Reception celebrates UO's outstanding employees

The University of Oregon celebrated 16 winners of the Outstanding Employee Awards at a reception in the Lee Barlow Giustina Ballroom at the Ford Alumni Center on May 22. The winners are officers of administration and classified employees nominated by their peers, supervisors and others who interact with them in the workplace. Winners were selected by a committee of OAs and classified staff, who reviewed approximately 180 nominations. 

Tiffany Lundy, senior associate director of employee development and engagement, was deeply moved to read so many nominations. “I love recognizing and celebrating people. I cried for days straight reviewing award winner nominations and working to summarize their many contributions,” she said in her opening remarks.

Award recipients described the network of relationships that exists around them and enables their work. “You can invite me up here to say a few words, but the award goes to all of the people I’ve worked with over the past twenty-five years,” recipient Elin England, director of alumni and community engagement in the Clark Honors College, said in her acceptance remarks. “It’s a tapestry of relationships. You can pull one thread out, but you’re going to take the rest of the tapestry with you.”

Each awardee received an engraved award with a wooden “O” frame, designed and crafted by Tom Coates, fabrication lab technician in the College of Design. The summaries of each winner’s nominations were read by past winners Tash O’Brien, director of finance and accounting in the School of Law, and Betsy Tanenbaum, associate director for student success, inclusion and alumni engagement for the Knight Campus Graduate Internship Program.

As in past years, the event provided a boost of energy and enthusiasm for organizers and attendees. 

"It’s heartening that so many employees are willing to take time from their busy schedules to recognize and celebrate each other,” said Mark Schmelz, vice president and chief human resources officer. “It was exhilarating to see not only how many people are doing great work, but how many of our peers notice each other’s great work. I appreciate what our OAs and classified staff do to make each other feel recognized, appreciated and included."

Here are the winners of the 2024 Outstanding Employee Awards:

Classified employees

Debbie Anders
Administrative Assistant, Gift Planning   
University Advancement

Emily Cornell    
Academic Specialist
College of Arts and Sciences

Tina Haynes
Employer Engagement Coordinator
University Career Center

Jacob Juge
Erb Memorial Union

Maya Lazaro
Education Program Assistant 2
School of Journalism and Communication

Azle Malinao-Alvarez
Digital Projects Consultant
UO Libraries

Cameron Mulder
Statistical Consultant 
UO Libraries

Officers of administration

Fatma Ali
Student Life Care Coordinator
University of Oregon Portland

Elin England
Director of Alumni and Community Engagement
Clark Honors College

Anna Hejinian
Medical Director
University Health Services

Sarah Keiski
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
School of Law

Jodi Myers
Senior Academic Business Coordinator
Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact

Kylie Yihua Post
Chinese Flagship Assistant Director
College of Arts and Sciences

Nikki Vance
Coordinator for Intramural Sports and Youth Camps
Physical Education and Recreation

Samantha Wallace
Assistant Director for Youth and Family
Physical Education and Recreation

Arturo Zavala
Associate Director of Academic Advising

College of Design

—By Anna Duncan, Human Resources Communications
Top photo: Outstanding Employee Award winner Azle Malinao-Alvarez, digital projects consultant in UO Libraries, attends the awards reception with her colleagues Le Yang, associate vice provost and university librarian, and Alicia Salaz, vice provost and university librarian. (Photo: Zakary Christen-Cooney)