Supporting everything from teaching and research to operational efforts and more, staff members are key to the Case Western Reserve University’s success. Each year, the university recognizes exceptional staff members with two awards: the President’s Award for Distinguished Service and the Robin Kramer Volunteer Award.
Individuals are nominated for these awards by members of the university community. The Staff Advisory Council Staff Recognition Committee then selects honorees and shares them with the Office of the President.
This year’s President’s Award honorees are:
- Arthur Evenchik, assistant to the dean for special projects, College of Arts and Sciences;
- Alma Wilson, research associate, School of Medicine; and
- Arlet Wright, director, Thwing Center.
Tracy Rehl, department assistant III/human resources coordinator at Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, was selected for the Robin Kramer Volunteer Award.
Evenchik, Wilson, Wright and Rehl will be honored alongside employees with 10, 25, 35 and 45 years of service to CWRU at the Staff Service Awards Luncheon today (June 21).
Read more about the award winners below.
The President’s Award for Distinguished Service was created in honor of Roseanne Shaerban, a university employee whose qualities and commitment set a standard for distinguished service.
Shaerban (May 9, 1958–Feb. 6, 1989) was a friendly and familiar face at CWRU. Her family, friends and co-workers remember her for the care, concern, loyalty and support she demonstrated to the university community. Shaerban was feisty, creative and exceptionally generous in her willingness to help others in need.
The honorees of this award receive $1,000 cash awards.
Assistant to the dean for special projects, College of Arts and Sciences
For the last 17 years, Arthur Evenchik has spent countless hours celebrating and sharing the achievements of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) students, faculty and alumni. Now, he is the one in the spotlight as one of the 2022 President’s Award recipients.
Since 2005, Evenchik has edited art/sci, the alumni magazine for the College of Arts and Sciences. Through more than 25 issues and hundreds of stories, he has brought the college community together by highlighting the full range of its accomplishments in research, scholarship, education and creative endeavors.
Evenchik has been equally devoted to his role as coordinator of the Emerging Scholars Program, where he works with CWRU students who have graduated from Cleveland-area high schools. Many of these students are the first in their families to attend college. The program boasts an impressive graduation rate, and this month it will welcome 15 entering students to campus for its 12th annual summer bridge session. While Evenchik often gives his students top-notch writing advice, he is also known to gain their trust and act as a mentor during their time on campus and beyond.
His nominator wrote: “Three students independently told me that most of what they accomplished at CWRU and continue to accomplish is due in large part to Arthur’s support and mentorship.”
Research associate, School of Medicine
Over the past 26 years, School of Medicine researcher Alma Wilson has contributed to Case Western Reserve University’s research through many roles, including her most recent position as research associate and colony manager for the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) mouse resource center. Her observations of the CF mouse colony have led to many published articles and funded research projects that would not have been possible otherwise.
Wilson came to the United States from Uruguay with a doctorate in veterinary medicine and initially took a job as an animal technician in the animal resource center. She has been an integral part of growing the department’s reach, initially working with only five Case Western Reserve researchers to now supporting more than 250 Cystic Fibrosis investigators at 102 universities in 16 different countries.
Her peers and supervisors say her expertise in the field is simply unmatched.
“Alma’s ability to understand the genetics and breeding characteristics of each of our over 50 strains that we carry cannot be reproduced,” said her nominator and supervisor of more than 14 years. “Her work ethic and commitment to providing researchers with mice have led to millions of dollars of funding for the CF mouse resource center at the university.”
Director, Thwing Center
From temporary clerk at the university bookstore to director of the Thwing Center—and many roles in between—Arlet Wright has spent more than 35 years dedicated to making Case Western Reserve University a better place.
“The energy, care and support Arlet demonstrates on a daily basis is unmatched,” a nominator wrote. “Her commitment to CWRU and the students we serve is authentic and evident in each interaction.”
Most recently, Wright has led the charge to breathe new life into the Thwing Center, including reimagining classrooms as multi-purpose student engagement spaces; ongoing updates to the Thwing Atrium; and the transformation of the Excelsior Ballroom into a meeting and event space for both students and the broader community—a capital project she helped bring to fruition.
Though she is well known on campus for her efforts to improve and enhance the Thwing Center, another nominator noted that Wright’s impact reaches far beyond that: “She is a student development pro who can coach, listen, teach and guide those around her to identify and magnify the potential they hold inside … she is CWRU energy, and she makes us all shine on.”
Robin Kramer Volunteer Award
Robin Kramer was a university employee who was dedicated to volunteerism. In her honor, the university created the Robin Kramer Volunteer Award to recognize a staff member who is an active volunteer in the CWRU community.
The honoree for this award is given a $500 cash award.
Department assistant III/human resources coordinator, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Tracy Rehl’s volunteering spirit is unending. Always the first to offer assistance in any way needed, Rehl continually goes above and beyond the scope of her job description as a department assistant and human resources coordinator for the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Her nominator wrote: “Tracy is apparently tireless. She is always available to help, and if she can’t assist with something, she will help find someone who can.”
Leading the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center VeloSano Bike to Cure team, Rehl creates meaningful ways for the campus community to come together to support the mission of the event, even those who cannot ride. Administrative staff, lab personnel, faculty and even their children are encouraged to volunteer, and Rehl ensures the kids have plenty of activities and bubble machines to keep them happy.
Her nominator noted that as the “fearless leader of the Christmas Cookie Exchange,” Rehl brings people together and organizes staff appreciation events, many of which would not happen without her efforts.
Recognized by her coworkers as the go-to person when questions arise, her nominator emphasized: “Her long history with the Cancer Center means that we are often coming to her with all sorts of ‘Maybe Tracy knows the answer to that…’ questions, and she always helps us find an answer even if she doesn’t know it at first.”