President Barbara R. Snyder presented three staff members with the 2013 President’s Award for Distinguished Service at the Staff Service Awards brunch June 12. The annual award, created in memory of staff member Roseanne Shaerban, recognizes employees whose outstanding contributions to the campus culture have made a transformational effect on the university.
This year’s award winners, announced by the Staff Advisory Council’s Staff Recognition Committee, are Thomas Bondra, Mark Chavis and Gina Midlik. The honorees each received a $1,000 cash award, and their names will be engraved on a plaque in the Adelbert Hall quad-side foyer.
Nominees with honorable mention—from more than 3,000 eligible employees—include: Rachel Begley, Kevin Chan, Daryl Costanzo, David Haney, Fredrick Lewis, Tom Matthews, Sue Nartker, Brinn Omabegho, Curtis O’Neal, Patricia Ross, Amy Sheldon, Dawn G. Smith, Vida Tripodo, Tracy Wilson-Holden and Michelle Yanick.
Project Manager, Facilities Services
In 36 years at the university, Thomas Bondra’s expertise likely has affected every person on campus, but many people may be unfamiliar with his work. Day in and day out, he makes transformational impacts to this campus—from painting and carpeting classrooms, offices and meeting spaces to replacing roofs, windows and building facades.
In short, Bondra “transforms worn-out areas into beautiful spaces,” a nominator wrote.
Beyond his day-to-day work as a project manager in facilities services, Bondra also has been an integral force behind the scenes of major events on campus. When Case Western Reserve was selected to host the vice presidential debate in 2004, Bondra often worked 12-hour days leading up to the event to help transform Emerson Gymnasium into a space befitting the national stage.
Bondra puts the same dedication into every job he does, no matter how small.
As one nominator noted: “His plate is always full, but he makes sure his customers are always satisfied with the end product. … He becomes a friend and a go-to person to those he serves.”
Mark Chavis is one of the most recognized people on campus—and odds are he knows you too.
“Mark cares enough to know the names of frequent crossers,” a nominator wrote of the famed crossing guard, “and through wind, rain and snow, he has an endless upbeat attitude, while ensuring everyone’s safety.”
Chavis joined Case Western Reserve University more than 10 years ago as a security guard. He took up his post at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Adelbert Road about six years ago. Since then, he’s given passersby words of encouragement, high fives and even gloves during the cold Cleveland winters.
His outgoing personality and genuine caring for members of the university community have earned him legions of fans in person—and online: a Facebook page dedicated to him has garnered more than 2,500 likes.
“Mark cares a whole lot for the local community,” a nominator wrote. “He is a humble man who considers himself everyone’s ‘personal police officer.’”
Team Leader, Planning, Budgets and Assessment, Kelvin Smith Library
In 1984, Gina Midlik started working at the mailroom in Freiberger Library. Over the next 29 years, she’s been promoted numerous times—serving as a secretary, department assistant, budget coordinator, project manager and assistant to the library director—but she’s remained committed to the university’s central library.
Now, as team leader for planning, budgets and assessment at Kelvin Smith Library, Midlik is responsible for resolving issues related to library facilities and ensuring student and faculty needs are met.
Part project manager, part interior designer, Midlik has overseen recent library renovation projects, including the Cramelot café, the art gallery, the Active Collaboration Room and the Freedman Center. In addition, she’s helped create the quiet study spaces faculty members, researchers and students need to conduct their work.
All of this, her nominators agree, she does with humor, wisdom and an astounding attention to detail.
“To see what Gina accomplishes,” a nominator wrote, “is to observe an absolute miracle in action.”