Lynn Disotell and Paula Washington-Woods were named the recipients of the 2012 Mary Anna King Whitehead Staff Excellence Awards during Southern Arkansas University’s annual Staff Awards Breakfast on Monday, March 19.
The Mary Anna King Whitehead Staff Excellence Awards have been fully endowed through the Southern Arkansas University Foundation. The endowment was funded by current and former governors of the Foundation in memory of Whitehead who was a six-year member and former chairperson of the SAUF Board. Investment income from the Whitehead endowment is funding the two staff excellence awards in perpetuity.
The awards are intended to recognize the non-teaching professional and support staff members who have achieved an outstanding level of professionalism in the performance of their assignment.
Disotell joined the University staff in 2004 and currently serves as a secretary in the athletic department. According to letters of nomination for the award, Disotell “makes sure that the department runs smoothly and that everyone stays on budget.” She is called “the glue that keeps the department together.” She is known to often take work home to get the job done and works countless weekends and evenings to prepare for athletic events.
It was noted that after the death of Director of Athletics Jay Adcox, Distotell “filled a void and stepped up to continue the daily functions of the department.”
Washington-Woods joined the SAU staff in 1991 and currently serves as the director of counseling and testing. Her main focus has always been to help students to be successful at SAU and in their lives, often meaning trips to campus in the middle of the night. Her nomination stated that “she maintains a good sense of humor” and that her service to SAU is “at a level that you can only describe as ‘above and beyond’ her job description.”
“Without our staff members, the University simply would not operate,” said SAU President Dr. David Rankin. “These two individuals exemplify that fact in that without their presence, the areas in which they work would be greatly impacted. We are proud to have these two ladies as a part of the Mulerider family.