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President's Awards for Employee Excellence

Recognizing outstanding Cornell employees and teams.

Congratulations 2023 Award Winners!

We are so proud of nominees and awardees and hope you enjoyed the recognition event on November 7th. Watch a recording of the event below. Enjoy some photos from the day by clicking here!

Click here to see winners and all nominees. Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination this year. 

Video Transcript

[Transcript auto-generated.]

00;00;00;00 - 00;00;29;21
Thank you for joining us today. I'm Christine Lovely, vice president and chief human resources officer and I have the pleasure of being your emcee for this wonderful event today. I would like to start our program with the land grant acknowledgment.

00;00;29;25 - 00;01;15;27
Cornell University is located on the traditional homelands of the Gaia Chrono, the Cayuga Nation, the Gaia Chrono, our members of the How to No Me Confederacy, an alliance of six sovereign nations with the historic and contemporary presence on this land. The Confederacy precedes the establishment of Cornell University, the New York State, and the United States of America. We acknowledge the painful history of Gaia, Kano's dispossession and honor, the ongoing connection of Gaia Council people past and present to these lands and waters.

00;01;15;31 - 00;01;42;30
This land acknowledgment has been reviewed and approved by the traditional Gaia Kono leadership. Thank you. So we'll start with a few quick housekeeping items. For those of you that are in person in attendance, please take note of the exits around the room in case of an emergency. We ask that you proceed quickly but calmly to the nearest exit.

00;01;42;35 - 00;02;16;46
I've been assured that we will get through this program in exactly one hour, so but feel free to stand and stretch if you need to. Feel free to also help yourself to the food and drink tables throughout or after the program. Restrooms are available to your left behind the cement wall. So today we celebrate and recognize those who were nominated for a president's award for employee excellence.

00;02;16;51 - 00;02;56;36
We are joined by both in-person attendees, as well as colleagues and friends online. At its core, the Excellence Awards program is an opportunity for us to celebrate our fantastic Cornell employees, including their commitment to the mission of our colleges, divisions and university as a whole. Highlighting the caliber of work our staff produces, both as individuals and as teams and acknowledging the tremendous impact that each nominee has had on our campus community.

00;02;56;41 - 00;03;33;19
What's so special about these awards is that they're in alignment with the university's values and priorities. Recognizing recognizing the crucial part that staff plays in making the great achievements of our institution possible. Over the past decade, the Excellence Awards have grown dramatically. More employees are involved in the program committee. The number of award categories has expanded, and most notably, the number of nominations continues to climb year after year.

00;03;33;24 - 00;03;58;21
The growth and impact of this program is a testament to the amazing work of the program committee. If you are a part of that program committee, would you please stand or wave so we can recognize your efforts?

00;03;58;25 - 00;04;25;14
Thank you so much. I would also like to welcome Ezra Cornell, who once again will be representing the Board of trustees in presenting the Trustee Award. This is the fourth year that Ezra has partnered with us to select Trustee awardees, and those folks will be announced live later in our program. So make sure you're sitting on the edge of your seat.

00;04;25;19 - 00;04;53;35
We'd like to extend our thanks to you, Ezra, and to the board. We are so grateful for your involvement in the Excellence Awards program and your commitment to helping build a culture of appreciation at Cornell. Unfortunately, President Pollack is unable to join us today, but she wanted to make sure to send her congratulations to all of the nominees and awardees via this short video.

00;04;53;40 - 00;05;20;34
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the 2023 Presidents Awards for Employee Excellence. I'm sorry that I wasn't able to attend this year's event in person, but I'm delighted to have so many of you here in Barton Hall and even more. Joining us virtually to recognize our outstanding awardees and nominees, all of whom have done so much over the last year to live our core values and move our mission forward.

00;05;20;39 - 00;05;47;29
The work of Cornell's employees is incredibly varied. You make sure our students are well-fed and comfortably housed, that our facilities are safe and clean, that our technology is working smoothly, and that our infrastructure is well maintained. You ensure that our financial records are accurate, that our faculty have the equipment they need for their research, and that our students receive quality health care in thousands of roles every day and through the night.

00;05;47;33 - 00;06;14;53
Cornell's employees work to ensure that everyone in our community has what they need to do their best work and to flourish. I want to thank everyone who took the time to write thoughtful nominations for their colleagues, recognizing them for their contributions across this year's seven award categories. You've made it possible for us to shine a light on their work, and I'm grateful to you all.

00;06;14;57 - 00;06;44;00
Each year, these awards show us not only the talent and diversity of our community, but also the diversity of Cornell's work and the countless ways that Cornell staff make that work not only possible, but extraordinary to all of our nominators. Nominees and awardees. Thank you. On behalf of President Pollack, Provost Lakoff, the senior leadership and myself. We are so proud of all of you.

00;06;44;05 - 00;07;08;53
Congratulations on all of the remarkable accomplishment accomplishments we're about to recognize. So let's get started. I'd like to invite Lisa Nishi, vice provost for undergraduate education and interim vice provost for enrollment to present our first award category Culture of Belonging.

00;07;08;58 - 00;07;49;26
Good morning, everybody. Thank you, Christine. I'm delighted to present the award for Culture of Belonging. Joining me on stage to present certificates Urbana that year, Associate university librarian Christine Ford, Senior Associate Vice President for alumni Affairs and Development. And Ryan Lombardi, Vice President for Student and Campus Life. So this award recognizes employees who create and support an open, inclusive, welcoming and equitable workplace for all members of the Cornell community.

00;07;49;31 - 00;08;23;13
We received 24 exemplary nominations in this category, which is so awesome for individuals working in a variety of roles across colleges and units. For some nominees, creating an environment of belonging plays a major role in their positions. For others, it's something they strive to instill outside of their formal job responsibilities. For many, this is a lifelong passion. They're committed to sharing, educating and learning about for years to come.

00;08;23;18 - 00;08;56;33
Here are a few examples from our nominations. Peter Krieger was nominated for his leadership and support of the Cornell SC, Johnson College of Business Accelerator's Scholars program, designed to encourage the success of diverse, economically disadvantaged and first generation students. Johanna Williams was recognized for her welcoming demeanor towards guests entering Olin Library. Her nominator even states so many people stop by to say Good morning to Johanna.

00;08;56;38 - 00;09;26;41
I have even seen Kume choose form in front of her. Tammy Beane was nominated for her ability to truly see others from her nomination. Not only does she see us for who we are as people, she also notices our talents and encourages them to flourish. A handful of nominees were highlighted for their efforts to connect faculty, staff and students through emails, newsletters, gatherings and message boards.

00;09;26;45 - 00;09;59;19
Among these nominees were Elizabeth Kirk and Megan Austin. Scott Hollander was highlighted for breaking bread with his colleagues, sitting down for a meal together is Scott's way of connecting and showing his appreciation for everyone's efforts. One final example is USF. I'll show you your chef was enthusiastically nominated for his efforts in making scholars feel welcome, integrated and part of the community before they even arrived on campus.

00;09;59;24 - 00;10;33;00
These examples are really only the tip of the iceberg, and we want to thank all of our nominees for your efforts, regardless of whether diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging work is formally part of your role or your personal mission. Will all of our nominees for the Culture of Belonging Award please stand or wave so that we can give you a round of applause?

00;10;33;05 - 00;11;19;33
Thank you. I will now recognize the three awardees chosen for this category Awardees. Join me on stage when I call your name, please. AP Kenya McCarthy Library Technical Services Cataloger. S.J. Burnett's Marketing Analytics and Data Reporting Coordinator for Alumni Affairs and Development is S.J. here? I'll there. C.J. and Gary Gale.

00;11;19;38 - 00;11;34;36
Hey. Hey. Gary is a food service worker at Risley Dining Room.

00;11;34;40 - 00;12;08;04
Okay, so first IP, Kenya. Okay. Okay. Is a cataloger for the Library Technical Services team who specializes in Southeast Asian manuscripts specifically related to the translation of crude. My language of Cambodia, with so few experts, include my language in the United States. The importance of having an expert in Thai language who can also work in humor is never to be underestimated, says a nominator.

