March 23, 2006
Paulette Curkin honored for service
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Paulette Curkin, student development coordinator at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, on Wednesday (March 22) received the University's Administrative/Professional Staff Outstanding Service Award for 2005-2006.
Curkin, from Carbondale, was among 10 nominees for the award, which recognizes individuals who give above and beyond to the University and community. Curkin has worked in her current position since October 1998.
The announcement came during Wednesday's A/P spring constituency meeting at the SIUC Student Center.
Curkin receives a $2,000 cash award and a personal parking space for a year. Her name also will appear on a permanent plaque displayed near the Student Center River Rooms. The A/P Staff Outstanding Service Award is one of the Excellence Achieved Awards funded centrally by the University. She will also be recognized at the Chancellor's recognition dinner April 27.
Curkin was shocked because of the caliber of the other nominees.
"I'm doubly honored to be in their company," she said.
"With the quality of the people who were nominated … it could have been any one of us and any one of us would have been equally deserving," Curkin said.
Curkin began her University service as a graduate assistant in University Housing from August 1973 to May 1975. She returned to SIUC in 1980 for one year as a graduate assistant in the University Programming Office. In 1987, she returned to SIUC to become assistant coordinator for housing programming, and served as housing programming coordinator from August 1989 to October 1998.
In her nominating letter, Carmen Suarez, director of SIUC's Office of Diversity and Equity, praises Curkin for her achievements "well above normal expectations in the positions she has held." Curkin "believes deeply in the work we do collectively at SIUC and in her corner of the world, and believes as deeply that the job is never done," Suarez wrote.
"This is not about being a ‘workaholic.' Rather, Paulette exemplifies the concept of utilizing one's skills and time to the betterment of the whole," Suarez wrote. "She believes the investments made in SIUC and its students are rewarding in and of themselves …"
Suarez notes Curkin's work is in student affairs and central to that work is direct contact with students. She provides support, assistance and encouragement to students and regularly attends various student events not a part of her assigned job, Suarez states.
Student programming is Curkin's career, and "one at which she continues to be innovative and creative," Suarez wrote.
A student leadership program Curkin developed recently received national recognition. Her "What I Want You to Know About Me," program earned a Gold Award designation within the diversity category from the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators, along with a regional award for innovative program.
Curkin has served the University in many key capacities beyond her assigned duties through the years, including as a current member and past chair of the Administrative/Professional Staff Council. She has been a member of many hiring screening committees, including the Chancellor Search Screening Committee in 2000-2001, and served on the Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment committee. Curkin has been a member of the Black History Month Planning Committee since 1989, and Saluki Rainbow Network adviser since 1987.
She received the 2002 Lindell W. Sturgis Memorial Public Service Award, given annually by the SIU Board of Trustees. The award recognizes University employees for public service unrelated to their jobs.
Those nominating Curkin also recognized her civic and community involvement. Curkin served on the Carbondale Women's Center Board for three years, and is a current member of the organization's nominating committee. She is on the American Cancer Society Regional Board of Directors, and was on the Carbondale Liquor Advisory Board for six years.
A native of Middletown, Conn., Curkin earned a bachelor's degree in health and physical education at Southern Connecticut State University. In 1980, she earned a master's degree in higher education from SIUC.
The other nominees were:
- Stephen O. Buhman, producer, Media and Communication Resources. Buhman, of rural Murphysboro, has worked at the University since 1984.
- JP Dunn, instructional support specialist, Library Affairs. Dunn, who is from Makanda, has worked at the University since 1995.
- Nikki M. Hornsberry, coordinator of student programs, University Programming. Hornsberry, who lives in Carbondale, has worked at the University since 2004.
- Jill S. Kirkpatrick, assistant to vice chancellor student affairs and enrollment management, and Bursar's Office. Kirkpatrick who lives in Du Quoin, has worked at the University since 1999.
- Keith D. McMath, coordinator of residence life, University Housing. McMath, who lives in Carbondale, has worked at the University since 2000.
- Gregory A. Scott, assistant director, Alumni Services. Scott, who lives in Carbondale, has worked at the University since 1993.
- Richard W. Steudel, assistant director, Financial Aid. Steudel, who lives in Carbondale, has worked at the University since 1989.
- Jak Tichenor, producer, Broadcasting Service WSIU-TV. Tichenor, who lives in Carbondale, has worked at the University since 1981.
- Julia A. Wetstein, assistant dean, College of Agricultural Sciences. Wetstein, who lives in Carbondale, has worked at the University since 1989.
Giving special recognition to University employees who foster pride within their office or department and community involvement are among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.