Two receive 2015 CSSAC Excellence Awards

October 2, 2015  

Melissa Swathwood

(From left) Trent Klingerman, vice president for human resources; Melissa Swathwood, 2015 CSSAC Excellence Award winner; Sara McComb, associate professor in the Schools of Nursing and Industrial Engineering; and Mitzi Barnett, outgoing CSSAC chair. (Purdue University photo/John Underwood) 

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Melissa Swathwood and Candace Scott are winners of the 2015 CSSAC Excellence Awards. The awards, which recognize clerical and service staff members who perform at outstanding levels, were announced and presented during a Clerical and Service Staff Advisory Committee luncheon Sept. 8 at Purdue Memorial Union. The luncheon also honors outgoing and new CSSAC members.

Swathwood is a secretary in the School of Nursing and Scott is a departmental operations clerk in Libraries Auxiliary Services. They each received a plaque and $1,500. The annual award was created by CSSAC and is sponsored by the Office of the Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, and the Office of the Provost. A CSSAC committee selects the winners.

Sara McComb, associate professor in the schools of Nursing and Industrial Engineering, said Swathwood is more than just a dedicated staff member in her nomination letter.

"Melissa is … indispensable in many large and small ways on a daily basis for students and faculty at the School of Nursing," she said in her letter. "She is always willing to learn new skills to meet faculty and student needs. For example, she learned to create databases to track publications, grants and Institutional Review Board applications. She demonstrates exemplary conduct and leadership skills throughout her day, but she truly shines in her commitment to our community.

"Perhaps one of Melissa's greatest contributions is her role as an advocate for child abuse prevention in Tippecanoe County. She has been involved with the Tippecanoe Child Abuse Prevention Council since 2009 and has been president of the board since 2010. Melissa and her son also are very involved in Purdue University Dance Marathon. Carter was selected as a Riley Champion and, with his mother's help, he raised over $12,500 in two years that goes directly to Riley Hospital. Finally, Melissa provides exemplary customer service. She is sincerely interested in helping students succeed. She is unfailingly attentive to students' questions and requests. She will hunt down faculty, letters of recommendation and books for students. She has become the 'go to' person for students."

"I am very honored to receive this award," Swathwood said. "I enjoy working every day with faculty and students knowing I made their day a little smoother."

Candice Scott

(From left) JoAnne Carow, assistant to the dean of Libraries; Candace Scott, 2015 CSSAC Excellence Award winner; Mitzi Barnett, outgoing CSSAC chair; and Trent Klingerman, vice president for human resources(Purdue University photo/John Underwood) 

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In nominating Scott for the award, Brad Heiss, facilities coordinator, and JoAnne Carow, assistant to the dean of libraries, cited Scott's willingness to go above and beyond her job requirements in both her day-to-day duties and emergencies.

"Candy has seen dozens of emergencies, large and small. She knows what to do, who to call, who to dispatch, where to send them and what they should do when they get there," they said in their letter. "She's not afraid to get her hands dirty (or wet), and tackles the physical demand required without complaint. Candy never loses her head. She doesn't need high decibels to issue orders. Her calm directives are followed because she knows what she's doing, the first requirement for leadership."

In addition, Heiss said, "She has the keys to practically all of Stewart Center, and to each of the satellite libraries, and is trusted to have that kind of access. The staff in Auxiliary Services takes great pride in their mission to 'educate' their work-study students. They affectionately refer to their course as 'Home Repair 101.' Students who arrive without even knowing how to hold a screwdriver correctly, grow in skill and maturity under Candy's tutelage. Many of them have stayed in touch on Facebook, over the years, and share pictures of their families and news of their careers."

Scott said, "I was very surprised and humbled when I was told that I received this award. I appreciate those who nominated me and others who responded with supportive letters to CSSAC. I also want to thank the CSSAC committee for choosing me. I know there are other great employees across the University that are just as deserving. I've worked in a variety of positions during my 26 years of service at Purdue, 14 of those with the Libraries. I'm never 100 percent sure what challenges await me when I come to work, which is one of the many reasons I enjoy what I do. I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to work with student employees who are eager to learn new things. I'm excited to be a part of the Libraries vision and initiative as they continue to move forward and respond to the needs of students and faculty."

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711, 

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