2021 Staff Awards
Congratulations to three University of Denver staff members and one department, who have won the 2021 Staff Awards. The winners embody the dedication and progressive spirit for which DU is known.
Outstanding Service Award: Helen McGrath
This is the highest award presented each year, recognizing someone who exemplifies the University of Denver’s mission.
Helen McGrath has been with DU since 2019 and serves as grants coordinator for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. In her role, she is lauded for helping connect people and promote collaboration.
In addition to her NSM work, McGrath helped prepare and submit the successful proposal for a nearly $1 million National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant, which is financing a university-wide initiative to increase gender equity among faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
“She is an active member of Women in STEM, which is a group of women promoting a more equitable culture in NSM,” writes microbiology professor Nancy Sasaki. “Her work has been nothing but demonstrating excellence in her own work and with her help toward our faculty's efforts towards performing internationally recognized research helping to better all life on Earth.”
Going above and beyond, McGrath took the lead on COVID coordination for NSM, which allowed COVID research to continue as effectively as possible.
“Keeping track of everyone who had building access and working within the building occupancy was a task that no one wanted,” writes Sandra Eaton, chair of Chemistry & Biochemistry. “Helen volunteered for the task and did it remarkably well. She never seemed to get flustered and was incredibly patient when many people were stressed.”
Quality Department Award: Office of Student Engagement
The Quality Department Award honors the staff of a department for outstanding service to the DU community.
The Office of Student Engagement provides students with the resources they need to get involved and get the most from their experiences on campus. Staff members connect students with opportunities in student organizations, leadership development, campus events and traditions.
During the pandemic, the Office of Student Engagement continues to create a vibrant campus life by bringing students together through virtual, hybrid and socially distanced in-person experiences.
Jessie Stellini, associate director of student engagement for Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence, applauds the department for tackling pandemic-related challenges head-on.
“Being asked to simultaneously keep students’ health and safety at the forefront while also finding ways to build community was a difficult challenge, and the Office of Student Engagement stepped up to that challenge without a second thought,” she writes.
Crimson & Gold Award: Genevieve Waller
The Crimson and Gold Award recognizes a DU employee who demonstrates outstanding commitment to and support of the University.
Genevieve Waller serves as program coordinator for the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and helps direct the Community Gardens.
She was nominated for her award by Laura Miller, manager of communication and events at the College of Arts and Humanities.
Miller describes Waller as committed to helping arts and culture thrive at DU.
“From organizing workshops at the community gardens to teaching students to write exhibition reviews for her art magazine DARIA, she’s had an enormous impact on the vibrancy of the DU community and in Denver overall,” Miller says.
Outside of her role at DU, Waller started DARIA, which publishes reviews and artist profiles. She recruits, trains and pays DU students in the School of Art and History to help write the content. Through DARIA, Waller aims to promote diverse artists while fostering a critical dialogue surrounding art.
Staff Innovator Award: Susan Haymore
The Staff Innovator Award is given to a DU staff member who has demonstrated creativity and innovation in work that advances the University’s strategic plan.
Susan Haymore, a business analyst III with Information Technology, works closely with Advancement to develop innovative reporting and workflow processes within DU’s PioSphere system. Haymore was instrumental in building a gift agreement request form within the Advancement CRM system. The new process has streamlined the process of drafting gift agreements.
In a nominating letter, Gloria Bokenkamp, assistant director of gift fund stewardship, writes about the crucial role Haymore plays in developing innovative processes.
“The gift agreement request form was an idea of mine, but I didn't know the most effective way to develop and implement it,” she writes. “Susan devoted a lot of time working with me to develop a new process that is user friendly and incredibly effective. There are countless examples where Susan came up with creative, problem-solving ideas.”