Renowned entrepreneur and founding president of Ghana’s Ashesi University gives Commencement address
The Inspiration Award, presented to an individual who excels at building relationships and motivating others to higher levels of performance, was awarded to Wang for inspiring the entire career office with her tireless dedication to students. Wang was lauded for her commitment to diversifying the pool of Career Fellow candidates, for serving as an adviser to the Connecticut College Asian Students in Action organization, for contributing in key ways to the Creativity Pathway and the overall Connections curriculum, for serving as a member of the Green Dot campus training team, and for always going the extra mile for students, all while helping 400 individual advisees find their career paths.
The Rising Star Award, which recognizes an individual who has worked at the College for less than three years and has made a recognizable impact, was awarded to Healey who, despite joining the Admission team in the midst of a global pandemic, has made an indelible impact on the College community. Healey, who was tasked with leading tour guides during a time when most colleges weren’t even allowing visitors, was praised for her creative solutions for working with student workers and prospective students to deliver a positive and safe tour experience, as well as for her infectious positivity, energy and enthusiasm.
The Service Excellence Award, which honors an individual who demonstrates distinction in the conduct of his or her responsibilities at the College, was awarded to two individuals this year. Michaud was recognized for his immense talent in finding quality goods or services at a price that meets the College’s needs, as well as for being a true team player and willingly sharing resources to help others do well, including once driving all the way to Canada to retrieve needed equipment. Scott was honored for providing the highest level of customer service while advising students and parents through the process of paying for a Connecticut College education—a job made all the more difficult by the financial uncertainties surrounding the global pandemic. While the confidential nature of Scott’s work means it often goes unrecognized, Scott’s nominators noted that alumni often remember her as someone who helped them and made a positive impact on their lives.
The Student Support Award, which honors a staff member who has bolstered student success and facilitated a positive student experience, was awarded to Garrett for developing countless initiatives to support students while overseeing Conn’s nationally renowned Academic Resource Center, serving as a liaison between the Dean of the College and faculty in support of student academic success, and co-coordinating the Entrepreneurship Pathway. Garrett was praised for developing Fast Forward, an intensive week-long, career-readiness program, as well as many other workshops and seminars in budgeting, finance, time management, presentation and other topics to help students prepare for the transition to life beyond Conn.
The Team Collaboration Award, which recognizes a group of individuals whose work has benefited the entire College, was awarded to the dedicated teachers and administrators of the Child Development Lab School, including: Katie O’Connor, director; Monica Franzone, associate director; Cynthia Hendry, academic department assistant; Laura Rodriguez, RN school consultant; Deb O’Brien, bookkeeper; Carolyn Morrison, parent coordinator; teachers Alyssa Bombard, Sheila Bairstow, Sarah Bevington, Lisa Aldrich, Laura Foster and Nancy Kivlin; and teacher assistants Ada Turley, Marlene Pellegrini, Carmen De La Cruz, Daphne Michie, Joane Woodhall, Liz Brown, Monica Henry-Siefert, Maureen Jordan and Kim Brissette. The team was honored for providing a model for inclusion throughout the pandemic and exceeding expectations and living up to the mission of the College while serving community preschool children and their families.
In addition to the annual awards, Bergeron and the Presidential Staff Awards Selection Committee honored the hard-working staff of Dining Services with a special commendation, noting that the team was one of the very few departments working onsite during the entirety of the pandemic, making an impact on students, faculty and staff while maintaining the highest health and safety standards possible. The team was commended for displaying extraordinary professionalism and perseverance and for going above and beyond to serve students in isolation and quarantine, providing nourishment and comfort for those coping with a once-in-a-lifetime global health event.