University of Louisville Provost Shirley Willihnganz honored 12 staff members with OPAs during a ceremony Nov. 30 at the Brown and Williamson Club at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Each award winner received $1,000 and a plaque.

Here are the recipients (information comes from nomination materials):

Mark Branham, fire equipment specialist, physical plant
Branham, a licensed master electrician and fire alarm inspector, installs and maintains UofL’s fire alarm systems and related equipment. He inspects the systems and makes sure UofL is compliant with codes and regulations. Branham also has extended his knowledge beyond his assigned job factors to include such areas as security, elevators and emergency generators.

Aaron Boggs, grounds superintendent, physical plant
Boggs is responsible for grounds maintenance on Belknap Campus, the ShelbyHurst academic and research areas, the recycling program on all campuses and has a hand in implementing the university’s plan to reduce storm water runoff to the sewer. He was a key member of the team that developed UofL’s tree-care program and in securing campus designation as Tree Campus USA.

Keneka Cheatham, administrative assistant, Department of Communication

Cheatham is extremely organized and service oriented, whether her interaction is with faculty, students or other staff. She shows a true concern for students’ needs and is never too busy to help them. Cheatham also is instrumental in organizing the annual Food for the Soul communication department fundraiser, including soliciting donations of food and money. The event benefits the UofL Cares campaign.

Walter Ewing, custodian, physical plant
Ewing has been a UofL custodian for 40 years. He sets high standards for his work and makes it his responsibility to ensure that buildings are both clean and safe. Ewing is a team player and exhibits flexibility and dependability and, on a regular basis, far exceeds what is asked of him.

Sally Feeney, academic and clinical manager, pediatric hematology/oncology
Feeney coordinates the day-to-day operations of six subspecialty hematology/oncology clinics, and 11 pediatric subspecialty clinics, among others. Her job responsibilities are as diverse as managing billing and business operations, assuring that all personnel in the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic maintain their various HIPPAA qualifications and helping new and prospective students learn their way around. Feeney also coordinates activities for clinic patients, such as the “Carnival of Life” party.

Therese Hayden, comprehensive group floor coordinator, Dental Clinic
Hayden oversees the daily clinical operation in the DMD clinic, helping coordinate all activities ranging from interactions with dental laboratories to new tasking from the administration. She helps coordinate the Operative Competency program, is the key staff member in organizing and managing the dental school’s mock boards and is the key staff member for preparing the school for regional board testing. She is committed to students – even going so far as to provide support in their personal lives – to dental clinic patients, her staff colleagues, faculty and the university as a whole.

Debbie Hudson, unit business manager, Department of Theatre Arts
Hudson has been theatre arts’ unit business manager for two years, having assumed the post three weeks before the 2009 Belknap Campus flood. She provided leadership both during the flooding and the subsequent clean-up. Hudson goes beyond her UBM duties to serve on the Green Team, providing theatre arts with information about recycling. She also has taken on lead responsibility for advising undergraduate students this fall while the director of undergraduate studies is on sabbatical. Having done so informally for years, she is able to draw on her past experience and on her degree from the College of Education and Human Development.

Jessie Roth, assistant to the dean of libraries, office manager
Roth supports the dean of University Libraries and manages the dean’s office. Her responsibilities include planning and coordinating library events, public relations and marketing efforts, intra-library communication and maintaining a database of library statistics. Roth is liaison with other units, such as administration and public safety. Although she already was a seasoned supervisor, this year, she took and completed the Successful Supervisor training to be able to even more effectively supervise personnel in the dean’s office.

Marsha Shields, director, paralegal program
Shields became director of the paralegal program in the Department of Political Science 19 years ago. Her responsibilities include course advising, recruiting, career counseling and placement, mentoring, partnership building and teaching. She worked with political science faculty to develop a bachelor’s degree in political science with a paralegal emphasis and has worked with local law firms to create student internships. The program she has built is American Bar Association-approved.

Scott Soeder, graphic designer, Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning
Soeder’s work touches all segments of the university and includes marketing, education and technology. His designs must engage and appeal to students and he teaches faculty how to use such technology as podcasting. Soeder also works closely with other offices on campus-wide initiatives. He was instrumental in setting up the Digital Media Suite in Ekstrom Library and worked with the Office of Institutional Research to help increase student participation in the National Survey of Student Engagement. Soeder recently has taken on responsibilities associated with the vacant Delphi Center marketing manager’s post. This requires him to perform administrative and management tasks while continuing to work as a graphic designer.

Gerome Stephens, coordinator, student leadership programs
Since he joined the Office of Civic Engagement, Leadership and Service full-time in 2008, Stephens has developed several new programs, advised student groups and marketed service opportunities available through CELS. His post entails co-advising the Student Government Association; advising the Engage, Lead, Serve Board – including the UofL Dance Marathon, STAND and Student United Way; coordinating Freshmen LEAD; planning alternative service breaks; coordinating volunteer intern programs; planning and implementing the Friend of Louniversity Summer Camps for incoming first-year students; and contributing to professional organizations. He has increased student participation and external and internal partnerships.

Chandra Stroud, administrative specialist, Pan-African studies
Stroud has supported Pan-African studies through 17 years of tremendous growth. Her responsibilities include providing direct administrative and operational support for the chair and helping in the planning and implementation of course schedule, facility upgrades, faculty and staff recruitment, purchases and expenditures, payroll procedures and department travel reimbursements. She is liaison to outside vendors, students, other departments and units, visitors and the general public. As required by the department’s study abroad and other relationships, she also is and diplomat for the department and UofL to universities outside of the United States.