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Stetson Presents Awards at Employee Recognition Celebration

Large group photo with all of the winners holding their plaques.

Stetson University’s award-winning employees for 2018 include, left to right, Kara Cummings, Mary Bernard, Joan Beasley, Larry Correll Hughes, Jamie Vanderlip, Nicole Currie, Kevin Winchell, Sara Hacker-Machacek and Steve Trimper. Not shown are Colleen Vanderlip and Wendy Lowe.


Long-time employee Joan Beasley received the new Stetson University Staff Employee of the Year award Monday at the annual Employee Recognition Celebration for assisting two university presidents and embodying “excellence in service” as a staff member and leader.

Beasley, Executive Assistant in the Office of the President, received a standing ovation from faculty and staff who gathered Monday morning for the celebration and breakfast in the Hollis Field House.

Beasley “has an overwhelming willingness to go above and beyond for the good of the University or in support of those around her,” said Nora Huth, with Stetson’s Quality of Service Council, which presents the awards each year. “She is the kind voice on the other end of the phone who picks you up and encourages you to continue onward. She is a respected co-worker, friend, role model and mentor … an amazing person inside and out.”

Other winners included:

  • The Spirit of Stetson of the Year award went to Jamie Vanderlip, Senior Associate Director of Admissions, who “demonstrates an unparalleled commitment to Stetson,” serving as an advisor for Alpha Xi Delta and YoungLife, volunteering to certify university lifeguards and for American RedCross Life in Service Training for all Stetson students, and attending numerous campus events.
  • The Volunteer of the Year award was given to Kevin Winchell, Associate Director of Community Engagement, for empowering people “to turn their passions into public policy through civic learning and democratic engagement,” including directing all student political engagement efforts, such as voter registration and turnout through the non-partisan Stetson Votes.
  • The Problem Solver of the Year award went to Mary Bernard, administrative specialist in the Department of History, who helped support the faculty to get the Asian Studies program started, produced advertising materials for the American Studies program, and provided administrative support for Showcase, as well as ramping up the American Studies Program and the full department’s social media presence.
  • The winner of the P.A.R. Award (Professionalism, Attitude and Reliability) was Wendy Lowe, Director of Executive MBA Admissions at the Center at Celebration. Lowe has been “the heart and soul of Stetson’s Executive MBA program based in Celebration. … She demonstrates professionalism, attitude, and reliability 24/7 for Stetson’s EMBA program,” Huth said.
  • The Morale Builder of the Year Award went to new head baseball coach Steve Trimper. He has “surpassed expectations” in his first year, getting to know people connected with the university and having multiple one on one conversations with every baseball season ticket holder, every baseball alum and every baseball program donor – while coaching a nationally ranked baseball team.
  • The Money Saver of the Year Award was given to Larry Correll Hughes, Assistant Vice President for Campus Life & Student Success, and Executive Director of Residential Living and Learning. Correll Hughes “continuously looks at lower cost options that still provide high quality experiences for our students. He is thoughtful about when and how money is spent and maximizes each and every dollar spent by the department.”
  • The Mentor of the Year went to Colleen Vanderlip, Director of Wellness and Recreation, for helping to develop the CLaSS mentor program, and mentoring her professional and student staff in Health and Wellness. “There are countless stories of her amazing support of staff, GA’s and students that she has mentored over the many years since beginning at Stetson,” Huth said.
  • The Extra Mile Award went to Sara Hacker-Machacek, a custodial staff member in the duPont-Ball Library. “She treats the building as if it was her home and she treats all of the people who work in the building like family,” Huth said.
  • The Communicator of the Year was given to Kara Cummings, who manages marketing for the School of Business Administration. “She has been involved with the promotion of the Summer Innsbruck Program as well as the China, Scotland and Cuba study abroad trips, and can be credited with increasing student participation in each program” while also doing a great job managing the annual School of Business Honors Banquet, Huth said.
  • The Adapter of the Year award was given to Nicole Currie, an Administrative Specialist in Student Counseling Services, who placed “special emphasis on maintaining a welcoming environment for students” while the office relocated to Griffith Hall, Huth said. Currie also keeps the Hatter Pantry stocked for students in need.