Every day, our committed and skilled staff initiate and execute dozens of different tasks without which our educational and research programs would very quickly grind to a halt.
These duties range from helping students and faculty navigate the intricacies of university academic programs and organizing the trips of our many visitors to maintaining and improving our departmental infrastructure and managing research funding. Not to mention purchasing equipment and supplies and ensuring all employees are paid.
Every success of the MSE and NE programs, of our individual students and faculty and of the department as a whole is built upon the excellent work of our staff, all of whom can and should proudly share in these achievements.
With that in mind, 2020 marks the debut of our newly endowed staff recognition honor, the Tony and Kathy Brennan Staff Excellence Award. Anthony Brennan, Ph.D., recently retired after nearly three decades as an innovator, leader and mentor to countless students and many others along the way. Dr. Brennan was a consistent champion of our dedicated staff, and long recognized their critical role in keeping everything moving as smoothly as possible – all while working primarily behind the scenes. With his selfless generosity, Dr. Brennan has ensured that the hard-working members of the department staff are sufficiently recognized for their own outstanding efforts, as well.
Ira Harkness, Ph.D., was nominated by faculty for the inaugural Tony and Kathy Brennan Staff Excellence Award, and is being recognized for his coordination and assistance in space renovations for recently hired faculty and students, emergency planning and execution amid natural and non-natural crises, and excellent management of the Facilities and IT staff.
Congratulations, Dr. Harkness!