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Distinguished Staff Award

The Distinguished Staff Award recognizes 12 staff members, who have had five years of continuous service, for exceptional accomplishments, leadership, and service to the university community by significantly improving or enhancing the quality of worklife in ways that make a substantial difference for their colleagues; contributing to outstanding and sustained improvements in customer services; and developing creative solutions to problems that result in significantly more effective and efficient university operations. The Office of Human Resources awards honorees a $1,500 cash award and a $700 increase to their base salary.

Recognizing Excellence at Ohio State

Current University Awards winners

Previous University Awards winners

Click on photo or scroll down the page to read winner's bio.

John A. Cooley
Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies
Office of Academic Affairs

Jack Cooley has devoted his professional life to serving others and has earned the respect of all those he has worked with during his time at the university. “Jack’s leadership has made a real difference in issues ranging from career counseling and enhanced technology for advising to the availability of critical courses for undergraduate students,” one nominator wrote. Cooley was instrumental in merging University College and Arts and Sciences Advising into one new unit — Undergraduate Student Academic Services. He also played a leading role in helping the university change commencement from Friday to Sunday. Cooley is committed to ensuring the well-being of Ohio State’s undergraduate students and encourages undergraduate units to work together to serve students more effectively. “Jack believes that serving the university and its educational mission is a privilege that obliges us all to give our very best, and he does that unfailingly nearly every day of the year, for faculty, students and staff,” another nominator wrote.

Frank J. DiSanto
Executive Director
Ohio State University Research Foundation

Under Frank DiSanto’s leadership, the OSU Research Foundation has been revitalized. DiSanto’s guidance helped the foundation make great strides in electronic research administration, helping the foundation to provide better, more efficient service to the research community. The implementation of the new system will allow the foundation to integrate its financial records with those of the university, a daunting task to say the least. Within a year of assuming leadership of the foundation, DiSanto brought staff satisfaction and retention rates to an all-time high. DiSanto makes a dedicated effort to communicate with his staff openly, with the most popular form being ‘Breakfast with Frank,’ a monthly get-together of staff where DiSanto updates the group on all issues. As one nominator stated, “Frank is the embodiment of a leader. He has a clear vision for the present and the future of the organization; understands and powerfully articulates these ideas; inspires, motivates and supports his staff; and makes vision become reality.”

Cathy M. Eley
Assistant to Associate Dean
Ohio State Lima

“Cathy (Eley) formally serves as assistant to the associate dean at Ohio State Lima, but in truth she is the chief problem-solver on our campus,” one nominator wrote. Serving in this position for 27 years, Eley has come to be known as a dedicated, hardworking employee who is always willing to help others. Her efforts have improved the quality of work/life for faculty and staff, and students seeking meetings or counsel from administration. One of Eley’s primary duties is to ensure that a correct annual schedule is available in a timely fashion. If sections of courses need to be cancelled due to low enrollment, Eley voluntarily looks up each student’s schedule to make sure the schedule adjustments meet the students’ needs. She is also responsible for recording and tracking expenses so the campus stays on budget and she manages the contracting of auxiliary faculty. “Whatever is necessary to maintain the smooth functioning on the academic side of the university, Cathy is always there to answer questions, alter schedules, find information or just lend a hand,” wrote a nominator.

Carole L. Hinchcliff
Associate Director
Moritz College of Law Library

For the past 16 years, Carole Hinchcliff has helped make the Moritz Law library a better place for students, staff and faculty. Serving first as a reference librarian, Hinchcliff was then the acquisitions and collection development librarian and currently serves as the associate director of the library. As a librarian, Hinchcliff developed a guide to conducting dispute resolution research for Ohio State students, which also is used by students throughout the nation. As a member of the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) group, Hinchcliff sought training as a mediator and then began to assist the ADR program. “Ohio State’s dispute resolution program has been ranked in the top four nationally every year that the U.S. News & World Report reported such programs, and this was in no small part because of Carole,” one nominator wrote. Hinchcliff actively pursues teaching opportunities within the college and serves on numerous Moritz College committees. She also serves as the supervising attorney for the students’ small claims court mediations and has written extensively on law and library topics, including book reviews, interviews, bibliographies and articles on law librarianship.

