College of Education and Health Professions Honors Superior Staff Service Award Winners




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From left to right: Brandon Lucius, Sandra Ward, Jackie Micheletto, Cindy Folsom and Joe Hamilton.

The College of Education and Health Professions recently honored six staff members who received the 2022 Superior Staff Service Awards.

Each was selected based on their outstanding service to faculty/staff, the college, the University of Alberta and the community.

Cindy Folson, an academic advisor for education majors in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, was praised for the way she cares for students and seeks to help them succeed, while carrying a heavy workload. “I’ve seen her go above and beyond for her students. She tries to help them with their day-to-day situations that even go beyond school,” one proposer said. The way she takes care of her colleagues is also appreciated. “She also goes above and beyond to check in on her co-workers. She’s extremely charismatic and strives to help everyone thrive,” a nominator noted.

Joe Hamilton, an administrative specialist with the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation, “executes all duties quickly, efficiently and kindly,” according to one proponent. Another noted, “Joe has a lot to argue with HHPR, but he always seems calm and composed. I’m grateful to Joe and his help over the years!”

Deb Henderson, faculty advisor for pre-nursing students and Eleanor Mann School of Nursing, “provides truly holistic support to her students throughout their college careers at the U of A,” said one nominator. “Deb always puts the students first. She tries to help them in any way she can, even if they’re not her advisors.” Henderson also plays a key role in training new advisors.

Brandon Lucius, executive director of the university’s Arkansas Teacher Corps Outreach Program, steadfastly supports scholars, ensuring they can support the students they serve, a nominator said. “From fundraising to comprehensive services to assisting Praxis, Brandon is constantly striving to relieve the mental, emotional, and financial stress that some of our fellows experience,” the nomination said. “Brandon gives all and part of the work we do every day, and he deserves to be recognized for it!”

Jackie Michelet, the college’s assistant director of financial affairs, oversees four staff members. Nominators praised his perseverance in the face of the challenges of COVID, various work system transitions and staffing shortages. “Jackie is always positive, helpful, and never turns anyone away who needs her help,” one nominee said. “Jackie provides superior service at all times.”

Sandra Ward, coordinator of graduate student services in the Department of Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders, was commended for her unwavering and positive support of students, faculty and staff. “She’s the glue that holds our department together,” one nominator said.

Another added: “Sandra has consistently and conscientiously served the needs of students, faculty and staff at RHRC for many years. She has demonstrated professional growth throughout her tenure with the department and has assumed increasing responsibilities for tasks not part of his original job description.

Nominators said Ward does a fantastic job helping prospective graduate students apply to the department’s six graduate programs that offer 11 degrees. “Her communication with students is excellent. Every time a new student comes on campus and Sandra’s name is mentioned, they light up and say, ‘Oh, I know Sandra! She helped me so much in my application process!””

About the College of Education and Health Professions: The College of Education and Health Professions provides advanced academic degrees as well as professional development opportunities and learning communities to serve the education and health systems of Arkansas and beyond. The college provides training and experiences for a variety of professional roles, ranging from community mental health counselors to teachers and school leaders. Adult education and higher education programs, as well as educational technology and sports management, offer a wide range of options. In addition to education-related opportunities, the college prepares nurses, speech-language pathologists, health educators and administrators, recreation professionals, rehabilitation counselors, and human performance researchers.

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