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Chemistry department staff accepted the 2004 CAPA Unit Award on April 28. With department chair Wayne Gladfelter (right) and administrator Stan Bonnema (third from right) are P & A staff members (left to right) Deborah Schoenholz, Anne Mockovak, Dan MacEwan, Ted Tolaas, and Stephanie Stathopoulos.

Outstanding employees make outstanding departments

By Stan Bonnema

A speech presented at a meeting of the Council of Academic Professionals and Administrators April 28, 2004

Ms. Teri Wallace, Ms. Jamie Tiedemann, members of CAPA's Professional Development and Recognition Committee, and all professional and administrative employees present today and other distinguished guests:

On behalf of the Department of Chemistry and its professional and administrative staff, it gives me great pleasure to accept the CAPA Outstanding Unit Award for 2004. In the process of nominating our department for this award, I had a chance to reflect on the quality of our 16 professional and administrative employees and how much they have contributed to our department over the past many years.

Going through this process reinforced my opinion that outstanding departments do not create outstanding employees. They may, and should, foster and encourage personal and professional growth. However, I believe it is outstanding employees who create [a] functional, goal- and service-oriented unit and department. The Department of Chemistry may be a good place to work, but, in reality, it is the hard work, smart thinking, and dedication of our faculty, staff, and students that make it so.

This award, then, celebrates the success of our professional and administrative staff in doing their part to make Chemistry an outstanding department. Our professional and administrative employees are present in all areas of the department: teaching, research, administration, accounting, and student services. They perform a variety of tasks critical to our mission of teaching, research, and outreach.

Over the past several years, as budgets have been retrenched time and again, I have seen our professional and administrative employees work harder, work smarter, with even greater zeal and enthusiasm, to keep our department running smoothly and professionally. The things our department does to "enhance their careers and their morale"--to paraphrase a portion of the selection criteria for this award--these things are but small ways to say thank you for the dedication and loyalty these individuals have demonstrated to this department and to the University.

Again, members of the CAPA Professional Development and Recognition Committee, thank you very much for recognizing the Department of Chemistry with this award for in so doing you are recognizing the achievements of our own Professional and Administrative staff. Thank you.

Stan Bonnema is the department administrator for the Department of Chemistry, Twin Cities campus.

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