Nomination summary: My nomination of Ms. Penny Pugh, Office Manager in International Services for the Finest of the Flock award is long overdue. Although she has been a consistently strong and dedicated employee with us since 2010, routinely committed to making the FGCU experience successful for the students, faculty, staff and public we serve, my nomination stems from several of her notable actions in the last two years.
During this time, we had two staff vacancies which left only three people to carry the work of five and much of this time was during critical high service periods. One position was vacant for 18 months. Penny was remarkable in stepping in, without asking, to assume functions outside of her responsibilities for our study abroad programs, planning and implementing our annual International Reception, new student orientations and providing services to students and faculty that normally would be handled by other staff. These included administrative, fiscal and program matters, as well as communicating and coordinating arrangements and travel preparations for students and faculty. We also had to simultaneously conduct staff searches, adding more tasks and priorities to the department. It was a challenging time for us, and I was so grateful for the positive outlook she maintained, her incredible teamwork, efficiency and confidence that together, our small unit would meet these challenges….and we did.
Another notable initiative she undertook during this time (entirely unrelated to her work responsibilities) was to transform a nearby conference room from a shabby room with discarded items, to a beautiful, comfortable, professional meeting area used by the entire university. Her creative approach involved soliciting stakeholders’ input and actions, securing high quality artwork donated to FGCU that was in storage and establishing an active phone line to facilitate conference calls and communication. The only cost was a bit of time, creativity, collaboration and coordination with outcomes that benefit the entire university who uses the conference room, and it provided exhibit space for donated artwork.
Penny does not view her role at FGCU as only to serve our department and specific clients but as an employee/member of the wider FGCU community. She is very sensitive and responsive to the fact that each student is an FGCU student and any office and all employees can and should assist them. Likewise, she feels this way about our role as FGCU employees in serving and responding to members of the public who seek information, guidance or assistance. She does not turn anyone away yet seeks to provide them the best service we can or guides them to an appropriate colleague who can.
Lastly our work at FGCU is with people, particularly students, and Penny really proves this daily. She truly enjoys students, often meets their family members and frequently listens to their experiences, both challenges and successes. She has made them feel welcome and comfortable in this new environment. She appreciates and celebrates their accomplishments. She guides them, helps them resolve problems and sometimes has to set them straight as part of the personal learning and development students experience while at FGCU. She cares for them, and they know it. Observing her interactions with them is a joy and the long term friendships she creates, literally with people from all over the world, is a real treasure, and has added to FGCU’s reputation and our future growth. Hardly a sibling of a current FGCU student who visits our office goes away without Penny’s encouragement or insistence that they should consider applying to FGCU. I am very pleased to nominate Penny Pugh for this award as she is one the Finest of our Flock!
The Staff Advisory Council (SAC) Finest of the Flock (FOTF) is an award that acknowledges staff members (A&P, SP, OPS) for exhibiting exceptional efforts that reflect the values and mission of Florida Gulf Coast University. Finest of the Flock provides a method for informal peer-to-peer acknowledgement of achievements by staff and a means for publicly announcing such accomplishments to the broader University community.
Finest of the Flock recognizes employees who have contributed to the benefit of FGCU, student(s), co-worker(s), guest(s), the community, and other volunteer or service organizations. The award specifically targets the areas of service, innovation, and collaboration. The activity or activities for which the staff member is being recognized should demonstrate excellence or exceed the employee's normal job responsibilities to the best of the nominator’s knowledge. Nominators can be anyone who interacts with the employee; whether employee, student, vendor, or community member.
SAC is committed to Finest of the Flock as a peer-to-peer recognition program and is intended to be a reflection of the appreciation from a peer for an action, accomplishment, service, innovation, or other special event deserving of praise. The Finest of the Flock award is not related to an employee’s performance evaluation and may not be reflective of an employee’s overall performance. Please note that all nominations received by the first (1st) of the month will be recognized in that month's SAC meeting.