May 16, 2008

Recreational Sports and Services honors staff

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Recreational Sports and Services at Southern Illinois University Carbondale has announced recent winners of its Leadership Team honors. The monthly Leadership Team award recognizes a member of the department's leadership team, which includes full-time staff, graduate assistants and student employees. Full-time staff selects the winner from team nominations and the award goes to team members with exemplary leadership and teamwork skills.

• Gary Lee Dillard won recognition for November 2007. A graduate assistant in the business office, he's worked for Recreational Sports and Services (RSS) for more than two years, including time as a greeter/equipment desk worker and custodian. The Stonefort native earned a bachelor's degree in public accounting and financial management and will graduate in August with his master's degree in accountancy. The son of Jeff and Cindy Dillard, Gary has already accepted a position with the public accounting firm BLD, LLP in St. Louis and will begin working there after graduation.

"Gary is a very dedicated person with maturity beyond his years," said Laurie Maggos, business manager II with RSS. "He demonstrates an outstanding attitude and exceptional work ethic. Gary is an exemplary employee. Both his work and his professional conduct set him apart from others. He constantly steps up his performance and does everything necessary to insure the work gets done. Recreational Sports and Services is lucky to have Gary as an employee."

• Lance E. Cooper of Robinson is the December 2007 honoree. He's worked a year in facilities for RSS. Cooper is a senior civil engineering major with a math minor. The son of Resa Shaner and Pat Cooper, he plans to work as a surveyor and civil engineer after graduation.

"Lance is an employee who takes action and has pride in what he does," said Corné Prozesky, assistant director of facilities for RSS. "He has exemplary leadership skills and he leads by example. We are fortunate to have him on our staff."

• Sarah Hanson of Marion is the January leadership award winner. She's a graduate assistant for the information center and has worked with RSS for 5 1/2 years. The daughter of Maribeth and David Whitsell and Stan and Jeanine Hanson, Sara earned her bachelor's degree in history. Earlier this month, she earned her master's in college student personnel. She plans to obtain a job in the field of recreational sports and student affairs and intends to pursue her doctorate in higher education administration in the future.

" Sarah has been instrumental in recruiting, developing and mentoring many ladies/employees here at SIUC," Prozesky said. "Her role in Recreational Sports and Services transcends employment and is positive and contagious with all participants and staff. There are certain traits that do no necessarily appear on a resume, traits like integrity, intellect, enthusiasm, commitment, loyalty, sense of humor and receptiveness to criticism, to name a few, and Sarah possesses all of these wonderful traits at a level that sets the standard for others to follow."

• Markum Reed, a senior from Carbondale, is the February winner. Reed has worked at RSS for three years and is a lifeguard and crew chief. The son of Bob and Carolyn Reed, Markum is majoring in foreign language and international trade. He hopes to continue his education at Denver University and work in international administration.

"Markum Reed is a model student employee," said Jeff Goelz, assistant director of aquatics and sport clubs for RSS. "He works in a variety of capacities at the recreation center. Markum teaches our youth swimming lessons, adult swimming lessons and swim for fitness classes. He is also very active teaching American Red Cross classes in CPR/AED, first aid and lifeguarding to our staff, students and members of the community."

• Ian Pendergast-White of Charleston is the March honoree. With more than four years at RSS, he's a graduate assistant in the outdoor adventure program, working with the base camp and climbing wall. The son of Althea Pendergast and Randy White, he's pursuing his master's degree in forestry at SIUC. Pendergast-White is contemplating pursuing his doctorate and anticipates he'll continue his career working with University-based outdoor programs or with a government agency where he can utilize his climbing abilities.

"Ian is the consummate team player," Prozesky said. "He is highly respected and well-liked by his supervisors, peers and subordinates. He excels in communicating with fellow employees and is unwavering in pressure situations. He leads by example; with his leadership skills his staff and participants are always in good hands when on a trip in the wilderness. He mentors student staff and they are drawn to his caring and insightful methods."

• Ipek T. Cetiner of Istanbul, Turkey, earned the April Leadership Team Member of the Month award. She's a four-month employee of RSS, where she's a graduate assistant working with marketing and publicity. The daughter of Diana and Cem Cetiner, she anticipates completing her master's in marketing in spring 2009. After completing her education, Cetiner hopes to open a business consulting firm in her native country.

"Ipek is a truly 'can do' person," said Gary Tisdale, assistant director of publicity and marketing for RSS. "Projects assigned to her are approached in a very thought out and logical manner. She accepts corrections and additions to these projects in a very positive manner and always reacts quickly to these changes. Her perseverance in staying focused, being diligent and meeting her deadlines is why I nominated her for this award."

Recreational Sports and Services awards Leadership Team honors in recognition of outstanding effort and service by student employees. An April 25 "Past and Present Weekend Celebration" banquet recognized winners and celebrated the contributions they and other student workers and full-time staff make to Recreational Sports and Services and SIUC.

Gary Dillard lance cooper sarah hanson

markum reed ian pendergast ipek centiner