5 staff members honored with RICE MILE Award

Rice staff members Kate Cross, Alecia Harris, Jennifer Hunter, Altha Rodgers and Dora Vides were honored with the RICE MILE Award in April.

Cross, associate dean in the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, was nominated for her “entrepreneurial spirit and leadership,” including the launch of a new graduate admission application, Slate.

“Kate has spearheaded many of the advances over the past decade and, most importantly, she has managed these technological improvements while keeping primary focus on promoting the success and well-being of each individual student,” a nomination letter read. Several of her nominators expressed their appreciation for her work ethic and high integrity, and she is praised for being “thoughtful, fair and extraordinarily patient.” One nominator celebrated Cross as supporting “our V2C2 (Vision for the Second Century, Second Decade) goals and mission and (supporting) our quest for excellence in graduate education.”

Harris, event and visitor services manager at the Moody Center for the Arts, was nominated “for her entrepreneurial spirit that is evident in her efforts to constantly mold and adjust the Moody’s policies and procedures, thoughtfully implementing change whenever it is beneficial.”

“She has an entrepreneurial spirit that is evident in her efforts to constantly mold and adjust the Moody’s policies and procedures, thoughtfully implementing change whenever it is beneficial,” the nominator wrote. “Evidence of her leadership can be found in her desire to think broadly about how visitors interact with the Moody Center and Rice University and how even small changes can have a great impact on their experience.”

Hunter, communications and visibility strategy specialist in the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, was nominated for having “transformed the office communications with graduate students, postdocs, the staff that support them and directors of graduate study.”

“She is constantly reflecting on her own experience, looking at the data and analytics and examining surveys to keep tweaking our approach and keep improving,” a nominator wrote. “All that said, she is a great colleague with a wonderful, quiet sense of humor.”

Rodgers, department administrator in Anthropology, was praised for having “improved the climate, efficiency and sense of community in our department in many ways.”

“She is a model of integrity, honesty, courtesy and helpfulness and has set a high standard of mutual respect for both faculty and students,” the letter read. “Her sense of responsibility and community goes beyond the department.”

Vides, a custodian II in Facilities Engineering and Planning, was nominated for her willingness to take on responsibility and for her excellent customer service skills.

“She took over as custodian for the Mudd building and has greatly improved the work environment for employees working here,” a nomination letter said.  “Her positive demeanor, attention and proactive approach to issues is a real example that others can follow. Dora goes out of her way to look for ways she can improve the service she provides and is a real credit to FE&P.”

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/.

RICE MILE

About Arie Passwaters

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