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Pride of Indiana: Thank-you messages to and from IU employees

Feb 7, 2018

Pride of Indiana is a regular feature in Inside IU that allows IU faculty and staff to recognize their colleagues for IU-related work they’ve done that goes above and beyond their job duties or responsibilities.

Submit a Pride of Indiana shout-out for a colleague who makes a difference in your department.

A graphic of the state of Indiana that has a banner over it saying 'Pride of Indiana'

Thank you to the following IU employees:

IU Bloomington

Melissa Deckard, of the Borns Jewish Studies Program, whose nominator wrote: ”Missy Deckard is not in my immediate office, but I have worked with her for years on partnerships across the College of Arts and Sciences. She is always on top of things. I love it when I get a proposal from her office because I can trust she is there to help make our joint program a success.”

Jim Whalen, chair of the Kelley School of Business Department of Accounting, whose nominator wrote: “I would like to thank Dr. Jim Whalen for going above and beyond as department chair in accounting. His leadership provides opportunities for everyone to raise the standard of excellence in education and his compassion and dedication to accounting at the Kelley School of Business is transcendent.”

Hillary Burns, of the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies in the School of Public Health-Bloomington, whose nominator wrote: “Hillary Burns is a pleasure to work with every day. Her cheerful demeanor is contagious! She comes to work smiling, willingly goes the extra mile to help others and is still smiling when she leaves work at the end of the day. Faculty, staff and students appreciate her work ethic and attention to detail. We recognize and appreciate her dedicated efforts. Hillary’s dedication contributes to our overall success!”

Alita Hornick, of the Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, whose nominator wrote: “Alita Hornick is our director of business. She came aboard at a time when we had lost 15 staff members. Alita empowered the remaining administrative staff to rise up and be all that they could be as employees. She allowed us to make decisions and become a team. Alita gets it – our success is her success!”


Theresa Bell, of IUPUI Alumni Programs, whose nominator wrote: “Theresa consistently goes above and beyond in our office. We are in the process of hiring several new staff members, and Theresa is currently the only Alumni Programs assistant (we normally have three to support our efforts). We are in the second week of her being the only assistant, but she hasn’t complained once. While she is overloaded with her own work, she frequently asks others if there is anything she can do to help. She is in the habit of checking calendars and offering assistance to team members who have events or meetings coming up. She often says to me that we are all a family and that family members step up when they are needed, regardless of their own workloads. I’d like to thank Theresa for always being there for us with a warm smile and a ‘can-do attitude!”

Deserai Alexander, of the School of Nursing, whose nominator wrote: “Deserai has only worked here for a short time, but already she has shown great professionalism, learned quickly, and is incredibly pleasant and service- and student-centered. She is gentle and soft-spoken, but her inner beauty shines through like a beacon, and her work is of the utmost quality.”

Dorie Mayfield, of the Office of Research Administration, whose nominator wrote: “Dorie was extremely helpful in submitting a recent grant application. She patiently went above and beyond by revising the budget multiple times and quickly obtaining last-minute information and approvals on the day of submission. I was really impressed by her professionalism throughout the process.”

IU East

Sheila Armstead, of the School of Social Work, whose nominator wrote: “I am the only staff member in our department, and Sheila is a professor. Sheila makes me proud to be part of the work our students will do for Indiana and the special people they need to be. She models daily the kind of person it takes to do the complicated work of service to others. One of her many qualities is that she jumps in wherever needed, never hesitating to offer her assistance. ‘What do you need me to do?’ is her ready response. She also takes care to ask me about my family, myself, noticing my good and bad days. Our department runs smoothly because of her attention to the details, and students appreciate her open-door policy. Her presence and availability help create a welcoming environment on the IU East campus. We are fortunate to have her here.”

IU Northwest

Carol Wood, of UITS, whose nominator wrote: “Thank you, Carol, for being a great leader. Your knowledge and leadership make IT happen on the Northwest campus.”

IU School of Medicine

Tracy Lawson, of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, whose nominator wrote: “Tracy is so helpful and kind. She is always quick to respond to my questions for scheduling help or other requests. She genuinely cares and wants to help others, and it shows in all she does. Thank you, Tracy.”

Melissa Bales, of Pediatric Critical Care, whose nominator wrote: “Melissa Bales is simply the definition of outstanding! She is the fellowship coordinator for the Section of Pediatric Critical Care, but so much more than that. She ensures accommodations are booked and itineraries are prepared for 25 candidates each fellowship cycle. She is ‘mom’ to six fellows, taking care of them to ensure deadlines are met, paperwork is filed, and projects are completed. She assists faculty with editing of grant applications, biosketches and letters of recommendation. She coordinates countless meetings, meals and events. In addition, she mentors new coordinators. She is constantly surrounded by faculty clamoring for her help, and she always delivers with an ‘I can do that’ attitude! Melissa is so very much appreciated and valued as an integral part of the Section of Pediatric Critical Care.”

Christina Rogers, of Pediatric Education, whose nominator wrote: “Christina is a social worker in our department. She is dedicated to our patients and determined to do all in her power to help them through the barriers that hinder their care. Christina has had a lot go on in her own life this past year, but she still comes into work with a great attitude, a smile for her co-workers and an encouraging word. I admire her dedication and passion for the work that she does. She fights every day to help our patients’ lives to be better and is willing to go above and beyond to make that happen. I am thankful to work with Christina as a part of a bigger team doing wonderful things for patients. Christina is an integral and special member of that team. She deserves recognition!”

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