Best & Brightests  
 



UW AWARDS 2008 HOMEPAGE

UWEEK.ORG HOMEPAGE

DISTINGUISHED TEACHING AWARD
Ben Kerr, Biology
Gowri Shankar, Business Administration
Jaime Olavarria, Psychology
Jamie Walker, Ceramics
Julia Parrish, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences / Biology
Rebecca Aanerud, Women Studies
Richard Knuth, Education Administration

EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARD
Fernanda Oyarzun & Chris Himes , Biology
Rachel Goldberg, English

DISTINGUISHED LIBRARIAN AWARD
Theresa Mudrock, UW Libraries

DISTINGUISHED STAFF AWARD
Hendrik Simons, Nuclear Physics Laboratory
Mona Pitre-Collins, Undergraduate Scholarship Office
Philip Mote, Climate Impacts Group
Robin Bennett, Medical Genetics
Sue Park, Facilities Services

DISTINGUISHED CONTRIBUTIONS TO LIFELONG LEARNING AWARD
John Schaufelberger, Construction Management

OUTSTANDING PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD
Nancy Amidei, Social Work

JAMES D. CLOWES AWARD FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING COMMUNITIES
Lance Bennett, Political Science / Communication

S. STERLING MUNRO PUBLIC SERVICE TEACHING AWARD
Denise Wilson, Electrical Engineering

DAVID B. THORUD LEADERSHIP AWARD
Judy Mahoney, College of Engineering
Kathleen Woodward, Simpson Center for the Humanities

MARSHA L. LANDOLT DISTINGUISHED GRADUATE MENTOR AWARD
Tom Quinn, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences

ALUMNUS SUMMA LAUDE DIGNATA
Beverly Cleary, Children's Author

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD
Robb Weller, Television Producer and Host

PRESIDENT'S MEDAL
June Shujun Peng and Royce Anderson

"It's not at all uncommon for someone in the building to come to their desk and find that an empty coffee cup is full of flowers. No one needs a note to know they’re from Sue."


Sue Park


One could say that Sue Park is the UW's Martha Stewart -- or could easily be joined at the hip of the doyenne of domesticity. That's because Park, who holds the title of custodian, is recognized for so much beyond what her official duties are by her peers in the Bryant Building, which houses the UW's Police Department, Transportation Services and Moving & Surplus offices.

For the past nine years she's been single-handedly keeping the entire building spotless, working seemingly effortlessly in the pre-dawn hours as most campus custodians do, so that by 1 p.m. her work day is over.

And staffers say she does so with exceptional dedication and thoroughness, calling her the "heart and soul of the Bryant community."

Of the people she works with, Park says, "This is like my second home and the people here are like my second family."

Former Chief of Police Vicky Stormo says Park exemplifies the excellence and integrity that come with this Distinguished Staff Award, in addition to doing a top-notch job. "Sue continually contributes to a respectful, diverse and collaborative work environment, and she always has a smile on her face," Stormo says. "She cares about the needs of the people in the building and is very understanding when we are working in a crisis mode and need that extra attention. She uses great judgment and helps our department do our work the best we can."

Some of those colleagues' needs Park helps satisfy are cultural, gastronomical and aesthetic in nature. Julie Berridge, who works in transportation services, says Park observes employees' character and, over time, has given each a Korean name. Based on Park's keen observations, Berridge and her colleagues carry names such as Hope, Gentleness, Kindness and Butterfly.

Office conversations often include other Korean words and phrases Park has taught her 100 or so extended "family" members over the years as well.

"Sue nurtures our interest in language and communication, but that isn't all -- she feeds our bellies, too," Berridge says. "She arrives at every potluck with her rice cooker and bowls of tasty food. She's a wonderful cook and while much of what she prepares is Korean, the food she shares comes from many cultures. We've learned to relish kimchee, bulgogi (Korean barbeque) and she's introduced us to Ethiopian flatbread."

Park, a native of South Korea, says that she would someday enjoy studying for a career in interior design, but judging from the floral arrangements and bouquets she routinely brings in to give life to an otherwise lifeless conference room or to help celebrate a birthday party, she needs little formal instruction.

She grows her own calla lilies, roses and peonies, and depending on the occasion and season, selects additional flowers like tiger lilies and spider chrysanthemums and arranges bouquets for her co-workers.

"It's not at all uncommon for someone in the building to come to their desk and find that an empty coffee cup is full of flowers," Berridge says. "No one needs a note to know they're from Sue."

Park simply says she wishes all the custodians at the UW could receive the award.

"They are very hard working and it's a very tough job."