The Presidential Awards recognize staff members for their significant contributions to the betterment of the University and whose actions exemplify Notre Dame’s core values: Accountability, Teamwork, Integrity, Leadership in Excellence and Leadership in Mission. Any Notre Dame employee can nominate a staff member for an award. A selection committee reviews the nominations and presents recommendations to the Executive Vice President and the Vice President of Human Resources for final approval. There are 12 recipients of the award for 2022.
Presidential Achievement Award
This award recognizes breakthrough initiatives, extraordinary innovations and significant contributions to the University’s long-term success.
Arnold J. Phifer is the associate director for the Berthiaume Institute for Precision Health (BIPH). Phifer was a key motivating force in establishing the BIPH, and it is largely due to his organizational vision that BIPH can aspire to achieve substantial synergies among its programs of science, engineering, prototype development, technology translation and communication. On top of his duties, he was in charge of overseeing the BIPH student fellowship/internship programs that are crucial in developing the next generation of health technology professionals. Phifer also played a critical role in launching the Center for Bioanalytic Metrology in 2020. The center is a National Science Foundation-supported Industry-University Cooperative Research Center led by Notre Dame in concert with colleagues at Purdue and IU Bloomington. Phifer, together with ICASE Executive Director Chris Welch, pre-qualified and recruited more than 105 companies spanning a huge range of industries (pharma, biotech, energy, food/agriculture) resulting in a strong launch with 12 companies ranging from Lilly to Corteva to ExxonMobil. Phifer has created important new activities that are catalyzing the expansion and success of health-related science and technology research at Notre Dame.
Dennis Kline is a restorative cleaning technician for Building Services. Kline’s main responsibilities are restoring carpets and flooring throughout campus. If there is an unknown substance that has damaged the flooring, Kline will work the problem until a solution is found. Whether it’s wool carpeting or marble flooring, Kline’s pride in his work shows through in the results he achieves. He does this all with a smile. Because of his positive attitude, co-workers do not hesitate to get his advice about flooring in their buildings. They trust Kline because of the quality of his work, but most importantly, because of the type of person he is. Kline is always willing to help out his co-workers by either sharing his ideas or stepping in to lend a hand. His commitment not only to Building Services but to the University is evident in the work he accomplishes and the positive attitude he shows toward others.
Co-workers say that Kline “is a phenomenal employee who does not complain about his job, and when someone is having a bad day he brings out the positive aspects. He goes above and beyond his job duties. He is always willing to give a hand if needed and has a lot of answers to get the job done right. You can always count on Dennis. He is very polite and outgoing.”
Tracey Morton is the program coordinator of user services and manager of interlibrary loan borrowing for Hesburgh Libraries. The Hesburgh Libraries were completing a substantial reorganization when the pandemic began, and Morton was newly appointed as the head of the Libraries’ Interlibrary Loan Borrowing Unit. Nearly all of the library staff who had done interlibrary loan borrowing work for the Libraries had left the University as a result of the retirement incentive program in 2019, so Morton took on leadership of an entirely newly formed unit during a challenging time. This past year, Morton meticulously uncovered systematic issues in the lending program and as a result, this year the Libraries finally made more money lending than it spent on borrowing. In roughly two years, Morton has created a $43,000 shift from operating in a deficit to now generating a profit. Morton’s work in the area of resource sharing is getting noticed nationally — she was elected to a two-year term on OCLC’s SHARES Executive Group in February 2022.
Presidential Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award
This award recognizes a staff member who has exercised leadership or made significant contributions in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University or in the greater Michiana community.
Dory Mitros Durham is the associate director for the Klau Institute for Civil and Human Rights. Durham has made significant contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at Notre Dame in a number of settings. She created and runs the Building an Anti-Racist Vocabulary series. In this weekly lecture series on Zoom, Durham engages racial justice experts in conversation on a wide range of racial justice topics. She has also launched “With Voices True,” an archive of interviews from members of the ND community on racial identity. Moreover, Durham serves as the Dean’s Adviser for Racial Justice at the Keough School of Global Affairs and has spearheaded multiple successful school-wide DEI programs. Beyond the Keough School, Durham serves as a diversity catalyst for Human Resources, sitting on staff search committees to ensure that diversity remains a key consideration in hiring decisions. She has also assisted the Walk the Walk Week planning committee with organizing a rich variety of events.
James Riley is the senior director of internal engagement in Development. Riley is leading the charge for DEI in University Relations. He has helped to establish and currently leads the DEI (Unity) task force. For every meeting he plans a focus area of DEI, encouraging space for open and transparent dialogue. When he sees any area of lack he leads the charge to take it to leadership, then puts a plan into place creating action steps in order to correct the area. Riley is knowledgeable in all areas of DEI. He is constantly learning more and more while passing on all his knowledge to his colleagues. He is also innovative and has great ideas that get people involved effortlessly with all the DEI initiatives University Relations has in place. Riley embodies DEI in every aspect of his work. The environment that he is building is one that makes everyone feel the love of God.
