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Employees Receive Awards for Excellence at the Division Level

Twenty DASA employees were nominated for 2023 Awards for Excellence, and four have been selected to represent the division at the university level.

A large group of employees holding certificates

At the DASA State of the Division Address and end of year event on Wednesday, April 19, employees were recognized for their outstanding work throughout the 2022-23 academic year. In particular, 20 faculty and staff were nominated for Awards for Excellence, and four were selected by a committee of previous winners at the division level.

The University Awards for Excellence program is designed to reward the accomplishments and achievements of permanent NC State employees. Across the NC State campus, up to 50 employees (32 SHRA and 18 non-faculty EHRA) are selected as college/unit awardees. These awardees are then submitted to a University Award for Excellence selection committee to determine 12 university-level winners. As a reward, winners of college/unit awards are granted 8 hours of time off and a $250 cash award provided by the college/unit. University-level winners are granted an additional 8 hours of time off and a $1,000 cash award provided by the University.

The university-wide ceremony will be held at a later date.

Meet the Winners

From left, Harley Jaycox, Kevin Sutherland, Jameco McKenzie and Shannon DuPree are the Awards for Excellence winners from the Division of Academic and Student Affairs

Jameco McKenzie, University Housing

McKenzie is a residence life coordinator within University Housing, works with the Black Male Initiative (BMI) and serves as an advisor for the Caribbean Student Association. He is also the chair of the Staff Senate DEI Committee and has spearheaded coordination of NC State’s first Juneteenth celebrations.

McKenzie was nominated by Quashon Bunch, coordinator for recruitment and leadership within University Housing.

“He cares a lot about creating space for students of color to belong and find their voice on a college campus that was not built for them,” Bunch wrote in his nomination. “He has developed workshops, held one on one conversations with students, and has focused his role in Residence Life on creating more equity in the on-campus residential community. As a leader with BMI, Dr Jameco McKenzie has helped Black men navigate campus and learn about themselves and learn to develop self-advocacy. He has connected students with resources and campus partners to aid in their success.” 

Outside of his other responsibilities, McKenzie co-teaches a Leadership in African American Communities course, which helps expose students in BMI to Black leadership beyond Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. He has also served as an instructor for Foundations of Cultural Competence. Additionally, McKenzie has led University Housing’s Civil Rights trips for the last three years, where students can learn about cultures, history and movements that are not often talked about in day to day life.

“Dr. Jameco McKenzie loves having one on one conversations with students, helping them find their purpose, goals and path in education,” Bunch wrote. “He volunteers time in the African American Cultural Center on a weekly basis and helps students process and navigate the college environment. Dr. Jameco McKenzie does so much to help students and our university move forward in equitable ways, and is very deserving of this award.”

Shannon DuPree, Wellness and Recreation

As director of wellness within NC State Wellness and Recreation, DuPree provides strategic leadership for an innovative, integrated and collaborative wellness model for the NC State University community.

She was nominated by Katie Birdsall, marketing manager for Wellness and Recreation. 

“Shannon’s roles with the Wellness Advisory Committee and the Student Mental Health Task Force this year — a year that has seen several tragic student losses — have required her to dedicate a significant amount of her time to university initiatives in response,” Birdsall wrote in her nomination. “At every turn, Shannon has answered the calls to help out the Wolfpack community, whether on a large scale like the State of Wellness Forum in the fall, or a more individual effort, like organizing massage therapists to visit the Counseling Center during their peak times.”

In addition, DuPree and her teams have led the implementation and organization of several wellness programs across the university over the years, including Power Lunch, Wellness Champions, Mental Health First Aid training and the Wellness Badge Program. 

Despite her commitments in university-wide initiatives this year, DuPree has also stayed committed and available to her team in Wellness and Recreation, filling in at events when the department has been short staffed and always making time for students.

“On a personal level, Shannon is the type of supervisor that makes coming to work every day worth it,” Birdsall wrote. “Her encouragement, advocacy, authenticity, sincerity and positivity help to lift others up to become the best versions of themselves. While there have been many leaders across NC State that have stepped up this year to heal the Wolfpack community, I cannot think of anyone more deserving of an award that recognizes someone who has made contributions toward enhancing the quality or morale of the workplace.”

