2009 Outstanding Staff Awards

March 24, 2010
Eight Baylor staff members are recipients of the University's 2009 Outstanding Staff Awards, nominated by Baylor faculty and staff for exceptional service. Nominees are selected in four categories, and must have been employed at Baylor for at least one year. Winners receive checks for $1,500, recognition at the spring staff forum and the privilege of riding in the Homecoming Parade.

The following are excerpts from the tributes given award winners as they were honored Jan. 20, 2010, at the spring staff forum.


Van Smith-Davis
Assistant director for fitness and nutrition education, Student Life Center
10 years at Baylor

"Van supports the University mission by emphasizing mind and body fitness. She began the Bear Fit program for the faculty and staff three years ago. Her leadership, and enthusiasm has transformed lives at Baylor by giving Bear Fit participants hope, inspiration, confidence and a method to improved health and lifestyle. She is the embodiment of what she preaches and she has the ability to bring others along on the journey to being 'fit for life.' She leads the Body IQ Work Team. In addition, Van served as the University liaison for the American Heart Association's annual Heart Walk and was instrumental in the success of the Relay for Life. She represents Baylor each week as the fitness expert on KCEN-TV and also serves the Baylor volleyball team in a variety of roles."


Tom Haddad
Assistant director of facilities, Mayborn Museum Complex
10 years at Baylor

"Tom addresses his job each day with tremendous skill, energy, focus and enthusiasm. Within the Mayborn Museum, Tom gives extra attention to help and guide both students who are enrolled in our museum studies program and the museum's student workers. He is decisive, self-motivated, polite, dedicated and creative. He is an excellent steward of Baylor's money often finding ways to fix things rather than having to replace them. This year Tom worked with a Baylor fraternity to design and fabricate a large moving part for a Baylor Homecoming parade float, and he and his wife have chaired the Church Under the Bridge meal for several hundred homeless people. He has also chaired the annual Thanksgiving lunch for the homeless at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, where church members dine side-by-side with their homeless brothers and sisters."

Sandra Northern
Office manager, Vice President for Student Life
7 years at Baylor

"Sandra is the budget coordinator for the Division of Student Life. She handles all levels of financial oversight, from purchasing to budget preparation to budget analysis to budget management. She has strong knowledge of procedures, processes and policies, and she conducts all of those with utmost integrity and efficiency. Her greatest joy comes in serving students. Sandra reaches out to students and delivers messages about a healthy lifestyle, as well the dangerous consequences of eating disorders, work that is 'above and beyond' the actual responsibilities in her job description. She also voluntarily works with the University 1000, the Body IQ work team, the Student Life Alcohol Awareness Work Team, Staff Council, Move-in Day, Baylor Greeters and various other student-oriented services."

Lillian Rountree
Student relations coordinator, College of Arts and Sciences dean's office
24 years at Baylor

"Lillian is the first contact for all student issues of the College of Arts and Sciences. Working for the largest academic unit of the University, she serves as coordinator of a myriad of Arts and Sciences and University services and relationships. Lillian fulfills Baylor's mission through Christian hospitality and graciousness, a positive attitude, consistent quality of work and loyal dedication. She helps approximately 7,000 undergraduate students reach their academic goals through her close work with them on a wide range of issues, from filling out petitions to counseling students about their options while on suspension. She is an active member of the Baylor community, participating in CareNet Walk for Life, Bears for Life, the United Way and Alzheimer's campaigns and Heart Walk."


Nancy Floyd
Assistant to the associate dean, Truett Seminary
28 years at Baylor

"In her role as assistant to the associate dean, Nancy works tirelessly to support and enhance the highest levels of scholarship and teaching. She handles her duties both great and small with great effectiveness and efficiency. Nancy is by nature a problem solver, and every week the associate dean is grateful for the ways she has identified a need, suggested a plan for resolution, and then willingly carried out that plan. She has remained one of the key 'faces of the Seminary' to students and visitors, serving the Truett community by singing in the Seminary choir as well helping organize the 'grace table,' a table kept stocked with food for students who may run short of money or food. This is not part of Nancy's job description, but it is evidence of her faith and her desire to serve others."

Phylicia Hernandez
Assistant to the assistant vice president for enrollment management
14 years at Baylor

"Phylicia is the report writing guru in enrollment management. The information she prepares is critical in troubleshooting problems and in learning more about the students we serve. She eagerly accepts data requests from those who have a need and tackles the toughest jobs with determination. She is also the budget guru -- always looking for ways to save money and to be a good steward of Baylor's resources. In addition to her complete dedication to Baylor, Phylicia exemplifies three qualities that make her an outstanding employee. First, her integrity is rock-solid. Second, her desire to learn and to continuously improve her skills is commendable. Finally, Phylicia's work ethic is exemplary. She serves on Staff Council and on the ITS/Library advisory committee."

Beverly Tieman
Benefits coordinator, human resources
16 years at Baylor

"On a daily basis, year after year, Beverly exemplifies the key words of Baylor's mission: excellence, leadership, service, Christian commitment and caring community. She strives to graciously do all that she can for staff, faculty and retirees while also administering benefits within the internal and external policies and laws. Her stellar reputation across campus comes as no surprise because of her sense of 'calling' to provide excellent customer service, day in and day out. Beverly has grown in her role over the years, taking on leadership roles with two significant HR events, expanding her job knowledge in benefits through prolonged independent study and successful certification as a General Benefits Associate within the professional benefits association. She also participates in charitable causes such as Relay for Life and other organizations."


James Grady
Performance hall manager, Baylor School of Music
15 years at Baylor

"James provides management of all School of Music performance facilities. He is modest, always positive, cooperative, supportive and aboveboard, and is consistently willing to go the extra mile for the success of our program or our mission. He never complains, but always says, 'I will find a way to make that work,' and then does it cheerfully. James has terrific technical capabilities combined with a genuine creative flair and unusual mechanical sense. He willingly does whatever is required for the learning of the students and the optimal circumstances for musicians to make music. He is very active throughout the University, pitching in to help Waco Hall or the Farrell Center and other facilities when they are swamped and in need of assistance. James also serves as stage manager and facilities manager for the Waco Symphony Orchestra."


Also during the Jan. 20 spring staff forum, Baylor presented the 2009 BaylorPlus Award to Jim Brock, a sergeant with the Baylor Police Department. Brock was the outstanding recipient of the 74 Baylor Plus salutes received during 2009. The salutes are sent by students, employees and campus visitors to recognize and thank Baylor people who exemplify caring, competent service.

Brock's salute was given for his actions on Sept. 18, 2009. On his way home from work, Brock stopped to offer assistance to the parents of a Baylor freshman in town for Parents Weekend. The couple's trailer was broken down on the side of Interstate 35 with tire problems, and Brock transported the couple and their dogs to his home, then assisted in purchasing a replacement tire before replacing the tire himself.

In his tribute at the staff forum before receiving the award, It was noted that, "Our recipient refused the family's offer of cash, and told them perhaps someday they can do for someone else what he did for them."
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