June 12, 2003 – Vol. 22 No. 18

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    Schiller Johnson wins first Richman Award for service to students outside classroom

    Carolyn Schiller Johnson, Administrative Director for Graduate Programs in the Darwinian Science Cluster, has been honored with the inaugural Marlene F. Richman Award for Excellence and Dedication in Service to Students.

    Richman, whose University career spanned four decades, served students in her roles as a Resident Master of Burton-Judson Court and as a Career and Placement Services counselor for 36 years.

    Steve Klass, Vice President and Dean of Students in the University, announced the creation of the award at Richman's retirement reception in October 2002. He described the honor as one that recognizes University staff members who demonstrate the highest levels of dedication, care and compassion in the service of students. "The winner of this award will exemplify the qualities demonstrated by Marlene Richman during her decades of untiring effort to guide students in the articulation and achievement of their dreams," Klass said.

    More than 70 students submitted letters of nomination for 23 full-time staff members eligible to receive the award--members of the faculty and senior management staff are specifically excluded so the award can recognize University staff members who work directly with students outside the classroom. The selection committee included undergraduate and graduate students, members of the University Dean of Students senior staff and a divisional Dean of Students.

    Students described Johnson's warmth and ability to manage the bureaucratic demands of graduate student life.

    One student wrote: "As an international student coming to the U.S. for the first time, I had difficulties following all the administrative procedures and rules.Carolyn helped me through things with patience and understanding. She even spent a full hour with me talking about the educational differences between the United States and China and the difficulties I may encounter. From that time, I've known Carolyn as a person I could turn to for trust and comfort."

    Johnson will be honored at an annual picnic. She also will receive an extra service payment and an engraved clock, and her name will be inscribed on the Marlene F. Richman Award Plaque to be hung in Bartlett Hall with other University honors and awards.

    Additional information about the award and the nomination process can be found at http://dos.uchicago.edu/richman.html.