Provost Lauren Robel presented six IU staff members with the 2019 Staff Merit Award on Wednesday in Presidents Hall in Franklin Hall.
The Staff Merit Awards are given out annually. Students and staff can write letters nominating staff members they feel deserve this award. More than100 staff members were nominated for the awards this year, Robel said.
Professional staff received their awards first. The first recipient was Ted Hardy, the facilities project manager of Residential Programs and Services. Hardy has worked in the position for nine years and has been with IU for more than 30 years, Robel said.
Several of Hardy’s co-workers nominated him for the award. Some quotes from their letters were included in the event’s program. They said Hardy is willing to take on increasing responsibilities in order to meet increased expectations.
“Ted has brought a wealth of knowledge, along with his tireless work ethic, to a variety of unites within RPS and IU,” said Larry Isom, Hardy’s supervisor, in his letter.
The second professional staff award was presented to Melissa Ritter. Ritter has been with IU for 33 years and has worked in the Division of Student Affairs and is now the director of budget and finance in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Robel said.
Ritter manages more than $22 million of research funds annually, operational costs, purchasing and salaries, department chair William Hetrick said.
“Melissa is highly competent, hardworking, reliable, compassionate and committed to the development and well being of the staff she supervises,” Hetrick said in his letter.
Two awards were also presented to members of the service staff. The first recipient was Sharon Blackfish. Blackfish is a custodian with building services who works in the Chemistry Building. In her 20 years with IU, Blackfish has had an almost perfect attendance record, according to the event’s program.
“Sharon has demonstrated that she knows all aspects of her job, and everyone who has had the privilege of working with her looks up to her as a mentor and has much respect for her,” said Jessica Hoene, Blackfish’s supervisor, in her letter.
The second service staff member was Charlie Shepherd. Shepherd is a senior pool operator in facilities operations. He has been with IU for five years, Robel said. Shepherd is responsible for the condition of swimming pools and other aquatic features on campus.
Jennifer Wilkinson, an associate athletic trainer, said in her letter Shepherd also serves as a liaison and advocacy for the needs of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Shepherd’s supervisor Aaron Bechtel said in his letter Shepherd will fill in for coworkers whenever he can.
“He never fails to make himself available,” Bechtel said in his letter. “Whether it be an accident in a pool or a vandalized fish from Showalter Fountain, he is quick to respond.”
The final awards were given to members of IU’s support staff. The first recipient was Jacqueline Sue Harding, the program coordinator and uniform property custodian for IU’s Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. Harding has been honored several times in her field, being named the Northeast Region Civilian of the Year in 2018 and the Air Force ROTC Headquarters University Employee of the Quarter, according to the event's program.
“Ms. Jackie is constantly going out of her way to ensure every cadet has what they need to be successful in the program,” said Brice Weathers, an IU alumnus and Air Force Reserves employee.
The final award was given to Sheryl Mobley. Mobley is the senior office service assistant in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. In her 34 years, Mobley has seen typewriters, the first versions of Word and Excel come and go, according to the event's program.
One of Mobley’s major roles in her department is working with grant proposals. In order to make sure every application is processed, Mobley ensures she is up to date with any technology and regulations she is involved with, said James Craig, a distinguished professor emeritus in the department, in his letter.
“I can say with certainty that I would not have had as successful a career as I did without Sheryl’s help and support, the same is true for many others,” said Steven Sherman, chancellor’s professor emeritus in the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department.