Cindy L. Holodnak
Director of Management Development Programs
The John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy

During more than 20 years with Ohio State, Cindy Holodnak has applied great dedication and creativity to everything she does. In her current position as the director of management development programs for The John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy, Holodnak has expanded the quality, quantity and reach of the institute’s programs. Her work was recognized in 2003 with the National Speakers Association Ohio Meeting Planner Award. She has helped secure a grant to create a program to encourage college women to pursue elected office and other public leadership roles and she is now coordinating a program to train first-time candidates running for local office. Holodnak established an annual “Best Practices Awards” program for Ohio Community Action Agencies that rewards and disseminates creative approaches among small agencies that serve human needs throughout the state. The program, now in its fourth year, has been so successful that community action agency associations in other states are emulating it. “Cindy has expanded the quality, quantity and reach of our programs to a virtually unimaginable extent,” one nominator wrote. “She has had an extraordinary impact on Ohio State students, as well as on community members and elected officials throughout the state.”

Eunice E. Hornsby
Assistant Director
Organization and Human Resource Development

As a human resources professional, Eunice Hornsby places high focus and priority on quality and customer service. Starting with the university in 1980, Hornsby has worked with a wide variety of faculty, staff and students. “Her action-oriented approach in working with clients helps build trust and establish productive relationships,” wrote a nominator. She has provided organization development strategies and training to academic and non-academic departments; leadership for policy development, revision and maintenance within human resources; provided transitional leadership for the faculty work/life survey findings; and leadership for the revision of the university’s sexual harassment program. “Eunice’s significant knowledge, skills and abilities in the human resources arena coupled with her exceptional work ethic make her an asset to this institution,” one nominator wrote. Serving as chair of the Critical Difference for Women Professional Development Awards program, Hornsby also manages the process that results in awarding more than $10,000 in professional development grants to women faculty, staff and students. Students also have benefited from Hornsby’s dedication to helping others through her role as a Mount Leadership Society mentor as well as her willingness to read and provide feedback on dissertations.

Joanne Markiewicz
Director of Purchasing, Receiving, Stores and Mail Services
Office of Business and Finance

As director of OSU Purchasing, Receiving, Stores and Mail Services, Joanne Markiewicz’s contribution have helped the department to become a customer friendly environment that delivers high quality service. She has raised the level of professionalism in the department, always striving to find the best solutions possible for internal and external customers. After a bid process review, Markiewicz challenged the organization to develop and implement a more efficient, cost-effective and public competitive bidding process. She and her staff then developed an electronic bid board that maximizes OSU’s aggregate buying power, provides greater public access to competitive opportunities and that continues to reduce administrative costs. “She is the kind of person that takes action to provide timely solutions, identify opportunities to improve customer service, and give back to the university and greater community,” one nominator wrote. Markiewicz has streamlined processes and improved customer service in University Mail Services, and implemented industry performance standards and measures in the Receiving Department.

Kristine A. Moloney
Director of the Conard Learning Center
Ohio State Mansfield

The Conard Learning Center on the Mansfield campus has grown from a one-room, one-person operation to a two-floor center offering resources, services, computers, study labs and classrooms, all thanks to Kris Moloney. As director of the center, Moloney has initiated many programs to help students succeed in math courses. She participated in the inception of mandatory study group sessions for Math 050 students and she regularly organizes study sessions for students in more advanced classes. Moloney also visits math classes each quarter to increase awareness of math lab services. To accommodate more students, Moloney extended the center’s hours to include evenings and weekends. More than two dozen students work at the center and Moloney plays a major role in mentoring them. “Due to her imagination and constant concern for students, she always has chosen to do a great deal more than required or even asked of her,” one nominator wrote. She is also active in reaching out to the Mansfield community, designing K-12 tutoring programs, and summer computer programs for teachers and students. Also serving as an adjunct math instructor, Moloney earned the Teacher of the Year award in 1994.

