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College employees honored with excellence awards

After a hiatus in 2020, Cornell celebrated the President's Awards for Employee Excellence Nov. 19 in a virtual and in-person ceremony. Included among the winners were licensed veterinary technician Katie Stevens, with the 2021 Trustee Award for Excellence, and the Cornell COVID-19 Testing Laboratory team, with the ONE Cornell Award.

“Cornell really is an incredible place. And it's the incredible place it is because of all of your support. I am so grateful to each and every one of you,” said President Martha E. Pollack, applauding the nominees and awardees for keeping Cornell safe, healthy and moving forward in its academic mission during another challenging year.

She noted the wide range of units represented by this year's nominees, including libraries, building care, student services, accounting and finance, and IT services, along with program coordinators and staff from across the colleges and campuses.

The hybrid event, also attended by Trustee Ezra Cornell ’70, took place virtually and in-person in Barton Hall.

“Something we’ve learned from the pandemic is that virtual experiences are important to our ‘One Cornell’ values,” said Mary Opperman, vice president and chief human resources officer. “When we’re less restricted by the size of a venue or the location of the event, we can be more inclusive of our employees who work in New York City or out of state, and of any and all attendees who want to celebrate with their colleagues.”

In total, the Excellence Awards program, now in its eighth year, received 121 nominations, recognizing 258 individuals for their commitment to the mission of their colleges and divisions, and the university as a whole; the excellence of their work as individuals and teams; and their efforts to advance a welcoming and inclusive workplace.

A recording of the live event and full listing of 2021 nominees and winners is available on the Excellence Awards webpage.

Written by Finley Williams

A version of this story originally appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.