7 staff members honored with RICE MILE Award

Rice staff members Kate Abad, Danika Brown, Henry Cash, Mary Cronin, Ellen Everett, Diana Heard and Megan McSpedon received the RICE MILE Award in May.

Created earlier this year to honor exceptional staff members, the award is given to those who exhibit two or more of the eight core values that the RICE MILE comprises: responsibility, integrity, community, excellence, mission-driven, impact, leadership and entrepreneurial spirit.

Kate Abad

Kate Abad

Abad, director of the student center, was praised in a nomination letter as “a change agent, a doer, a motivator, an exceptional leader, an astute critical thinker and an inspiring innovator.”

“Going above and beyond is just her nature,” the letter said. “Good and good enough just won’t do. She excels, challenges her staff to excel and takes every possible measure to nourish and support her staff and help them develop.”

Danika Brown

Danika Brown

Brown, director of curriculum and fellowships in the Center for Civic Leadership (CCL), was nominated for her “outstanding leadership and commitment to improving the work of the (center).”

A nomination letter said Brown is “highly regarded” by staff members who report to her for her investment in their professional development. “She provides extensive feedback and steers them towards opportunities that challenge them while enhancing the CCL mission,” the letter said.

Henry Cash

Henry Cash

Cash, a student well-being specialist in the Wellbeing and Counseling Center, “has been a force on campus through his personality and presence,” according to a letter nominating him for the award.

“Henry is motivated to making Rice a better place by supporting students through difficult personal problems, as well as mentoring other staff members who need advice or a listening ear,” the letter said. “(He) has been a consistent, positive force for good through several leadership challenges.”

Mary Cronin

Mary Cronin

Cronin, associate vice president for human resources, was nominated for providing “a great commitment to Rice.” Cronin, who came to Rice in 2001, will retire June 30.

“Mary has made Rice a better place to work, and it seems fitting to award her the RICE MILE award for her leadership, impact, community and integrity on the occasion of her retirement,” a nomination letter said.

Ellen Everett

Ellen Everett

Everett, senior associate registrar, is described in a nomination letter as “detail-oriented, ethical, effective, transparent and trustworthy.”

“She thinks broadly and predicts issues that will arise with new processes far ahead of the game,” the letter said.

Heard, administrative assistant in the Office of the Provost, is praised in a nomination letter for her “can-do attitude” and is described as “a true example of what we all want in a Rice employee.”

Diana Heard

Diana Heard

“She’s a true problem solver … has great responsibility and integrity,” the letter said. “She treats all people she encounters with respect. Her spirit is contagious. She boosts the morale of the office and has a great sense of humor.”

McSpedon, associate director of the Rice Emerging Scholars Program, was nominated for having a “huge impact on the successes of so many students at Rice.”

Megan McSpedon

Megan McSpedon

“Megan is a mission-driven team member in the Office of Student Success Initiatives who personifies the student-centered leadership and entrepreneurial spirit that is central to the RICE MILE tenets,” the nomination letter said. “Megan never complains, makes excuses or is too busy to return a faculty member’s phone call, meet with a student who has dropped in unexpectedly or to help other team members with their projects.”

All levels of staff are eligible for consideration for the RICE MILE Award and can be nominated by peers, colleagues, co-workers or supervisors as long as they have at least one year of service and are in good standing. Nominations must be submitted through the RICE MILE Award online nomination form and require approval from senior leadership in the nominee’s school or division.

For more information or to nominate a staff member for the award, visit http://people.rice.edu/careersrice/awards-and-recognition/the-rice-mile-award/.

 

About Arie Passwaters

Arie Wilson Passwaters is a Web editor in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.