00;12;08;09 - 00;12;35;19
A GNA approaches difficult tasks with such enthusiasm and is eager to reach across boundaries and change lives through public engagement. She uses her language expertise to serve as a translator for the campus, as well as for the broader community. Not only does that be Kenya show passion and commitment towards education, but she goes well beyond her work to make sure that others feel they belong.

00;12;35;24 - 00;12;52;24
AP Kenya has been known to welcome new colleagues into her home, introduce them to friends and colleagues in the library and foster connections in the community.

00;12;52;29 - 00;13;33;32
Okay. Thank you. Our next awardee is C.J. BURNETT. C.J. consistently helps her colleagues feel valued and welcome regardless of their background or position. She sets a very high standard for fostering a culture of belonging that resonates throughout, throughout the organization by actively involving others. In her work with sincerity, compassion, and a genuine desire to uplift CJ's commitment to free and open inquiry and expression is evident in her proactive communication with colleagues and her willingness to engage in conversations that challenge the status quo.

00;13;33;37 - 00;13;57;25
Her genuine interest in people's lives, her ability to break down barriers of silence and her welcoming demeanor have transformed her team and workplace into a space where members feel valued, heard and appreciated.

00;13;57;30 - 00;14;28;44
Thank you. Our final word is Gary Gayle. I was wondering if we as a as a door checker at Risley dining. Gary has shaped his role into a beacon of hospitality and inclusion for anyone who enters the facilities. Gary is recognized for dedicating his time to learn about guests in so many incredible ways. For starters, Gary took it upon himself to learn Mandarin.

00;14;28;49 - 00;14;58;07
I repeat, to learn Mandarin and work with the community learning and Service partnership to take lessons in order to speak with guests. He then posted a sign at the door written in Chinese to ask patrons to help him in his learning, and they happily did so. Here are some quotes that others shared in Gary's nomination. Of all the associates I've interacted with so far, Gary wows me the most.

00;14;58;11 - 00;15;26;44
Gary is the most enthusiastic participant in group activities and shares his hope for employees from different cultures and backgrounds coming together to support one another. Gary has been a light shining within our organization for many, many years. The relationships he has nurtured and lasting impact he has had on students, faculty and staff exemplify the culture we strive to create within our organization and at Cornell.

00;15;26;49 - 00;16;05;12
The nominator concludes with I would encourage anyone hearing this to stop by Risley and watch the Magic that happens there every single day. Whether you're a student, staff, faculty, parent, or a guest, you can walk in and you can see the warmth, care, and kindness that Gary emits. And every interaction we carry so.

00;16;05;17 - 00;16;34;53
So these awardees exemplify what it looks like to fully embrace the university's core value of creating a culture of belonging. On behalf of everyone here today and those joining us virtually, I applaud your passion and effort towards creating a welcoming and inclusive culture for everyone you encounter. Let's give a round of applause, please, for our awardees, all those on stage.

00;16;35;08 - 00;17;11;06
Welcome to take your seats, please join me in welcoming Michelle Smith, Senior Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, to present the next award category. Game Changer. Thank you, Lisa. I'm pleased to recognize the nominees and awardees for the category of game changer. Joining me on stage today is Jamila Michener, the senior associate dean of public engagement for the Brooks School and the College of Arts and Sciences.

00;17;11;11 - 00;17;47;07
Kathryn McComas, Vice provost for engagement and land grant affairs. Suzanne Shu, dean of faculty and research for Cornell SC, Johnson College of Business and Random Party. Vice President of Student and Campus Life. This award recognizes employees who bring fresh ideas to their work, inspire a spirit of innovation, and are willing to take calculated risks. We received 13 nominations in this category, highlighting an astonishing array of achievements.

00;17;47;16 - 00;18;28;01
And here are a few examples demonstrated by our nominees. Robert Marlow and Molly Bagwell were nominated for their innovation and creativity, which resulted in groundbreaking ideas and informed risk taking related to their work. Nominees Shelley Keats, Panola, Alison Washburn and Miriam Alarcon. Gregg acknowledged for their contributions in implementing a new tool system and process for their teams. Other nominees are responsible for creating promotional materials such as trainee videos and documents to increase awareness of programs and events.

00;18;28;06 - 00;18;54;56
Mary Ball was nominated for her efforts in administering a grant that involved dozens of sub grants to parties across campus and in the broader upstate region. And Carla and Granda was nominated for influencing the approval of a grant for the SC Johnson MBA program. Before we announced the awardees, all nominees, would you please stand so that we can give you a round of applause?

00;18;54;57 - 00;19;26;35
Congratulations to all of you. All right. Thank you. Now for our awardees, but all three individuals, please join me on stage to accept your certificates. Rob Scott, executive director of the Cornell Prison Education Program.

00;19;26;40 - 00;19;52;34
Kaitlyn Fisher, Management Graduate field Coordinator, and SC Johnson. And Julie Edwards, director of the Skorton Center for Health Initiatives.

00;19;52;39 - 00;20;35;53
Here are some of the highlights that were shared with us about these awardees. For incarcerated people earning college credit while in prison can be a life altering experience. Rob's dedication, compassion, astute understanding and tireless work addresses challenges faced by prison education programs. These challenges include incarcerated students, overcoming institutional, physical, logistical and psychological barriers to enrolling in courses. During his ten years at Cornell, Rob has addressed each of these challenges and has secured multiple grants and long term funding for CPF staff positions.

00;20;35;57 - 00;21;32;19
Rob also helped to create a coalition of universities in western New York to raise this topic in legislative branches, ultimately helping lobby for the reinstatement of the tuition assistance program for incarcerated students in 2022. Please join us in congratulating Rob. Our next awardee, Kaitlyn Fisher, was nominated for implementing various programs for students at SC. Johnson. These programs include a monthly newsletter that provided updates on college happenings and programs for students establishing the DE Area Liaison Awards, a platform that offers students the chance to earn additional compensation and experiences to connect with visiting scholars.

00;21;32;24 - 00;22;06;10
Kaitlyn orchestrated the collaboration of a job market consultant to work with students on their presentation and interview skills. She conceptualized and developed the area Research Overview, a structured event where PHC faculty impart insights into their research. The entire student cohort and Kaitlyn was the visionary force behind the establishment of the groundbreaking SC Johnson Graduate Research Association. She even replicated the success by founding similar associations within the Johnson School and Nolan School.

00;22;06;14 - 00;22;44;28
Let's congratulate Kaitlyn and our last awardee. Julie Edwards was nominated for her innovative, bold, compassionate and empowering leadership, which has created meaningful relationships that have positively impacted campus well-being. Julie's work and commitment to embedded wellness well-being into all aspects of campus culture has resulted in Cornell becoming the first Ivy League institution to formally adopt the International Okanagan Charter.

00;22;44;33 - 00;23;23;29
Julie Co facilitated 18 visioning sessions aiming to engage community members with diverse affiliations and levels of power from across the institution to promote health, equity, inclusion and social justice. Julie is joyful, action oriented, collaborative and inspires others to take informed risks, be creative and embrace the idea of failing and succeeding forward. Julie consistently synthesizes shares and implements innovative best practices and drives purposeful discovery within the field and broader community.

00;23;23;34 - 00;24;06;19
Congratulations, Julie. And let's hear one more round of applause for Rob, Katelyn and Julie. So congratulations again to the Game Changer nominees. I think you guys are supposed to go this way and awardees. It's been my pleasure to present this award. Ryan Lombardi will now present the next award for the category culture of Sustainability. Welcome, Ryan. In your.

00;24;06;24 - 00;24;32;21
All right. Thanks, Michele. And you'll continue to join me as we get into this next award for Culture of Sustainability. This category, which was added to the program last year, was a collaborative effort between the Cornell Sustainability Office and the Division of Human Resources, and it's intended to spotlight and elevate our sustainability work at the university. And I assume that noise is not so cadence that we're hearing in here.

