Staff Excellence Award

The Staff Excellence Award was initiated in 2014 to replace the Unclassified Professional Award and Support Staff Employee of the Year Award and to recognize employees who demonstrate a standard of excellence in work and a significant contribution to the University of Kansas Libraries. The Staff Excellence Award will be given to two recipients annually, in any combination of USS and UPS status.

The winners will each receive a $1,000 cash award as well as his or her name engraved in a plaque on the third floor of Watson Library. The award announcement is made in September and is formally acknowledged at the Libraries’ annual Celebration of Excellence Ceremony.


To be eligible for nomination, Staff must be employed by the University of Kansas Libraries for at least one year prior to the deadline for nominations. Members of the selection committee and anyone who has won the Unclassified Professional Award or the Support Staff Employee of the Year Award within the last three years are ineligible. 

Nomination Procedures

A call for nominations will be made annually by the Libraries administration. Any person or group of persons affiliated with the University of Kansas, who are not serving as a voting member of the Selection Committee, may nominate an individual. Nominators are asked to complete a Staff Excellence Award Nomination Form by 5 p.m. on June 17, 2022.


Nominations should be based upon work-related criteria in the given year. 


The Staff Excellence Award Selection Committee is comprised of four Library volunteer staff members. Neither a nominator nor any nominee is eligible to serve on the Selection Committee. Should a member of the Selection Committee receive a nomination for the award, an appropriate replacement will be named to the Selection Committee by the Dean of Libraries. Members of the Selection committee can determine the process for interviewing nominees, co-workers and supervisor. The Committee then votes on two recipients and forwards their recommendations on to the Dean. The recommendations will include a ranked list for each nominee. Nominees will be informed by the Dean prior to the announcement of the winners.  

All nomination materials will be considered confidential and will be retained in the Library Administrative Office files.

Previous Award Winners

  • 2021 - Scott Cossel, Library Manager and Nishon Hawkins, Library Manager
  • 2020 - Sunita Gandhi, Library Associate and LeAnn Meyer, Communications Manager
  • 2019 - Michelle Curttright, Library Manager and Brian Moss, Library Manager
  • 2018 - Rhonda Houser, Education Program Coordinator and Andrea Pitt, Library Manager
  • 2017 - Sarah Couch, Manager/Administrator and Letha Johnson, Archivist Associate
  • 2016 - Carmen Orth-Alfie, Graduate Engagement Librarian and Mary Raple, Program Assistant for International Area Studies 
  • 2015 - Lois Bauer, Accountant and Courtney Foat, Executive Assistant
  • 2014 - Jeromy Horkman, Director of Public Services and Malgorzata Stamm, Program Assistant for Slavic and Eurasian Studies