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2019 Staff Award Winners

The 2019 Staff Performance Award Winners were announced on Monday, June 3, 2019 at a special reception for the nominees during Staff Appreciation Week. The winners will be honored at the Years of Service & Staff Performance Awards luncheon on Thursday, June 6.

About University Staff Awards

The Staff Performance Awards Program is designed to recognize outstanding performance by staff at the university. The awards are presented during Staff Appreciation Week.

Nominations for 2019 are closed.

Nominations may come from supervisors, subordinates, peers, faculty, and students. The Staff Performance Awards Program Project Team, a cross-functional team appointed by the President, Provost, and vice presidents, reviews nominations and selects winners. An award may not be given in all categories if the nominations do not provide sufficient justification of meritorious performance. You may nominate an individual, group, or team, depending on the award. These awards will be presented to winners as part of Staff Appreciation Week.

To nominate a staff member, go to the nomination form on the myAU portal.

All award winners will receive:

  • Award certificate
  • Invitation to the Years of Service and Staff Performance Awards Luncheon
  • Day off from work
  • Monetary award. Note: Monetary awards are considered taxable compensation to the recipient in accordance with the IRS code.
  • Photograph with the AU President and their division vice president

In 2015, American University introduced the Maria Bueno Lifetime Achievement Award as part of its annual Staff Performance Awards Program. The award's namesake served AU for 45 years and is recognized for her exemplary service and dedication to the advancement of the university. This award serves as both a legacy of her achievements and as an inspiration to others who work diligently behind the scenes to make the university thrive.

The Maria Bueno Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to long-serving staff members who dedicate the majority of their professional career to providing exemplary support or service to the AU community and make it a better institution. Awardees are individuals who are not in senior staff positions, but who provide, or have provided, direct support or service in an administrative, front line, or service position.

Often these vital individuals, while praised for their performance, are in positions that afford little official recognition or visibility, yet are dedicated, loyal, conscientious, and trustworthy over the span of many years and whose contributions have exceeded their formal title and stated duties.

The Maria Bueno Lifetime Achievement Award is presented at the AU Annual Staff Awards Program only when a candidate merits such distinction. Therefore, this award may not be bestowed annually.

Criteria

  • The individual currently is in an administrative support, front line, or service position (non-senior staff) and has been in similar staff positions for 25 or more years at AU

  • Provides outstanding service to their supervisors and the broader AU community for many years

A letter of nomination is required from a member of the university community and at least two additional supporting letters, one from a current or former supervisor. The nomination and supporting letters must attest to the quality of the awardee's performance over many years and provide examples of how the awardee has exceeded the expectations of their specific job duties.

Monetary Award

$1,000 for individual recipients. Monetary awards are considered taxable compensation to the recipient in accordance with the IRS code.

This award is given to a staff member or group who contribute to team performance by providing encouragement and support, help others overcome obstacles, and successfully accomplish goals; is an honest and dependable team player who contributes to group collaboration and consensual decision making and shows empathy and respect for others, and who builds and maintains good working relationships.

Criteria

Demonstrated a combination of the following:

  • Adjusts their work approach to accommodate needs and preferences of others; considers how their actions affect others; listens and acts upon suggestions made by others
  • Looks for ways to help their coworkers; responds positively to requests for assistance; shares information and ideas to help others achieve their goals
  • Shows appreciation towards other people in the organization; thanks people for their contributions; welcomes new members to the organization
  • Volunteers to assist with group activities and needs; looks for ways to contribute to the team
  • Actively participates in team meetings and activities; involves others in decisions and projects; leverages the skills and interests of coworkers to achieve goals and solve problems
  • Encourages people to think of themselves as a team; talks about projects and goals in terms of group accomplishments and efforts; focuses on shared interests and goals
  • Shows enthusiasm towards being a member of the group; conveys respect and appreciation towards the talents and contributions of fellow team members; takes pride in being part of the team
  • Supports team decisions and projects; actively contributes time and effort to help the team achieve its shared goals

Monetary Award

$750 for individual recipients, not to exceed $5,000 for a group award. Monetary awards are considered taxable compensation to the recipient in accordance with the IRS code.

This award is given to a staff member or group who provides timely and professional service to both internal and external customers (students, faculty, staff, and other constituents); is responsive to customer needs and requests; is courteous and considers the needs of the customer when making decisions.