S. Paloma Garcia-Lopez is the associate director of the Institute for Latino Studies. In her role, Garcia-Lopez manages and oversees all of the activities and staff of the institute. Garcia-Lopez focuses on enhancing annual programming, special events, communications, fundraising and budgeting. She is a central figure in the development of a strategic plan to support scholarly initiatives in Latino studies as a key component of Notre Dame’s academic mission. At the College of Arts and Letters level, she serves as a diversity catalyst. Additionally, she serves as the president of AdelanteND: Latinx Staff and Faculty Association, an employee resource group sponsored by Human Resources. She is a major presence in the selection and continued counseling of students who come to ND with scholarship support from the Latino Studies Scholars Program as well as the eight-week Cross-Cultural Leadership Program. Garcia-Lopez goes out of her way to make Latino studies faculty and staff feel like they belong at Notre Dame. She is a dedicated mentor to many students.
Presidential Leadership Award
This designation celebrates staff supervisors and exempt or non-exempt staff for outstanding servant leadership.
Colleen Moore is the director of formation and the program director for Echo in the McGrath Institute for Church Life. She supervises three full-time staff members while additionally supervising two full-time program directors who each oversee distinct programs. In addition, she leads the Programmatic Committee of the institute. Moore initiated staff Development Days each year in August for ongoing reflection and professional development, first with the Echo staff and then expanded to include the members of the Formation Area. The invitation to participate was extended to all members of the Programmatic Committee (pre-COVID), and she is now helping to plan the inaugural MICL Summit Days in May. Moore is regarded within the McGrath Institute and across campus as a strong and supportive supervisor who provides constructive feedback, creates an environment that promotes a healthy mix of autonomy and collaboration, and is supportive of appropriate work-life balance for staff with a variety of home/family situations. She also serves as a spiritual director and mentor to many.
Gilberto Carles is the senior director for procurement services in the Office of the Vice President for Finance. Carles has led the efforts to increase the use of diverse and small business suppliers on campus. The University’s spending with diverse and small businesses has increased more than 500 percent since he took the position in 2018. Carles has spoken to leadership across campus to get their areas to support the diversity initiatives in vendor selection and has partnered with the cities of South Bend and Elkhart as well. Carles also serves as the Finance Division’s Diversity Catalyst to ensure that diversity is being considered during the hiring process. Carles is living the University’s mission to make Notre Dame an inclusive work environment and support and increase diversity within the University.
Jenny Borg is the advisor of athletics strategy in the Athletics Department. She continually impacts those around her through her knowledge, support, and creative and fun nature and inspires colleagues to be a better leader. Borg collaborates to create partnerships among ND Athletics and campus. Her goal is to build and foster relationships to create an inclusive community for Athletics through embodying and exemplifying the Notre Dame Athletics five core values of faith, excellence, leadership, education and community. In her leadership role she has led Athletics in the department’s most recent restructure, supported the director of athletics in setting the strategy of the department and drive results toward it, created a culture of trust by her continual curiosity to understand and provide solutions, built a community and empowered her staff. She also leads and supports the GLD Center to ensure the reorganization and restructuring of the department is positioned and implemented in a way to best support student-athletes and enhance their growth and development.
Presidential Values Award
This award recognizes staff members whose performance reflects the University’s core values.
LoriAnn Edinborough is the director of undergraduate career services for the Meruelo Family Center for Career Development. Many of the center’s new initiatives to serve under-represented students were a direct result of Edinborough’s collaborative work with the internal staff Diversity Working Group. Edinborough’s work has unified and healed students who have felt marginalized. She has also built meaningful, personal relationships with the center’s career assistants (student employees) and has served as a welcoming presence to new students as a Moreau First Year Experience instructor. A few of Edinborough’s many recent accomplishments include her work in planning Career Conversations with Trailblazing Women of ND, an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of undergraduate women at Notre Dame; the launch of IrishCompass; the development of Career Ready Competencies, a weekly newsletter for first-year students; and the development of a strong summer internship funding program. Edinborough has selflessly served the University for more than 20 years, living the University’s mission, and is a role model to many students.
Nina Ansimova is the tailor at St. Michael’s Laundry. She is an expert in her field. Ansimova jumped into action when the pandemic hit, making more than 2,000 masks for the Notre Dame community. She also made special masks for the family of Larose Saint Jean, director of St. Michael’s Laundry, to attend his father’s funeral in Haiti. She completes approximately 150 tailoring orders each month. Customers often praise Ansimova’s hard work and kind demeanor, and many testify that they would trust only Ansimova to complete their alterations when they have a special family heirloom. The priests on campus often ask Ansimova to complete tailoring for their special religious pieces and even Rev. John Jenkins, C.S.C., president, visits Ansimova for alterations. Many students come by for Ansimova to alter something for a special occasion in their lives. Ansimova has a wonderful sense of humor, often making the people who surround her laugh and smile.
Tyron McGhee is a maintenance supervisor for Facilities Design and Operations. This past year, he has also been a part of a DEI committee newly formed within the FDO as EquityFDO Events and Education Committee. McGhee shines through his dedication to DEI by his positive energy as well as his active role in assisting with the many planned events over this past year. In addition, McGhee also serves on both the EquityFDO Steering Committee and Communications Committee. Both of these champion efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion within the division. Some of the events McGhee has either led or assisted that promote DEI are Field Day, Walk the Walk Week and a cultural potluck. McGhee also coordinated a division-wide event on April 23 for FDO to partner with the South Bend Heritage Foundation. This event, named Rebuilding Together, helped the nearby community make repairs to 15 homes in the community.