Seven University Employees Receive Prestigious Massey Award

Two housekeepers were among six UNC employees who received the 2024 C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Award in April. A seventh employee was honored posthumously.

Established in 1980 by the late C. Knox Massey ’25, the award is one of the most prestigious given to faculty and staff and recognizes “unusual, meritorious or superior contributions.”

“Our extraordinary employees are at the heart of Carolina’s excellence,” Interim Chancellor Lee Roberts said in a statement. “Each year, the Massey Awards highlight the remarkable and superior ways our employees contribute to our community, and the seven individuals being recognized this year are superb examples. Their hard work and dedication truly stand out. I’m honored to celebrate and acknowledge all they do for our great University.”

The winners are chosen after a campuswide nomination process, and each receives a $10,000 stipend and award citation. The recipients were honored at a luncheon April 27.

This year’s C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Award recipients are:

  • Linc Butler, associate vice chancellor for human resources, who served on the University’s Emergency Response Team and is a member of numerous UNC System task forces that support improved efficiency.
  • Khin Su Su Kyi, a housekeeper who’s worked in Marsico Hall, a medical research building, since it opened in 2009 and helped clean up after a March 2023 fire there. A Myanmar refugee, she spoke limited English when she came to the U.S.
  • Robin Lee, a housekeeper who works in Kenan Residence Hall and is affectionately called “Miss Robin” by students. Lee has advocated for higher wages for Carolina’s housekeepers and prioritizes safety, accessibility and comfort for all students.
  • Summer Montgomery ’81, a student services manager in the biology department, who has worked at the University for nearly 30 years and played a pivotal role in handling operations through the pandemic and the rollout of the biology department’s new undergraduate curriculum.
  • Desirée Rieckenberg, dean of students in Student Affairs, who was the visionary behind the CARE team, championed for the Carolina Veterans’ Resource Center and partnered with the office of scholarships and student aid to hire Carolina’s inaugural director of financial well-being.
  • Nicholas Siedentop, curriculum director in the College of Arts and Sciences, who oversees efforts to modernize and digitize the University’s curriculum processes, including the introduction of the online undergraduate catalog, and helped plan and implement the IDEAS in Action
  • Elizabeth Williams ’83 (posthumous winner), executive assistant to former chancellors Kevin Guskiewicz and Carol Folt, who came to UNC after a career in banking, raising her children and advocating for abused and neglected children while serving as a guardian ad litem in the court system. Before serving as executive assistant in the Chancellor’s Office, Williams worked in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the Morehead-Cain Foundation as an admissions essay reader.
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