Bowdoin Employees Honored with the 2009 Polar Star Awards
Story posted December 22, 2009
Five outstanding Bowdoin employees have been named the 2009 Polar Star Award winners. The awards were handed out last week and acknowledged publicly at the annual Holiday Luncheon held at Thorne Dining Hall Tuesday, December 22.
Ninety nominations were received this year singling out 57 individuals for excellence (see the full nominee list at the end of this article) in the areas of commitment, customer service, innovation, leadership, and teamwork.
2009 Polar Star Award Winners
POLAR STAR FOR COMMITMENT
Barbara Harvey, Circulation/Government Documents Assistant, Hawthorne-Longfellow Library
Nominators wrote: "Barbara, the 'Queen of E-Reserves,' is well known for her commitment to the Bowdoin family, to providing excellent service wherever it's needed, and to going the extra mile....Barbara is a dynamo! She tackles everyday tasks and special projects alike with unflagging energy, creativity, and determination, all of which ensure that the Library's patrons receive outstanding service....She is well respected and appreciated by those who rely on her expertise and dedication to outstanding service....She devoted much time to ensuring the smooth operation of the Music Library last year when we were awaiting the arrival of the new music librarian."
POLAR STAR FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE
Stella Crooker, Senior Housekeeper, Facilities Management/Housekeeping
Nominators wrote: "Stella provides continued, extraordinary service and always takes extra care to provide customers exactly what they want....Stella continually takes the steps necessary to keep her areas looking great, which has a very positive impact on the members of the public and visiting admissions guests....She takes the time to go beyond the standard maintenance and puts in the extra effort. We all benefit from her great care and extraordinary attention to detail....Stella blesses us with an abundance of common sense....She goes above and beyond to take care of all the little things that add up to make a huge difference. She knows it's that extra touch that demonstrates Bowdoin's hospitality and customer service."
POLAR STAR FOR INNOVATION
Josie Johnson, Academic Department Coordinator, Department of History
Nominators wrote: "Josie is a creative problem solver who implemented a streamlined online advising system for history majors, making many tasks easier and freeing up faculty to devote time to their students and research....The automation and data control that Josie has pioneered has allowed us to analyze our department functions in ways never possible before, and place the office on a new footing. A data revolution has happened under Josie's watch....She has a genuine investment in improving how the department operates, from creating and implementing a new online advising system for history majors, to doing large amounts of quantitative research to help the department prepare for a ten-year review....She has proven to be nothing short of an academic Mary Poppins, who literally saved out department. She patiently figures out how to extract me from whatever technological cul-de-sac I've managed to end up in....In her incarnation as an American folk and roots musician, she created a 90-minute program of American music during which she interpreted a range of canonical songs. There's quite a bit going on here behind Josie's Oz-like curtain."
POLAR STAR FOR LEADERSHIP
Tim Ryan, Associate Director, Athletics
Nominators wrote: "Tim's hard work and vision was invaluable as Bowdoin adopted the new Polar Bear identity, and his work reducing the budget is a clear example of his leadership during these tough economic times....The introduction of the new Polar Bear identity had a profound impact on the athletics department, and its successful adoption would not have happened without Tim Ryan's hard work....He is efficient, level-headed, and fun to work with. I'm grateful for his clear-headed vision....Tim leads with clarity and efficiency....He is largely responsible for athletics reducing its budget and trimming the fat last year. He is the perfect example of needed leadership in these economic times, and has earned the respect and admiration of his peers."
POLAR STAR FOR TEAMWORK
Rany Soeun, Dining Service Aide II, Thorne Hall
Nominators wrote: "Rany is a ball of energy who, the ultimate team player, and someone who motivates by example....Over the past few years, Rany has become the ultimate team player. She is always willing to adjust her schedule to the needs of the operation....Every one of her co-workers enjoys working with her. She motivates them positively and by example....She will work wherever we need her the most. She is also a ball of energy. If we're shorthanded, she always helps us pick up the slack. We look at Rany as an employee we could all strive to emulate."
Prior to announcing the winners, President Barry Mills additionally acknowledged the extraordinary team of people from many different campus departments who assisted with responding to this fall's swine flu situation. Literally dozens of employees worked tirelessly in helping with the outbreak, and Bowdoin has been commended for a job well done.
The following outstanding Bowdoin employees received Polar Star nominations for 2009:
Anita Erickson York
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