Faculty and staff at the Collat School of Business were honored recently for their commitment to excellence in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“CSW Sees You,” a virtual ceremony held at the end of April, was sponsored by the UAB Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’s Commission on the Status of Women. Recognizing that 2020 was far from “normal,” CSW honored and acknowledged individuals and/or departments that went above and beyond to persevere against previously unimaginable challenges and circumstances.
More than a dozen Collat faculty and staff within different units were nominated for the recognition and honored during the ceremony.
Collat’s IT team of Phillip Cotton and David Childers were recognized for keeping Collat operational during difficult times in 2020.
“They managed the sudden conversion to remote work in March 2020 for about 100 full- and part-time faculty and 40 full-time staff by providing technology solutions and remotely troubleshooting accessibility and wi-fi issues, laptop connectivity problems, issues with hardware and software, and teaching people how to use remote access,” Kris Boyle wrote in her nomination of the team. “They kept the servers running consistently - even when the utility scale-back impacted the workings of the servers due to overheating - by rigging a webcam to view the thermostat in the server room and checked the temperature remotely every hour for about 2 weeks straight until maintenance could repair the problem.”
Dr. Arline Savage was recognized for her mentorship of female accounting students as they transition to careers and for actively trying to increase the representation of female accounting professors in the academy.
“Arline has taken an active role in encouraging women to pursue opportunities to become accounting educators. She is currently working with two female alumni and local accounting professionals to write a new textbook to further enhance their professional reputation,” Dr. Paul DiGangi wrote in his nomination of her. “She is doing this to ensure our students see strong female leaders in the field, but also to encourage those very same authors to consider a career in education.”
Collat’s robust Student Services Unit, which includes the Career Center, Advising and Recruiting teams, was recognized for extraordinary work during 2020 in adapting on a short timeline after the March 2020 campus shutdown to continue serving students during a time of great need and uncertainty.
The Career Center team of Lisa Aaron, Rita Stewart-Hampton and Andreia Stechmann was recognized for transitioning quickly to serve students virtually with new programming and classroom Zoom visits. The team developed new materials to help students stay connected and counseled students on graduation planning calls. It also built a creative virtual Escape Room to gamify student preparation for the Virtual Career Fair and engaged students at a new level.
The Academic Advising team of Gary Applewhite, Kristen Craig, Raven Dials, Brittany Quinn, Jessica Smith, Laura Tull, Andrea Pound and Anna Buie was recognized for guiding students through COVID-19 struggles and changing guidelines so that students continued to progress and stay on track for graduation. The advisors reinvented New Student Orientation online while still preparing students for their college careers. They reimagined formerly face-to-face retention events to become virtual and involved upper-level student mentoring, faculty networking, and advisor leadership.
As the school’s recruiter, Brandon Cox was recognized for redesigning how to recruit students remotely during a pandemic, educating them on the university’s culture, the school’s many benefits and why our programs would be a good fit for them. He met recruits online and provided virtual visits while also mailing them creative welcome packets. He provided safe, on-campus visits as soon as allowed by the university and helped develop protocols to assure safe individual visits to CSB.
The Altec Team of Wendy England, Joe Talty and Laura Tull was recognized for developing a partnership with Altec Industries, a local employer with international associates and a strong benefit package supporting associates’ ongoing education. The team took a lead from the school’s human resource management faculty and worked over Summer and Fall 2020 to successfully enroll 150+ students for Spring 2021.
The UAB Commission on the Status of Women is dedicated to promoting gender inclusion and equity by supporting and improving options and opportunities for women at every stage of their education and career. CSW members support work-life balance initiatives, training and development of emerging leaders, and community outreach to improve the academic climate and work environment at UAB.