In her first week on the job, UofL’s new executive vice president and university provost, Lori Stewart Gonzalez, reached out to students on April 8 requesting their help in identifying the faculty and staff members who went above and beyond for them during this unprecedented year.
“We have so many employees who are dedicated to creating meaningful educational experiences for you. Many have really gone above and beyond expectations to provide support to you as you navigated this very difficult year. I want to bring attention to these individuals on our campus who have been steadfast in their support when it was most needed. As provost, it is important for me to know who on our campus has provided critical support to help you succeed.”
Over 1,100 students submitted the two-minute survey provided in the provost’s email, yielding 778 different faculty and staff member names. This inaugural recognition effort from the provost’s office honored all the nominated employees as Student Champions. Twenty-one schools, colleges and offices were represented in the 778 Student Champions.
The College of Arts and Sciences boasted the most nominations, with student submissions recognizing 243 faculty and staff across multiple departments within A&S. Students also recognized 87 employees in the College of Education and Human Development, 61 employees from the School of Medicine, and 50 employees from the J.B. Speed School of Engineering as Student Champions.
Many recipients of the award received multiple acknowledgements from the student body. Stefanie Wooten-Burnett, director of Multiple Pathways and assistant professor with the College of Education and Human Development, was nominated by 14 different students – the most of any employee. Ashley Shelton, a clinical assistant professor also with College of Education and Human Development, received 12 acknowledgements and Melissa Benningfield, an academic advisor with A&S, received eight student submissions.
In order to facilitate a student-first culture at the university, the recognition of the Student Champions and their contributions toward making UofL a great place to learn will be conducted annually. Student Champions and the leaders of their respective colleges, schools and offices were recognized by Provost Gonzalez and President Bendapudi via email, and a certificate honoring their commitment to student success will be awarded to them later this summer.
All faculty and staff names that were submitted as Student Champions can be viewed here [PDF].