Staff members recognized for milestones; two named Employees of the Year

This is a guest post from Human Resources:

The campus community celebrated service milestones for approximately 240 Wake Forest staff members with more than 3,100 combined years of service. These individuals were recognized at the annual Staff Rewards & Recognition Luncheon Oct. 2 at the Sutton Center. A milestone video highlighted some of their Wake Forest experiences.

A campus-wide celebration will be held during the Benefits Fair on Oct. 22 from noon – 4 p.m. in the Sutton Center, with remarks at 2 p.m.

Staff members who have achieved 30 or more years of service are:

  • 30 years: Patty Atwood (Information Systems), Annemarie Buwalda (School of Law), Amy Comer (Research and Sponsored Programs), Jeffrey Holleman (University Police), Kerry King (University Advancement), Regina Lawson (University Police), Larry Love (Facilities and Campus Services), Jeffrey Marion (Facilities and Campus Services), John McCrowell (Facilities and Campus Services), Martine Sherrill (Art), Michael Thompson (Chemistry), Cheryl Walker (University Advancement)
  • 35 years: Kathy Bunn (School of Business), Marion Gist (Graylyn), Sally Irvin (School of Law), Paul Sheff (Facilities and Campus Services), Elide Vargas (Politics and International Affairs)
  • 40 years: Minta McNally (University Advancement)

Christian Burris with President Hatch

Christian Burris, Serials Acquisition Coordinator and 25-year honoree in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library and Carol Brehm, Administrative Coordinator in the Department of Music, were recognized as Employees of the Year. They were nominated by faculty and staff for their contributions in the areas of innovation, integrity, accountability, inclusion, and Pro Humanitate.

Christian’s nomination reads: Christian is a 1993 Wake Forest graduate, and he has been employed in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library ever since. While at ZSR, he has been reliable, kind and available to assist, as one of the most stalwart volunteers for the Library’s after-hours programming. He serves on the Executive Committee for the Association of Black Alumni, the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, and the Council for Diversity and Inclusion. 

The nomination proceeds to highlight Christian’s impact, amidst recent challenges the community has faced around inclusion and belonging: Throughout this unsettling time, Chris’ calm demeanor has been a balm to many, allowing all voices to be heard, while remaining steadfast in the desire to stay true to the principles of inclusion. He has led thoughtful discussions about painful issues, which can be difficult when they involve an institution we hold dear. He has been steady throughout, even as he has shared his own personal stories.

As Christian works diligently to bring all voices to the table, he is incredibly thoughtful about accuracy and fairness. He uses those skills to create an environment where larger conversations can happen within the library environment. Christian Burris has served Wake Forest with distinction throughout his career. His steady and calm leadership over the past year, in particular, has been an extraordinary gift to both the Library and the University. Christian personifies everything it takes to be the Employee of the Year.

Carol Brehm with President Hatch

Carol’s nomination reads: Carol Brehm is the beating heart of the Department of Music. Her service, loyalty, and cheerful disposition have buoyed the spirits of faculty, students, and fellow staff members. 

Carol assumes a tremendous amount of responsibility for practical issues within the Department of Music, including managing all financial transactions, overseeing student assistants, and assisting faculty. Carol feels personally responsible for the smooth running of the department, and for the accurate recording of financial transactions. If a small error creeps into the course schedule, or a financial report does not balance out, even if the mistake is not her own, she will not rest until the error is fixed!

Her laughter is frequently heard around the department, establishing an atmosphere of friendship and joy. She is warm, gracious and eager to be of service to all students and staff. Carol Brehm has in abundance all the qualities of an Employee of the Year. She is the ideal candidate for this significant award and is most-deserving of campus-wide recognition.

The nominations highlight the welcoming environment each winner fosters:

  • Through the innovative programming he leads, Christian Burris demonstrates a commitment to ensuring students, faculty, and staff feel welcome.
  • Carol Brehm exudes warmth and a welcoming atmosphere to one and all in the office. 

Congratulations to Christian Burris, Carol Brehm, and all staff members celebrating milestones.