Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos paid a surprise visit Sept. 6 to Marty Wright, manager of law enforcement systems in Vanderbilt University Public Safety, to present him with the inaugural Heart and Soul Staff Appreciation Award.
Zeppos recently created the awards as part of a new initiative to honor Vanderbilt staff members for outstanding work. The awards, presented by Zeppos during visits with staff in their workplaces, recognize efforts that demonstrate the spirit and mission that distinguish the Vanderbilt community.
“I am delighted to present Marty with this award and recognize his dedicated efforts of keeping our campus community safe,” Zeppos said. “He has developed and implemented multiple security systems that are making a difference for our students, faculty and staff. [rquote]I greatly appreciate his initiative, ingenuity and dedication to Vanderbilt.”[/rquote]
Staff are nominated for the chancellor’s Heart and Soul Awards by their supervisors, managers and colleagues. Nominations focus on a specific instance when a staff member did more than what was assigned or expected and for carrying the spirit and mission of Vanderbilt in all they do. Award recipients receive a $1,500 cash prize and a bowl handcrafted of mahogany wood sourced by Gibson Guitar.
“We are a people organization. Vanderbilt’s success happens through mutual collaboration and the individual contributions of each person on a daily basis,” Zeppos said. “We are capable of going big and going bold because of the amazing and extremely competent staff who run this institution.”
Wright was selected for his oversight of daily operations of technology utilization within VUPS. His efforts with the Video Patrol Camera Initiative were instrumental in the addition and installation of more than 1,400 video cameras across campus. He also is credited with ensuring proper functionality of emergency phones and panic alarms on campus and continually striving to learn and employ improved security and technology methods.
The new chancellor’s awards add to existing staff recognition efforts. “I believe we can’t ‘over-appreciate’ our incredible staff or thank them enough for their day-to-day commitment to Vanderbilt,” Zeppos said. “It may not be defined in a job description or performance evaluation, but it speaks to what makes Vanderbilt a special place.”
A total of 32 nominations were received this summer for academic year 2017-18, and a total of five recipients were selected as winners. Zeppos will present the remaining Heart and Soul Staff Appreciation Awards during upcoming visits planned throughout the year. Questions about the Heart and Soul Awards can be sent to Gwen Hopkins.