Criteria

Demonstrated a combination of the following:

  • Builds strong relationships with customers; proactively reaches out to learn about customer goals and interests; stays aware of customer needs, concerns, and satisfaction
  • Effectively manages customer expectations; does not promise things that they cannot deliver
  • Resolves customer concerns in a calm, positive, and sensitive manner; makes customers feel valued and appreciated
  • Responds promptly to customer questions and requests; takes responsibility for meeting customer needs
  • Actively gathers and monitors information on customer satisfaction; informs people regarding customer service levels and trends related to customer satisfaction
  • Defends customer interests and goals; acts as an advocate for the customer during internal conversations within the organization
  • Encourages people to think about customers when making decisions; reminds people that customer service is everyone's responsibility
  • Places high priority on customer needs and concerns; called attention to issues that affect customer satisfaction; views issues from the perspective of customers

Monetary Award

$750 for individual recipients, not to exceed $5,000 for a group award. Monetary awards are considered taxable compensation to the recipient in accordance with the IRS code.

The Faculty & Staff Collaboration Award is designed to promote and reward outstanding collaborative efforts between faculty and staff at the university. This award serves to recognize faculty and staff whose collaborative efforts break down barriers and make American University an exceptional place to live and work. There will be one award granted annually.

Criteria

  • Nominations must include a minimum of one faculty and one full-time staff member
  • Collaborative efforts must exhibit a positive impact towards strengthening faculty/staff relationships

Monetary Award

$750 per person monetary award, not to exceed $5,000 for a group award. Monetary awards are considered taxable compensation to the recipient in accordance with the IRS code.

This award is given to a staff member or group who makes outstanding demonstrated contributions in the areas of inclusion, equity, and diversity, and advances the goals in the AU Inclusive Excellence plan.

CRITERIA

Demonstrated achievement of a combination of the following:

  • Demonstrates cultural competence by engaging colleagues and community members in a way that recognizes and engages our differences as strengths and opportunities for learning, innovation, and growth
  • Makes a contribution to a campus and workplace culture that furthers a sense of safety, belonging and satisfaction for everyone in our community
  • Works to create respectful, authentic, and engaged relationships between colleagues and community members, especially across difference.
  • Implements strategies to reduce the impact of unconscious bias in hiring, promotion, programming, mentorship, and service delivery
  • Advances new inclusive policies and procedures or revises existing policies and procedures to increase clarity, provide transparency, promote fairness, promote equity, and enhance accountability.
  • Demonstrates efforts to support the recruitment and retention of an excellent and diverse staff, faculty, administration and/or student body.
  • Creates innovative programs to engage historically marginalized groups of staff, faculty, students, alumni, and/or community members that advance diversity, inclusivity, and equity.
  • Designs or implements inclusive and equitable curricular and co-curricular programs or activities that demonstrate AU's values of critical inquiry, intellectual engagement, and respectful discourse across diverse perspectives.

Monetary award

$750 for individual recipients, not to exceed $5,000 for a group award. Monetary awards are considered taxable compensation to the recipient in accordance with the IRS code.

This award is given to a staff member or group who use creativity appropriately to develop new or improve processes, methods, systems, products, or services and encourage others to do the same. This award is given to those who make innovation a priority among team members and encourage reasonable and calculated risk taking and as a result improve the university and make AU a better place to live and work.

Criteria

Demonstrated a combination of the following:

  • Consider situations and problems from novel and diverse perspectives; addressed challenges in an innovative manner
  • Develop imaginative ideas to drive the organization forward; came up with creative, new ways of doing things
  • Produce a wide range of suggestions when presented with a problem or challenge
  • Question existing assumptions and beliefs; encourage people to think of alternative ways of doing things
  • Clearly define requirements and resources needed to implement new ideas; approach innovation with a practical, task-oriented mindset
  • Consider constraints that limit innovation; work within constraints to create novel approaches; find ways to make the most out of existing resources; separate critical requirements from nice-to-haves to create workable solutions
  • Convert ideas from general concepts into action plans; swiftly move from ideas to implementation
  • View ideas and suggestions from a pragmatic, user-oriented perspective; effectively determine if ideas will work in operation

Monetary Award

$750 for individual recipients, not to exceed $5,000 for a group award. Monetary awards are considered taxable compensation to the recipient in accordance with the IRS code.

Contact

Beth Muha
Human Resources
3201 New Mexico Avenue NW, Suite 350
(202) 885-2591

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Past Recipients

View past recipients of the Student, Faculty, Staff and Alumni Awards as we continue to watch their great work and success on and off campus!

View Past Recipients