Employees' Service Saluted With Massey Awards

The University is honoring six outstanding employees with the 2010 C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Awards, one of the most coveted distinctions Carolina bestows to faculty and staff.

The late C. Knox Massey ’25 of Durham created the awards in 1980 to recognize “unusual, meritorious or superior contributions” by UNC employees. In 1984, he joined the families of his son, Knox Massey Jr. ’59, and daughter, Kay Massey Weatherspoon, in creating the Massey-Weatherspoon fund. Income from the fund supports the Massey Awards and Carolina Seminars, which promote interdisciplinary thought, study, discussion and intellectual interchange on a wide variety of topics.

Chancellor Holden Thorp ’86, who made the selections, will honor the recipients, who were chosen from nominations from the campus community, at an awards luncheon on April 9. Each will receive a $6,000 stipend and an award citation.

The recipients are:

  • Jane D. Brown, James L. Knight Distinguished Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, of Chapel Hill. Praised as “the epitome of a University citizen,” Brown has made a tangible difference at Carolina since she joined the faculty of the journalism school in 1977. Her impact also has been felt beyond campus, with committee service spanning from the local community to the White House. At Carolina, she currently serves as director of the Academic Leadership Program in the Institute for the Arts and Humanities and as a member of the Chancellor’s Naming Committee. A former chair of the faculty (1994–97), Brown also has chaired the UNC Task Force on Future Promotion and Tenure Policies and Practices, the University Child Care Committee and the Faculty/Staff Development Campaign. She developed and now leads the journalism school’s undergraduate honors program and has earned national renown for her research into the media’s influence on teen tobacco and alcohol use, aggression and sexual behavior.
  • Ruben Gonzalez-Crespo, interpreter in the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, of Mebane. Gonzalez-Crespo has been praised for bringing comfort, care and compassion to the Hispanic community through his work as a Spanish interpreter at Lineberger and the N.C. Cancer Hospital. By helping patients and their families overcome language and cultural barriers, he is an advocate for Latino health, increasing the number of minority cancer patients participating in clinical trials, directing patients to the emotional, therapeutic and financial resources available to them, and helping non-Spanish-speaking physicians understand their patients’ needs and concerns. “The Hispanic patients feel welcomed into the UNC Hospitals system and are well-supported because of his efforts,” a colleague wrote. “Patients are able to effectively communicate their needs to the medical staff and likewise receive treatment with a clear understanding.”
  • Helen M. Marsh, environmental technician in Housekeeping Services, of Siler City. In appreciation of her warmth, friendliness and outstanding work ethic, 20 residents of the Teague/Parker and Avery residence hall community nominated Marsh, praising her ability to create a “home-away-from-home” in their residence halls. “Ms. Helen goes far beyond what’s expected to form personal relationships with our students,” wrote one nominator. “As a residential adviser, I know the trouble many students have in adjusting to life away from home. Ms. Helen has significantly eased this transition for many. Her positive attitude and compassion are truly contagious.” Marsh’s high standards and excellent attitude motivate those around her. “She is always willing to go the extra mile,” wrote one student.
  • Mark Meares, director of corporate and foundation relations in the Office of University Development, of Chapel Hill. Meares’ commitment to securing funding for Carolina expands opportunities in every area of the University experience. Nominated by two deans, two associate provosts and an associate dean, Meares has been described as “… a tireless and extremely effective advocate of the University’s mission to serve the people of North Carolina, the nation and the world.” Currently, he is working to acquire funds for Innovate@Carolina, designed to make Carolina a world leader in launching University-born ideas that benefit society. Among Meares’ other achievements in his 13-year Carolina career, he has helped raise funds supporting low-income students, encouraging community college transfer students, stimulating private enterprise and promoting civil rights.
  • Karen Shelton, head coach, women’s field hockey, in the athletics department, of Chapel Hill. “Heels on three … one-two-three … Heels!” School spirit and teamwork: For Carolina’s field hockey head coach, this post-game cheer is as much work ethic as it is inspiration. Nominated by colleagues and the parent of a student-athlete, Shelton has led Carolina to six NCAA championships, 16 ACC championships and 27 winning seasons. Her leadership and success have led to five national Coach of the Year awards and eight ACC Coach of the Year awards. “Coach Shelton knows no boundaries,” wrote a colleague. “She always sees a higher level and is perpetually working to be better and greater. She shines as a beacon of greatness for the University and is as dedicated as anyone can be to the Tar Heel tradition.”
  • Tom Sudderth, landscape installation supervisor in Grounds Services, of Pittsboro. For 26 years, Sudderth has contributed to the beauty of Carolina’s campus. “Tom’s knowledge of plant material and site preparation and his dedication to detail have transformed the UNC campus into a world-class leader,” wrote a colleague. “When you see the beautiful plantings on campus, Tom saw the vision first.” In recent years, Sudderth implemented landscaping for a campus master plan, conserving landscapes around building renovations and creating harmonious installations on new construction. “He is a creative master landscaper who treasures the past and innovates to keep the campus looking beautiful,” a nominator said. In addition to his work at Carolina, Sudderth served as president of the N.C. Landscape Association in 2000.

This year’s ceremony will include a tribute to the late Douglass Hunt ’46, who collaborated with Massey and former Chancellor Christopher Fordham ’47 to create the awards. Hunt served as chair of the Massey Awards committee from its inception in 1980 to 2002 and was a recipient. He died Jan. 1.

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