Cherry, Dickherber Honored as Staff Members of the Year
December 08, 2020
Tyann Cherry and Anna Dickherber were announced as the 2020 Staff Members of the Year during the Staff and Faculty Virtual Holiday Celebration held via Zoom on Friday, Dec. 4.
More than 200 people participated in the event, which was hosted and organized by the Office of the Chancellor, the Office of the President, Human Resources and the Office of Special Events.
Webster Chancellor Beth Stroble and President Julian Schuster greeted faculty and staff and participated in small-group breakout rooms where employees enjoyed a series of casual conversations. Chief Human Resources Officer Cheryl Fritz announced the Staff Member of the Year award recipients and spoke about their pivotal contributions during 2020.
“Each day Tyann and Anna live the value of putting students first, while showing dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion,” Fritz said. “This year each rose to the fast-developing challenges posed by the pandemic, delivering decisive action and support for our community.”
Both Cherry and Dickherber credited their entire teams for the outstanding work that led to these honors.
Tyann's dedication and exceptional competence touched the experience of every single Webster student
Rapid Response during Shift to Modified Operations and Online Learning
For Cherry, that includes the Faculty Services and Support team in the Online Learning Center, which quickly assessed needs and formed an action plan amid the pandemic last spring when the decision was made not to return to on-campus learning after Spring Break.
The team marshalled Webster’s experts in remote learning, and over the course of 72 intense and exhausting hours, the Online Learning Center had master courses loaded, open office hours created, and partnerships with other service teams across campus in place.
They also established an online Faculty Knowledge Center and open office hours for faculty as they transitioned their classes to remote learning over the course of spring break.
As Cherry’s nominators wrote, “During the most tumultuous period of our lifetime, Tyann's dedication and exceptional competence touched the experience of every single Webster student. … It is rare to see one person make such an impact is such a variety of ways as we have witnessed from Tyann in the past year.”
Anna was a rock, creating a sense of family in our office that made the almost unthinkable, endurable.
Helping Resident Students through Sudden Changes
Dickherber’s quick work at the beginning of the pandemic related to a different side of the student experience: residential life.
Dickherber and her team in Housing and Residential Life assessed capacity and tended to the needs of 850 resident students during the rapid move-out process after spring break. She also personally met with each student who requested they had no option but to remain on campus.
As her nominators wrote, “Anna made sure the process was considerate to students’ needs while still keeping them safe, and that students’ fear was met with compassion…Anna was a rock, creating a sense of family in our office that made the almost unthinkable, endurable.”
Dickherber has also been at the forefront of Webster's pandemic response all year, leading the support of resident students while also serving on the University’s Task Force. Her team prepared an entirely new move-in process to prioritize safety as students returned for fall. Several parents said it was the best move-in experience they ever experienced at any university.
But even beyond this role, Dickherber is seen as a “go-to” by many across the university, fielding calls and offering support to staff, students, and parents who call upon her knowledge and support.