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Just Outstanding

Written by Mike Thee
May 19, 2015

Voluminous are the accolades for the recipients of this year's staff awards, which will be given out at the Faculty and Staff Appreciation Event on May 29. 

Eunice MacGill, administrative assistant in the College of Education, will receive the Lee Thurber Outstanding Staff Award, named for a former staff person, while Laura Hauck-Vixie, academic advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences, will be honored with the Excellence in Leadership Staff Award. 

Michael Silver, a professor in the College of Education, will also be posthumously honored at the event with the 2015-2016 James B. McGoldrick Fellowship

President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., personally informed (and surprised!) MacGill and Hauck-Vixie of their selections last week.

Hauck-Vixie is a double alumna of SU having earned a bachelor's degree in Spanish and sociology in 2003 and a master's degree in Student Development Administration in 2006. She worked in the Albers School of Business and Economics before shifting to Arts and Sciences. 

"Laura is a strong champion for our students and is dedicated to the holistic development of SU students," wrote her three nominators, Tonja Brown, (academic advisor, College of Arts and Sciences), Kate Elias, (assistant dean for student academic affairs, College of Arts and Sciences) and Rebecca Severson (undergraduate program coordinator, College of Nursing). 

In preparing to nominate Hauck-Vixie, Brown, Elias and Severson reached out to numerous colleagues. "The response was overwhelming," they wrote. 

Nadeje Alexandre, graduate advisor in the Albers School of Business and Economics, writes, "Laura is pretty amazing…She is probably the best listener I have ever worked with." 

"Laura always rises to the top…She has a way of quickly learning her job very well and invariably ends up being the leader, the go-to person for her co-workers, whether it is in her job description or not!" writes Lynne Gould, records specialist, Office of the Registrar. 

Laura Hauck-Vixie reacts as Fr. Steve informs her she will receive the 2015 Excellence in Staff Leadership Award. (Photo courtesy of Heather Reis Fike)

"She lives and breathes the mission," writes Riva Zeff, field director and clinical professor in social work, one of Hauck-Vixie's majors. "Laura is the type of advisor and person I strive to be. In short, Laura is SU." 

The praise is similarly abundant for MacGill, who has worked in the College of Education for 10 years. 

In submitting the nomination, Dean Deanna Sands of the College of Education, wrote, "(MacGill) is a person of high integrity who lives the values of our Jesuit University every day with a smile and with love." 

"Eunice breathes life into the SU mission," echoes Erica Yamamura, associate professor in the Student Development Administration program. "When it comes to helping others and the community, she is often the first to step up." 

"(Eunice) is thoughtful, cheerful and always focused on helping," Bob Hughes, associate dean in the College of Education, shares. "I feel fortunate to be working with someone who so clearly embodies the ideals to which our institution strives. As her direct supervisor, I am in constant awe of what she accomplishes daily and the effective manner in which she does so." 

John Gardiner, professor in the Doctorate of Education Leadership program, joins other admirers, noting, "Eunice MacGill has long deserved this award for her service above self." 

The Faculty and Staff Appreciation Event will take place 10:30 a.m.-noon, Friday, May 29, in Campion Ballroom. The program will be followed by a luncheon buffet in the Student Center.