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Wednesday, Nov 26, 2014

A Few Clouds, 33 °F

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Deardorff and Burcham

Outstanding administrators Karen Deardorff and Stephanie Burcham show off their awards

Photographer: Octavio Jones

30-year honorees

The 30-year honorees are (L-R): Cathy Waller, Terry Swank, Sheila Williams, David Descutner, Wanda Weinberg

Photographer: Octavio Jones

Outstanding Administrator Awards crowd

The audience applauds during the ceremony

Photographer: Octavio Jones

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Top administrators honored at ceremony

Awards recognize outstanding performers, service


Units from every cross-section of campus as well as the regional campuses were represented at the annual Administrator Awards ceremony on Wednesday afternoon in the Baker University Center Ballroom.

The event recognized administrators employed for 10 years or more in five-year increments for their service to the institution, as well as retiring administrators. The ceremony also honored this year's Outstanding Administrators: Director of the Proctorville Center Stephanie Burcham, Associate Director of the Cutler Scholars Program Karen Deardorff and Assistant Director of the School of Theater Maureen Wagner.

"Each member of our community plays a vital role in the success of Ohio University. Your efforts on behalf of Ohio University are vital to our ability to function effectively and efficiently," said President Roderick J. McDavis in his address.

As an Ohio University alumna who "bleeds green," Burcham has been instrumental in the growth and development of the Proctorville Center. Building on her experiences at the Pickerington Center of the Lancaster Campus, Burcham has worked with staff and faculty as well as local schools and community members to create a vital link in the educational system of southeastern Ohio.

Nominators praised Burcham's ability to bring transformational change to the lives of the students at the center and the Southern Campus. They describe her as hard working, approachable, enthusiastic and innovative.

In her acceptance speech, Burcham reflected on her 19 years of service and praised McDavis for his commitment to unifying OHIO's main and regional campuses into one university.

"Having the contributions  of the Proctorville Center recognized today among the many outstanding and ongoing efforts at Ohio University reminds me of why I love my job. We are valued here, and together, we are making a difference in the lives of others," Burcham said.

Deardorff has been instrumental in the continued success of the Cutler Scholars program. Student nominators noted her ability to be encouraging, caring and compassionate while supporting academic excellence and accountability. Personal cheerleader, social worker,
adviser, and role model were some of the descriptors students used in describing her impact on their education and their college experience.

In her 27 years with Ohio University, Deardorff has held eight job titles in five departments across campus and earned three degrees. Equating the Outstanding Administrator Award to an Academy Award, Deardorff focused her acceptance speech on the lifelong connections between OHIO faculty, staff, and students and how those connections span across the years and across generations. 

"That type of connection is what makes Ohio University a place that alumni keep returning to and that they send their children and grandchildren to experience," she said.

Deardorff also praised the entire pool of nominees as equally deserving.

"Most of us go to work everyday and do what needs to be done," she said. "We don't think about whether someone is watching or taking notice of the extra hours spent in the office or the extra time spent with a student who needs our help outside of regular office hours.

So, to know that people were noticing and that they felt compelled to recognize those efforts is absolutely amazing." 

Celebrating 10 years of service to the university, Wagner was hailed as the "go-to" person for the School of Theater, who has a broad knowledge of policies and programs.

Nominators credited Wagner's "open-door" policy, where students can seek information, advice and even a friendly word with building a strong community within the school. They noted that she has turned the "Lunch Bag" all-school seminar into a vibrant and stimulating forum that serves to educate, advocate and foster creativity and community. Wagner also received accolades for her work through Arts for Ohio, which she serves as project director.

Her efforts to improve the quality and number of arts programs and contracting notable performing artists have enriched the cultural life of our students and the community, McDavis noted.

In a prepared letter of acceptance, Wagner thanked the university community for her nomination and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to work with high-caliber colleagues and students.  

First given in 1975, the Outstanding Administrator Awards are presented annually to individuals who exemplify a strong commitment and distinguished service to Ohio University.

The awards program is sponsored by Administrative Senate and voted on by a nine-member Administrative Senate committee.

"It goes without saying that the glue that holds our institution together and makes everything work is not only seated before me, but they're in the offices all across this campus as well as our regional campuses, and we don't take the opportunity to say thank you enough…. On behalf of our university community, thank you for all that you do each and every day," McDavis said.