Staff Awards

The Department of Psychology offers the opportunities below to recognize the performance of staff members. Staff members serve a variety of functions in our department, from supporting areas with a department-wide reach to supporting specific areas of graduate study and individual labs.

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Excellence Award


The Psychology Staff Excellence Award recognizes staff who have demonstrated excellence and professionalism in their overall performance and who have made meaningful contributions to their unit and/or the Department of Psychology.


  • Permanent staff members with appointments of 75% or greater. 
  • Must have been employed in the Department of Psychology within the past 12 months. 
  • Staff members who have been awarded a college-level award (e.g., Outstanding Service Award) are ineligible for this award until 1 year has passed.
  •  Winners of this award are ineligible for 5 years.
  • Consider nominating individuals who would also shine at the College and/or University level.

Nomination Process

Two letters of nomination should be submitted to the committee. 

  • One letter must be the nomination letter from their direct supervisor
  • One letter must be a letter of support for the nomination
  • No more than three total letters will be accepted

If necessary, the Staff Recognition Committee may request further information from the nominee or department before a final decision is made.

Evaluation​ ​Criteria

A successful nomination will document how the achievements of the nominee meet the criteria of the award. Letters should provide evidence of one or more of the following criteria:

  • Extraordinary contributions to their unit and/or the Department, in addition to routine duties;
  • High professional standards;
  • Excellence in their positions while promoting and supporting the work of their unit and/or the Department;
  • Excellence in leadership, innovation, and/or problem-solving abilities; and,
  • Advancing the mission, vision, and goals of the unit and/or the Department.

Nomination Deadline

Nominations are due to the Staff Recognition Committee Chair (Mary Simonsen, by March 10, 2022, at noon.

Selection Process

The Staff Recognition Committee will review nominations and send its award recommendations to the Department Chair for approval in late March. Two award winners will be selected each year. Winners will be announced in April.


The Psychology Staff Spotlight is a way to recognize a staff member for excellent performance in real-time. Faculty, staff, or students may submit a Spotlight by filling out the electronic submission form below. The Staff Recognition Committee will then review submissions and select a staff member to spotlight each semester (twice a year) based on submissions. Additionally, each semester, staff members who received a Spotlight will receive a small token of appreciation from the department. Congratulations to the staff member selected will be included in BrainWave, along with details from the submission.

Some Reasons for a Spotlight

  • A staff member solved a complex problem.
  • A staff member developed a new, improved way to complete a task or responsibility.
  • A staff member lent expertise, time, and/or effort not traditionally expected of the position (i.e., not in their job description).
  • A staff member maintained a positive attitude during a stressful time in the workplace. 


Any Department of Psychology staff member (i.e., Labor-represented, Civil Service, P&A). Student employees are not eligible (i.e., undergraduate and graduate students). Receiving a Staff Spotlight does not affect eligibility for a Staff Excellence Award (i.e., a staff member may receive both a Staff Excellence Award and a Staff Spotlight). Staff members are eligible for no more than 1 gift in a 12-month period.

Holley Locher
Chief of Staff
N210 EltH | 625-7852
Missy Jones
Assistant to the Chair
S248 EltH | 626-3171
Stephen Fiksdal
Chair's Office Assistant
S210 EltH | 625-7444
Amanda Schmit
Office & Communications Manager
N218 EltH | 625-2546
Bailee Hill
Student Assistant
N218 EltH | 625-2818
Taylor Hartmann
Student Assistant
N218 EltH | 625-2818
Kaya Reynal O'Connor
Student Assistant
N218 EltH | 625-2818
Madison Stromberg
Communications Assistant
N211 EltH