Each year to show our appreciation of the college’s dedicated staff, the college’s Staff Association Advisory Council presents two awards to deserving staff members: The Servant Leadership Award, and the Professional Excellence Award. These awards are typically presented at the spring employee appreciation luncheon, but this year they were presented via Zoom.

SAAC Awards header

Even though we are away from campus, SAAC did not want to miss the opportunity to recognize the recipients of the 2020 Staff Achievement Awards.

The recipients receive a personalized trophy, a monetary award, and their names on a plaque outside the Human Resources Office. All other nominees will be notified at a later date and will receive a PAWS certificate as recognition for their outstanding work, to show our appreciation for their positive impact on the college.

Professional Excellence Award

The Professional Excellence Award is given to a staff member who shows qualities of collaboration, innovation, adaptability, leadership, excellent customer service, involvement, and commitment to Columbia College.

The recipient of this year’s Professional Excellence Award is Lexi Thomas, Science Lab Manager.

Lexi is the heart and soul of Brouder Science Center (BSC). She is caring, kind, thoughtful, helpful, and dedicated; one colleague summed up her qualities best, saying simply, “Lexi is AWESOME!” She is most deserving of the Professional Excellence Award and we are most fortunate to have her as a Cougar colleague.

Lexi was tireless in her efforts to make laboratory experiences available and successful, despite COVID-19 restrictions. When summer laboratory kits did not arrive on time, Lexi personally created lab kits (bottled solutions, tracked down glassware, prepared bags and boxes, made labels, etc.). Moreover, she was instrumental in coordinating how quarantined students would receive the laboratory supplies (met them, drove them, etc.).

Lexi Thomas, science lab manager

She continued to coordinate lab kits through-out the academic year and assisted in the planning for at-home laboratory materials when they were needed during the last several weeks of both the Fall and Spring semesters. Her adaptability and ready-involvement resulted in students being afforded the opportunity to continue in their academic pursuits, without detriment due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Servant Leadership Award

The Servant Leadership Award is given to a staff member who focuses on the well-being, development, and empowerment of others by their involvement in community service activities.

The recipient of this year’s Servant Leadership award is Dee Brown, Assistant Director – Regional Recruitment. Dee consistently shows up to her recruiting role with a smile and an attitude to serve. She always follows up with prospects and goes above and beyond in her work sphere. Outside of work she “hustles” in many professional and philanthropic endeavors. Giving to the homeless, working with non-profits that assist veterans. The list goes on. She is a positive influencer in her community focusing on sharing her musical talents and prioritizing racial equality in all that she does.

Dee Brown, assistant director of regional recruitment