University News

Ceremony recognizes staffers’ achievements

At annual BEAR Day ceremony, 38 staffers receive Excellence Awards of up to $2,500

Senior Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The BEAR Day ceremony, held in Salomon 101 Tuesday, included a speech by President Christina Paxson P ’19 in which she thanked employees for their service and accomplishments.

More than 500 University employees, students and community members gathered in Salomon 101 Tuesday to celebrate the achievements of staff members at the annual Brown Employee Appreciation and Recognition Day. President Christina Paxson P’19 rewarded 38 staff members with Excellence Awards of $2,500 in a variety of categories, including citizenship, diversity, efficiency, innovation, managing for excellence, rising star and service.

A university is one of the most complex organizations in existence, second only to the government, said Beppie Huidekoper, executive vice president for finance and administration, in her welcoming speech. It enables various individuals to work in harmony to create a “complex, diverse and soulful community,” she said.

Paxson expressed her gratitude to staff members in her speech, thanking them for their patience, flexibility and commitment to the University’s mission. “BEAR Day is in February every year — a time when the most sensible bears are in hibernation, but all of you continue to help keep Brown moving even when circumstances get tough,” she said.

The ceremony featured a video of the recipients’ reflections on their awards and experiences at the University, complemented by a few comical slow-motion dances and bloopers.

Paxson recognized all staff members who have worked at the University for more than five years by asking them to stand up. Staff members who have worked for more than 30 years then came onto the stage, eliciting loud cheers and applause from the audience.

A student’s success in academics, extracurricular activities or sports is reflective of the staff’s work, Paxson said. “This is a team effort.”

“I am so honored to be recognized with an Excellence Award because it represents not only my work, but the collective work of Brown Emergency Medical Services,” said Amy Sanderson, manager of safety and EMS. Sanderson won one of several Excellence Awards for Innovation for creating a new operating model in which student EMTs can achieve leadership positions. “I am merely the shepherd of this outstanding group of students,” she said.

BEAR Day is an event that all staff members appreciate and enjoy, said Karen Scanlan, director of public health communications, who won the Excellence Award for Service.

The ceremony was followed by a reception in Sayles Hall with refreshments and a live band.

Other BEAR Day events this week include a Wednesday lecture entitled “Understanding Dogs” presented by Ruth Colwill, professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences and tours of the University’s greenhouse and the Rhode Island School of Design Museum. The Brown Bookstore will also offer a 20 percent discount on merchandise specially marked “Celebrating BEAR Day.”

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that President Christina Paxson P’19 said “BEAR Day is in February every year — a time when the most sensitive bears are in hibernation.” In fact, she said “sensible” not “sensitive.” The Herald regrets the error.