In her 32 years at the School of Law, Beverly M. Owens has supported the education and research endeavors of thousands of law faculty members and students.
In recognition of her hard work and dedication to the success of faculty and students in the School of Law, Owens, assistant director for faculty support in the law school, was recognized with the Gloria W. White Distinguished Service Award in a May 23 Staff Day ceremony in Edison Theatre.
The award, which is presented annually and comes with a $1,000 prize, provides recognition to a nonacademic staff member for exceptional effort and contributions that have resulted in the betterment of the university.
During Owens’ time at the law school, colleagues say Owens has played a key role in creating a collaborative environment that fosters learning, professional development and advocacy among students, faculty and administrators.
“She is the cheerful, positive, professional problem-solver for many faculty and staff at the law school,” says Kent Syverud, JD, dean of the School of Law and the Ethan A.H. Shepley University Professor. “She embodies a ‘can-do’ spirit, perhaps because she really can do almost everything.”
In providing support for law faculty, Owens balances the demands of faculty, students, journal and casebook editors, federal and state judges, political and government officials, local and visiting lawyers, and university alumni. Her aptitude for mentoring and training administrators and undergraduate work-study students has allowed her to create a network of autonomous, motivated and skilled faculty-support professionals.
“Owens creates a positive working environment and encourages innovation from her staff every day,” a colleague wrote of her. “Her top priority is to fairly treat all of the assistants to faculty and help them efficiently and evenhandedly support the work of all the members of the culturally diverse faculty and student body.”
Owens also serves as an ambassador for the School of Law and for Washington University by coordinating the annual judicial clerkship application process in concert with the Career Services Office.
“Bev deserves this award because she works tirelessly to help the students achieve success,” another colleague wrote. “Bev understands that in her support of the faculty and students, she helps students, learn, grow and graduate.”
Owens began her career in 1976 as a gift processor and joined the School of Law in 1979. She has served in her current position since 2005.
While at the law school, she has remained involved in the overall WUSTL community, serving as a volunteer for the 2003-04 Sesquicentennial Celebration and annual Commencement day activities and as a co-coordinator for the annual Danforth Campus Staff Day golf tournament.
At the awards presentation, employees were recognized for 10, 15, 20, 26, 30, 35 and 40 years of service. For a list of employees honored for years of service, visit news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/22379.aspx.
After the ceremony, employees enjoyed a barbecue lunch in Bowles Plaza outside the Mallinckrodt Center before rain canceled many of the day’s outdoor activities. Indoor activities continued, however, such as bingo, a volunteer event at Delmar-Harvard Elementary School and a volleyball tournament, which was won by Emily Asbury, Greg Fosdick, Sam Gervic, Michele Harashe, Patrick Marsden and John Piper, all of the Office of Information Services & Technology.
Many won prizes at Staff Day through drawings that afternoon.
Joyce Knolhoff won one free night’s stay at the Drury Inn & Suites Near Forest Park, which includes evening drinks, appetizers and a hot breakfast. Nancy Jones, Denise Shuff, Jackie Turner and Joni Williams each won overnight accommodations with a breakfast for two at the Knight Center hotel. Monica Martinez won a night’s stay at the Moonrise Hotel.
David Archer, Beverly Bledsoe, Shari Kern, Carol McKenna, Clara McLeod and Peggy Smith each won two tickets to a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game.
Elaine Murray won two tickets to six shows during the WUSTL Performing Arts Department 2011-2012 season. Bob Chapman won two tickets for three Ovations Series events.
Barry Goldstein won two round-trip domestic flight vouchers. Adam Buffa won an ink jet printer.
Jordan Livingston won a $35 gift certificate to the Pasta House. Eric Suiter and Mary Zabriskie each won a $20 gift certificate to the Hardshell Café. Jamie Bolar, Nathan Collins, Gloria Stukenbroeker and Anne Widmer each won a $25 gift certificate to various restaurants.
Sandra Devereaux, Michelle Hall, Kate Sathi and Kathy Schneider each won lunch for four at the Anheuser-Busch Hall dining hall. Ann Nicholson won lunch for two at Whittemore House.