CFAES staff win 4 of 12 Ohio State Distinguished Staff Awards

Four of Ohio State's 2013 Distinguished Staff Awardshave gone to CFAES staff members: Sandra Bentley, office specialist, Animal Sciences; Kelly George, accountant, also of Animal Sciences; Peggy Lambert, academic records coordinator, Ohio State ATI; and Morgan Taggart, agriculture and natural resources program specialist, OSU Extension, Cuyahoga County.

The annual awards recognize 12 staff members, who have had five years of continuous service, for exceptional accomplishments, leadership, and service to the university community by significantly improving or enhancing the quality of worklife in ways that make a substantial difference for their colleagues; by contributing to outstanding and sustained improvements in customer services; and by developing creative solutions to problems that result in significantly more effective and efficient university operations.

The Office of Human Resources awards honorees a $1,500 cash award and a $700 increase to their base salary.

Here are excerpts from the announcement of the awards by Ohio State's University Communications office:

Sandra Bentley

As the "go-to person" in the Department of Animal Sciences, Sandra Bentley has a rich history at Ohio State that many admire. With more than 40 years of service, "Sandy has been a fixture in the (Animal Sciences) Department and is the best source of institutional memory available," a nominator wrote.

Officially, Bentley is an office associate, the Extension associate in the Department of Animal Sciences and the staff building coordinator for the Animal Science building, however her unofficial duties include "being a mentor to students, liaison to physical facilities, go-to person for event support, and tireless problem-solver." [… ]

As a nominator wrote, "She is not conventional, but she has definitely distinguished herself in her career, her service to others, and her care for those around her -- within and beyond the Ohio State University community."

Kelly George

With the world as her destination, Kelly George doesn't stop when it comes to sending students across the globe. Even though her primary responsibility in the Department of Animal Sciences is accounting, George has extended her roles to include becoming an instructor in the undergraduate teaching program and a coordinator of study abroad logistics.

"Kelly volunteered to engage in developing study abroad programs as part of a new 'Human and Animal Interactions' initiative in the department," stated one nominator. "She almost single-handedly developed our short-term study abroad programs into very functional, educational, and affordable programs." George has helped develop programs that have taken 246 students to Ireland, Chile, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and France. […]

As a nominator wrote, "Kelly personifies the characteristics that define excellence in distinguished service to students, faculty, fellow staff, and to the internal and external 'customers' of The Ohio State University."

Peggy Lambert

The conversion from quarters to semesters was a pivotal moment in Ohio State history, but the tenacity and hard work demonstrated by Peggy Lambert helped spearhead the switch for the Agricultural Technical Institute.

As the academic records coordinator, Lambert develops the master schedule of classes and classroom scheduling every semester; processes transfer credits for entering ATI transfer students; conducts degree audits for students and assists them in meeting degree requirements for graduation; tracks all ATI curricula and processes changes in programs and courses; and assists with preparations for ATI commencement. […]

"When given a job such as the semester conversion process," a nominator wrote, "she approaches it with a positive attitude and confidence and works diligently until the job is meticulously completed."

Morgan Taggart

Morgan Taggart and her efforts are breaking ground in the growth and sustainability of agricultural interests.

She began her Ohio State career with the OSU Extension's Cuyahoga County urban agriculture team in 2005, when her first assignment was as a program coordinator for the city of Cleveland Summer Sprouts Community Gardening program. In this role, Taggart was in charge of assisting individual communities, schools and churches with development of community and school gardens. Thanks to her involvement, "more than 50 new community gardens were created and continue to flourish in the city of Cleveland," according to one nominator. […]

Through Taggart's impressive efforts, she "has secured over $1 million in grants and contracts for the Ohio State University Extension" and has brought about permanent change to the city of Cleveland, a nominator wrote. "Her hard work and commitment to all that is healthy, all that is local, all that is socially just has convinced me that there is no one quite like her in this field."

Congratulations to our honorees! Read full details about each of them here.