Monday Morning Message 2.24.2020 Our Unsung Heroes

Posted 2020-02-24 9:15am

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” – Cynthia Ozick

“The real heroes are not necessarily the ones in the headlines.
The real heroes are the ones you don’t hear about.
The ones doing the jobs that need to be done.
The ones fighting against the odds who still manage to inch forward.
Don’t be concerned about fame.
Be concerned about the best you can be.
Because it’s better to be an unsung hero
Than a sung unhero.”  - Anonymous

Last Friday we had an all-day staff retreat, and it served as an opportunity to demonstrate how vital our staff are to the success of our law school. Our students, faculty, alumni, and leaders-in-residence receive a great deal of attention, and deservedly so, but our staff are the unsung heroes.

Without our staff, we don’t have a law school. The entire continuum of the law school experience- from admissions, to academic support, to financial sustainability, to marketing & communications, to administrative support of faculty and programs, to student records, to student organizations, to events & forums, to building maintenance, to student & faculty research, to our Master of Legal Studies and LL.M. programs, to the administration of final exams, to preparation for the bar exam, to securing externships and employment- is facilitated by our staff who work tirelessly to support our students, faculty, alumni, and visitors.

The Staff Retreat was planned by the following staff: Sara Beznoska, Assistant Dean for Student and Career Services, Allison Bolt, Budget Director, Beth Farrell, Head of Library Access & Technical Services, Layla Davis, Secretary, Holli Goodman, Administrative Assistant to the Dean, Amy Miller, Director of Alumni & Donor Relations/Associate Director for Enrollment, and Jill Natran, Administrative Coordinator.

I presented the Grace Under Fire Award (one or more staff who work amid a challenging work environment) to our outstanding Law Library team: Amy Burchfield, Head of Research & Instructional Services, Brian Cassidy, Student Services Librarian, Eric Domanski, UNIX Systems/Data Administrator, Jon Elias, Circulation Supervisor, Beth Farrell, Head of Access & Technical Services, Tom Hurray, Evening & Weekend Supervisor, Margo Mathis, Media Tech Assistant, Neeri Rao, Faculty Services Librarian, Laura Ray, Outreach & Instructional Services Librarian, Lisa Smilnak, Digital Content & Special Collections Librarian, and Rick Zhang, Systems/Web  Administrator.

The Collegiality Award (fosters a collegial environment) went to Amy Miller, Director of Alumni & Donor Relations/Associate Director for Enrollment, who consistently demonstrates a positive, can-do attitude. Amy is the ultimate team player.

Below are the winners of the other awards that I had the privilege to present to our colleagues. These awards were created and voted on by our staff.

Confetti Award (most likely to find a reason to celebrate) – Holli Goodman, Administrative Assistant to the Dean

Dewey Decimal Award (most organized) – Donna Helfrich, Administrative Assistant

Light at the End of the Tunnel Award (most likely to see the positive) – Allison Bolt, Budget Director

MacGyver Award (staff member who is always fixing things even though it’s not part of their job description) – Layla Davis, Secretary

Mind-Blowing Award (most likely to generate creative ideas) – Jill Natran, Administrative Coordinator

Squirrel Award (greatest stash of stuff in their desk) – Patricia Donovan, Administrative Secretary

Vampire Award (most likely to arrive earliest and leave latest) – Mary Jane McGinty, Director, Bar Exam Preparation

White Knight Award (most likely to save the day) – Eric Domanski, UNIX Systems/Data Administrator

Appreciation is the act of seeing the positives in events, experiences, or other people. Gratitude goes a step further. It recognizes how the positive things in our lives—like success at work—are often due to forces outside of ourselves, particularly the efforts of other people.

On behalf of our students, faculty, alumni, and leaders-in-residence -our deep and sincere gratitude to each and every member of our amazing staff. Thank you very much!

This Week’s Monday Moment:   Want to be Happy? Be Grateful.

 Have a great day. Have a great week.

 For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages

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 My views in all my Monday Morning Messages are my personal views alone and do not reflect the views of our law school or our university.

My best,


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