Stetson Presents Awards at Employee Recognition Celebration

A 55-year veteran of Stetson University’s grounds department has received the Spirit of Stetson award for embodying the core values of the university, including dedication, positive attitude and a willingness to help others.

Jimmy Franklin started on the grounds crew in July 1961 and has cut the grass and helped with landscaping on the DeLand campus ever since. He received a standing ovation from Stetson faculty, administrators and other staff at a Stetson Employee Recognition Celebration on Monday, April 17, in the Hollis Center.

Stetson employee winners
Stetson University’s award-winning employees pose with university President Wendy B. Libby, far right. The winners are, from left to right, front row: April Atkinson, Kendrial Wilson and Jeanne Peterson, and back row, Treasa McDonald, Travis Potter, Cecil Chik, Caroline Skinner, Jimmy Franklin and Rick Tysor.

Franklin, who was busy cutting grass Tuesday morning, said he was surprised to win the award and has no plans to retire.

Congratulations to the Stetson award winners. They are:

  •  Adapter of the Year, Caroline Skinner, administrative support, School of Business Administration –  A flexible individual who adjusts quickly and readily to changes within the department due to evolving technology, new schedules, or other job responsibilities.
  • Communicator of the Year, Cecil Chik, director of Diversity & Inclusion – An individual who is able to convey information in such a clear manner that it is satisfactorily received by all segments of the Stetson Community.
  • Extra Mile Award, April Atkinson, assistant director of University Events – An individual who goes beyond their job description to help others when needed without complaint or expectation.
  • Mentor of the Year, Travis Potter, assistant director of Wellness and Recreation Sport Programs – An admired individual who has supported, guided and encouraged others with their careers at Stetson.
  • Morale Builder of the Year, Kendrial Wilson, Facilities Management – A positive individual who consistently boosts the spirits of others with friendliness, enthusiasm and encouragement.
  • P.A.R. Award, Treasa McDonald, Administrative Support, Department of Natural Sciences – An individual who embodies the three characteristics of this award – Professionalism, Attitude and Reliability.
  • Problem Solver of the Year, (two winners) Rick Tysor, executive director of Academic Administration – Academic Affairs, and Dawn Bass, Budget supervisor – A solution finder; the coworker that people call when something goes wrong, or when they have a question or situation for which they don’t have an answer.
  • Volunteer of The Year, Jeanne Peterson, administrative assistant to the Dean in the School of Music – An individual whose passion and actions both on and off campus exemplify their commitment to Stetson’s core values.
  • Jimmy Franklin on mower
    Spirit of Stetson winner Jimmy Franklin has mowed the grass on campus for 55 years.

    Spirit of Stetson, Jimmy Franklin, grounds worker – The person who embodies the true spirit of Stetson University every day and who has traits of several of the award categories. This person is a representation of Stetson University’s core values. The winner is selected by the Council from the entire list of nominees.