A keystone is a central stone at the summit of an arch, locking the whole together. And, according to Vice President Rick Burgess, it’s a fitting name for Facilities and Campus Services’ highest honor.
Burgess recognized Jim Gibbs, director of Facilities Management Administration, with the Keystone Award, given during the division’s 11th annual Employee Celebration in Barton Hall June 11.
The award “represents the strength of our organization through collaboration,” Burgess said, noting Gibbs “works collaboratively with many groups and in doing so he really improves the group.”
The Keystone Award is given to an individual or team for excellence in service to Cornell and for providing consistent high-quality output in team activities.
“Jim is the type of exceptional individual who sees the value of strengthening and developing those around him, and creating opportunities to improve our processes and services as we serve the campus,” Burgess said.
Gibbs has facilitated process improvement for maintenance planners, implemented a monthly preventive maintenance meeting to coordinate trade and mechanic response, and facilitates a virtual mechanic shop forum to share information. He has been a consistent volunteer at Slope Day, residence hall move-in and Commencement, and readies the facilities each spring at the Shoals Marine Lab on Appledore Island, Maine.
“Jim Gibbs is the concept of keystone materialized in human form,” Burgess said.
In addition, four Cornerstone awards were given:
- The Cornerstone Award for Developing Others went to Jim Naylor, Facilities Management Operations mechanical manager and a master plumber for the city of Ithaca. Naylor recognized that FCS needed to improve knowledge of the plumbing code, and he researched the process for certifying more master plumbers within the organization and developed a training syllabus. His efforts have created a framework for future trainings and have led to seven new master plumbers.
- The Cornerstone Award for Campus and Community Service was given to Andrea Haenlin-Mott, Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator for Facilities and Campus Services. Haenlin-Mott has volunteered to speak with people in upstate New York who had become disabled, and with medical students and interns on interacting with people with disabilities. She has also helped improve accessibility at the YMCA of Cortland.
- The Cornerstone Award for Effectiveness Improvement went to the Acoustics Standards Team (Matthew Reiter, Ram Venkat, Elizabeth Kolacki and Andrew Page). The team developed a design standard for improving acoustic performance in meeting rooms and instruction spaces, which will be applied to future designs of all spaces on campus.
- The Cornerstone Award for Distinction in Teamwork was awarded to the Gates Hall “Boom” Team (Robert Murray, Vincent Knapp and Shane Dunn). The team diagnosed and remedied a mysterious, recurring, loud banging noise that reverberated throughout Gates Hall; the group figured out it was caused by the thermal expansion of an exposed steel safety railing on the roof. They devised a fix that eliminated the problem.
Two new awards and their winners also were announced:
- Sue Kern Wilkins, an FCS finance administrative assistant, received the inaugural One Cornell Award for volunteering to assist in the Office of Financial Aid with an important U.S. Department of Education audit of Cornell.
- Laurie Collinsworth, principle solutions architect at Cornell Information Technology, received the inaugural One Cornell Partner Award for protecting the digital control systems for the central energy plant and water filter plant against potential cybersecurity breaches.
Sarah Brylinsky, the sustainability communications and integration manager at the Campus Sustainability Office, won this year’s Steve Wright Bridge Award for Diversity and Inclusion. Her many contributions included a recent Sustainable Campus website upgrade that ensured compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) web standards, while also compiling resources for others on campus to comply with ADA standards on their sites. In addition, Brylinsky’s communication skills and efforts have connected diverse partners with the Campus Sustainability Office, as she’s developed and maintained relationships with a wide range of stakeholders. She also developed tools to analyze outcomes of the university’s sustainability efforts.
As part of the celebration, Connie Mabry, director of the Office of University Commencement Events, served as the keynote speaker sharing her experiences and teamwork efforts during her 30 years of organizing commencement activities at Cornell.
Matt Reiter, manager of the Architecture and Structural Engineering Section within the Facilities Engineering Department, and Julie Parsons, events manager for Facilities Management, were recognized as staff graduates of the Employee Degree Program.
Fourth-quarter Employee of the Quarter awards went to:
- Christopher Baumunk, control technician at Facilities Management, for his skillful preparations and response during the snowstorm over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, Jan. 19-21, 2019.
- Larry Snyder, plumber at Facilities Management, for his dedication and hard work over 40 years at Cornell, exemplified by his work over the entire Martin Luther King Jr. weekend during the snowstorm.
- Terrance Carr, Campus2Campus bus driver, who performed the Heimlich maneuver on a choking passenger April 22, saving his life. Following these heroics, he continued to load up the bus and drove to New York City.