Katherine Strotmeyer, left, and Nick Lemon.
After a yearlong hiatus brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Vermont celebrated a superstar class of staff members named as the 2021 winners of the President's Our Common Ground Staff Award on September 24.
Initiated in 2014, the Our Common Ground Staff Award recognizes employees who make extraordinary contributions to the UVM community and whose way of working and being exemplifies the attributes of respect, integrity, innovation, openness, justice and responsibility—the attributes named in UVM’s Our Common Ground statement of shared values. Nominations are crowd sourced from within the UVM community. Winners receive a thoughtfully designed plaque displaying the Our Common Ground statement and a $1,000 cash award.
Traditionally given to six staff members each year, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the rhythm for 2020. The 12 members of the class of 2021 Our Common Ground award winners include two members of the Larner College of Medicine community: Nick Lemon, information systems technical support staff member, and Katherine Strotmeyer, communications and community outreach director for the University of Vermont Cancer Center.
Other 2021 awardees included: Lisa Anderson, mail services supervisor, Print and Mail Center; Lina Balcom, interim director of student life; Dana Braunegg, LPN, Student Health Services, Center for Health & Wellbeing; Veronika Carter, university registrar; Stephanie Dion, assistant dean of human resources and business operations, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Sarah Mell, coordinator of outreach and education, Women and Gender Equity Center; Susan Munkres, director, Community-Engaged Learning Office; Kelly O’Malley, coordinator of presidential events; Cathy Rahill, associate athletic director for student-athlete development and academic affairs; and Tiffanie Spencer, director of diversity and community engagement, College of Education and Social Services.
In addition, a surprise 13th award was given to retiring UVM administrator Gary Derr, vice president for operations and public safety and director of UVM’s successful COVID response.
(This article was adapted from an article by Susan Davidson, UVM presidential communications and events coordinator.)