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Spring 2021 Office of Global Engagement Unit Awards Announced

During our Spring 2021 virtual retreat, we honored our employees for their exceptional service throughout a turbulent 2020. We received 15 nominations from across the division and selected one recipient per award category. Congratulations to the 2021 recipients!

Ginger Davis Outstanding Service Award 

The Ginger Davis Outstanding Service Award recognizes an employee who demonstrates outstanding service to Global Engagement by going above and beyond their scope of work

Paula Cook, Passport Services 

Head shot of Paula Cook.

“Paula has shown a resourcefulness and innovative spirit that is truly deserving of recognition. Her work has earned Passport Services an outstanding reputation for customer service and efficiency throughout campus and the wider community.

During constantly changing US Department of State regulations in the pandemic, Paula and her staff worked tirelessly to update systems and informational materials, ensuring that clients were well informed, access was fair, and clients’ experiences were even more seamless when the office reopened. Paula continued diligently with this work, even while providing care for loved ones at home during COVID as well.

Passport Services also had the challenge of moving their office during the pandemic. Paula worked closely with other staff on renovating the space, and gave especially careful attention to the client experience in the new location. As just one example, when Paula learned that parking on campus would only be by phone app, she was concerned about the effect on some clients, especially those whose first language is not English or those who may not own a smartphone. She worked with University Transportation until a solution could be found. Now, the option to pay by credit card will be a benefit for all community members visiting campus.”

Campus Outreach Award

The Campus Outreach Award recognizes an employee for work that contributes to advancing and integrating diversity and cross-cultural initiatives on campus.

Becky Cibulskis, Global Training Initiative 

Head shot of Becky Cibulskis.

“We’re proud to nominate Becky Stauffer Cibulskis for the Campus Outreach Award. Becky spearheaded the pivot of our Developing Cultural Competence student certificate program to a virtual format last year. As a result, the DCC program was able to reach more NC State and overseas students and help them begin the journey towards cultural awareness, acceptance and competence. DCC first launched in 2018 under Becky’s leadership and enrolled 49 students. Growth has continued at an exponential rate with 281 students enrolling in 2020 and 790 enrolled in the first half of 2021 alone.

The DCC program has already expanded to reach students from 10 of the 12 colleges on campus, and the curriculum is embedded in credit-bearing courses and co-curricular programs. Becky continues to work closely with the College of Engineering to provide cultural exposure and experiences for their freshman class.

Becky is also a trained National Coalition Building Institute facilitator through the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity and serves on Global Engagement’s inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion advisory council. Becky continually strives to learn and improve upon her own knowledge and skills regarding diversity and cross-cultural issues and challenges. She developed and taught a module on Race Relations in America for GTI 401, a course designed to help first-semester international students better adjust to life at a western university. She was also invited to present about Diversity and Inclusion to the Wilson College of Textiles’ graduate student town hall and the Biomedical Textiles research group last summer. We hope the award committee recognizes Becky’s commitment to these initiatives.“

Rookie of the Year Award

Rookie of the Year recognizes an employee who has excelled in the first 18 months of their position. For the Spring 2021 awards, we extended the criteria to 24 months of service. 

Asia King, Office of International Services 

“I am pleased to nominate Asia King for the Rookie of the Year Award.  Asia has thrived as Programs Coordinator, using creativity and a penchant for technology to navigate the pandemic in service to our international population.

When we went remote last year, Asia was one of the first people to recognize the important role Zoom would play in how we support our international population during the pandemic.  She took the initiative to research and quickly became proficient in virtual facilitation.  Because of this, the Office of International Services was able to hold an initial Zoom webinar within days of going remote to address questions about international travel and how remote learning would impact immigration statuses.  Since then, Zoom webinars have become a staple of how we communicate immigration updates and answer questions.  Our office also relied on Asia to convert our walk-in advising hours to Zoom and she devised a combination of waiting and breakout rooms to ensure flow while preserving conversation privacy.  This accomplishment, in particular, has allowed OIS to maintain a key aspect of our service remotely.

Our programs have also benefited from her mastery of Zoom.  Asia transitioned English Conversation Club so that we could continue to offer a cross-cultural engagement opportunity each week.  She was also instrumental in developing our virtual international orientation and she is already exploring new technologies for potential use in our Fall orientation.  In short, Asia’s knowledge of Zoom has been a major part of our success and continued level of service throughout the pandemic.“

The Think and Do Award

The Think and Do Award recognizes an employee who exhibits resourcefulness, an innovative spirit and implements new processes to significantly impact the productivity and efficiency of Global Engagement. 

Hillary Patton, Office of International Services

Head shot of Hillary Patton.

“I would like to nominate Hillary Patton for the Think and Do award. Hillary carries the largest caseload in OIS, supervises our Graduate Assistant, and has taken point in establishing our J-1 Scholar/Student Intern process in GlobalHome, our new software system.This is no small feat- the scholar process is one of our most involved processes, involving multiple offices and layers of approval, and requires significant training and outreach to our hiring partners in departments across campus.  Hillary consistently steps up to volunteer for the many ‘extras’ that have cropped up this year in OIS, such as updating our webpage or COVID-19 FAQ, assisting other advisors with building eForms in GlobalHome, assisting with countless directed emails regarding immigration/COVID changes, and stepping in to back up Mollie in many tasks when she was on maternity leave.  She is very deserving of this perhaps overdue recognition for her years of service to OIS.”

Pride of the Wolfpack 

The Pride of the Wolfpack recognizes individual employees for a special or unique contribution to their college or unit or the campus community. One candidate for the award was selected by the internal awards committee to then put forward as NC State Global’s nominee for the university-wide award from our division.

Mollie Lojacono, Office of International Services

Head shot of Mollie LoJacono.

“I am nominating Mollie LoJacono for the Pride of the Wolfpack award. Mollie has consistently proven herself as an effective leader and supervisor, and in a few years of unprecedented challenges in immigration law and with the pandemic has demonstrated a steady and supportive demeanor for our staff, frequently taking additional caseload and responsibility on herself. She has innovated new processes, among which is our process for utilizing the grant fund through Global Engagement, and has led efforts to do the endless updates to our FAQs in the wake of COVID-19. In a year of unprecedented challenges I’m sure we could not have gotten through this period without her help and I personally as a director rely on her completely for her help with leading the Office of International Services.”