Dean’s Outstanding Employee Award Recipients, 2022

The following are excerpts from nomination letters submitted by faculty and staff of the College. The awards were presented during the annual Staff Appreciation Reception.

Nicole Hoyle, Administrative Assistant II, ChemistryNicole Hoyle, Administrative Associate II, Chemistry

To say that Ms. Hoyle is an integral part of the Chemistry department is somewhat of an understatement. Nicole genuinely cares about the Department and the students, both graduate and undergraduate.  When events occasionally go poorly, such as when contracts are not completed on time due to grants being awarded late or stuck in the system, she is one of the best advocates and knowledgeable people I know on campus for moving paperwork through the “system” to ensure graduate student pay is not interrupted. When I think “Outstanding Employee” and read the characteristics that are desired for an outstanding employee – Ms. Hoyle comes to mind. She is tireless in her commitment to the University and the Department. As the University and various Departments put in the work necessary for the push to maintain Carnegie R1 Status, staff employees like Ms. Nicole Hoyle will be critical in that effort.  Ms. Hoyle is willing “to go the extra mile” and exhibits a quiet leadership that keeps our department operating smoothly.


Corinne O'Connor, Business Officer II, Computer ScienceCorinne O’Connor (5 nominations) Business Officer II, Computer Science

Ms. Corinne O’Connor is the most valuable asset to the Department of Computer Science. She is eager to learn new skills, extremely organized, meticulous about details, great at multitasking, thoroughly familiar with university policies and processes, and highly professional in interacting with faculty and students. Although she has a wide range of responsibilities, such as budgeting, purchasing, assisting with faculty/staff hiring, GA contracts, and many others, she completes all her tasks with incredible efficiency and accuracy. Corinne goes above and beyond in her duties. For example, providing suggestions to improve our processes, working extra hours, helping other staff members, and even helping during her vacation on urgent matters. I am grateful for her wealth of knowledge, her organized style, and her commitment to helping our department run smoothly. I cannot imagine how our department could function without her support and we are very fortunate to have Corinne on our team.


Mikhelle Taylor, Pre-Award Coordinator, CASMikhelle Taylor, Pre-Award Coordinator, CAS

I have worked with Mikhelle closely for the past two years in various capacities as they relate to grant preparation and submission.  Mikhelle is always extremely helpful, professional, and goes above and beyond to ensure that she is as helpful as she can be. She is always willing to assist and provides excellent feedback. She is well-versed in university policies and is extremely dependable when working on deadlines and timelines, without being overbearing. I have greatly enjoyed working with her and value her contributions. She has taken several initiatives to streamline the grant application process for faculty and provides faculty with the needed information and support in a timely manner. I enthusiastically and without hesitation nominate Ms. Mikhelle Taylor.  


Bridget Wells, Department Academic Advisor, English

Ms. Bridget Wells has gone above and beyond her work as an advisor to play a key role in helping staff, students, and faculty as the department adjusted during the pandemic and in the transition from a veteran chair to a new one. Academic advising can sometimes be a solitary work within a department, especially for professional advisors who do not teach. Yet Ms. Wells found a way to integrate her advising work into the rest of the department, whether she was helping with the department’s marketing strategy, helping revitalize the department’s internship program, or helping resolve questions about instructor assignments. A natural problem-solver who frequently takes initiative to improve department practices and inefficiencies, Ms. Wells has become a leader among the staff, willing to help her colleagues work through questions that are often only tangential to advising, but which are critical to department life and growth. Bridget has set the standard for academic advisors and awarding her the Dean’s Outstanding Employee Award would cast her professionalism, performance, and initiative as a model for others.