More than 250 College of Charleston staff members braved flooded streets and stormy weather on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, to gather in the TD Arena McAlister Hospitality Suite for the annual Staff Celebration Lunch and Awards Presentation.
Hosted by the Staff Advisory Committee to the President (SAC), the event offered staff a Dining Services–catered meal and some quality face time with their colleagues, not to mention several opportunities to win prizes! In addition to a raffle for a variety of exciting goodies, this year’s celebration included the Cougar Quiz Show. Meredith English Perrone, director of brand marketing for the Division of Marketing and Communications, won the Jeopardy!-style CofC trivia contest when she answered the “Final Jeopardy” question – “What does the Latin phrase at the top of the College of Charleston seal mean?” – with, “Wisdom Itself Is Liberty.”
It was, however, the recipients of the 2019 Staff Awards who really won big at the celebration. Before presenting the awards, President Andrew T. Hsu addressed the staff as a whole.
“The College would not be the university it is without the dedication of its thousands of employees. … Your hard work, day in and day out, helps us prepare educated and well-rounded students,” he said in his first address to a large group of staff since assuming the presidency on May 16, 2019. He and Melantha Ardrey ’02, SAC chair and residence life director, then presented the awards.
Stephanie Auwaerter, director of orientation for New Student Programs, received the most prestigious staff award: The $1,500 Outstanding Staff Member Presidential Service Award, which recognizes staff who support and engage other offices and organizations on campus, have furthered the College’s core values, have been instrumental contributors to the College community and consistently collaborate and partner with other offices and organizations in order to benefit the campus community.
Remy Starker ’14, academic coordinator for student-athlete academic services, also won $1,500 when she was named the 2019 Presidential Temporary Staff Employee of the Year. Two other temporary staff members were recognized and awarded $500 each: Percival Haas, administrative assistant in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and Alexandra Lile (not pictured), campus visit coordinator for the Office of Admissions.
The $1,500 Presidential Permanent Staff Employee of the Year award for 2019 went to Dave Aurich, associate dean of students in the Division of Student Affairs, and the following permanent staff members also were recognized with a $500 prize: Leya Nelson, investigator and Title IX coordinator in the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs; Hayden Smith, student engagement coordinator in the School of Business; Kristin Wichmann, experiential learning coordinator in the Career Center; and Markus Williams (not pictured), electrician for Facilities Management.
All awardees were selected by SAC and President Hsu, who closed the awards presentation by expressing his gratitude: “I want to thank the award winners for their dedication and hard work and all the staff members for your excellent work.”
Check out more photos of the winners and of the event below!