Many of you will recall the “Circle of Engagement” for University of St. Thomas employees, which includes the Staff Recognition Awards Program. The university honors staff members annually with two awards for extraordinary leadership, service and achievement in education or community building: the Lifelong Learner Award and the Distinguished Citizen Award. Staff and faculty will also be recognized for their length of service to the university and the special occasion of those who have decided to retire.    

We invite you to nominate St. Thomas staff members for the Lifelong Learner Award and the Distinguished Citizen Award.  Details about the event will follow. The deadline for staff awards nominations is Monday, Jan. 18, 2010.  Nomination Forms are available online and in the Human Resources Department, Room 217, Aquinas Hall.

Awards for faculty and staff will be presented at the Faculty and Staff Recognition Celebration from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Friday, March 19, 2010, in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium. A reception will follow in the third-floor lounge of Murray-Herrick Campus Center.

The Lifelong Learner Award recognizes a staff member who has demonstrated a commitment to continuous learning, self-renewal and professional development. The focus of learning should transcend the specific requirements of the individual’s current job responsibilities. Though the award is given annually, activities documented on the nomination form likely will address learning over a longer period. Award winners will receive a $2,500 St. Thomas budget, which they may use to fund their own professional development or donate part of or the entire award in their own name to a St. Thomas scholarship fund.

The Distinguished Citizen Award honors a staff member whose contributions reflect the qualities of good citizenship, such as providing service to others and advancing the common good for the campus and broader communities by enhancing the quality of life for others. Award winners will receive a 40-hour, paid recognition leave to engage in community activities with a nonprofit organization of his or her choosing. This paid leave may be used at one time or incrementally during the calendar year in which the award is granted.

See additional details about these awards here.

Eligibility: All current full- and part-time staff who have completed at least one year of service at St. Thomas may be nominated for these awards by faculty or staff members. Ineligible for participation in the program are employees in the following categories: senior-level staff such as members of the President’s Staff and the Academic and Administrative Leadership Group; faculty; employees with a temporary, term or casual appointment; or student employees.

Award recipients must be on the university payroll at the time of the award ceremony in order to receive the award.

Selection process: A selection committee will review nominations and select award winners. Committee members include: Vince Thomas ( School of Law), Linda Halverson (Administration), Dan Vevang ( School of Education), Karen Lange (Student Affairs), and me.

These awards were developed by the Human Resources department in consultation with members of our staff and are among the best ways we can recognize committed and deserving staff employees.  We encourage you to consider your colleagues and nominate them for the valuable role they play in helping St. Thomas carry out its mission.

If you have any questions about the nomination process, please call me at (651) 962-6511.