Faculty, Staff Awards, Milestones, Retirements Celebrated at Recognition Breakfast

May. 16, 2018

Faculty and staff honored at the recognition breakfast
Faculty and staff were honored for service milestones -- the coveted chairs are for 25 years of service -- and retirements, as well as individual staff or teaching awards.

Tuesday morning's Faculty and Staff Recognition Breakfast in St. Louis was a chance to regroup after Saturday's 99th Commencement ceremonies at The Muny in Forest Park. Faculty, staff and many returning retirees gathered in Grant Gymnasium to celebrate milestones, awards and happy retirements.

Adjunct faculty member Debby Lennon and accompanist Carolbeth True provided music, with Department of Music chair leading the singing of the alma mater.

Andrea Rothbart celebrates 55 years of service
Rothbart (center) celebrates 55 years.

Chief Human Resources Officer Steve Winter welcomed attendees and emceed the recognition of those receiving awards, while President Beth Stroble and Provost Julian Schuster each reflected on moments from the past year.

The annual Staff Member of the Year recipients were announced, as well as new retirees, some of whom were awarded faculty emeritus, dean emeritus or university associate status.

Among the service milestones, the longest by far was School of Education faculty member Andrea Rothbart, celebrating 55 years of service. Read Rothbart's reflection on her milestone in this School of Education blog post.

Staff Members of the Year

Jordan Olufson, women’s basketball coach, and Kyle McCool, director of Graduate Advising, are the 2018 Staff Members of the Year.

The annual award recognizes a staff member(s) who has truly gone the extra mile in his/her position to make significant contributions to the University. The award includes a special honor at the annual breakfast and a $1,000 performance award. Nominators submitted a compelling one-page description of their choice staff member.

Jordan Olufson
Jordan Olufson

Jordan Olufson is known for guiding a team that excels on the court, in the classroom, and throughout the community.

While coaching a team that won the SLIAC Tournament and qualified for the NCAA Tournament, he has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and funds to support Webster Athletics and establish an outstanding culture.

Prospective students and their parents quickly learn that they have a great coach who will focus on the importance of academics and each individual’s development as a person.

“Jordan’s natural care for his players is evident as he emphasizes academics, community outreach and development of young women as confident leaders by the time they graduate,” one nominators said.

Kyle McCool
Kyle McCool

Kyle McCool is “a unifier and a collaborator,” nominators said. “She believes in sharing knowledge and developing excellence and consistency across the network.”

Since arriving in 2015, Kyle has “truly embraced Webster’s mission while enhancing advising tools and resources to ensure high-quality results for students throughout the network.”

Among those resources is the Student Success Portal (Starfish), for which Kyle has played a critical role in rolling out and implementing training.

“Kyle is a natural leader,” said another nominator. “She works continually toward a vision of a better Webster, and with her intelligence, affability, effectiveness, political savvy, and great humor, she inspires her staff to do the same.”

Gorlok Great, Faculty Honorees

At the breakfast, previously announced recipients of the Gorlok Great Awards, the William T. Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Wilma and Roswell Messing, Jr. Faculty Award were also recognized.

Read more about those honorees here:

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