Longtime staff member in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at the IU School of Global and International Studies Connie May has earned an IU Bloomington staff merit award. A committee of faculty and staff selected May as one of two honorees for support staff.
May was honored during a ceremony with IU Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel and Associate Vice President for Human Resources John Whelan on Dec. 12 at the Indiana Memorial Union’s Frangipani Room. Just six employees are selected every year for the award, given for exemplary job performance and special efforts to improve Indiana University.
Here is the article from the ceremony program about the reasons why May earned the honor:
Connie May is a model of unswerving dedication as a program specialist in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (NELC), and she has been known to fill in many other empty staff positions, often doing two jobs at once. Connie’s work has been essential to getting NELC integrated into the School of Global and International Studies and, according to Stephen Katz, the chair of NELC, she was also integral to achieving another major milestone for the department: “She ushered the process of our application for the Arabic Flagship award at the cost of many hours just to be certain that all necessary work be done to enable the Flagship application to be completed.”
Connie’s involvement in so many facets of NELC, her tireless work on the Flagship application, and her multiple staff roles have made her position in the department a unique one. Stephen Katz refers to her as a “triple-threat participant” in all of NELC’s functions in the past year—as program specialist, as unofficial office coordinator of the Flagship, and as the academic/graduate secretary.
“I am sure she will continue to demonstrate her commitment to this program as we now begin to recruit and enroll students and make it a top-notch undergraduate language-learning program,” says Hillary Kahn, assistant dean for international programs in the School of Global and International Studies. “She is truly the backbone of the department, ensuring its efficient and successful day-to-day operations. Her chair and faculty regularly remind us of the important role she plays in nearly every aspect of NELC activities.” Connie puts her work first and is devoted to ensuring the continued success of the department. “One of the best features of IU is the quality of the staff,” says John Walbridge, professor and director of graduate studies at NELC. “Connie May is an outstanding example.” Connie’s devotion to her work is unparalleled, and her colleagues often remark on how she carries out even the most unglamorous aspects of managing the department to the highest standards.