FROM READERS: Stephens College faculty, staff receive recognition for outstanding accomplishments

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT
Stephens College faculty and staff receive awards at an Employee Recognition Ceremony on April 11. They are, from the left: Tony Coleman, Yvonne Chamberlain, Zak Birchmeier, Sady Mayer, Diane Cook and Sandi Heckman.

Janese Silvey is a story specialist/strategist for Stephens College. This story was originally published here.

While working as an actor in New York, Dan Schultz realized fresh-out-of-college talents weren’t being discovered because they were making silly mistakes. Like being jerks to people they didn’t think were important. Or leaving their eyes on scripts for too long instead of interacting with fellow performers. Little things that likely cost them their first, and critically important, acting gigs.


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A 2000 Stephens graduate, Schultz was so observant, he decided to trade in his acting career — which included stints on Law & Order and in the movie Chapter 27 with Lindsay Lohan — to return to his alma mater in hopes of helping future actors avoid those mistakes.

It proved to be a wise decision. Not only does Schultz now claim to have the greatest job — he gets to act and work with other actors every day — he also is making a difference in the lives of Stephens students. And during this year’s Honors Convocation, that decision paid off when Schultz received the coveted Distinguished Teaching Award.

“I do what I love to do and to know I have had an impact on somebody…man,” Schultz said, adding that the award was humbling. “And it’s hard to humble me.”

Schultz was among several faculty and staff members at Stephens receiving recognition in April for outstanding accomplishments.

Laura Flacks-Narrol, an assistant professor of business and marketing, received the Distinguished Advising Award at Honors Convocation, a ceremony that also acknowledged student contributions over the year.

Staff members were honored on April 11 during an Employee Recognition Ceremony. There, Diane Cook, administrative facilities office manager, was honored with the Distinguished Service Award, the highest level of recognition the college provides to an employee.

The Reaching for the Stars Award, which rewards employees for innovation, went to Tony Coleman, director of security. The Student Support Award, which recognizes employees for exemplary service to students, went to Sady Mayer, student success advocate in the Student Success Center. The Diversity Award went to Yvonne Chamberlain, director of leadership and diversity, and the Customer Service Award, was awarded to Sandi Heckman, accounting assistant. The Teamwork Award went to Ryan Smith, director of residential life, and the Community Service Award, given for service outside of campus, went to Zak Birchmeier.

Also during the event, employees honored English Professor Judith Clark, who is retiring after a 45-year career at Stephens.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor Joy Mayer.

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