Staff Awarded for Excellence and Leadership

The College of Arts & Letters held its annual staff retreat and appreciation luncheon on June 7 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center to recognize the dedication, outstanding service, and exceptional work of its staff members throughout this past year.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of the group and individual awards, including the Jo-Ann Vanden Bergh Award, Outstanding Leadership Award, Exceptional Service Award, Rising Star Award, and the Golden Staff Award.

Three staff members also were recognized for their years of service, including:

  • Debby Mansel, Human Resources and Facilities Director, 35 years of service
  • Joy Franks, Administrative Assistant in the Department of Philosophy, 20 years of service
  • Michael McCune, Art Shop Coordinator in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, 20 years of service

Jo-Ann Vanden Bergh Award

Ryan Kilcoyne, Director of Marketing, is the recipient of this year’s Jo-Ann Vanden Bergh Award, which is the gold standard of staff awards within the College.

photo of two men, one of which is holding a plaque, standing next to a woman in front of a window
Ryan Kilcoyne (left) accepting the Jo-Ann Vanden Bergh award from Jo-Ann Vanden Bergh (center) and
Dean Christopher P. Long (right).


“One can simply ask anyone in the University who has worked with Ryan to understand how he treats others with dignity, respect, and integrity,” Pete Johnston, Videographer and Video Production Manager, who nominated Kilcoyne for the award. “Ryan is immediately willing to collaborate and work across campus on new initiatives and regularly offers to mentor and guide new communication staff at the University. He is committed to telling diverse stories, shining a light on both established and up and coming faculty. Within our office, Ryan has created an inviting work environment where everyone is free to share expertise and leverage each other's strengths, which has resulted some of the best and most impactful marketing products we have ever produced. He has built a destination where people want to work at."

Established in 2011, the Jo-Ann Vanden Bergh Award recognizes a creative staff leader who is dedicated to problem solving, fostering high-quality work, and promoting teamwork that enhances effectiveness and efficiency in the workplace with impeccable evidence of superior work performance and who treats others with dignity, respect, and integrity. The award is named in honor of Jo-Ann Vanden Bergh, who served the College of Arts & Letters for more than 25 years in various staff positions and who was the first recipient of this honor.

As the recipient of this year’s award, Kilcoyne received a plaque and $1,000.

Outstanding Leadership Award

Joshua Morey, Senior Graphic Designer, received the 2019 Outstanding Leadership Award, which recognizes a member of the support staff who embodies exceptional leadership by building community, nurturing a culture of care and support, exhibiting strong stewardship of institutional resources, and developing a shared vision of institutional excellence. 

two men, one of which has a beard and is holding a black plaque, who are standing in front of a window and smiling at the camera
Joshua Morey (left) accepting the Outstanding Leadership Award from Dean Christopher P. Long (right).

 

“Joshua is an incredible collaborator and most importantly and even better listener,” said Ryan Kilcoyne, Director of Marketing, who nominated Morey for the award. “Joshua has transformed our college marketing material look and feel from poor to one of institutional leadership. He asks questions and gets to the heart of what is needed from a department, unit, advisor, or student and dedicates his efforts to the development of epic creative experiences that engage our audiences. Joshua has truly positioned us as a leader in higher ed marketing and his energy, work ethic, and caring for others is contagious.” 

As the recipient of this award, Morey received a plaque and $750.

Exceptional Service Award

Burinda Clark, Development Assistant for the College of Arts and Letters Advancement office, received the Exceptional Service Award, which honors support staff members who have consistently demonstrated outstanding performance and a commitment to delivering exceptional service.

woman and woman standing next to one another who are holding a black plaque in between them
Burinda Clark (left) accepting the Exception Service Award from Dean Christopher P. Long (right).

“During a time when we were without a Senior Director of Development for more than a year, Burinda worked incredibly hard during a time of significant transition,” said Christine Radtke, Senior Director of Development, who nominated Clark for the award. “Burinda maintained office structure and fiscal accounts, provided logistics and other support as it related to planning and execution of events, as well as identifying effective and efficient systems to allow the Advancement office to grow throughout her tenure. In addition, she has brought new insight and opportunities to each committee she serves on, ensuring that CAL continues to live out its mission and values.” 

Recipients of the Exceptional Service Award anticipate the needs of the College and are proactive and forward thinking in addressing those needs. They also promote productive relationships across the College and University while demonstrating diplomacy and responsiveness.  

As the recipient of this award, Clark received a plaque and $750.

Rising Star Award

Sarah Jackson, Administrative Assistant in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, is this year’s Rising Star Award recipient.

“Sarah truly provides the Spartan Experience to everyone she interacts with. She has been an exemplary employee and a positive face in the main office,” said Suzanne Manuel Reed, Budget, Facilities, and Personnel Administrator, who nominated Jackson for the award. “In stressful situations, she remains calm and mediates the issue. This positivity makes her the ultimate team player.” 

woman and a man standing next to one another and holding a black plaque in between them
Sarah Jackson (left) accepting the Rising Star Award from Dean Christopher P. Long (right).


Established in 2016, the Rising Star Award recognizes support staff members who have shown promise early in their CAL career with a potential for growth and advancement. It honors those staff members who have exhibited exemplary dedication to the mission of the College and Michigan State University while consistently demonstrating outstanding performance in fulfillment of their job responsibilities.  

As the recipient of this award, Jackson received a plaque and $500.

Golden Staff Award

Established in 2015, the College of Arts & Letters Golden Staff Award recognizes a department, program, or group in the College that demonstrates exemplary service or for being a good model for the rest of the College.

group of ten adults standing closely to one another who are holding a holden stick in front of large windows
The CALConnect Content Collaborator Committee holding the Golden Staff.


This year, under the leadership of Leann Dalimonte, Office Coordinator for the Associate Deans, the Golden Staff Award was awarded to the CALConnect Content Collaborator Committee (CALCon5) the other members of the committee include Michele Burton, Sarah Jackson, Ben Lampe, Jennifer Nelson, Tanner Schudlich, Penny Shanks, LouAnne Snider, and Jen Tetreau.

CALCon5 is comprised of Support Staff Members who are working to create a one-stop resource for all things CAL.