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CIT Ceremony Recognizes Excellence in Staff Members

January 23, 2014

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The College of Engineering (CIT) hosted the staff awards ceremony and luncheon January 7, in honor of the approximately 300 staff members who provide various support for the college’s academic, administrative, professional and technical needs. The staff members at Silicon Valley campus took part in the festivities via video-conferencing and a celebratory breakfast in Mountain View, Calif.

CIT Staff AwardsAs a highlight of the event, CIT Dean James H. Garrett announced this year’s recipients of the CIT Staff Recognition Awards. Three INI staff members and one CMU-SV staff member were among the winners.  The recipients were Marilú Santos Lundeen (INI) for the Burritt Award, Melissa Brown (CEE) for the Rookie Award, Christa Jones (INI) for the Continuous Excellence Award, Wendy Fong (CMU-SV) for the Innovation Award, Anita Connelly (MSE) for the Inspirational Leadership Award; and Miroslava Angelova (INI) for the Spirit Award.

The Burritt Award honors a staff member who exhibits a strong commitment to lifelong education. Lundeen, the administrative assistant at the INI, earned a bachelor’s degree in May after ten years of part-time studies. INI Director Dena Haritos Tsamitis described Lundeen's dedication by saying, "Despite her roadblocks--her conflicting responsibilities between work, school and home, the two-generation age difference between her classmates, her academic challenges--she persevered."

CIT Staff AwardsThe Continuous Excellence Award honors an individual who "continuously seeks excellence in practice." Jones, the manager of marketing, events and multimedia, has led the INI's major events and marketing efforts in recent years and has a work history of more than a decade with the college. "As the INI's event coordinator, Christa is consistently flawless in her planning, execution and her professionalism," wrote Dr. Tsamitis in a nomination letter.

Earning the Innovation Award, Fong has applied her energy and creativity to building up industry partnerships and unearthing exciting opportunities for students in the Bay Area in her position as senior strategic programs manager. Her nomination package included a support letter signed by several dozen INI students and alumni, led by alumna Luz Jaramillo (MS22) and Devika Nair Syama (MS24), who credited Fong for the success of the MSIT practicum program at the Silicon Valley campus. They wrote: "Through this program, approximately 200 students have succeeded in developing semester-long projects for clients in the technology field, while developing valuable skills that will help them achieve their potential professionally and personally."

CIT Staff AwardsThe Spirit Award went to Angelova who directs business operations at the INI and is an avid volunteer in her local community. She is the events chair for the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Carnegie Mellon Alumni Association and volunteers her service to a variety of other university initiatives, such as the Andy Awards Committee. Her fellow INI coworker Jessica Becker described her as "a glass half full kind of person with a strong work ethic and willingness to always help in any way possible."

The awards ceremony also honored individuals with Length of Service awards for milestones reached in their employment with the college. Awards for five-years of service went to several INI staff members: Kari Gazdich, Jamie Lehneke, Marilú Santos Lundeen and Pat Manski.

This CIT event takes place each January in recognition of the staff's efforts and achievements.

The award winners are pictured above, alongside Dean Garrett and Dena Haritos Tsamitis (top to bottom): Christa Jones, Marilú Santos Lundeen, Wendy Fong and Miroslava Angelova.