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About the Awards

An important part of our Operational Excellence culture is recognizing and celebrating the individuals who are the driving force of the University’s administrative functions. The Operational Excellence Awards recognize outstanding contributions by staff members to the advancement of Operational Excellence’s mission to create a high-functioning administrative operation at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Eligibility

Nominees must be UNC-Chapel Hill staff members who have been involved with an Operational Excellence Project (includes solution design team or implementation, transformation and change management, facilitation or advisory engagements) and have demonstrated excellence in one or more of the following areas:

  • Continuous Improvement: Advancing continuous improvement in administrative operations through the design or implementation of tools, processes and services
  • Collaboration: Establishing partnerships and contributing to an environment of collaboration to effectively solve problems by sharing knowledge, ideas and solutions
  • Leadership: Building and leading enthusiastic and skillful teams and/or championing innovative initiatives


OE Award for Continuous Improvement

2023 Sheryl Waddell (Innovate Carolina Junction ), Director of Economic Development and Innovation Hubs

 

OE Award for Collaboration

2023 Julie Dockens (Course Setup – Waitlist), IT Manager, Student Admin Projects

 

OE Award for Leadership

2023 Stephanie Schmitt (Credit Bearing Certificates), Vice Dean of The Graduate School.

The winners of the Operational Excellence Award were announced at the Operational Excellence 5-year Celebration of Impact on Thursday, December 14, 2023, which celebrated the progress that has been made on the initiative’s goals since it launched in September 2018 and the people from our Carolina community who made it happen. An award was given in each of the three categories for which we solicited nominations: continuous improvement, collaboration, and leadership.


OE Award for Continuous Improvement

2022 Jackie Smith (Adams School of Dentistry), Patient Care Coordinator, Periodontology

OE Award for Collaboration

2022 Genevieve Cecil (Course Setup – Reserved Seats), Student Services Specialist, Undergraduate Curricula

OE Award for Leadership

2022 Lauren DiGrazia (Student Registration), Registrar, Office of the University Registrar

The winners of the Operational Excellence Award were announced at the Operational Excellence Annual Celebration on Thursday, December 1, 2022, which celebrated the progress that has been made on the initiative’s goals since it launched in September 2018 and the people from our Carolina community who made it happen. An award was given in each of the three categories for which we solicited nominations: continuous improvement, collaboration, and leadership.

From left to right: Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz, Jackie Smith, Genevieve Cecil, Lauren DiGrazia, Chief of Staff Dr. Christi Hurt, Rick Wernoski Senior Vice Provost for Business Operations Rick Wernoski, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Christopher Clemens.

Photo by Nick Sengstaken (UNC-Chapel Hill)


OE Award for Continuous Improvement

2019 – Rich Arnold (Early Impact: Staff Hiring), Senior Director, HR Information Management

OE Award for Leadership

2019 – Sara Reese (Early Impact: Staff Hiring), Senior Talent Acquisition Partner, OHR, and John Medlin (Early Impact: Procurement), Senior Purchasing Agent, Procurement Services Operations

OE Award for Collaboration

2019 – Dani Burns (Research Design Team), Budget Analyst, School of Medicine

 

The winners of the inaugural Operational Excellence Award were announced at the One Year of Operational Excellence event on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, which celebrated the progress that has been made on the initiative’s goals since it launched in September 2018 and the people from our Carolina community who made it happen. An award was given in each of the three categories for which we solicited nominations: improvement, collaboration and leadership.

From left to right: Interim Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz, Senior Vice Provost for Business Operations Rick Wernoski, John Medlin, Dani Burns, Rich Arnold, Sara Reese, Executive VIce Chancellor Robert A. Blouin.

Photo by Jon Gardiner (UNC-Chapel Hill)

Nominations for the 2023 OE Awards are now closed. If you have any questions about the award or nomination process, please contact Rick Wernoski at wernoski@email.unc.edu.

Operational Excellence Award Nomination Form

  • Nominator Information

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  • Nominee Information

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  • Nomination

  • Nominees will be considered for the award within the framework of the following criteria:

    • Continuous Improvement: Advancing continuous improvement in administrative operations through the design or implementation of tools, processes and services
    • Collaboration: Establishing partnerships and contributing to an environment of collaboration to effectively solve problems by sharing knowledge, ideas and solutions
    • Leadership: Building and leading enthusiastic and skillful teams and/or championing innovative initiatives

    Which criteria does your nominee meet? Please select all that apply. You must select at least one.

  • In the field below, please provide a detailed statement in support of your nominee that addresses the following questions and speaks to their work with Operational Excellence:

    • How has the individual demonstrated excellence in the area(s) of continuous Improvement, collaboration and/or leadership through their work with Operational Excellence?
    • How has the individual made an outstanding contribution to advancement of Operational Excellence goals?
    • How has the individual supported the creation of a high-functioning administrative operation at the University?
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  • Max. file size: 98 MB.
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  • Certification: By typing your initials below, you are certifying that all information provided is true and correct to the best of your knowledge.