SAC Awards

Staff members receive President’s Award for Distinguished Service, Robin Kramer Volunteer Award

President Barbara R. Snyder recognized four staff members for their exemplary service and commitment to Case Western Reserve University during the university’s annual staff awards brunch on Wednesday.

2016 staff award winners
Dwayne Bible, Rachel Begley, Jean Seneff and Diane Domanovics at the staff awards brunch. Photo by Eric Benson.

Rachel Begley, Dwayne Bible and Diane Domanovics received this year’s President’s Award for Distinguished Service, and Jean Seneff received the Robin Kramer Staff Advisory Council Volunteer Award.

The event also honors distinguished service award winners of 10, 25, 35, 45 and 50 years of employment at Case Western Reserve. Read the list of employees recognized for their years of employment. (PDF)

“I congratulate each of the award winners for their exceptional contributions to Case Western Reserve,” President Barbara R. Snyder said, “and applaud those honored for their years of service to the university. This annual ceremony marks an important opportunity to recognize not only these exceptional individuals, but also the essential role that all of our staff play in achieving our university’s mission.”

President’s Award for Distinguished Service

The annual President’s Award for Distinguished Service honors up to three staff members whose outstanding contributions to the campus culture have a transformational effect on colleagues, students or visitors.

The President’s Award winners were selected by the Staff Recognition Committee of the Case Western Reserve University Staff Advisory Council. The winners received a $1,000 cash award and have their names engraved into the plaque on display in the Adelbert Hall quad side foyer.

Rachel Begley

Director of the Professional Development Center, School of Graduate Studies

Throughout her tenure as a staff member at the School of Graduate Studies, Rachel Begley has performed almost every job and task imaginable with consistently outstanding results. 

“Rachel goes out of her way to contribute to our success in graduate studies, whether it be in her area of responsibility or elsewhere,” one nominator wrote.

Before assuming her current role, Begley worked as director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs for 10 years. But when she first arrived at the university in 2002, there was no “office” for the appointment of postdoctoral scholars and fellows.

Her ability to coordinate and collaborate allowed her to build an office from the ground up—writing policies, cultivating resources, advocating and fostering a vision to serve a niche population at the university.

“Rachel is detail-oriented, organized, bright and articulate,” a nominator wrote. “She is approachable, positive and friendly. Foremost, Rachel is a leader. She has built alliances around the university with her ability to get along with everyone.”

Dwayne Bible

Audio Visual Specialist, Information Technology Services

Dwayne Bible has worked in Information Technology Services for 30 years—many of which he’s served as the university’s technology point person for major events, including those for the president and Board of Trustees.

“Many of these events encompass the creation of a formal setting in a very informal location,” one nominator wrote. “Dwayne can take ideas from the event team and transform a bare location into a formal sound and stage production, coordinating all outside vendors with very strict deadlines.”

Bible thrives in challenging situations as displayed when he introduced WebEx—first for the Board of Trustees—as a viable university-wide solution for webconferencing.

Prior to debut at a trustee board meeting, Bible worked tirelessly to fine tune the features of the program to allow for dual-screen projection, showing presentations and the video conference concurrently.

Trustees were impressed with the upgrade, the nominator wrote, regularly commenting on its superior quality to previous efforts. Earlier this year, ITS announced a rollout of WebEx as a university-wide conferencing solution.

Diane Domanovics

Assistant Vice President for Sponsored Projects, Department of Research Administration

Behind much of the university’s impactful research is Diane Domanovics, who successfully leads a unit that manages sponsored projects and federal funding—more than $300 million of which she is responsible for each year.

“Diane’s contribution to the university may not readily be obvious … however, her impact on the university is considerable, especially in regards to the research community on and off campus,” wrote one nominator.

Domanovics’ reach extends across the university. In 2013, she was a vital part of the implementation of the new Sponsored Programs Application for Research Tracking and Administration system. She also leads the Sponsored Projects module of CWRU’s Administrative Professional Series workshop.

She also is an organizer and presenter in the Principal Investigator Bootcamp for faculty, guiding young investigators on proposal development and submission.

“Diane’s leadership is exceptional … she will take the time to train, explain issues and policy, and mentor staff on governmental policies and successful contract negotiations,” a nominator wrote. 

Robin Kramer SAC Volunteer Award

The Robin Kramer SAC Volunteer Award honors one Staff Advisory Council member whose volunteer service to the council and broader campus community has had a notable impact. Robin Kramer, former chair of the Staff Advisory Council and effort reporting specialist in the Office of Research Administration, died in 2013. A dedicated Case Western Reserve employee for 21 years, Kramer was known for her passion for serving the university and its employees. In 2005, she earned the President’s Award for Distinguished Service.

The recipient receives $500 and joins the President’s Award winners at the Staff Awards Brunch for recognition.

Jean Seneff

Office Operations Manager, Office of the University Registrar

Jean Seneff’s service to the Case Western Reserve University community extends far beyond the typical “9 to 5.” When not supporting the university registrar, she’s on campus volunteering her time, effort and expertise.

As former director of the university’s Community Emergency Response Team, Seneff led a squad of 25 to 50 university employee volunteers trained to assist first responders during emergency situations.

This is just one of the ways Seneff, also a graduate of the Women’s Staff Leadership Development Institute Program, actively gives back.

She’s an officer with the Administrative Professionals Network and has planned several events for staff across campus. With no budget and little resources, Seneff works tirelessly to gain financial support from departments to make these events successful.

“Through these activities, she truly has had a transformational impact on many campus constituencies, but particularly for staff who seek growth and opportunity to, in turn, better serve the campus,” a nominator wrote.