Employee Awards Announced at Assembly

August 21, 2019

It is tradition at the annual End of Summer Assembly for Bradley administrators to recognize and reward excellence on campus through the presentation of several awards.

The William Rainey Harper Award for Departmental Excellence is presented to an academic or support unit of the University that has, as an entire unit, fulfilled its mission at the highest level of excellence and demonstrated a commitment to an ever-improving level of performance. This year’s recipient is the Department of Psychology. As one of the largest departments on campus, it has excelled by prioritizing the alignment and implementation of its own mission and goals that correspond directly with the University’s mission and goals. Bradley’s psychology department has accomplished this by ensuring stellar teaching, collaborative scholarship, devoted service, and student engagement opportunities in the scientific study of behavior. These initiatives have proven beneficial, as the department has received national recognition through awards such as the American Psychological Association Departmental Award for Culture of Service in the Psychological Sciences, has achieved a 90% retention rate within a restructured course that focuses on maximizing the undergraduate experience, and has ranked 15% higher than the national average regarding students enrolled in graduate school immediately after graduation.

The First Year Faculty Award is determined by student and peer evaluations, as well as course innovation and instructional talent. This year’s honoree, Scott Williams from the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, was commended by his peers and his Dean for his well-organized and delivered courses, distinctive professional experience and expertise, as well as his accessibility to his students, his understanding of their needs, and his willingness to go the extra mile. Perhaps this professor’s biggest fan stated – “Overall, he is a one-of-a-kind professor. He is organized, understanding, and will never leave a student in the dark. I have never seen a professor more devoted to helping students learn.”

The Outstanding Academic Advisor Award has been awarded since the early 1990s. The Student Senate, in conjunction with the Student Activities Office and the Center for Orientation and Advisement, has recognized a member of Bradley’s faculty, administration or professional staff who provides exceptional service as an academic advisor. This year’s recipient is Peter Cenek from the Department of Nursing. His nominator says, “Over the past four years, I have appreciated his guidance as an advisor and instructor in helping me identify my strengths. However, what makes him stand out from others is his ability to go beyond the requirements of an advisor. He values the fulfillment and well-being of his students, which is evident in the way he communicates with and cares for each of them. His leadership and never-ending selflessness, has encouraged me throughout my college career to be the best student, nurse, and person I can be.”

The 2019 Staff Excellence Award for Exempt Staff went to Rebecca Snyder. She has been with Bradley for 21 years and will be celebrating her retirement in September. As the Director of Enterprise Systems (formerly known as Application Development in Information Technology), she manages the largest team within Enterprise Services while carrying a heavy workload and many of the highest priority projects. A current team member said, “I have worked with Becky for ten years as a software developer. She displays nothing but confidence in our team’s abilities. She always takes time to help and mentor her employees even if she is busy. She creates an impartial and objective work environment with extreme emphasis on caring a great deal about the Bradley Family. I wholeheartedly believe Becky wants what’s best for us all and is motivated by our growth as individuals and as professionals.”

Jeanne Clayton received the 2019 Staff Excellence Award for Non-Exempt Employees. Jeanne has played a significant role in the success of the Institute of International Studies and the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, for 40+ years. Jeanne has contributed to Bradley in extraordinary ways, serving Bradley’s students, faculty, alumni and fellow staff with distinction, skill and uncommon empathy. Jeanne’s dedication to students is highlighted by her nominator, who stated, “Students keep in touch with Bradley through Jeanne. They update her on important professional and personal milestones and challenges in their lives because they know she cares. On September 11, 2001, for example, one of our then-recent graduates was working at the Pentagon. Several hours after the attack, when she finally reached safety, the first person she called was her mother. The second person she called was Jeanne Clayton.

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