The University of New Mexico Office of the President and the UNM Staff Council celebrated the 2014 recipients of the annual Gerald W. May Outstanding Staff Award recently. They are: Amy Hawkins, Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) for the College Enrichment and Outreach Program (CEOP); Rosemary Melendrez, UNM Police Department; Daniel Mulligan, New Mexico Transport Program and David Phillips, Maxwell Museum.
Amy Hawkins practices what they preach at College Enrichment and Outreach Program – she is a candidate in the master’s of Public Administration program on top of her fulltime work. Hawkins’ work entails helping first-generation college students, low-income individuals or veterans in obtaining a high school equivalency diploma, or enrolling in college. She also assists them with applying for financial aid and scholarships.
Under the initiative category, Hawkins’ nominator noted that she found and corrected a billing error that resulted in the department being double billed over a 24-month period. “She contacted the phone provider and received from the phone company an apology…Mrs. Hawkins' detailed analysis was key in finding a billing error that was missed by her predecessor.”
As a dedicated team member, Hawkins’ nominator wrote that despite being on a grant-term position, “[Hawkins] works with our other College Enrichment and Outreach Programs to support them with workshops, conferences and scheduling of space.” And she does it all with a smile on her face.
Rosemary Melendrez has 20 years of UNM experience under her belt. In her role at the UNM Police Department, Melendrez supervises campus security officers and the student patrol. “She leads by example, showing her team firsthand what type of quality services are expected of them. She uses her training, education and advice of superiors to be a great supervisor and leader,” her nominator wrote.
Melendrez takes classes to keep abreast of changes and is also attends the Management Academy.
She covers shifts when needed and volunteers her time to the University. She was awarded the UNM PD Civilian of the Year award in 2004. Her supervisor said, “Rosemary’s character and her integrity are among the highest represented throughout the police department.”
Daniel Mulligan was, for five years, a newborn transport technician in the School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics in the Division of Neonatology. He recently was promoted to co-coordinator. He came upon a number of challenges with various retirements and the Newborn Transport program undergoing accreditation. “Daniel spearheaded the correction of two points of concern and 19 areas of improvement. This includes all aspects of needed administrative and clinical care,” his nominator wrote.
When an employee was let go, Mulligan stepped up and worked 90-110 hours of coverage. “Daniel’s dedication to ensure that this position and transport program remained operational is amazing,” his nominator wrote.
His nominator concluded, “Daniel’s dedication to and hard work for the Newborn Transport Team…is an extension of who he is: a hard worker, careful planner, and someone who will do extra work to learn something to do his job more efficiently.”
David Phillips, curator of Maxwell Museum’s archaeological collections, stepped up to take on additional work while the museum has been understaffed. He expanded the pool of volunteers to rehouse the largest and important collections in the museum. That collection is from the Sapawe site, which was excavated 45 years ago and is one of the largest known adobe-walled pueblos in New Mexico.
“Its use by researchers and students has long been compromised…Dr. Phillips has made this important collection available and usable to students, researchers and Native American constituents. This effort goes well beyond routine curatorial duties and reflects his determination to improve UNM’s academic resources and standards,” wrote his nominator.
Phillips also worked to repatriate and rebury human remains from Paako from more than 70 years ago. “Dr. Phillips’ contributions to the UNM community far exceed what could be expected of any scholar and museum professional,” his nominator concluded.
In 1990, the University of New Mexico established an endowment through funds earmarked by former President Gerald W. May specifically for staff recognition. A matching amount was made available from the Regent’s Endowment Fund, designated at the end of President May's tenure, in recognition of his service and assistance in creating a UNM Staff Council. Revenue is used by the Staff Council to recognize outstanding staff members who have made significant contributions to UNM.