00;24;32;21 - 00;24;54;57
But something else I saw Acer get up and head towards the back to check that out. Sorry, that went off script there for a moment. Christine's looking at me, our first awardee for this category is Juliet Corazon, advising Dean in arts and Sciences. Juliet is currently out of the country and unable to join us today. So to accept this award on her behalf as her supervisor.

00;24;54;57 - 00;25;07;55
Ray Kim. Ray, would you come on up, please, and join us on stage?

00;25;08;00 - 00;25;38;49
Juliet is recognized by her nominator as a champion of sustainability, partnering with Cornell Sustainability Office. Juliet has decreased the carbon footprint of her office. Her efforts have included washing and recycling aluminum food trays instead of throwing them out and purchasing dishes, silverware and kitchen equipment. From Ithaca's Reuse Center for the Office Kitchen. These actions alone have greatly reduced the cost and disposable of single use plastic utensils and plates.

00;25;38;54 - 00;26;04;59
On a personal level, Juliet lives in Eco Village, a local community that incorporates sustainable approaches into daily residential life and has offered tours for the community. Juliet Indeed models how to reduce waste at work and empowers us to shift towards a culture of conscientious stewardship. Let's congratulate Juliet. Thank you.

00;26;05;04 - 00;26;27;13
Thank you. Our second awardee in this category is Jessica Walker, administrator for finance and business operations at the Cornell Tech campus. Jessica resides in New York City and is unable to attend in person today, but is joining us virtually. So let's all give her a wave. I don't know exactly where we're waving, but let's probably those cameras back there.

00;26;27;13 - 00;26;53;48
Let's give her a wave on the screen. This summer, the house at Cornell Tech ran its first reuse center during move out. Daily life items such as toilet paper hangers and partially use bottles of cleaning agents are frequently left behind by residents and typically thrown in the trash. We've seen that around this campus, too. Similarly, new residents moving in are buying the same products brand new.

00;26;54;02 - 00;27;22;33
In her first year at Cornell. Jessica tackle this problem by coordinating with the reuse center to collect all disposable items left behind during move out. They were then made available for continuing and new residents for free. This initiative saved new residents in the House operations money, but more importantly reduced the amount of waste. It was an incredible amount of work during her busiest time of the year, but the entire campus felt Jessica's adventure was a success.

00;27;22;38 - 00;27;48;23
In addition, Jessica also helped to reestablish the Cornell Tech Sustainability Committee, which has stopped me, which had stopped meeting during COVID. Since its return, the committee has lobbied for improvements in campus operations and education so individuals can learn to be more sustainable in their daily activities. Let's congratulate Jessica.

00;27;48;28 - 00;28;04;21
These awardees have not only fulfilled the description of the award, but have clearly excelled at creating a more sustainable community and culture. Let's give them one final round of applause for their efforts and leadership. Thank you. Juliet and Jessica.

00;28;04;25 - 00;28;40;29
I will now turn the podium over to Avery, August deputy provost and chair of the Presidential Advisors for Diversity Equity, to present our next category, the Thoughtful Leader Award. Avery, good morning. I had to check before was 2 minutes to 12. Thank you, Ryan. Joining me today to recognize our awardees in the Thoughtful leader category are my colleagues Paul Kraus, vice provost for external Education and Ryan Lombardi.

00;28;40;34 - 00;29;28;34
Whether they are people, leaders or our peers, those nominated for thoughtful Leader Award are individuals who bring out the best in their colleagues and teams and create an environment that enables others to excel. This category received 49 nominations, the most this category has ever received. Before you recognize our awardees, let's take a moment to highlight some of the other nominees Kevin Harris, James Whitaker, Ryan Sexton and John Gregory have all been extolled for their nominators, for creating an environment that encourages colleagues to have a voice, share feedback, opinions and suggestions.

00;29;28;39 - 00;29;59;10
This approach has helped dismantle barriers, foster collaboration and lead to a safe space to feel heard. Pamela Tan, maria Monte Sano, Christina Carter and Merritt Tarzan all showcase the ability to actively listen and create a welcoming environment. Their skill set allows them to connect with others, and as one nominee to put it, they are leaders who lead with heart.

00;29;59;15 - 00;30;36;50
Jessica Hilliker, Rhonda Clouse, Lawrence Douglas and Monique Stotts are described as intuitive leaders because they are excellent at identifying the strengths and areas that need improvement in their colleagues. This ultimately draws out the best in their teams and enhances experience for students, faculty and staff alike. Nicole Swope slogan Sun VAX I'm sorry, I practice Sinovac inspires, empowers and challenges and motivates not only her direct reports but other aid colleagues.

00;30;36;55 - 00;31;18;21
A good leader gives credit where credit is due, gratitude where necessary, and shines a spotlight of recognition on their colleagues efforts. This personifies not nominees such as Jared Snowden and Jenny Rona Barnett. These are only a few of the many outstanding nominations we received for this category. So would all of the nominees for Thoughtful Leader please stand away for a round of applause?

00;31;18;26 - 00;31;42;43
Thank you. You may be seated. I would now like to highlight the awardees of this category. These awardees were highly ranked by our reviewers for their impressive achievements and dedication as leaders on a daily basis with the following individuals. Please join me on stage to receive your certificates and remain on the stage as I read highlights from your nomination.

00;31;42;48 - 00;32;43;23
Chad Olivieri. Chad is vice president of Curriculum Development with Cornell. Jim Morris. Jim is senior vice president of Enterprise Programs with Cornell and Dan Sweeney. Dan is assistant vice president for finance and operations with Student and Campus Life. During his 11 years as vice president, Chad has grown his department from two designers and a content manager to a robust and diverse group of 90 plus designers, developers, artists and technologists, His nominator states.

00;32;43;28 - 00;33;13;00
Chad brings high energy, spirit and unmatched work ethic that sets the pace. He's endlessly encouraging, inspiring and extends a hand to everyone he meets to join him at a level of excellence. He gets to know each person as an individual and pushes them to excel in ways that are meaningful. Chad has made such an impact on his team that several years ago they created the internal Chatty Awards.

00;33;13;05 - 00;33;47;46
These awards have become a cherished annual event. They highlight and celebrate the unique and valuable individuals that make up the team, his nominator concludes. Chad creates space for each of us to drive harder, push through obstacles together, and collaborate meaningfully with both our faculty partners and with one another. That's the kind of community that Chad has built.

00;33;47;51 - 00;34;20;44
Our next awardees Jim Morris according to his nominator. Jim is a consummate coach, always helping his team grow personally and professionally while achieving extraordinary results. His leadership style inspires colleagues, fosters collaboration and embodies the values of learning, discovery and engagement. Jim was praised for the following key attributes. His talent in process refinement sets an example benchmark and excellence benchmark.

00;34;20;49 - 00;34;46;15
While his disciplined execution establishes a firm foundation for the team to build on. Finally, Jim was recognized as a leader who cultivates a community of belonging. His positive attitude support, openness, openness to input and commitment to fairness guarantees. Each team member has a voice and a sense of value that establishes cohesion, innovation and inclusivity.

00;34;46;19 - 00;35;29;57
Dan, Our final award. Dan Our Final Awardee was nominated for his unwavering dedication and remarkable ability to create and implement solutions that have enhanced the experience of our staff and students and has left an impact on his division. His leadership encourages and supports individuals to explore new ideas, challenge the status quo, and think critically. His promotion of free and open inquiry and expression has created a work environment of innovation and continuous learning.

00;35;30;02 - 00;36;07;21
Dan has nurtured a community of belonging where every team, field team member feels valued, respected and included. He is an empathetic leader whose style creates a safe space for diverse perspectives and teamwork that transcends traditional boundaries. His mentorship and investment in growth and development of each individual has unlocked the full potential of his team, propelling them towards improved business operations.

00;36;07;26 - 00;36;41;53
These three awardees exemplify the sort of outstanding leadership qualities that we cherish at Cornell. Join me in recognizing Chad, Jim and Dan with another round of applause. So those on the stage can return to their seats As I turn the podium over to Bala, dean of the Cornell and S.E. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science, to announce our next category, students.