Harley Jaycox, Housing Facilities

As lead painter for Housing Facilities, Jaycox plays an integral role in overseeing the maintenance of all the painted surfaces in over 3 million square feet of buildings. Over the past few years, he has taken on a role of running day to day operations in the University Housing Paint Shop. He leads a team of four painters during the school year and 14 additional student staff over the summer months.

Jaycox was nominated by Abinadi Ehrisman, assistant director of Housing Facilities.

“During the school year, Harley routinely walks common spaces in the residence halls to find problems that no one else has noticed or reported and works with his staff to fix those issues before they even have a chance to negatively impact the student experience,” Ehrisman wrote in his nomination. “During the summer, he works closely with his full-time, permanent staff to

oversee the less experienced student workers as they personally inspect and repair the painted surfaces in every one of our residence hall rooms.”

Earlier this year, Jaycox helped a resident who was experiencing a water leak in her room due to a clogged gutter. He worked closely with the facilities manager in the area to assess the condition of the walls and ceiling and get damaged plaster removed and repaired as quickly as possible. 

“Harley is a very talented painter and leader who puts 100 percent effort into everything he does,” Ehrisman wrote. “He is dedicated, hard-working, and committed to taking care of the needs of his customers. Another of our regional facilities managers described him this way: ‘Harley is one of the few people that just does what needs to be done and doesn’t seek attention for doing it.’ Harley is an invaluable member of the Housing Facilities team and very deserving of the Award for Excellence.”

Kevin Sutherland, Housing Facilities

Since starting his position as pest control and safety manager for Housing Facilities in April 2021, Sutherland has created several efficiencies and innovations related to his work that enable Housing Facilities to provide a higher level of service to students. Within his first few days on the job, Sutherland created and implemented a robust inspection and treatment plan for all of University Housing. This included a review and revision of all pest control chemicals and processes that were already in place, and he evaluated each location on an individual basis and was able to adjust methods, frequencies or chemicals depending on each environment.

He was nominated for the Awards for Excellence by Scott Wallace, assistant director of Housing Facilities.

“Kevin’s work has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on the resident experience throughout University Housing,” Wallace wrote in his nomination. “Kevin does an outstanding job of communicating with residents, staff and campus partners. He shares treatment plans and expectations, goes out of his way to provide education regarding pest control, and most importantly, he follows up on all of his service calls to ensure that problems have been resolved.”

Sutherland has also taken on a leadership role in his safety manager position, efficiently organizing monthly safety trainings for all Housing Facilities employees and notifying them about which trainings and documents they are required to complete. He works in conjunction with Environmental Health & Safety to conduct shop safety inspections to ensure that shops have up to date safety plans and safe workplace conditions. Additionally, he serves as co-chair for the DASA Safety committee and the DATA Management Committee, and he is a member of other university initiatives like key control and the NCDOI inspection response and coordination. On top of that, he manages Housing Facilities’ drone program, which provides thermal imaging to diagnose problems like roof damage.

“Kevin brought 10-plus years of pest control and wildlife management experience and knowledge to NC State when he took over as the Pest Control and Safety Manager for Housing Facilities. Those skills and technical knowledge serve Kevin and our university well on a day-to-day basis as Kevin provides support to our staff residents. That said, what really separates Kevin is his ability and desire to dive into complex problems and provide efficient and innovative solutions. Kevin finds new ways to display this ability each and every day. He is one of a kind and a true asset to the NC State community.”

Other Nominees for DASA’s 2023 Awards for Excellence

  • Tony Shurer, Academic Advising Programs and Services
  • Nicole Guistwite, DASA Finance
  • Crystal Szvetitz, DASA Finance
  • Michelle Garoutte, Academic Advising Programs and Services
  • Mary Njaramba, Counseling Services
  • Jordan Luzader, DASA Assessment
  • Olga lefremova-Carson, Counseling Services
  • Kelly McConkey, Counseling Services
  • Jennifer Womack, Academic Support Program for Student Athletes
  • Roger Manley, Gregg Museum of Art & Design
  • Amy Johnson, Campus Health
  • Sonya Wornom, Campus Health
  • Scott Wallace, Housing Facilities
  • Amanda Reed, Gregg Museum of Art & Design
  • Quashon Bunch, University Housing
  • Christy Rain, Arts NC State