Cameron University staff members selected to receive Pickaxe Award

Cameron University staff members Otis Gentry, Brenda Russell and Janie Smith are the recipients of the 2017 Pickaxe Awards, which recognize full-time Cameron employees whose performance is above and beyond expectations. Gentry is the Manager of the Aggie Rec Center, Russell is Accounts Receivable Supervisor, and Smith is Lead Custodian. Each received a $1,000 stipend and a commemorative award.

The Pickaxe Award is presented annually to recognize full-time employees whose performance exceeds the expectations of their job descriptions. The award recipients have made a contribution and/or commitment that has resulted in a significant difference to Cameron students, visitors, or other employees, or whose commitment to their job responsibilities, department, or the university stands out as a clear example to all other employees. Award recipients must have been employed full-time at least one year at Cameron. Nominations were made by Cameron students, faculty and staff. Recipients were selected by the university’s Executive Council.

Gentry was recognized for his continuing efforts in encouraging students to pursue a healthy life style through exercise and for his efforts to create fun programming and events for the Aggie Rec Center. “Otis is working hard, teaching, coaching, managing his staff and interacting with all the patrons. He always does so with a smile and a willing heart,” one nominator wrote. The nomination continued with “In seeing him interacting with students, I notice the positive impact he makes on their health and well-being.” The nominator went on to cite how Gentry encourages and empowers students to reach their goals doing whatever he can to assist them.

Russell was cited for her positive attitude and her support of Aggie athletic events. The nomination reads, “No matter where you see Brenda, you will always be greeted with a wave, smile and laugh. She is such a joy to be around and genuinely loves her co-workers and students.”

Smith was recognized for her diligence in keeping the McMahon Centennial Complex clean and running smoothly. One nominator wrote, “She ensures that event set-ups in the building are perfect and caters to the needs of event patrons so that they have the best experience possible. Janie greets and speaks to students, staff and strangers alike, making everyone feel welcome and cared for.”

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December 12, 2017