The staff recipients of the 2012 Chancellor's Awards for Excellence include (from left) Mark J. Curry, Candace A. Agnew and John T. Cahill Jr. They received their awards at the annual State of the University Wednesday at UMSL. (Photo by August Jennewein)

University of Missouri–St. Louis staff members Candance A. Agnew, Mark J. Curry and John T. Cahill Jr. have  something in common. Excellence.

UMSL Chancellor Tom George presented them each with a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence during the annual State of the University Address today (Sept. 19) in the auditorium at the J.C. Penney Building/Conference Center.

The awards were established by Chancellor Marguerite Ross Barnett  in 1988 and have become a university tradition to recognize the excellent work and commitment given daily by UMSL faculty and staff.

Candance Agnew, executive staff assistant III, received the Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in the category of Administrative/Professional.

As executive staff assistant to the chancellor, Agnew handles any situation from the mundane to the top secret with expertise. For example, during the negotiations to bring Express Scripts to the UMSL campus, her ability to orchestrate dozens of phone calls, meetings and contacts were crucial to completing the complex transaction.

Having spent more than 35 years at UMSL, Agnew’s commitment to the institution, especially the chancellor’s office is remarkable. Her working relationship with the president’s office and the other chancellor’s offices within the University of Missouri System keeps the chancellor informed and prepared with the materials he needs for various systemwide meetings and conference calls. Her wonderful sense of humor helps her cope with the fast pace of the chancellor’s office.

Mark J. Curry, senior admissions adviser, received the Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in the category of Office/Technical.

Curry is one of those people, said one of his colleagues, “who never loses his cool or complains about the workload, constant calls or the number of students to advise. He never says he’s too busy to answer a question or lend a hand.” Curry realizes the admissions office is the first impression many people get of the university and takes the responsibility personally.

His outstanding work ethic and can-do attitude extends to the students. Curry’s colleagues regularly hear of his going beyond what is expected. For example, Curry reached out to a student who had health problems and lived 100 miles from campus. Working closely with her, he was able to get her admitted. A new admissions goal requires all applications to be processed within two weeks. Curry’s positive attitude has meant the new goal is getting closer to reach.

John T. Cahill, institutional safety, received the Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in the category of Service/Maintenance.

Most people at the University of Missouri–St. Louis wouldn’t know John Cahill – unless they lost their keys. Cahill is the campus locksmith. With more than a reported 8,000 doors at UMSL, Cahill’s job seems a daunting one. Add to those doors the thousands of keys for desks, file cabinets, storage units and you get to see how important this one-man unit is. Cahill works with the campus police department, which reflects the importance of his role in helping to maintain safety and security.

Cahill first started working at UMSL in 1974 and has seen the job change over the years. In addition to the thousands of locks and keys he deals with, he also reprograms the cards in the stand-alone electronic card swipe systems around campus. His locksmith duties also take him all over the St. Louis area to UMSL’s off-campus locations such as the Computer Education and Training Center in west St. Louis County; UMSL at Grand Center and ITE: Innovative Technology Enterprises.

In addition, staff members who have worked at UMSL for 25 years were honored.

Those with 25 years of service are:

Peggy Lynn Bemis, assistant to the registrar
Donna R. Bonner, office support staff III
Mary K. Edwards, production manager
Monica L. Farrell, senior academic advisor
Carla Frierson, office support
Marilyn Kowert, senior accountant
Sandra Robnett, library assistant I
Kevin Lee Usery, groundskeeper II
Yolanda Weathersby, manager of customer service
Mary Beth Zettwoch, Library assistant III

Jen Hatton

Jen Hatton