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CHASS Staff Awards 2014

2014 staff nominees
2014 Award for Excellence nominees (L-R) Latonya Tucker, Bruce Cheek, Dara Leeder, Claudia Kearney. Not pictured: Brooke Gangi. All photos by Robert Bell.

Update June 18, 2014: Claudia Kearney of the Center for Family and Community Engagement was one of five NC State employees selected to represent the university at the state level Awards for Excellence.


The college held its annual Awards of Excellence luncheon on April 29, 2014, to recognize and honor CHASS staff, whose efforts, competence, and enthusiasm keep the college humming. Nominations for the Awards for Excellence are based on achievement in outstanding service, innovation, public service, safety, heroism, and human relations. This year’s CHASS nominees demonstrate commitment to service, quality of work, and dedication to excellence.

Latonya Tucker with Dean Jeff Braden. Nominator Jonathan Ocko is at right.
Latonya Tucker with Dean Jeff Braden. Nominator Jonathan Ocko is at right.

Latonya Tucker, executive assistant in the Department of History, received the CHASS SPA award for excellence. She was nominated for outstanding service asexhibited by unselfish devotion to duty, far and above normal requirements, new and outstanding innovative methods, and for her extensive contributions toward enhancing the quality and morale of the workplace. As one of her nominators wrote, “What makes someone outstanding, regardless of their field, is when they go far beyond the requirements of their job without making it appear as if they are doing anything extraordinary. Every day for the past four years, Ms. LaTonya Tucker has accomplished what appeared to be impossible with poise. She has not only resolved crises with a commanding calmness, but also anticipated problems before they occurred and charted paths around them with clarity and certainty.”

The other SPA nominees for the CHASS Award for Excellence were similarly stellar: Bruce Cheek, Interdisciplinary Studies; and Brooke Gangi, Department of English.

Claudia Kearney with Dean Jeff Braden
Claudia Kearney with Dean Jeff Braden

Claudia Kearney, a trainer in the Center for Family and Community Engagement, received the CHASS EPA award for excellence, based on her outstanding service and public service accomplishments. Kearney provides outreach and training to all 100 North Carolina counties. She helps develop training materials and other forms of community engagement that exemplify the university’s commitment to education and outreach.  Nominators said that through Kearney, “families across North Carolina are offered new opportunities to engage with service providers that meet families where they are and engage them in genuine partnership for the well- being of their children. … Claudia has a strong work ethic, is dependable, hardworking, professional, and highly motivated. She works tirelessly to support the center’s mission and values and partners with her colleagues in ways that keep the needs of North Carolina’s families, children, and youth at the forefront. She is not afraid to ask tough questions, roll her sleeves up to work hard, and speak up on behalf of families, children, and youth in everything she does.”

Dara Leeder, CHASS director of student recruitment and retention, was the other deserving EPA nominee.

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners.

staff awards committee 2014Many thanks are due to the program committee, pictured L – R: Carrie Bekerman, CHASS IT; Betty Byrum, Finance and Administration; Lillie Kirby, School of Public and International Affairs; and Crissy Williams-Brown, Awards Coordinator, Dean’s Office. Many thanks too to Robert Bell for photography.