Brown’s School of Engineering recently awarded its annual Spirit of Excellence and Dean’s Service awards for the 2019-2020 academic year. Manager of Research Administration Lisa Emgushov and Facilities and Operations Manager Paul Waltz shared the Spirit of Excellence award for their work during this unprecedented time, while Executive Assistant to the Dean Allison Walsh received the Dean’s Service award.
The Spirit of Excellence Award was created in 2015 to be given annually to an employee who brings new and innovative ways to doing their work, and embraces the vision of the School of Engineering through his or her accomplishments during the previous academic year. This is the first time two people have been honored with the award in the same year.
During the past academic calendar, Emgushov achieved real gains in enhanced processes for her grants team and streamlined workflow across grants administration to enable increased volume by 27 percent, one of the largest increases in the School’s history. Seeing the deficiencies with industrial-sponsored processes that resulted in delays and faculty discouragement, Emgushov collaborated with University offices to improve information sharing, resulting in better accountability between the three entities. In a year where her team was shorthanded, she simultaneously grew the team’s output and continued to implement new processes and cross-training.
“In all of these areas, Lisa has gone above and beyond,” said Sorensen Family Dean of Engineering Larry Larson. “Lisa is doing a great job leading the Research Administration team in both managing grants work, developing her team, and building strong professional connections with others.”
Despite the challenging and unusual work environment for everyone, Facilities and Operations manager Waltz became a champion for faculty, staff and students during the challenging COVID-19 time. Waltz worked to procure personal protective equipment for the Phase I return to campus when supplies were in short demand. Because of his work, labs and instructional areas have been kept functional. Various faculty members nominated Waltz for his handling of the buildings during the earliest COVID days and his skillful handling of the complexities in securing the buildings during the University’s mandates. He was recognized for his significant and selfless contributions, positive attitude, knowledge, capabilities, and facilities contacts which always provide the School of Engineering with resources and economical solutions.
He has worked to keep engineering buildings safe and secure, and kept on top of the laboratory and building safety protocols and supplies, coming into the building every day of the week to make sure rules are being followed.
The Dean’s Service award, established during the 2012-13 academic year, was created to recognize a non-managing employee who has made a specific contribution or provided outstanding service in the School of Engineering. It is an opportunity to recognize the performance of an individual who has been a positive instrument of change; made significant contributions; and who has provided outstanding service to both internal and external constituents.
Serving as the Executive Assistant to the Dean, Walsh provides high-level service for the entirety of the leadership team of the School of Engineering, and was honored for her dedication and high work ethic. Working from home and dealing with a new virtual meeting environment, she is key to keeping meetings on track and information flowing. Under normal circumstances, it can be daunting managing four calendars for the leadership team: Walsh has been scheduling and providing materials for virtual Zoom meetings for engineering faculty and staff, and University and high-level executive meetings, and managing it all smoothly. In addition, she has been an integral part of assisting with the upcoming ABET visit, the post-secondary education accreditation board for engineering and technology.