Banks receives Karen Dolan Spirit Award

Diane Banks is recipient of the 2013 Karen Dolan Spirit Award. (Susan Urmy/Vanderbilt)

Diane Banks, a longtime member and former president of the University Staff Advisory Council, has been honored with the 2013 Karen Dolan Spirit Award.

The award recognizes a staff representative for stewardship, devotion and service to the council. It is given to an employee who embodies the spirit of the late Karen Dolan, who had a strong passion for helping her Vanderbilt family during her time on campus.

USAC officers for 2013-14 are (left to right) Michelle Kovash, Ava Wilson, Lara Beth Lehman and Eric Jones. (Susan Urmy/Vanderbilt)

Dolan worked at Vanderbilt for nearly 26 years. She was the Graduate School registrar before being diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). She died in May 2006, and the award was created in 2008 in her memory.

Banks, who is retiring this month from Communications Studies, has made significant contributions during her service on the council. During her 2009-10 presidential term, the council collaborated with Hands On Nashville to help build a Habitat for Humanity house and conduct other community service.

Banks is a founding member of the Community Connections program, which brings Vanderbilt staff together to explore common areas of interest, learn new skills and make connections across the university. Thanks to her work, more than 300 university and medical center staff have participated in a campus tour series.

“[lquote]Diane’s dedication to the council is unmatched – lending her thoughtful opinions, sharing her knowledge, and mentoring new members and leaders on the council,” said Anna Thomas, council president for 2012-13.[/lquote] “She is the true embodiment of the Karen Dolan Spirit Award.”

Other award recipients at the June 11 council meeting were Michelle Kovash, administrative assistant in International Student and Scholar Services, and Mary Ann Dean, administrative assistant in Human Resources Benefits Administration. Kovash was recognized as Committee Chair of the Year while Dean was named Committee Member of the Year.

Staff council’s new year will begin in July. Serving as president will be Lara Beth Lehman, who manages the curriculum materials center at Peabody Library. Kovash is the new vice president and president-elect. Eric Jones, director of ticketing for Vanderbilt athletics, continues as treasurer. Ava Wilson, special assistant in the Library Annex, will serve again as secretary.