Traditionally, staff award winners are surprised in their offices or in meetings by Bergeron, and a photographer captures their reactions. This year, in keeping with the tradition, Bergeron surprised staff award winners in WebEx meetings to deliver the news. Their reactions were captured in screen grabs.
The staff award winners are as follows:
The Service Excellence Award: Greg Surman
Greg Surman won the 2020 Service Excellence Award, which honors an individual who demonstrates distinction in the conduct of his or her responsibilities at the College. Surman is the film studies technician in the Department of Film Studies and has been at the College for 12 years.
Surman’s deep knowledge of film studies, technology, production and editing has made him an invaluable resource to the Conn community. He mentors students, always bringing out their very best, and collaborates regularly with faculty and staff across campus. He embodies the spirit of inclusivity and full participation that Conn prizes.
The Citizenship Award: Bonnie Wells
Secretary of the College Bonnie Wells won the 2020 Citizenship Award, which honors an individual who has enhanced the quality of life and made a substantial difference for the College community. Wells has had a distinguished career over the last 25 years, and has been the embodiment of citizenship, with her service under five presidents and as many board chairs, and her capable work with countless trustees.
Wells handles complex tasks with grace and style, and her event planning skills are second to none. She represents the true values that lie at the heart of the Connecticut College community.
The Inspiration Award: Christopher Rust
Christopher Rust won the 2020 Inspiration Award, presented to an individual who excels at building relationships and motivating others to higher levels of performance. As director of purchasing in Accounting (Office of the Controller), Rust, who has been at the College for three years, took the initiative to create CTW OneSource, a new digital procurement platform benefiting not just one but three campuses, saving valuable time and resources.
Rust found grants to help plan the project, garnered inter-institutional support (no small feat!), and then saw the project through from start to finish. Through it all, what shone through was his characteristic good humor, his creative problem-solving and his commitment.
The Rising Star Award: Pamela Wrinn
Pamela Wrinn won the 2020 Rising Star Award, which recognizes an individual who has worked at the College for less than three years and has made a recognizable impact. Wrinn is the senior assistant to the Office of the Dean of the College.
Wrinn won for her outstanding commitment to students, to building community, and to fostering an environment of care and professionalism. In addition to planning and executing high-profile events with great skill, Wrinn took initiative to improve staff support across the College by bringing senior administrative assistants together to share best practices.
The Student Support Award: Truth Hunter
Truth Hunter, who has been at the College since 2017, won the 2020 Student Support Award, which honors a staff member who has bolstered student success and facilitated a positive student experience. Hunter is the director of race and ethnicity programs in the Division of Institutional Equity and Inclusion.
Hunter has played so many roles so gracefully—as a mentor, as a director, as a supervisor, as an artist, as a teacher, as a leader and as a program builder. She has been a revelation and an inspiration to Conn’s students. Supervising the Unity Ambassador Teams, she empowers students to develop their capacity for leadership and to grow professionally, academically and spiritually. Through Conn’s new Genesis class on “How College Works,” she strengthens the bonds among Conn’s first-year students of color and first-generation students. Her passion for equity and inclusion is felt all over campus.
The Team Service Excellence Award: Instructional Technology Team
The Instructional Technology Team won the 2020 Team Service Excellence Award, presented to the staff team that demonstrates distinction in the conduct of their responsibilities at the College. The Instructional Technology team was chosen because of its unparalleled commitment to excellence.
In March, when the College transitioned to remote instruction in the midst of a global pandemic, the team leapt to the challenge. For most faculty, remote teaching was completely unfamiliar territory, and the team was there to help. With just days to prepare, the team devised a comprehensive plan to train faculty in the latest digital technologies so they could move their teaching online. It was a herculean effort, and it made all the difference for Conn’s students.
The Instructional Technology Team includes Kate Bengtson, instructional technology specialist; Lyndsay Bratton, assistant director for digital scholarship; Diane Creede, assistant director for instructional technology; Mike Dreimiller, digital media specialist; Ashley Hanson, research and instruction librarian; Lori Looney, technical services and e-resources specialist; Andrew Lopez, research and instruction librarian; Ariela McCaffrey, director of research support, instruction and outreach; and Jessica McCullough, director for research support and curricular technology.