00;36;41;58 - 00;37;10;11
Thank you, Avery. I'm pleased to be here today and honored to recognize the nominees and recipients of the Mission Possible award. Joining me to present the certificates to awardees today are Rick Burgess, the vice president for Facilities and Campus Services. Lauren Wernick, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. And Lisa Nishi, vice provost for undergraduate education and interim vice provost for enrollment.

00;37;10;16 - 00;37;42;30
This award recognizes employees whose work demonstrates excellence in supporting the university's core mission areas of learning, discovery and engagement. The individuals recognized by this award consistently demonstrate a positive and influential impact on their work environment and foster cooperation and collaboration in their work group while carrying out their responsibilities. This year's Mission Possible category received an astounding 17 nominations.

00;37;42;32 - 00;38;25;52
They're amazing people. Nominees in this category represent alumni Affairs and Development, the Brooke School of Public Policy, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Facilities, the Bowers College of Computing and Information Science. The College of Engineering, and many, many more areas. Accolades for nominees include finding innovative and creative solutions, as demonstrated by Ray Strong, Rhonda Glass, Andy Noyes, Reeve Hamilton and Romano Milosevic, demonstrating integrity, initiative and judgment in support of roles that require agility, flexibility and good communication skills.

00;38;25;56 - 00;38;41;02
Our nominees recognized for these skills include Jessica Del Rio, Pamela Cunningham, Christy Devine, Kimberly Phenix and Caitlin Fields.

00;38;41;06 - 00;39;07;05
Yes, we should clap for all of them, so please do. We had nominees such as Natalie Kimbrough, Jennifer Haven, Camp, Betsy Ellsworth, Annie Heckle and Christopher Death. Sadly, our homes. Sorry, Christopher, who provided guidance, expertise and resources on projects, programs and events.

00;39;07;09 - 00;39;37;26
Nominees like Amanda miller, Clay Ellis, Basil Safi and Celia Evans exemplify. Abilities in Leadership and drive to accomplish the university's mission. And lastly, though not the least, I would like to call out Joseph Jacob, who was nominated 29 times in this category from a collective 30 different nominators for his unwavering dedication to serving Sage Hall and the Briseno staff.

00;39;37;31 - 00;39;45;01
You've got a huge fan base, Joseph.

00;39;45;06 - 00;40;14;43
The list of nominees and their accomplishments and dedication to their roles goes on and on. We had 17 nominees, as I said. The Mission Possible award is a broad and dynamic category that demonstrates the vast spectrum of work our university does every day with all our Mission Possible nominees. Please stand or behave, and let's give them a big round of applause.

00;40;14;48 - 00;40;55;31
It's my privilege now to recognize our three awardees for this category. Awardees, Please join us on the stage when your name is called. And like those, before we ask that you remain on stage while I share a little bit about your accomplishments with the audience here today. So Andrea Hanlin marched the ADA coordinator for Facilities and Campus Services, Rachel Abbott, Extension associate in the Department of Public and Ecosystem Health at the Vet College.

00;40;55;35 - 00;41;15;57
And and Don Ochoa, testing coordinator for the Student Disability Services and Student and Campus Life.

00;41;16;02 - 00;41;47;54
I'm going to share a few words now about each awardees from denominators. So Andrea is nominated, opens the nomination with the following statement. Andrea has demonstrated growth, vision and initiative working tirelessly across all levels of the university to make our any person, any study vision a reality for students, staff, faculty and visitors with disabilities. Andrea is one of the founders of the ADA Coordination Team.

00;41;47;59 - 00;42;19;19
She's a leader in the employee Assembly and Disability Visibility Colleague Network Group. Andrea has become a household name and a go to expert for ADA compliance guidance. She's an unwavering voice for inclusivity and takes action so no person is denied an experience because of their disabilities. A shortlist list of her accomplishments includes. She was influential in the installation of a user friendly elevator in Willard Street.

00;42;19;24 - 00;42;47;49
She co-creator in the Guide for Event Planning at Cornell and was key in creating the accessibility website. Accessibility dot Cornell dot edu. She led Facility Services accessible city standards in all projects, a groundbreaking achievement that became the foundation by which many project managers came to learn and care about accessibility according to her nomination. Andrea is described as a fierce advocate with a velvet touch.

00;42;48;01 - 00;43;29;41
Andrea, congratulations. Rachel Abbott is recognized for her deep commitment to scientific discovery and outreach for the advancement of wildlife health in New York State. Faced with overwhelming obstacles that derailed a large collaborative research project, Dr. Abbott stepped in and took remarkable initiative to resolve the challenges. She expediently acquired the permits and permissions needed, which were integral to the growth and success of the project.

00;43;29;42 - 00;43;58;21
Collaboration between and the New York State Department of Health and Wildlife agencies in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. She was instrumental in developing the Wildlife Disease Information webpage, which provides accessible fact sheets for nearly four dozen diseases. In fact, these factsheets Empower Wildlife Professionals and veterinarians and the public to make better informed decisions about their health and interaction with wildlife.

00;43;58;26 - 00;44;44;23
She also promotes collaboration with specialized experts to make the cutting edge work accessible to a wider audience. And finally, Dr. Abbott exhibits mentorship by nurturing the next generation of scientists on their ptc's training and work efforts. Congratulations. And for the last award to Anton Ochoa in 2022, Anton Archer was hired to pilot a student Disability Services Testing Support program, which, due to its success, quickly evolved into a full blown turnkey service.

00;44;44;24 - 00;45;37;26
Now called the Alternative Testing Program. Anton has gone above and beyond to tackle the enormous responsibility of providing services to 200 plus faculty and to support more than 5000 student accommodations, including. I got to take a Big Brother room reservation. PROCTOR Hiring, training, communication with students and scheduling accommodated testing times for each exam. Anton has worked tirelessly to secure ways for faculty to drop off and pick up their exams, build positive rapport with campus partners, to repurpose rooms, troubleshoot at all hours of the day and night, re-engineer A student, disability services technology and educate students, faculty and unit administrators about new work processes, one senior professor stated, Anton transformed these arrangements in a way that

00;45;37;31 - 00;46;06;33
far better meets the needs of students with disabilities, while permitting instructors like me to focus on matters essential for providing excellent learning opportunities for all of our students. And another nominator noted. In a world where challenges often deter even the most enthusiastic, Anton is a constant, unwavering beacon of inspiration. Unfortunately, Anton was unable to join us today, but accepting the award on his behalf is Lisa Nishi.

00;46;06;38 - 00;46;15;22
A round of applause for Anton.

00;46;15;26 - 00;46;37;50
All three awardees strive for creative solutions. They build strong partnerships to achieve university goals. They inspire to do better. And no matter how impossible the task seems, they persevere for the greater good. Let's give a round of applause again for our three awardees.

00;46;37;55 - 00;46;55;09
Thank you and congratulations. Now it is my pleasure to turn the podium over to Rick Burgess to present the final category of one Cornell.

00;46;55;14 - 00;47;19;34
Thank you, Gabe. It is my privilege to be able to present the awards in the category of one Cornell. My colleagues and colleagues on stage with me to present certificates are Christine Lovely, Pat Wynne and Nisha Dhupia. Thanks. Pat is the assistant vice president for Student Campus Life and is associate vice provost and executive director of the A.T. Center.

00;47;19;38 - 00;47;54;30
This category recognizes teams, departments or groups of employees who implement a project or solve a problem that positively impacts the university and the greater community. 13 one Cornell nominations were submitted, representing the work of 144 individuals. Very broad in scope. Groups that were nominated include the Cornell SC, Johnson College of Business. Office of Diversity and Inclusion Team. Cornell.

00;47;54;35 - 00;48;02;56
Cornell. Out of the Darkness Walk for Suicide Prevention Committee.

00;48;03;01 - 00;48;11;03
The chairs of the six Colleague network groups.

00;48;11;08 - 00;48;17;50
The Health Leave of Absence Advisory Group.

00;48;17;55 - 00;48;24;40
The Residential Life Leadership Team.

