August 14, 2008
Vol. 27 No. 20

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    Dean of Students honors staff for dedication to students

    Photo by Lloyd DeGrane

    Juanita Denson

    Juanita Denson, Department Administrator for Romance Languages & Literatures, has been named the 2008 recipient of the Marlene F. Richman Award for Excellence and Dedication in Service to Students.

    The award, which members of the Vice President and Dean of Students division established in 2003, honors an individual whose exceptional professionalism and commitment to students has made a deep impact on life at the University, and who demonstrates the highest levels of dedication, care and compassion in the service of students.

    The award is named for Richman, who served students with extraordinary commitment during her career at the University that spanned four decades and included serving as Resident Master of Burton-Judson Courts and 36 years as a Career Advising and Planning Services counselor.

    In addition to receiving a certificate and a chocolate cake baked by Richman, Denson’s name will be inscribed on a plaque in the Reynolds Club.

    To read more about Denson, please visit: http://www.uchicago.edu/features/20080804_denson.shtml.

    In 2005, several staff members in the VPDOS division developed the Staff Recognition Awards to honor individuals who have made a valuable impact on University life, whether through their interactions with students, faculty or staff, or through the development of new systems, policies and services.

    Left to right, recipients of the VPDOS Staff Recognition Awards are Corynne Cooper Pero, Trudi Langendorf and Josh Singh, joined by Kimberly Goff-Crews, Vice President and Dean of Students in the University, and Roberta Cohen and JoAnn Creviston.

    Anyone at the University can nominate one of the 300-plus VPDOS staff members for these awards. A committee of 10 to 12 representatives across the division selects the recipients. The awards are given each Spring Quarter in five categories.

    This year’s recipients and the categories in which they received these honors are:

    Outstanding Service to the University Community – JoAnn Creviston, Assistant University Registrar in Registration & Records

    Creviston was chosen for this award because she works effectively with various constituents in the community, including students, faculty and staff. As noted in her nomination letter, “JoAnn is one of the friendliest and most helpful staff members in the VPDOS division. She is always ready to help with a smile.”

    The Innovation Award – Corynne Cooper Pero, Assistant Director of Events and Marketing in Career Advising and Planning Services

    Pero was chosen for this award because of her innovative response to the challenge of organizing the CAPS diversity events held in conjunction with the Big Ten Plus Consortium. In the nomination letter, one of Pero’s colleagues described her contributions: “Corynne successfully worked with the Big Ten Plus Consortium to coordinate each university’s calendar and was able to hold ‘Diversity in the Law’ and ‘Diversity in Communications’ on the same day. The combination was so well received by both students and University staff that this innovation will be continued into future years.”

    Outstanding Service to Students – Trudi Langendorf, Assistant Director of the University Community Service Center

    Langendorf was chosen for this award because of her open and respectful attitude toward building relationships with students. Coming from a background in social justice, she is a role model, mentor and friend to the students she works with at the University Community Service Center. Her impact on peoples’ lives sometimes leaves students speechless. One student wrote: “When trying to come up with a more specific way of describing why I am ‘amazed by her,’ I cannot, because Trudi simply embodies a strength and devotion that can’t be written but is felt by every student she touches.”

    Outstanding Newcomer to the Division – Josh Singh, Psychologist in the Student Counseling and Resource Service

    This award is given to a staff member who has worked at least six months, but no more than three years, in their current position in the VPDOS division. Singh has proven invaluable since taking a staff position at the Student Resource and Counseling Center.

    He has built bridges to minority groups on campus through targeted outreach and programming, including plans to provide individual and group clinical services at 5710 South Woodlawn, the new location of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.

    He also has helped expand the group psychotherapy program, offering counseling on topics such as sleep, Internet addiction, relationships and life after the University. Most importantly, he has earned the respect and admiration of students and colleagues.

    Stephen P. Klass STAR Award – Roberta Cohen, Deputy Dean of Students for Administration and Planning in the Office of the Vice President and Dean of Students

    STAR stands for Service, Teamwork, Attitude and Reliability, traits that were characteristic of Steve Klass, who served as Vice President and Dean of Students from 2003 to 2007. Cohen was chosen for this award because she exemplifies these characteristics. An example of her STAR qualities is her ability to bring out the best in those around her, both by setting a positive example and by recognizing others for work well done. As one student commented, “Roberta is a pleasure to work with because she expresses genuine gratitude.”

    The winners received a framed picture of the University and a free one-month membership to the Gerald Ratner Athletics Center. Also, their names will be engraved on the VPDOS Staff Award plaque in the Reynolds Club.