Employees receive special recognition from trustees

Employees receive special recognition from trustees
10 staff and faculty members were honored during 2007

Rice News Staff   
Alumnus Bart Sinclair ’73, associate dean of the George R. Brown School of Engineering, is the most recent Rice employee to be honored at a board of trustees meeting.

“Bart represents what makes both Rice University and the George R. Brown School of Engineering the outstanding entities that they are: quiet intelligence, diligence in service, creative and dedicated to giving the best to each task that is presented,” reads the introduction of Sinclair that was presented at the December board meeting. “He enjoys the students and keeps a steady stream of them visiting his office in his capacity as graduate and undergraduate adviser for computer science and engineering and divisional adviser for engineering for Brown College. He is the face of engineering to all prospective engineering students and their parents who come to visit Rice. There could be no better representative for the school.”

For doing their jobs extremely well, one or more Rice employees are invited to the board meetings to receive special recognition and a monetary reward. The honorees are usually introduced by their boss, who describes what makes them so exceptional.

Below are other faculty and staff members who were singled out for recognition  at board meetings this past year, along with excerpts from their introduction:

Jade Boyd, science editor and associate director for news and media relations in Public Affairs

Over the past five years, Jade has written approximately 300 news releases and Rice News stories. His nose for news and his knack for explaining complex research in laypersons’ language have resulted in Rice researchers getting coverage in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and countless other newspapers and magazines and on TV and radio stations, including NPR. Last year the Houston Chronicle’s science writer wrote a short list of things he’s thankful for. On it was “good PR people like Jade Boyd at Rice University — they often make me look smart.”  We too are thankful for Jade — he makes Rice look smart.

Jana Callan, director of recruitment/systems management in Human Resources

Elena Cumpian, staff recruiter in Human Resources

Ellen Everett, associate registrar for student records in the Office of the Registrar

Alana Lemay-Gibson, associate registrar for technology in the Office of the Registrar

Henry Nguyen, technical analyst in Administrative Systems

These five staff members were honored for their collaborative efforts to meet the challenges of the Vision for the Second Century, particularly the goals related to the expanding student, faculty and staff population.  (Former Rice staff member Indu Tuppera was also recognized.) Among their accomplishments:

* New online student evaluations, online course rosters and online grade submission have saved significant employee time and eliminated cumbersome paper processes while providing quicker and more accurate information to students, faculty and administrators.

* RiceWorks, the new online job advertising and staff recruitment system, was implemented to eliminate bottlenecks in the previously paper-driven, manual system and to allow hiring managers and recruiters to focus more fully on active recruitment and selection processes. In comparison to the previous system, hiring time is down almost 30 percent and the applicant pool size is up by 25 percent.

Alumnus William Deigaard ’93, director of Networking, Telecommunications and Data Center in Information Technology, and recipient of the 2007 Elizabeth Gillis Award for Exemplary Service

Since 1992, William has affected the launch of numerous new IT projects, including the Symonds II Labs and electronic classrooms. Over the past 18 months, William’s job extended far beyond the day-to-day network concerns. He provided the highest level of leadership and support during several crises, including the management of the Rice University network preparations for Hurricane Rita. He also provided expertise on the design and build-out of the new data center on South Main.

Alumna Linda Leigh Sylvan ’73, executive director of the Rice Design Alliance and publisher of Cite

In 1988 Linda became executive director of the Rice Design Alliance (RDA), a community outreach program of the Rice School of Architecture that is dedicated to the advancement of architecture, urban design and the built environment in the Houston region through educational programs, publication of the award-winning quarterly journal Cite and active programs to initiate physical improvements. Under her leadership, RDA’s membership has more than tripled to 2,100, including 163 corporate members, and the budget has grown significantly. RDA annual programming includes lectures, tours, civic forums, exhibitions, charrettes and a grants program that awards $10,000 annually to winning proposals from Rice and University of Houston faculty and students.


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