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Spirit Awards Recognize Outstanding UConn Workers

The ceremony recognizes the efforts of employees, especially staff, in building community and promoting civility

Honorees in the 10th annual UConn Spirit Awards, which celebrate exceptional employees at UConn, were announced at a ceremony for the University community on Thursday, March 11, 2024, in the North Reading Room of the Wilbur Cross Library.

Every year, the ceremony recognizes the efforts of employees, especially staff, in building community and promoting civility at the University. The Spirit Awards program was originally the result of a survey conducted by the Something’s Happening Committee, which found a significant correlation between supportive interactions among colleagues and productivity on the job.

“We have a huge community of people who love and who care and take great pride in UConn,” says President Radenka Maric.

“This is an opportunity to single out some of our outstanding staff members and to learn a little more about what goes on throughout our campuses,” says Lakeesha Brown, interim chief human resources officer. “Despite the diversity of our roles, ultimately have the same single goal in mind, which is securing UConn’s place among the best public universities in the country.”

A total of approximately 275 eligible nominations were received this year for the Spirit Awards.

Their ceremony was also live-streamed and an archived version is available for viewing.

This year’s winners and finalists are:

Unsung Hero Award

Winner: Susan Corbin, School of Pharmacy

Finalist: Meagan Ridder, College of Agriculture, Heath and Natural Resources, Academic Programs

Finalist: Katie Halbruner, Center for Students with Disabilities

Rising Star Award

Winner: Lisa Carrozza, Career Development Center

Finalist: Monica Lattimer, UConn Waterbury

Finalist: Emily Cole, Department of Music

Inclusive Excellence Award

Winner: Mary Anne Roshni Amalaradjou, Department of Animal Science

Finalist: Alexis Monteiro, Department of Residential Life

Finalist: Jonelle Reynolds, Office or Diversity and Inclusion

University Citizen Award

Winner: John Armstrong, Office of Student Care and Concern

Finalist: Bieu Tran, Office of the Vice President for Research

Finalist: Betsy Pittman, University Archivist

Behind the Scenes Award

Winner: Eileen Kapinos, Office of Financial Aid

Finalist: Jeremy Bachand, Facilities Operations Logistics

Finalist: Michael F. Ryan, Facilities Operations Custodial Services

Behind the Scenes Team Award

Winner: Facilities Operations Shop Services (Kadri Ademi, Kevin Bisson, Matthew Burdick, Jordan Burns, Michael Dalpe, David Fontenelle, Kimberly Haley, Roger Lalumiere, Joseph Landry, Matt Lebrocquy, Mark McAvoy, William Miller, Ariel Morales, Sergio Nieto, Alexander Ott, Michael Rossi, Gage Shirghio, Vito Sargis, Robert Wylie).

Finalist: Security Services, UConn Stamford (Matthew Lessard, Alvin Aquino, Josiah Rodriguez).

Team Award

Winner: Center for Students with Disabilities, Accommodations Team (Lara Smith, Carey Jordan, Hayley Jacobs).

Finalist: Dining Services, Husky Harvest Team (Tracey Roy, Heidi Slater, Michael White).

Finalist: Career Development Center, Career Everywhere Committee (Alexandra Garnelis, Kaitlyn Anderson, Christina Badini, Steve Kligerman, Mary Malerba, Evan McMunn, Lisa Carrozza, Amelinda Rossitto, Nancy Bilmes.