would not be an overstatement to say that much of Thayer’s success has been due to Daryl’s careful and constant oversight and guidance,” one colleague says. “Daryl is certainly my hero, and I am awed by how well she has kept Thayer on a very even keel over the many years.”

The Collaboration Award, for selfless dedication to one’s team and Dartmouth, and an exemplary ability to work effectively with others to achieve a common, defined purpose for the institution, goes to Will Cowen, an academic applications developer with Information, Technology and Consulting (ITC).

Cowen’s coworkers describe him as patient and attentive, thoughtful and driven. They appreciate his dedication to mentoring and teaching students and colleagues, and his effectiveness in serving as ambassador to the Digital Applied Learning and Innovation Lab (DALI).

Cowen has provided “amazing leadership” bridging the ITC and DALI teams, a colleague says. “He has accomplished this by creating an environment where both groups are learning and improving as they work together to help move Dartmouth forward.”

The Innovation Award, honoring creativity, unusual initiative, and skill in devising new and improved equipment, programs, work methods, and procedures to substantially improve productivity and effectiveness, for the betterment of Dartmouth and the broader world, is presented to Amanda Childress, associate director of the Student Wellness Center.

One of Childress’s co-workers calls her a visionary leader who deeply respects and cares about her staff, which is a “key ingredient to their retention.”

Childress has gone above and beyond her job description by spearheading the Sexual Violence Prevention Project (SVPP), a “tremendous project with hundreds of moving parts,” the colleague says. “Trying to keep them all functioning effectively together while simultaneously designing and developing an effective and meaningful, comprehensive, and mandatory SVP experience is not an easy task, and Amanda has achieved it with grace and enthusiasm.”

The Passion and Commitment Award, for demonstrating passion and commitment that extends beyond the job requirements, and serving as a role model to others through their positive and engaging approach to their work, their peers, students, and the institution, goes to Lisa Meehan, program administrator of African and African American Studies.

Meehan’s dedication to the program and its mission is matched by her integrity, reliability, kindness, and generosity to faculty, fellows, and students alike, a co-worker said.  Her presence “enriches our environment in multiple ways—from her warm greetings to her genuine, self-edifying interest in our research and activities, to her extraordinary capacity to anticipate our needs.”

Her co-workers also laud the leadership, creativity, and organizational skills she brings to AAAS, an “extremely diverse academic group” whose members work on four continents. “Lisa is able to keep track of us, keep us in communication with one another, and sustain a community that is in perpetual transition.”

The Leadership Award, for the ability to inspire others to improve the quantity and quality of their work and facilitate growth through mentoring and commitment to their staff’s professional development, is presented to Phil Charbonneau, a senior work process administrator at Work Control Center.

Charbonneau joined Dartmouth a few years ago and quickly became an expert in the busy center’s systems and processes, a colleague says. Known for his professionalism and patient, compassionate manner, he is frequently sought out for information and assistance.

“Phil has an intricate sense of fairness. When changes are made, he will always ask for input from the team before making a decision,” a co-worker said. “He always makes us feel appreciated and an important part of our team. If one of the team members is struggling, Phil will go above and beyond to make sure we understand how to resolve our questions and will walk us through the steps to correct issues.”

Aimee Minbiole