May 22, 2020

MaPSAC gives Excellence Award to Honors College staff member

Tracy Hieatt Tracy Hieatt, recipient of the 2020 APSAC Excellence Award. (Photo provided)

The APSAC Excellence Award recipient for 2020 is Tracy Hieatt, senior administrative assistant in the Honors College. The annual award is retaining the previous name of the Management and Professional Staff Advisory Committee (MaPSAC) for this year.

Hieatt (pronounced like “Hyatt”), a Lafayette native, has accumulated 24 years of service at Purdue. In 2006, she joined the University Honors Program and helped it transform in 2013 into the Honors College. In her role, she supports four associate deans and 11 faculty members. She also is the Honors College schedule deputy and its liaison to ITaP and the Office of International Students and Scholars.

Her nominator was Kristina Bross, associate dean, who wrote, “I write because I am so thankful for her consistently excellent work in supporting me …. Tracy’s excellence stems from her investment in the mission of the Honors College, of Purdue, of higher education more generally. She approaches her work with us not just as a series of tasks to be completed, but as an essential part of our overall operation – as it most definitely is.” Hieatt has a knack, the nomination said, for recognizing potential problems early and heading them off — and both faculty and students never even face a problem or inconvenience.

Faculty members contributing recommendations to the nomination used words like “critical contributor,” “incredible resource,” “institutional expert” and “invaluable member.” She has, they say, handled arrangements for all sorts of events, played a key role in faculty hirings and in general proved expert in navigating Purdue bureaucracy. All with alertness, dependability and good spirit.

Hieatt, in an interview, said she felt humbled by the award and said, “I am just there to do my job and try to do it well.” Her perspective on what that involves is product of her experience.

“I’ve been here long enough to have made connections across areas of the University so I know who to call to help solve problems when needed,” she said. “There are a lot of helpful people at Purdue.” In one case involving an Honors College guest, last-minute changes were needed in arrangements, but with help, “I don’t think the guest even knew we had what we saw as an emergency.”

She said she was glad when she got a job working with students, but as she has added responsibilities, that is a much smaller portion of her workload now.

“We are a team,” she said. “I like to be able to help others, especially new staff members. Our faculty are all unique and I’m glad to be able to support them and be part of the team.”

The winner of the APSAC Excellence Award receives a plaque and $1,500. The announcement of the nomination period is made each year in February.

Writer: Dan Howell, 765-494-2028,

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