When Tulane President Scott Cowen, wearing a Santa cap, visited Kim Chapital during a departmental meeting on Friday (Dec. 14), she said she was “shocked.” When Chapital heard that he brought her a $1,000 check, she burst into tears.
Kim Chapital, manager of environmental health and safety, expresses her gratitude for the $1,000 check presented to her by Tulane President Scott Cowen. She is one of this year’s recipients of the President’s Staff Excellence Award. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)
Chapital, one of this year’s nine recipients
of the President’s Staff Excellence Awards, immediately earmarked the award money for her high school son’s senior budget. In addition to the check, Cowen told Chapital that she and a guest would be invited to a dinner at the home of the president and his wife. “I’ll bring my son,” Chapital said.
Each year, up to 10 staff members at Tulane University receive the special recognition
. A committee of staff members from all the Tulane campuses selects the award recipients from nominations made by employees’ supervisors, coworkers or other university employees.
Employees may be recognized for increased productivity, cost savings, enhanced objectives or humanitarian efforts.
On another stop along his route, Cowen greeted Bryan Stroebel, saying, “I’m here to honor you.” A puzzled Stroebel asked, “For what?” Cowen explained that Stroebel, an applications developer in technology services, was recognized for his excellent work on the university’s budget development system, a project that was delivered on time and within budget.
In each workplace he visited, Cowen made a point to thank all of the employees for their excellent work and dedication to the university.
“The most important resource at our university is our human talent, and a critical component is our staff,” Cowen said. “Tulane is a highly recognized university because of the quality and dedication of our people. It’s nice to recognize outstanding staff members individually in addition to recognizing them as a group. These people are role models for others and exemplify excellent leadership.”