00;48;24;45 - 00;49;16;20
Cities Accustomed. Development Team. The ILR Schools Classroom Technology Support Team. The Cornell 23 Dead and Company Show Team. The Workday Merit Grid System Team and the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in Cornell Engineering. With all our nominees in the one Cornell groups mentioned, please rise as we applaud your combined success.

00;49;16;25 - 00;49;56;07
I will share the three awardee groups for this category. The first Awardee group is the organizational development and effectiveness Team. Accepting the award on the group's behalf is Tanya Grove. Our second Awardee group is the Cornell Academic Materials Program. A camp advisory committee. Accepting the award on the group's behalf is Shannon Bostick. And our third awardee group is the Office of Global Learning International Services Team.

00;49;56;11 - 00;50;08;42
Accepting the award on the group's behalf is Laura Taylor.

00;50;08;47 - 00;50;39;41
The Organizational Development and Effectiveness team strives to include to create an inclusive environment within their team and with Cornell colleagues in order to build a community of belonging in Ithaca, Geneva, New York City, Qatar, and every corner of the university. Team members have all been described as continuous learners, reading books, articles and websites to stay up on what is new in their field so that they can develop timely content and build meaningful and helpful programing and trainings for our workforce.

00;50;39;46 - 00;51;14;45
They hear and safeguard confidential information in their consulting and coaching interactions. They listen to our workforce needs and collaborate to determine the best offerings and the best team member to design and deliver them. And they develop impactful marketing content and programing. They courageously, passionately and conscientiously work to create a culture across boundaries where every Cornell employee can thrive with the realization that if colleagues do this for one another, it will transcend to students, visitors, alumni and off off campus partners throughout the world.

00;51;14;50 - 00;51;55;36
Well done. At the start of the pandemic, the Cornell store was tasked to find a more affordable and flexible solution to deliver academic materials to students. Once created, the advisory committee, worked to find solutions to the physical book distribution model, identified ways each department could immediately support changes to the model and supported a sustainable long term solution. The team collaborated with campus partners like the Student Assembly and Faculty Senate to share ideas and gather feedback.

00;51;55;41 - 00;52;20;09
They executed surveys to gauge student engagement with course materials based on factors that influenced purchasing decisions, such as field of study, how course materials were sourced, preferred format and average cost. Eventually, Camp was designed to offer a flat rate to students to support affordability through the reduction of high cost textbooks. Where were you in my undergraduate years? That's what I want to know.

00;52;20;14 - 00;53;04;14
They sought to increase course retention and student and student preparedness and success by ensuring quick access to materials all while increasing sustainability. Based on data from the first year, one student saved an average of $145 per semester. Camp continues to adapt and collaborate with campus partners as the program evolves and as need changes. Congratulations. The Office of Global Learning's International Services Team ensures immigration compliance for international students and scholars who are studying and working at the university during the pandemic.

00;53;04;27 - 00;53;36;47
And as the university transitioned back to in-person instruction, this team came together to serve as a centralized resource for populations that had unique and critical needs during a chaotic and unknown time for our world and for our Cornell community. Together, this team streamlined communication processes, ensuring that messages to the community were strong, accurate and honest to minimize as much as possible the disruption to enrollment and to the work through forums and meetings.

00;53;36;47 - 00;54;14;43
They solicited and disseminated information regarding immigration status, degree programs, employment, employment and research, continuation, health concerns. Impact on family members who are present in the United States and post-graduation options. They implemented new technology that created cohesive and centralized accents, access points for constituents to update for national records effectively, quickly and accurately. This piece alone greatly improved efficiency and transparency and enhanced the team's ability to run data reports for the university and the federal government.

00;54;14;48 - 00;54;42;37
No one ever imagined the confusion that COVID would bring to our international population, but this team saw the need stepped up and created a space of order and trust for our international populations. Well done. I'm now going to name off all the members within these groups, and I ask that if you are in person with us in person today to stand or wave.

00;54;42;42 - 00;55;27;04
And to our audience, please hold your applause to the end. I'll just tell you, it's a lengthy list from the Office of Global Learning International Services Team. Laura Taylor, Scott Livingston, Beamer, Scott Anthony Griffith. Adam Blakeslee. Lauren Gabuza. Lee Ann Hahn. Tamara Heiss. Kimberly Jensen. Kathy Lynch. Jenny Matchett. AstraZeneca. Nicholas Ray Mehan. Ashley England Redman. Elizabeth Shedd, Hirsh, Sisodia and Brandon Landers from the Cornell Academic Materials Program Advisory Committee.

00;55;27;09 - 00;56;13;57
James Best, Marla Love. Brian Young. Benjamin Stein. Brian K Kacie. Casey Washburn. Dan Sweeney. Ed Dormitory. Elizabeth Hayes. Emily Nestor. Eric Lavin. Eve DeRosa. Jane McClellan. Joshua Smith. Karen Brown. Lisa Clark. Martin Beanie Almost there. Matthew Bell. Michael Ramsey. Shannon Bostic. Wendy Wilcox. Amy Gorski. Amy Goedert and Becky Maxon and the Organizational Development and Effectiveness Team. Kathy Bergeron.

00;56;14;02 - 00;56;31;31
Tonya Grove. Jennifer Fonseca. Steve Jackson, Marcus Brooks, Radhika Nayak, Deb Billups, Dane Kruse and Ari Mack. Please give our awardees a big round of applause.

00;56;31;36 - 00;57;24;47
Thank you and congratulations to you all. It is wonderful to be able to recognize the extraordinary teamwork that takes place across the university by awardees and colleagues. You may return to your seats. Thank you. And we now welcome Ezra Cornell, Board of Trustees Representative to present the Trustee Award. Ezra Thank you. Rick And thank you, Christine Lovely. President Pollak and the recognition team for once again creating an opportunity for the Board of Trustees of Cornell University to take part in this recognition effort on behalf of the Board of Trustees.

00;57;24;48 - 00;58;00;51
I want to extend our gratitude for the hard work and perseverance of our Cornell community. We are thankful this award program takes time to celebrate our employees, and I might add, for 158 years. Thank you. Joining me to present these awards will be Christine. Lovely. And once again, I'm amazed at all of the remarkable stories that came through this program and I read them all and discussed them all with other trustees.

00;58;00;56 - 00;58;33;41
This this was a difficult, difficult selection for the trustee awards each year. I think it will get easier to pick out a few awardees. And every year I met with stories of determination, compassion and grit that make it so hard to decide. The Trustee Award was implemented outside of the main six categories as an opportunity for the board to also recognize excellence, strong character, energy and passion for the university's mission.

00;58;33;46 - 00;59;10;39
And I think when you hear some of these stories of these three people, you're going to say yes. As a reminder, this award is kept secret until this very moment. So here we go. Our first awardee is Margaret Kent. It's Margaret here. Margaret is the administrative assistant for the Cornell Cowles, Agritech Hudson Valley Satellite Office. Margaret, come on up.

00;59;10;43 - 00;59;45;55
In a time of incredible need, the Hudson Valley lab was struggling with being understaffed, grappling with budget constraints. We all know that trying to rebuild research and extension programs and physically lacking leadership due to an open directorship position without hesitation. Margaret filled as many of those gaps as she could. Margaret could be seen pruning grapes or cleaning out labs to consolidate supply resources and prepare space for the new researchers.

00;59;46;00 - 01;00;13;12
She organized efforts to maintain the connections between the lab and local community by donating agricultural products for local food banks. She filled the leadership gap with frequent communication updates to growers, stakeholders and the Hudson Valley Board. On occasion, she also took on the role of problem solver by making tough decisions when there was no designated person to do so.

01;00;13;16 - 01;00;49;27
Using her business expertise, she advocated for the redistribution of financial resources to ensure the lab would have the right equipment and team expertise to continue farm operations. Margaret's Multiple nominations all conveyed the dedication, positive attitude and resourcefulness that Margaret brings to every day to work. Every day. Excuse me. The message of all her nominators was clear. Margaret is a valuable resource for her team, the lab and the greater agricultural community.

