Staff recognized with Ennis and Zirkel Awards

Ennis and Zirkel Award winnersPhotos/Mike Lovett

Adrian Valladares and Phil Gnatowski

Two Brandeis staff members were celebrated for their commitment to the university with staff recognition awards in a virtual event Dec. 15.

The Louis and Helen Zirkel Staff Award is given to a member of the support staff who has demonstrated consistent effort to improve the service and the operation of their department and of the university. It was presented to facilities services custodian Adrian Valladares.

"Adrian has been a long-time custodian, colleague, and friend to the faculty and staff in Shiffman. His hard work is vital to the day-to-day operations of the building and surrounding areas," read one of the nomination submissions for Valladares. "Not only is he quick to respond and attend to any facilities-related needs, he is also always willing to help in any way he can ...he is dependable, proactive, conscientious, and willing to go the extra mile! Last but not least, we are happy to have him as a smiling familiar face in the halls of Shiffman and is a welcoming, kind, friendly character no matter what!"

The Lou Ennis Staff Award, which recognizes an individual who demonstrates loyalty and dedication to the university and its mission by surpassing the requirements of the job, was presented to Phil Gnatowski, administrator for the psychology department.

"Phil does an amazing job of making everything in the department work. He anticipates looming deadlines, provides helpful suggestions for accomplishing goals, and does whatever it takes to solve unanticipated problems as they arise," read one of the nomination submissions for Gnatowski. "This has often meant that he comes in early and/or stays late to ensure that every concern is attended to, and every goal accomplished. In the process, he is unflaggingly pleasant and upbeat, despite having to navigate many frustrations and conflicting needs."

"The Psychology department and the university are fortunate to have Phil on our staff," read another nomination submission. "Time and again he delivers in high pressure situations, coolly solving one problem after another in the clutch. And in so doing, he always responds to questions or requests with grace and good humor. We are lucky to have him managing our team!"

Along with the annual awards, staff with 10, 15, 25, 30, 35 years of service at the university were also honored during the virtual ceremony.

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