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Seattle University


Tremendous trio

Written by Mike Thee
June 1, 2010

An awe-inspiring trio will be recognized this Friday at the Faculty and Staff Appreciation Party.

Bill Weis, professor of management in the Albers School, will officially receive the 2010 McGoldrick Fellow. Audrey Hudgins, assistant dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, will receive the Staff Leadership Award, and Janice Murphy, integrated pest management coordinator in the Grounds Department, will be honored with the Lee Thurber Award.

Weis’s selection was announced last month by Provost Isiaah Crawford, who wrote: “Dr. Weis is eminently deserving of this honor, as he is a complete and consummate teacher-scholar. Adored by students, revered by colleagues and respected throughout the academy, he combines an extraordinary intellect with a heart that is perhaps even greater.”

Weis, who arrived at SU in 1973, is widely respected for his commitment to students and innovative approaches to teaching. Demand for his Adventure Based Leadership Seminar and Leading with Emotional Intelligence course work is high, and his courses are well received by his students. 

“Bill Weis has a long history of demonstrating the highest commitment to our students and our university,” says Joe Phillips, dean of the Albers School. “In particular, his classes have been transformational for students and one of the highlights of their time at Seattle U. Bill has also been a very supportive colleague for our faculty and staff. No one encourages and inspires our students, faculty, and staff more than Bill Weis.”

The McGoldrick Fellow, selected by the president, is named for Fr. James McGoldrick, one of five Jesuits who reopened Seattle College following its post-World War I closure. Under his leadership, the doors of Jesuit education were opened to women undergraduate students in 1933.

“Bill Weis demonstrates over and over a deep dedication to students that Father McGoldrick would have richly approved of,” says John Eshelman, professor of economics and former provost and dean of the Albers School. “Bill never does anything by halves; he goes full bore, and that’s been true in his development of courses and programs that foster student growth. He’s a great asset to the Albers School and to the university.” A similar commitment to students is embodied by Hudgins, who is described by colleagues as having a strong capacity for developing collaborative relationships, and for championing the university’s commitment to the educational and personal development of its students. An admiring nominator spoke of how, in the midst of a snowstorm, Hudgins waited in her office to meet a student because she was unable to reach him to tell him the university was closed.  

Audrey Hudgins, assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences will receive the 2010 Staff Leadership Award.

 Another nominator, Registrar Joyce Allen, spoke of an instance in which Hudgins contacted her office for help in assisting a student. “Audrey’s engagement and dedication to her craft is a model for us all,” says Allen. “She embodies the skills, knowledge, ‘can do’ attitude and passion that we can all learn and benefit from.”

Hudgins has been at SU since 2004, first with the U.S. Army as chair and faculty member of the Military Science Department. She has served as assistant dean in Arts and Sciences since 2007.  Hudgins has served on a broad range of committees and in advisory capacities, including faculty advisor for the Leadership Learning Community in Campion and NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative. She also works tirelessly to identify and help serve the veterans of SU’s campus.

“Audrey Hudgins is a great example of someone who lives out the Jesuit mission of Seattle University through service to others, within the framework of cura personalis, care for the individual,” says David Powers, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “She is receiving this award for the strong, supportive leadership she has provided to the staff, but she provides the same kind of guidance and support in her role as a student advisor as well. Beyond recognizing what she has done for the staff this year, this award is a recognition of who she is.  We are proud to have her as a member of the staff in the College of Arts and Sciences.”

Janice Murphy, meanwhile, is regarded as an integral part of SU’s highly recognized grounds department. Arriving at SU in 1997, Murphy was a driving force in implementing Seattle University’s “compost tea” program, helping the campus to be green without commercial fertilizers. She was significantly involved in creating green spaces such as the university’s Taqwsheblu Vi Hilbert Ethnobotanical Garden, which many regard as a model for collaboration between SU’s faculty and grounds staff. Most recently Murphy was instrumental in setting up the grow-your-own garden for faculty, staff and students near Chardin Hall.

Janice Murphy of Grounds, pictured here with Ciscoe Morris in the SU garden that bears his name, lovingly cares for SU's landscape. She has been named the recipient of the 2010 Lee Thurber Award. (Photo by Joyce McClure)

"Janice is an important leader and advocate for Seattle University grounds and the university campus," says Grounds Manager Shannon Britton. "She consistently emphasizes the importance of organic and sustainable gardening practices first in holistic and heart centered support of all species living in the outdoor environment. On top of her many duties as IPM Coordinator she champions community environmental education through campus tours where she explains to children and adults the importance of making a place in our gardens for birds, insects and soil microbes. Through her talks on tour she inspires community responsiveness toward environmental preservation.

"Janice is a gem and I am grateful and enriched through being in community with her."

The Lee Thurber Award is named for the former staff person who worked in University Relations and later as the personal secretary to President Sullivan.

The Faculty and Staff Appreciation Event begins at noon on Friday, June 4, at Connolly Center.