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Outstanding staff members honored

More than 30 nominees were recognized at a ceremony April 19 in the Thomas and Elizabeth Brady Engineering Innovation Center.

Winners this year were:

President Sharon L. Gaber posed for a photo with this year’s Outstanding Staff Award winners, from left, Jon Pawlecki, Sarah Farkas, Anthony Edwards, Alexandria Kraft Luneke and Tony Gibson. Also in the photo is Candace “Candy” Busdiecker, right, who won the Diane Hymore Exemplar of Excellence Award.

Anthony Edwards, custodial worker in Environmental Services on Health Science Campus. He has worked at the University since 1986.

“Anthony is one of the most positive and kind individuals you may meet on Health Science Campus. He truly embraces all employees and patients with his high standard of excellence and old-fashioned manners and demeanor. Anthony never has a bad day and spreads his infectious cheer anywhere he goes,” one nominator wrote. “Anthony does not just stick to the responsibilities of his specific position; he stops what he is doing to hold the door for someone and will set down his supplies to walk someone to the right place when they are lost. This is just something Anthony does naturally because he has a kind heart.”

Sarah Farkas, customer service liaison in Parking Services. She began her career at the University in 2012.

“Sarah always receives my calls with excitement, confidence, empathy, urgency and respect. Honestly, talking to her is like catching up with an old friend, when, truth be told, I’m not sure we’ve even had the pleasure of formally meeting,” one nominator wrote. “Because of Sarah, I’ve been able to help my visiting students assimilate into the University system in a timely manner, allowing them to have a more comprehensive experience. It’s clear to me that Sarah goes out of her way to help those requiring assistance, providing exemplary customer service to all she encounters.” Another noted, “I always feel like my students are a priority to Sarah.”

Tony Gibson, custodial worker in Building Services on Main Campus. He joined the staff in 1997.

“Tony is exceptionally diligent, dedicated and hard-working. He approaches his many responsibilities in the Snyder Memorial Building with consistent good humor and without complaint. When I arrive to the building early in the morning, Tony is well into his rounds and tasks: He is predictably systematic and organized, and completes all his tasks with zeal and pride,” one nominator wrote. “Tony is intelligent and innovative in his approach to his career. He is jovial and charismatic, and these are major prerequisites for successful leadership. I recommend that UT administration recognize Tony’s leadership potential and deploy it to improve campus harmony and efficiency in the future.”

Alexandria Kraft Luneke, aquatics and safety program coordinator in the Office of Recreational Services. She has worked at UT since 2012.

“Alex works toward the University’s vision of improving the human condition by being a steward of very important safety and risk education within our department. She makes sure those that use and participate in programs, services and facilities offered by the office do so knowing that it is a safe and risk-free environment,” one nominator wrote. “She is an outstanding teammate and teacher in the area of aquatics, aquatics management and aquatics safety. Alex is committed to the departments’ values of diversity and inclusion, student development, community services, and healthy lifestyle options. Alex also has worked to be student-centered, mentoring students who are working toward their professional pursuits.”

Jon Pawlecki, director of student services in the College of Engineering. He joined the UT staff in 2003.He joined the UT staff in 2003. Pawlecki has two degrees from the University and is pursuing a doctoral degree in higher education at UT.

“Jon’s role in the College of Engineering revolves around recruitment, retention and student success. He is tireless in his efforts to promote the College of Engineering, whether it is in large-scale recruiting events, daily tours, or during individual meetings with students and their families. Our undergraduate enrollment has increased 60 percent over the past decade, and Jon’s contributions are an essential component of this success,” one nominator wrote. “Jon has created numerous extracurricular and leadership opportunities for our students outside the classroom. He is the adviser to a number of college-wide organizations. Engineering students are among the most active on campus, and his contributions have been essential to this outcome.”

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