HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (May 30, 2013) - The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) recently awarded three employees 2013 UAH Foundation Staff Awards.
The award recipients are: Michael S. Briggs, principal research scientist II, Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research; Greer G. Eleazer, director of the Learning Resource Center in the College of Nursing; and Jennifer B. Pettitt, director of graduate programs and undergraduate advising, College of Business Administration.
The awards carry monetary prizes of $1,000 each and certificate. A selection committee of 2009 award recipients reviewed nominations and selected the three 2013 awardees.
About the 2013 UAH Foundation Staff Awards recipients:
Michael S. Briggs
joined the University in 1991 as a research associate in the Physics Department. His leadership of the Gamma Ray Burst project team during a critical review period of the project ensured that CSPAR and UAH did not lose a major science program that has generated over $1 million in research funding over the past four years.He was instrumental in the success of a critical review period of the Gamma Ray Burst (GBM) project. Michael has brought about significant changes in cutting unnecessary expenditures to UAH on the GBM project. He successfully unified the GBM Team. His efforts have helped to place UAH at the cutting edge of gamma ray physics. Michael and his colleagues were instrumental in the significant and unexpected discovery that anti-matter can be created during severe lightning strikes. This discovery resulted in major media exposure for UAH and drew attention to the excellent science being done by the GBM team. A nominator wrote, "Michael clearly exceeds the metrics on which outstanding performance should be judged." Another nominator wrote that his "leadership…and inspiration…have resulted in new and ground-breaking results for the GBM team. He has ensured that the GBM Science team is functioning properly and the output from GBM has increased in both quantity and quality, this in large part due to the improved work methods and structure that Michael helped introduce." In addition to his duties as a researcher, Michael serves on the Ph.D. committees of a UAH graduate student and a Ph.D. student at University College in Dublin.
Greer G. Eleazer
provides support to faculty and students. Greer re-branded the College of Nursing Learning Resources Center to Charger Hospital to create a more professional environment, requiring students and faculty to wear name tags and uniforms in the lab and attend an orientation session. In Charger Hospital, Greer has coordinated a summer skills conference for junior and senior nursing students, coordinated a skills fair for obstetric nurses from Crestwood Medical Center, and coordinated a skills fair for Huntsville Hospital Pediatric ER nurses. The student skills conference was so successful that Greer and other coordinators were asked to present at a Sigma Theta Tau Regional conference. Greer created a tutoring program for nursing students and personally meets with underperforming students to encourage them. The lab has become much more efficient under Greer's leadership, the lab can be prepared and set-up with as little as an hour's notice. This happened recently that clinical space had to be prepared in Charger Hospital at a moment's notice to ensure that students did not lose their required clinical time. Greer has provided cost savings to the University by asking local hospitals, distributors, and physician offices to donate expired medical supplies. She also performed an extensive budget report and switched vendors for medical supplies that resulted in a cost savings. One nominator wrote, "Her "yes" and "can do" attitude are seen in everything that she does here at UAHuntsville. She will drop everything she is doing to assist a student, faculty member, staff member or stranger."
Jennifer B. Pettitt
is the single point of contact for over 300 graduate students in the College of Business Administration. She handles the admissions process, the program of study, and the graduation application process for all of them. She was instrumental in improving the application process to make it electronic, which has led to improved admission response times for students. In the fall, a new graduate student pointed out that there were a number of items that new students needed for integration into the campus. Jennifer had already prepared a resource for the business students that they there able to adapt for all graduate students. Jennifer's initiative allowed the university to react to the student's request quickly and efficiently. As a result the graduate office is getting fewer calls and has happier more informed students. Jennifer also attends the Career Fair at Athens State University and is a great ambassador for the UAH. One nominator wrote, "She is results oriented with strong analytical talents that are well suited to the challenges of her job. Her talents and unique perspectives are an asset to the faculty and the college. She always has a positive attitude and is available at a moment's notice. She understands faculty and administration needs which help to make her an effective team player. She goes beyond her job description to make sure our students and faculty are well served."