01;00;49;32 - 01;01;29;05
MARGARET Your efforts propel Cornell's reputation far beyond Hudson Valley, and we thank you for your excellence and dedication and congratulations. Our next recipient is well known Debbie Philip, senior director of Executive Human Resources.

01;01;29;10 - 01;02;02;38
Debbie has been a part of the Cornell community for Debbie. How many years? 35 years. And she spent the last 20 in human resources. Debbie has an enormous yet quiet impact in her role. She is a tireless advocate for her team, and she looks to find the best outcomes for everyone. She takes time to listen. Make space for everyone in the conversations before making a decision.

01;02;02;42 - 01;02;47;19
In addition, Debbie does not shy away from the tough challenges. Her clear insight, guided vision, skillful diplomacy have garnered her the respect of her staff, her clients and the community. One final quote from Debbie's nominator stated She is exceptional, well-rounded, combining subject matter expertise with soft skills. They're hard to teach, yet so needed in our field. She sees people first and work second, always graduation, study.

01;02;47;23 - 01;03;32;57
Our third recipient is also, I think, reasonably well known Corey Earl Corey's current title, the formal title, Principal Gift Associate Team Lead in Alumni Affairs and Development. A few key words that continue to show up in Corey's nomination were learning commitment and contributions. Corey is described as a strong advocate for learning. He consistently promotes the employee degree program, shares professional development opportunities with colleagues.

01;03;33;10 - 01;04;10;40
Peers shows his love for Cornell by showcasing the university's history and current contributions. Corey's nominator gives countless examples of his commitment, which include engaging alumni, community members, campus visitors, donors and anything big Red related. Creating a welcoming environment for new members to the division and building strong connections across the university. Lastly, Corey's nomination and demonstrates a multitude of contributions from big and small, including teaching courses, not just any courses.

01;04;10;45 - 01;04;42;41
How many students? 400. About 450 students a year. Participating in orientation programs for new staff, volunteering at Commencement Slope Day. Move in. I assume you have a red jacket. Above all, Corey's biggest contribution is his self-driven motivation to share the history of Cornell so that it lives on in our students, our alumni, our visitors, our faculty and staff.

01;04;42;46 - 01;05;07;21
If you ever have a question about the university's history, most people would probably say, I bet Corey would know the answer. Corey congratulations. And please keep history alive at Cornell University.

01;05;07;26 - 01;05;35;03
So with that, thank you very much. Employees of Cornell University.

01;05;35;07 - 01;06;14;29
So before we conclude this final part, I'll just mention that there is an honorable mention for this category. The cross-functional team that was involved in bringing dead and company to Cornell last semester saw the event, raised over $1,000,000 towards Cornell's 2030 project pertaining to climate change, and MusiCares, a nonprofit that supports the health and welfare of music industry professionals.

01;06;14;34 - 01;06;36;02
This event was a huge undertaking and brought joy, celebration and a great cause to our campus. So thank you to those who were involved in this production that are joining us online or were unable to join us today. To those of you that are here and in person involved in this event, would you please stand or wave in recognition?

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Let's give them a round of applause.

01;06;50;07 - 01;07;24;09
Thank you, Ezra. And thank you to all of our speakers Certificate holders, presenters and nominators who participated in this year's program. It gives me great pride to know that Cornell University ensures that so many employees are recognized for their demonstrated commitment to the university and its programs. My congratulations to all of the nominees. I'm so pleased to learn about all of your amazing accomplishments because I too did read through all of those nominations as well.

01;07;24;14 - 01;08;01;08
Your commitment and care have not gone unnoticed. And please allow me to recognize the amazing team in my division that not only planned and executed today's wonderful program, but continues to encourage employee recognition all year long. Today, in particular, I'd like to thank Ashley, our program event coordinator. She's usually directing from the back, but we're going to ask you, Ashley, to please come forward for just a moment.

01;08;01;13 - 01;08;30;34
Ashley has been running the Excellence Award program for the last five years, coordinating the nomination and selection process and managing the event. She calls it her baby and it happens to be her final event as a member of our team. We are very sad about this, but Ashley has been managing these awards with great excellence herself. Thank you so much, Ashley, for being a game changer.

01;08;30;34 - 01;08;59;18
If you weren't organizing this program, you would be getting a game Changer award for sure. She's also brought new energy to long standing programs like service awards and built new recognition programs like Cornell Heroes. As they will be leaving this role at the end of the year for new adventures in Florida. And so we wanted to give a special thanks to her today.

01;08;59;31 - 01;09;32;01
And please join me in giving another round of applause. Now back on to the script that that actually knows about. Thank you. The Excellence Award Committee for stewarding these awards. It's no small feat to create a meaningful program that can capture the breadth of our employees experience and impact. Nor is it easy to choose awards from so many stories of truly exemplary individuals.

01;09;32;06 - 01;09;55;39
Thank you to Brian Keeney Sound Inc and Cornell City for your production and virtual services today. Thank you to Cornell. Catering for providing delicious food. And finally, thank you to Ezra and our Board of Trustees for continuing to partner with us. A few announcements as we bring this ceremony to a close. Let me check my watch and see if I was right about the time.

01;09;56;51 - 01;10;23;16
sorry. Just a little over. Nominees and awardees. There are pins on your nametags. Please make sure you take those pins with you. They are yours to keep. For nominees or awardees joining us online, please contact recognition at Cornell dot edu to receive your pin. Please leave your lanyards on your chairs or on the table so they can be reused at future events.

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But please take the nametag piece with you. Nominees Joining us in-person today. You each have a certificate. You can pick that up before you leave at the same table where you picked up your nametag and nominees and awardees joining us virtually. Please reach out again to that email recognition at Cornell dot edu so we can coordinate getting your certificate.

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So a recording of today's event will be posted on the Excellence Awards web page in the next couple of days. So for those in person, make sure to capture a memory of today's celebration at your photo at the photo booth in the back before you go. And please help yourself to some refreshments. We don't want to see any of that food go to waste.

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We hope that you all enjoy being a part of this celebration today, whether in person or virtually. I certainly enjoyed being here with you. So. See you next year.


flyer announcing the launch of the nomination cycle

President's Awards for Employee Excellence. Nominate an outstanding Cornell employee! Do you know a colleague or team that goes above and beyond? Make sure they're recognized - nominate them today! Nominations open May - August, 2022. Categories: game-changer, one cornell, mission possible, culture of belonging, culture of sustainability, thoughtful leader. Nomination form & details:

The Employee Excellence Awards were established in 2011 to recognize the achievements of staff and faculty who excel in their roles, both in skills and performance. The program was renamed the President's Awards for Employee Excellence in 2018, and updated with redefined categories and criteria to expand the program's scope to all staff and faculty in all roles, while highlighting the cultural elements that make working at Cornell so special.

The Trustee Award is presented to outstanding nominees from across the categories. Awardees are chosen by the Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer and Trustee Board member.

Awardees will receive recognition points through Cornell's Employee Recognition portal, and all nominees are invited to a ceremony with President Pollack, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Christine Lovely, and senior leaders from across campuses. 

The Game-Changer Award

In a Nutshell: Recognizes an employee who developed, implemented, or tried a new approach, system, or idea.

Keywords: Innovation, Creativity, Fresh

Game-Changer Overview and Criteria

Innovation and a bold, creative approach are vital to higher education – so it is imperative to recognize and reward innovation throughout the organization. This award has been created to recognize employees – whether they have been at Cornell for a few weeks or many years – who bring fresh ideas to their work, inspire a spirit of innovation, and take a bold approach to accomplishing their work.  Nominees can work in any area on campus. They can be a colleague, a manager, an employee, someone you have worked with on a project or team – or even yourself. We want to show that innovation flourishes at Cornell!

Your Game Changer nominee should possess these essential Skills for Success:

  • COMMUNICATION: Shares knowledge and information.
  • JUDGMENT: Demonstrates innovation, creativity, and informed risk-taking.
  • GROWTH: Creates environments in which employees have the freedom, tools, or resources to challenge the status quo, push boundaries and achieve growth; uses mistakes as opportunities for learning.
  • INITIATIVE: Seeks advancements in products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas.
  • VISION: Finds innovative solutions; sees new possibilities; takes new ideas from concept to reality.

