November 2018

Congratulations to the 2018 Outstanding Supervisors 

Amy Takayama-Perez, Outstanding Supervisor Award winner, Office of Admissions

Congratulations to Amy Takayama-Perez, dean of Admissions, and Dr. Ivory Berry, director of student success in the College of Education and Human Development, for being selected as the 2018 Outstanding Supervisors. Amy and Ivory were selected from nearly 30 incredible nominations of diverse candidates from varying departments and campuses. A seven-person committee of Staff Senators evaluated the nomination forms submitted by classified staff and non-student wage employees.

These two candidates stood out among their peers and were recognized for their outstanding contributions to their departments and in the following areas:

  • Acknowledging exemplary performance 
  • Supporting innovation and soliciting input from employees 
  • Being fair and flexible 
  • Encouraging and providing opportunities for professional growth 
  • Promoting an environment of diversity and inclusion, well-being, civility and respect, and/or restraint 
Ivory Berry, Outstanding Supervisor Award winner, College of Education and Human Development

According to Amy’s nominators, she supports their team through “trust, open communication, and empowerment. Amy is always happy to provide guidance, advice, and the support and tools that we need to fulfill our tasks and meet the department’s goals. She places a great amount of trust in us and makes us feel empowered to take on new challenges and find creative solutions that work for us as long as they respect our policies and meet the department and university’s goals. She seeks, listens to, and digests feedback. She is always looking for ways to improve our productivity and support our well-being.”

Susan Wiedman gave an example of how Amy is receptive to employee ideas and engages them in the department and/or university goals. “A few months ago staff members suggested ideas for increasing employee engagement including a department mentoring program, and a group that meets directly with her to discuss articles on leadership. Amy was very excited about these programs, and both have been implemented already. She has also started meeting with all new staff members over coffee to get a chance to meet them, find out what their goals are, and let them know more about the goals of the department as a whole.” 

According to Dr. Berry’s nominators, “Ivory has such a calming demeanor and treats every person with the same respect and dignity. He’s very cognizant of making sure everyone is given the same opportunities without criticism or judgment and realizes that we all may have different backgrounds, values and/or lifestyles, but that we should appreciate what each employee brings to the table.” His nominators also noted, “In a staff meeting at the end of the academic year, Dr. Berry included an agenda item titled, ‘We Did Dat!,’ where as a team we shared both personal and team accomplishments. This presented an opportunity for him to not only highlight the work we accomplished, but for the team to acknowledge each other for our exemplary performances. This moment of reflection and praise facilitated great team-building and office morale at the end of an academic year when everyone was exhausted. When Dr. Berry facilitates moments like this, we as staff not only feel appreciated on an individual level, but gain a greater sense of unity as a team, and appreciation for the collective hard work and efforts of all staff.” 

Amy and Ivory will be recognized at the Outstanding Achievement Awards on November 15, 2018.  

The Staff Senate will accept nominations for the 2019 Outstanding Supervisor Award during August 2019. Visit our website to learn more about the criteria and nomination process. 

Congratulations to those Outstanding Supervisor Nominees who were nominated but not selected this year! The Staff Senate is very encouraged by the number of supervisors who promote collegiality in their department, reward and acknowledge exemplary behavior, and promote well-being in the workplace. Supervisors like these make Mason such a great place to work! 

  • Giovanna Chesler, director and associate professor, Film and Video Studies, College of Visual and Performing Arts 
  • Ronald Carmichael, director of administration and operations, SciTech Campus, Executive Office 
  • Patrick Buchanan, university energy manager, Zone 6, Facilities Management 
  • Alex Iszard, director of contracts and capital finance, Facilities 
  • Jesse Guessford, associate director, Undergraduate Education, Office of the Provost 
  • Ken Elston, director, School of Theater, College of Visual and Performing Arts 
  • Josh Cantor, director, Parking and Transportation  
  • Angela Railey, research administration manager, Office of Sponsored Programs  
  • Teri Vanderberg, senior associate director, Admissions 
  • Jason Kinser, associate professor, Computational and Data Sciences 
  • Ann Ludwick, assistant dean, Schar School of Policy and Government  
  • Christal Ferrance, instructional design librarian, Gateway Library, University Libraries  
  • Courtney Ashmore, lead benefits coordinator, Human Resources/Payroll  
  • Bethany Usher, associate provost for undergraduate education, Office of the Provost  
  • Sharon Cullen, director of presidential administration, Office of the President 
  • Heather Strange, director, fiscal policy and communication, Fiscal Services  
  • Caitlin Shear, director, integrated enrollment marketing communications, Office of the Provost