Susan Atkinson, administrative assistant to the dean of the School of Humanities, was honored recently as Ouachita Baptist University’s 2012 Support Staff Member of the Year.
Atkinson said she was extremely surprised and honored to hear her named called during the ceremony. “It could have been anyone! Others are just as deserving as I am,” she said. “It is an honor to be chosen and I appreciate the recognition from this award.”
“I was very happy to hear Susan had won the award because it’s well deserved. She has done excellent work from the beginning, and her role has grown as the years have gone by,” said Dr. Jeff Root, dean of the School of Humanities. “She knows and believes in our mission. I have great appreciation for her talent and completely trust the quality of her character.”
Each fall, faculty and staff members are invited to nominate candidates for the award. The Staff Development Committee then reviews the nominations and makes a recommendation to President Rex Horne, who makes the final decision.
Among Ouachita faculty who nominated Atkinson for the recognition, comments in the nomination letters emphasized that Atkinson “can be counted on to respond positively and enthusiastically to all the people she encounters, including faculty, students, parents, prospective students and visitors” and that “she supports Ouachita’s mission through positive relationships with students, faculty and staff while paying attention to detail in every aspect of the work of the dean’s office.”
“This award program has recognized one support staff member each year for 12 years,” said Phil Hardin, chairman of the Staff Development Committee and assistant to the president for administration. “Ouachita faculty and staff members have a sense of calling about serving here, investing their lives in students and strengthening Ouachita’s effectiveness year after year.”
“I’m glad Ouachita sponsors this award because our support staff plays a vital role in the success of the university,” Root added. “It is an appropriate way to recognize the contributions of some of our most dedicated people.”
This is Atkinson’s eighth year working at Ouachita. Atkinson, a 1983 OBU graduate, and her husband, Chuck, a 1979 OBU graduate, live in Arkadelphia. Their son, Richard, is a recent Ouachita graduate and their daughter, Rebecca, is a current Ouachita student.
By Lacey Brooks