We also encourage you to explore and incorporate one or more of Cornell’s Core Values into your nomination:


  • What we’re looking for: Here is your chance to tell us about an employee that has demonstrated, implemented, or tried a new approach, system, or idea in the last year.  Consider the criteria above and use the Skills for Success to inform your response. We would also suggest including one or more Core Values to improve your submission. 
    • Examples:
      • Perhaps the nominee works in IT support and inspired a bold approach to overhaul a work process in order to adapt to remote or hybrid working conditions, while accomplishing the necessary results.
      • Or perhaps they provide front-line customer service in dining and had to respond efficiently and effectively to implement a significant change in working conditions.
      • Maybe your nominee works in facilities, at the vet hospital, or in-patient care and demonstrated resiliency by continuing to respond with innovative solutions amidst a continuously changing environment.
  • Group Nomination: If you know others who would like to nominate this individual, you may do so as a group by adding the additional nominators’ names and net IDs to the online nomination form. Additional information may be requested of these individuals as part of the review process.
  • Self-Nomination: If you would like to nominate yourself for this award category, please provide the names and Net IDs of 2-3 individuals who can support your application.

Trouble getting started? Utilize the nomination worksheet to help organize your thoughts and brainstorm ideas: Game Changer Nomination Worksheet

The Mission-Possible Award

In a Nutshell: Recognizes an employee whose work demonstrates excellence in supporting the university’s core mission of learning, discovery, engagement. This staff member will exemplify going above and beyond to complete a mission and embracing challenges as opportunities.

Keywords: Impactful, Excellence, Learning-Discovery-Engagement

Mission-Possible Overview and Criteria

The Mission-Possible award is presented to Cornell employees who have exhibited a positive and influential impact on their work environment, overcome an obstacle, or fostered cooperation and collaboration in their workgroup, while carrying out their responsibilities.

Your Mission-Possible nominee should possess these essential Skills for Success:

  • INTEGRITY: shows a strong work ethic and stays focused on what is important; takes on the tough challenges.
  • GROWTH: produces results under challenging circumstances and changing environments; sets and achieves stretch goals for themselves.
  • INITIATIVE: looks for opportunities to take initiative and/or exceed expectations; strives to do work more efficiently and effectively; volunteers and enthusiastically takes part in university events and programs.
  • VISION: looks for opportunities to grow their skills and knowledge for the betterment of their team and the University; a positive team player in the department or work group.
  • JUDGMENT: invested in the university’s success; an ambassador for the university as an employer.

We also encourage you to explore and incorporate one or more of Cornell’s Core Values into your nomination:


  1. What we’re looking for:  Please tell us about a staff member whose work demonstrates excellence in supporting the university’s core mission areas of learning, discovery, and engagement.  Consider the criteria above and use the Skills for Success to inform your response. We would also suggest including one or more Core Values to improve your submission.
    • Examples:
      • Perhaps your nominee is a front-line worker and provided a consistent level of high performance, despite transitioning to new operation requirements or parameters.
      • Maybe the nominee had to entirely reassess or re-implement a long-standing project in order to adapt to new or changing circumstances.
      • Perhaps another nominee is a project manager that had to quickly assess emerging needs and completely redesigned and implemented a mission-critical program.
  2. Group Nomination: If you know others who would like to nominate this individual, you may do so as a group by adding additional nominators’ names and net IDs to the online nomination form. Additional information may be requested of these individuals as part of the review process.
  3. Self-Nomination: If you would like to nominate yourself for this award category, please provide the names and Net IDs of 2-3 individuals who can support your application.

Trouble getting started? Utilize the nomination worksheet to help organize your thoughts and brainstorm ideas: Mission Possible Nomination Worksheet

The One Cornell Award

In a Nutshell: Awarded to a team, department/section or group of employees that implements a project and/or solves a problem that positively impacts Cornell and the greater community.

Keywords: Teamwork, Collaboration

One Cornell Overview and Criteria

"We need to become One Cornell," – Hunter R. Rawlings III, Cornell President Emeritus

Cornell’s mission to discover, preserve and disseminate knowledge depends on collaborative efforts.  The Cornell community is constantly growing and challenging us to continue to improve means to effectively work across technologies, cultures, and boundaries. The collaboration can be within or across teams, departments, units, divisions, or campuses.

Your ONE Cornell nominee should possess these essential Skills for Success:

  • INTEGRITY: A positive, honest, and diplomatic approach when working across teams, departments, and cultures.
  • INCLUSIVE: Creating a sense of belonging can be especially challenging in a truly diverse work group, and requires showing respect, openness, compassion, and empathy for others even in difficult situations. In addition, serving as an ally when others are being excluded.
  • VISION: “One Cornell” means to effectively integrate the work of our campuses and programs in NYS, the US, and globally.  Sharing this means embracing change, having long-term vision, and supporting bold ideas.
  • COMMUNICATION: Nominees must have exceptional listening skills, the ability to clearly share their knowledge—both written and verbal, in a manner that is inclusive for all participants.

We also encourage you to explore and incorporate one or more of Cornell’s Core Values into your nomination:


  1.  What we’re looking for: please tell us about a team, department or group of employees that have implemented a project or solved a problem that positively impacts Cornell and the greater community.  Consider the criteria above and use the Skills for Success to inform your response. We would also suggest including one or more Core Values to improve your submission.. 
    • Examples:
      • Perhaps they responded to an urgent need on campus and quickly formed an ad-hoc team to deliver needed results such as facilities teams that helped with campus reopening efforts, welcoming students back, or coordinating campus wide efforts to keep the community safe.
      • Or maybe they were members of a large project committee that rolled out a University-wide solution via a platform or system.
      • Maybe this work team, such as a building care, dining hall or laboratory testing group, delivered a particularly public or heroic effort this past year.
  2. Group Nomination: If you know others who would like to nominate this group, you may do so as a group by adding the additional nominators’ names and net IDs to the online nomination form. Additional information may be requested of these individuals as part of the review process.
  3. Self-Nomination: If you would like to nominate yourself for the ONE Cornell category, please provide the names and Net IDs of 2-3 individuals
  4. There is no size limit for group nominations. Please be aware that due to time considerations we may not be able to name each individual in the group at the awards ceremony.

Trouble getting started? Utilize the nomination worksheet to help organize your thoughts and brainstorm ideas: ONE Cornell Nomination Worksheet

The Culture of Belonging Award

In a Nutshell: Recognizes an employee who goes beyond expectations to create and support an open, inclusive, welcoming, and equitable workplace environment for all members of the Cornell community. This person speaks up as an ally when they see unfair treatment and puts diversity and inclusion principles into practice in their everyday work—regardless of the work they do.

Keywords: Inclusion, Diversity, Integrity, Welcoming

Culture of Belonging Overview and Criteria

Cornell is committed to increasing the diversity of our workforce and creating an inclusive workplace founded on a culture of respect. Nominees support colleagues in feeling welcome as their authentic selves and empower all members of the community to contribute and participate fully. Nominees who are supervisors go the extra mile to create a culture of belonging in their teams and the larger organization.  

Your Culture of Belonging nominee should possess these essential Skills for Success:

  • INITIATIVE: Employee who takes the lead, regardless of their job title or level, to help others feel that they belong at Cornell.
  • INCLUSION: Exceptional efforts to promote a workplace environment free from bias and discrimination, where all individuals are valued.
  • JUDGMENT: Addresses areas of need and commits to progress and achievement—not because their job requires it but because it is the right thing to do.
  • INTEGRITY: Aims to involve and incorporate others; establishes high standards for personal conduct.
  • VISION: Receptive to new ideas, information, backgrounds, and experiences.

