Four Rhodes Employees Receive Outstanding Staff Awards

Photo of Jeff McClain, Bobby Parson, Regina Simmons, and Kristen Hunt, recognized for Outstanding Staff.

The college recently paid tribute to staff with a brunch and recognition program, and four Rhodes employees received the college’s 2013 Outstanding Staff Awards.

This year’s recipient of the Outstanding Administrative Services Staff award is Bobby Parson, special services technician. Nominators wrote: “Bobby is a hard worker and a great ‘people’ person. He handles campus setups with pride, making sure that all the details are in place for the many campus events which take place daily. He makes every effort to serve our students and the campus community through his good work. Bobby demonstrates a collaborative work ethic among co-workers and leadership skills by ‘taking charge’ of setups.” One of his co-workers commented, “He is fun, loyal, on time, and willing to go the extra mile. He has to be in a million places at once with the special services team. He absolutely loves Rhodes and always goes above and beyond.”

Kristen Hunt, administrative assistant II, received the Outstanding Administrative Staff award. In describing Hunt, her colleagues used such adjectives as professional, positive, passionate, polished, calm, courteous, knowledgeable, and unflappable. Hunt’s nominations were received from several departments across campus. One colleague commented “Her attention to detail and her customer service to everyone she comes in contact with reflects our standard of excellence for the college. She exemplifies the term ‘team player’ and often is the leader of projects that cross multiple departmental lines including development, alumni, external programs, athletics, admission and the president′s office. She is the ‘great puzzle master of travel’ and ‘diva of details’ who has the ability to think several steps ahead, always having a plan in place for any contingency. Each project she undertakes benefits from her high standards.”

Outstanding Administrator awards were presented to Jeff McClain, superintendent of maintenance, and Regina Simmons, director of New Student Programs.

Nominators wrote about McCain: “He works hard to keep the mechanical, electrical, plumbing and building systems across campus operating smoothly. Most of his work is behind the scenes, and so his work many times goes unnoticed. He solves a wide variety of problems while managing multiple projects and contractors. Jeff always demonstrates professionalism, and he exemplifies our Rhodes standards.” One co-worker shared, “He is the glue that holds our team together, the man that keeps our engineering ship sailing in the right direction, and the one who tirelessly responds to the hundreds of student emails regarding their needs.” Another said, “His professional skills keep the campus running smoothly and his caring manner is very reassuring when things aren’t working properly. Jeff’s smile really lights up a room and we are fortunate to have an individual of his caliber who obviously loves Rhodes and gives 100 percent to maintain the college’s standards.”

Simmons’ nominators wrote that students seek her out for advice, faculty express appreciation for her assistance with students and in the way she manages programming for new students, and staff regularly asks her to partner with them on projects. According to one of her co-workers, “Whether it’s reaching out to a student in crisis, organizing a leadership team to oversee new student programs, or enlisting the campus to raise funds for St. Jude, Regina brings energy, commitment and an unparalleled willingness to do the right thing in all her involvements.” Another said, “Regina has truly been a catalyst to enhancing the student experience at Rhodes. She has been proactive in offering student programming at our athletic events to increase attendance dramatically these past few years, and she has been an asset in providing guidance to upper level students as they navigate both the academic and social areas of campus life.”


At the brunch, employees celebrating anniversaries with the college were recognized as well the following 2013 Rhodes teams:

The Community-Integrated Education (CIE) Working Group which brings students, staff, and faculty together for the purpose of communication among those who connect students to the broader Memphis community about partners, strategies, pedagogy, assessment, and resources. 

Members: Adam Alsamadisi, Suzanne Bonefas, Shawnecca Burke, Catherine Carlile, Dorothy Cox, Chidimma Emelue, Scott Garner, Charles Hughes, Meagan Keller, Georgia Loftis, Travis Lux, Tom McGowan, Milton Moreland, Rachel Quisenberry, Taylor Sieben, Anthony Siracusa, Sarah Smith, Walt Tennyson, Elizabeth Thomas, Sandi George Tracy

The Honor Council Advisory Group has helped to streamline the processing of Honor Council cases, improve understanding, and facilitate continuing discussions between the Judicial Officers, the faculty and the Honor Council. 

Members: John Blaisdell, Kim Morton, John Olsen, Patrick Gray, Nick McKinney, Rebecca Finlayson, David Jilg, Chloe Smith, Courtney Strachan, Elizabeth Swann, Micah Wasseman.

The LEED Certification Team was instrumental in Rhodes’ West Village obtaining LEED Silver certification.

Members: Allen Boone, Tracy Adkisson, Jeff McClain, Greg Jones, Tim Lucas, Kevin Sackett, and Brian Foshee

The Rhodes Common Table teams are intended to increase collaboration among the internal community of students, faculty, and staff, and connect with the external communities of alumni, parents, partners, and trustees in working through important issues of strategic planning for the college. 

Promise Team Members: Patrick Gray, Jeanne Lopiparo, Dorothy Brownyard, Milton Moreland, Rashna Richards, Darlene Brooks, Nicole Choe, Rich DeMaio, Roberto Salud Bea, Katie White, Regina Simmons, Ken Woodmansee
Connect Team Members: Courtenay Harter, Tracy Adkisson, Charles Frame, Margaret Handwerker, Bill Short, Reida Benson, Elizabeth Gates, Kim Morton, Claire Shapiro, Becky Klatzkin, Michelle Mattson, Kevin Leslie, Bud Richey, Dena Selmer, Kathleen Laakso, Pam Detrie 
Teaching and Learning Team Members: Steve Haynes, Barren Boyd, Robert Seals, Martha McGeachy, Felix Kronenberg, Dan Ullucci, Suzanne Bonefas, Mike Koertel, Mark Newman, Chris Seaton, Stacy Pennington, Wendy Trenthem, Kenny Morrell, Kathleen Laakso

The Rhodes LGBT Working Group was established to assess the college’s LGBT policies and environment to ensure that our campus offers the broadest possible inclusivity. 

Members: Pam Detrie, Mark Behr, Elizabeth Bridges, Walt Tennyson, Jeff Cleanthes, Dan Gritti, Lynn Conlee, Charles Frame


At this year’s Campus Life Awards hosted by the Rhodes Student Government, awards also were presented to Rhodes staff for exceptional work. Tamela Mull was recognized as the Loretta Watkins Outstanding Housekeeper and Eddie Dowdy was recognized as the Outstanding Campus Safety Officer.