Jeanne M. Osborne
Administrative Associate 2
Department of Animal Sciences

While leading OSU projects, Jeanne Osborne often works with faculty at other universities. It’s not unusual for them to request her job description, so they can institute a position like hers in their own departments, but what they don’t understand is that it’s not the position that is invaluable; it is Osborne herself. “The combination of her creativity in manner of functioning and her abilities to work with people is absolutely superb,” one nominator wrote. Recently, Osborne developed a plan for a state of the art audiovisual system, working to secure the funding and leadership for installation of the system in the arena in the Animal Science Building. Osborne also has been instrumental in developing a USDA Higher Education grant proposal that was funded in the full amount of the request. She recognized and developed the concept of teaching modules that incorporate scientifically based animal welfare topics into existing animal science and veterinary science curricula. She also assists with outreach activities in youth programs such as 4-H. Before joining the Department of Animal Sciences in 1999, Osborne worked as the manager in one of the most productive and highly funded research laboratories in the College of Medicine.

Joan E. Patton
Associate Vice President, Office of Health Sciences
Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer, College of Medicine and Public Health

“Joan Patton has been a staff member in the College of Medicine for more than two decades and has played a critical role in its success, both past and present,” one nominator wrote. Patton is currently the associate vice president for health sciences and chief operating officer/chief financial officer of the College of Medicine and Public Health and Office of Health Services (COMPH/OHS), making her responsible for all fiscal and personnel matters for the COMPH/OHS. In her efforts to improve the way COMPH/OHS operates, Patton initiated monthly meetings for department administrators, a mentor program for new administrators, an administrator certification program to foster continuing professional development and an administrators travel program to help fund attendance to national meetings. Patton also served on important university committees, such as the 1990 presidential search committee and the university’s budget restructuring committee. “Joan is a truly unique and exceptional individual who has had a tremendous impact throughout the college, Medical Center and university,” another nominator wrote. “She is uniformly recognized not only for her expertise, but also her ready willingness to help find solutions to the problems that other university staff, faculty and administrators bring to her.”

Susan H. Reeser
Administrative Assistant to the Dean
Graduate School

“Susan Reeser is not simply the ‘dean’s assistant.’ She is, as most people in the office will tell you, the linchpin of the Graduate School,” one nominator wrote. Some of Reeser’s job duties include managing the dean’s appointments, mailings and projects, but what she does beyond her written job duties is what makes her invaluable. After 17 years with the Graduate School, Reeser’s knowledge and longevity are tremendous assets to the school and staff members. She serves as a mentor to students and staff and helps orient new staff to their duties. Reeser often handles the initial inquiries graduate students, faculty and staff have about the program and its activities and always helps people find all the information they need. Year after year, Reeser has helped to ensure that the details about annual admissions, the fellowship competition and commencement are taken care of. During times of transition in the office, Reeser helps by taking on additional duties and ensuring all changes go smoothly. “She quietly and routinely pitches in to help, especially in peak times where extra hands are useful,” one nominator wrote.

Carol F. Scott
Coordinator of Outreach and Special Projects
College of Engineering

“Carol Scott is the gear that keeps the College of Engineering moving!” one nominator wrote. Scott coordinates all the college’s events, working closely with student groups, staff members, faculty and administration. She organizes the college’s pre-game tailgates before every home football game, the Faculty Awards Banquet, two engineering career fair expos each year, the Women in Engineering Annual Banquet and many other events the college holds. Scott also leads the college’s philanthropy activities, which include Operation Feed and the American Red Cross Blood Drive. She adds her creative and personal touch to all of the college’s announcements, flyers and certificates. Scott also is known for helping students any way she can and creating a family atmosphere in which students feel comfortable. “It is not merely the magnitude and volume of what Carol does that makes her so valuable to our college, but the completeness, promptness and precision with which it is executed, all wrapped up with Carol’s contagious smile and delivered with a witty quip and often a hug!” another nominator wrote.

2004 Distinguished Staff Award


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