We also encourage you to explore and incorporate one or more of Cornell’s Core Values into your nomination:


  1. What we’re looking for: Here is your chance to tell us about an individual who goes beyond expectations to create and support an open, inclusive, welcoming, and equitable workplace environment for all members of the Cornell community. Consider the criteria above and use the Skills for Success to inform your response. We would also suggest including one or more Core Values to improve your submission.
    • Examples:
      • Perhaps this nominee supported colleagues or team members in digesting and better understanding current events to create a safe space for dialogue. To enable their colleagues to bring their authentic selves to work.
      • Or, maybe the nominee incorporated lessons learned from diversity and inclusion trainings into their local unit, fostering a more welcoming and inclusive environment.
      • Maybe the nominee developed and/or delivered targeted programming that helped enhance DEI initiatives across campus or for a localized unit or department.
  2. Group Nomination: If you know others who would like to nominate this individual, you may do so as a group by adding the additional nominators’ names and net IDs to the online nomination form. Additional information may be requested of these individuals as part of the review process.
  3. Self-Nomination: If you would like to nominate yourself for this award category, please provide the names and Net IDs of 2-3 individuals who can support your application.

Trouble getting started? Utilize the nomination worksheet to help organize your thoughts and brainstorm ideas: Culture of Belonging Nomination Worksheet

The Culture of Sustainability Award

In a Nutshell: Recognizes an employee who has exemplified the sustainability values of Cornell, made notable contributions to the sustainable development and social equity of the Cornell campus, or displayed outstanding partnership for advancing sustainability among the Cornell community.

Keywords: Environment, Climate, Green, Balance

Culture of Sustainability Overview and Criteria

As a global leader in sustainability innovation and learning, Cornell embraces a sustainability framework built around four key areas: Purpose, Prosperity, Planet, and People. This framework acknowledges that sustainability isn’t just about the environment – sustainability integrates how our actions and culture help create a healthy planet, ensure the wellbeing and equity of people, support a thriving economy, and contribute to our purpose as an educational institution (learn more about Cornell’s sustainability framework). Nominations may focus on a specific project or action, or the scope of work undertaken by an individual (group projects should consider the ONE Cornell award).

Your Culture of Sustainability nominee should possess these essential Skills for Success:

  • VISION: works to advance Cornell’s climate and sustainability goals as part of a larger effort that benefits our community and region.
  • COMMUNICATION: shares sustainability knowledge and solutions, and contributes to or creates collaborations that strengthen trust and community building towards climate and sustainability goals of the university
  • JUDGMENT: makes informed decisions that advance Cornell as a model of sustainable operations and experience.
  • INITIATIVE: displays passion and innovation in sustainability thinking and practice, prioritizes sustainability, and empowers others to do the same.

We also encourage you to explore and incorporate one or more of Cornell’s Core Values into your nomination:


  1. What we’re looking for: Here is your chance to tell us about an individual who goes beyond expectations to make progress toward Cornell’s sustainability goals. Consider the criteria above and use the Skills for Success to inform your response. We would also suggest including one or more Core Values to improve your submission.
    • Examples:
      • Nominee may have successfully reached, or helped a unit to reach, a climate action plan goal, reduced campus emissions, or improved sustainable performance in a specific area.
      • Perhaps the nominee contributed to academic or educational programs addressing sustainability topics, or otherwise helped prepare students, staff, or community members to make informed sustainable decisions at work and home.
      • Research projects or projects which attempted progress yet failed will be considered, as they teach how to improve for future efforts.
  2. Group Nomination: If you know others who would like to nominate this individual, you may do so as a group by adding the additional nominators’ names and net IDs to the online nomination form. Additional information may be requested of these individuals as part of the review process.
  3. Self-Nomination: If you would like to nominate yourself for this award category, please provide the names and Net IDs of 2-3 individuals who can support your application.

Trouble getting started? Utilize the nomination worksheet to help organize your thoughts and brainstorm ideas: Culture of Sustainability Nomination Worksheet

The Thoughtful Leader Award

In a Nutshell: Recognizes an employee who brings out the best in others. They mentor and/or coach colleagues with exceptional skill.

Keywords: Supervisor, Manager, Mentor, Leader

Thoughtful Leader Overview and Criteria

The Thoughtful Leader Award is presented to Cornell employees who consistently demonstrate a high level of commitment and dedication to their employees and the Cornell workplace. Strong nominees create an environment that develops, empowers, engages, challenges, and motivates their staff and colleagues with a result of greater productivity, effectiveness, and a sense of belonging. They are approachable, problem-solvers and act with foresight and professionalism. These individuals also “live” the values of Learning, Discovery, and Engagement at Cornell.  

Your Thoughtful Leader nominee should possess these Leadership Skills for Success:

  • INITIATIVE: shows a strong work ethic and helps employees to strategize and determine priorities; looks for opportunities to take initiative and/or exceed expectations.
  • GROWTH: takes on the tough challenges; produces results under challenging circumstances and changing environments; prioritizes professional development for self and staff; looks for opportunities to grow employees’ skills and knowledge.
  • VISION: inspires staff to work more efficiently and effectively; appreciates the value of feedback; an ambassador for the university as a great workplace where everyone can be their authentic self.
  • INCLUSION: promotes an inclusive work culture; supportive of work/life integration for all employees; supports participation in university events and programs.

We also encourage you to explore and incorporate one or more of Cornell’s Core Values into your nomination:


  1. What we’re looking for: Here is your chance to tell us about a special employee that brings out the best in others. They mentor or coach colleagues with exceptional skill, not because they have to but because this is important to them—investing in individuals and thereby investing in Cornell. Consider the criteria above and use the Skills for Success to inform your response. We would also suggest including one or more Core Values to improve your submission.
    • Examples:
      • Maybe the nominee showed initiative and flexibility by taking on new job roles as positions became vacant and team responsibilities grew.
      • Perhaps the nominee is an administrator and took the lead in bringing together their local team, unit, or division with virtual gatherings or activities to keep individuals connected and feeling a sense of belonging at the particularly difficult time.
      • Maybe the nominee volunteered to train and lead a team or colleagues through remote transitions including learning a new tool such as zoom, slack, or Microsoft teams.
  2. Group Nomination: If you know others who would like to nominate this individual, you may do so as a group by adding additional nominators’ names and net IDs to the online nomination form. Additional information may be requested of these individuals as part of the review process.
  3. Self Nomination: If you would like to nominate yourself for this award category, please provide the names and Net IDs of 2-3 individuals who can support your application.

Trouble getting started? Utilize the nomination worksheet to help organize your thoughts and brainstorm ideas: Thoughtful Leader Nomination Worksheet

The Trustee Award

In a Nutshell: Established in 2019, the Trustee Award is a joint effort between the Board of Trustees and Human Resources to recognize three additional nominees who demonstrate overall excellence.

Trustee Award Overview and Criteria

The Trustee Award honorees are selected by the Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer and the Board of Trustees from among the remaining pool of nominees across all award categories.

Awardees chosen by the program committee, according to the rubric and scoring process, are set aside so the Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer and a representative from the Board of Trustees can review all of the remaining nominees.

They look for overall employee excellence: strong evidence of outstanding character, energy, passion, and a positive impact on the university's business and the people they work with; individuals whose efforts are particularly interesting and inspiring, and who are especially purposeful and skillful in their actions.

Nominations cannot be submitted for a Trustee Award; rather, the honorees are chosen from the overall pool of nominees (excluding awardees chosen in named categories). While most awardees are notified prior to the event, the announcement of the Trustee Award winners is announced live at the awards event.

How nominees are evaluated: view a draft of the rubric here.  

Questions? Please contact

Video Transcript

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Whoo! Yay Mel! Congratulations Mel!

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- Did you know you were nominated for a President's Award?
- Yes.
- You were actually selected.

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- There is nobody more deserving, we could not do it without you.
- Oh my gosh, thank you so much.

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You're going to be one of the recipients of Cornell's  

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President's Awards for Employee Excellence. [Applause]

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...through constant changes and unknowns Kristin remained 
steadfast and confident continuing to provide  

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our campus with up-to-date procedures.
Thank you Kristin. [Applause]