Employee honored with Elizabeth Gillis Award

honored with Elizabeth Gillis Award


Rice News Staff

Of all the Rice
employees honored at the Feb. 6 service awards ceremony,
one stood out as the recipient of the Elizabeth Gillis Award
for Exemplary Service.

Suzanne King,
senior training coordinator in the administrative systems
office, was the first staff member to receive the award
named after Elizabeth Gillis, wife of Rice President Malcolm

At the luncheon
under the pretense of critiquing the ceremony, King was
totally surprised by the award — and very proud.

Gillis is a woman who I highly respect, and I’m so
honored that I was nominated by my colleagues and that I
am following in the footsteps of Mrs. Gillis as a recipient
of this award.”

The award was
established last May by the board of trustees to recognize
Elizabeth Gillis for her exceptional service to the university.
Not only is the award named after her, but Elizabeth Gillis
also was the inaugural recipient.

She was heralded
by the board of trustees for establishing an “exceptional
standard of service” by “volunteering countless
hours to the university in everything from graciously extending
Rice hospitality to visiting world leaders to quietly nurturing
the Rice Women’s Mentoring Program to loyally cheering
Owl athletic teams.”

The trustees
also noted that Elizabeth Gillis has treated the Rice family
as her own. “She has shared her home and table with
students, staff, faculty, trustees and their spouses for
events that raise morale, generate goodwill and expand knowledge
of the accomplishments, initiatives and excitement of Rice
University,” the board resolution read.

Staff winners
of the award must show consistently outstanding performance
and embody an exceptional attitude of service, and King
has done just that.

King joined
the Rice staff 11 years ago as a budget officer and was
instrumental in helping to build a new budget office and
process here, often working as many as 80 hours a week.
Later, she became the training coordinator, initiating training
on a significant change on campus — the introduction
of the Banner accounting system.

In recognizing
King, Elizabeth Gillis said, “Those of you who experienced
that transition may recall the uncertainty and, for some,
the anxiety, that surrounded the Banner system. Undoubtedly,
you also recall that Suzanne remained calm and focused throughout
that period, going about her work with humor and an unending
supply of information.”

Kathleen Matthews,
dean of the Wiess School of Natural Sciences, who nominated
King for the award, commented that King has played an instrumental
role in the success of the Banner system, consistently showing
“remarkable patience and versatility as she works with
the numerous personalities across campus and engages each
on the enhanced nuances now offered to Banner users.”

As modifications
and improvements have been made to the system since it was
introduced in 1992, King continues to conduct training,
both for groups and individuals. She enjoys interacting
with a cross section of the campus community, noting that
Rice employees have a desire to learn and find ways to improve
their job performance.

are a lot of really dedicated and hard-working people at
Rice. I see that every day,” she said.

King is especially
appreciative of her co-workers in the administrative systems
office and gives them credit for the success of the system.

“This award
makes me uncomfortable on the one hand because behind me
there is a whole department of wonderful people. I’m
just the one who shows the system off,” King said.

for the Elizabeth Gillis Award for Exemplary Service were
solicited from the provost, vice presidents, athletic director
and other senior officers of the university. The winner
was selected by a committee consisting of the associate
vice president for human resources, Elizabeth Gillis and
members of the Staff Advisory Committee, with final approval
by the board of trustees.


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