School of Engineering Honors Staff for Excellence in Service
The Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science (SEAS) has presented its first Gibbs Distinguished Staff Awards to four individuals whose “contributions and actions consistently elevate the operations, performance and morale of the school, exemplifying the critical role of teamwork.”
Dean T. Kyle Vanderlick presented the awards on May 4 at an assembly of faculty and staff.
The awards are named after Josiah Willard Gibbs, a Yale graduate and professor, and one of history’s most renowned scientists. In 1863, Yale awarded Gibbs with the first Ph.D. in engineering in the United States for research on design of teeth for spur gears. Gibbs recognized that gear teeth must mesh together perfectly to do their job efficiently.
Michael Peel, vice president for human resources and administration, and T. Kyle Vanderlick, dean of the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science, flank the staff members who were honored with the inaugural Gibbs Distinguished Staff Awards: (from left) Mary MacNicholl, Susan Johns, James Agresta and Andy Morcus.
Vanderlick acknowledged that SEAS is a complex organization with complex pieces — including teaching and research staff, administrative staff and technical staff — and noted the important role every staff member plays in the success of the school.
Michael Peel, vice president for human resources and administration, also spoke at the assembly. He noted that honoring excellence in service was as important as recognizing length of service.
The winners of the inaugural Gibbs Awards were:
James Agresta, a SEAS research support specialist and the Cleanroom systems technician. Vanderlick lauded Agresta “for his commitment to the students of engineering, the value he brings to our laboratory operations and his powerful work ethic.”
Susan Johns, the SEAS assistant administrator for pre-award management. “There is no mountain of confusing directions, no proposal format, direction, instruction or institutional regulation that she cannot figure out, simplify or explain,” said Vanderlick in presenting the award. “[S]he is brilliant, patient, organized and willing to work many long hours to help get a grant out.”
Mary MacNicholl, an administrative associate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. “Mary has generously given of her time to other departments who are training staff in roles similar to hers,” noted the dean. “I deeply admire her for her dedication to the job, to her department and to Yale.”
Andy Morcus, the SEAS facilities operations manager. Vanderlick said Morcus was being honored “for his consistent, unflappable, high level of service … without an ounce of ego or complaint — and there is plenty of opportunity for both. He is as dependable and conscientious as they come.”
“I treasure having such excellent staff to work with day to day,” Vanderlick added.
— By Janet Rettig Emanuel