Employees recognized for their service

Louis and Helen Zirkel, Lou Ennis awards given

Photos/Mike Lovett

Vice President for Human Resources Scot Bemis looks on as President Fred Lawrence presents Alasdair Post-Quinn with the Louis and Helen Zirkel Staff Award.

Lou Ennis, former vice president for human resources, left, with Laurel Carpenter, who won the award named for him, and President Lawrence.

Corena Baker, right, with her supervisor, Carol McKenzie, at the luncheon where she was recognized for 50 years of service.

Their collective service may total 1,735 years, but the impact they’ve had on the university can’t be neatly added up.

Ninety-nine members of the Brandeis faculty and staff were honored at the 2012 Employee Recognition Awards luncheon, which was held in the Faculty Center Dec. 7. The festive event was attended by more than 200 members of the community.

President Fred Lawrence presented the awards and posed for pictures with the honorees.

Corena Baker was honored for her 50 years of service, making her the university’s longest-serving employee. Brandeis was a 13-year-old institution when she came to work here in 1962. Baker works in the biochemistry department, where colleagues describe her as a joy to work with and a wonderful lady.

In addition to recognition for years of service, the Louis and Helen Zirkel Staff Award and Lou Ennis Staff Award were given to Alasdair Post-Quinn and Laurel Carpenter, respectively.

The Louis and Helen Zirkel Staff Award was created through the generosity of Lehigh University Professor Perry A. Zirkel, a friend of former Brandeis President Sam Their. The award, named for Zirkel's parents, is presented annually to a member of the support staff, such as staff assistants, library staff, members of the facilities management staff (custodians and grounds-workers), police officers and lab assistants who have made a significant contribution to or have demonstrated consistent effort to improve the service and the operation of their department and of the university.

“I wasn’t trying to get an award, I was trying to be the best person – not just technician, but person – I can be on this job,” says Post-Quinn, of Library and Technology Services.

Post-Quinn had been traveling and on his first day back on campus, he says, he was scheduled to meet with his supervisor to get caught up. He was surprised to find Scot Bemis, vice president for human resources, at the meeting.

“He brought me a pile of boxes with sweet things in them and a letter saying I had won,” Post-Quinn says. “I was thrilled to get it. I’ve been working here for eight years, and always trying to give everyone the most positive experience out of a pretty negative experience – you usually don’t talk to me unless something catastrophic has happened. I’m the guy you’d see if your computer breaks or you lose your data. For a lot of people it’s the end of their world.”

The Lou Ennis Staff Award is named for a former assistant vice president for employee relations who retired from Brandeis in 1995. It is presented annually to a fulltime member of the administrative staff who provides administrative services, such as department and faculty administrators, coordinators and managers. The award-winners demonstrate loyalty and dedication to the university and to its mission. They should be professional, helpful and friendly, and known to consistently treat all members of the community with dignity and respect. 

Carpenter, of the Anthropology Department, says she was honored by the recognition, and touched to meet the award’s namesake at the luncheon.

Carpenter worked in the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences when she came to Brandeis 12 years ago. She said it was a great way to see and learn the university as a whole. She now has more responsibility, she says, but works in a smaller environment.

“I take pride in my job and try to do it well,” says Carpenter. “I also try to reach out if I’m somewhere and can help someone or see something that’s amiss.”

Attending the awards luncheon, she says, has given her ideas as to whom to nominate next year.

Winners were chosen by a committee that included faculty, staff and students.

Categories: General

Return to the BrandeisNOW homepage