Two outstanding staff members have been recognized this spring for their exemplary work in the UMass College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS). Mary Ann Libardi, Director of Personnel for the SBS Dean’s Office, and Aaron Tauscher, Financial Manager for the Department of Political Science, were chosen by a committee of their peers from a highly competitive pool of nominees.
The Outstanding Staff Award is given to those who have made an impact on SBS by fostering a collaborative environment, creating a positive work environment, implementing innovative work processes or systems, and exemplifying integrity and dedication.
Libardi and Tauscher are prime examples of these qualities. “We are delighted to be able to recognize our outstanding staff with this award. Staff are integral to our success, and this is but a small token of our appreciation for all they do to positively affect their department, the college, and the university,” said John Hird, Dean of SBS.
Having been at UMass Amherst for almost five years now, Aaron Tauscher has amassed a variety of experience in Facilities & Campus Services, the School of Public Health and now, in the Department of Political Science, where he has worked since 2016.
In the nomination letters submitted by colleagues commending Aaron, it is clear how valued he is for his “productive work style, superlative professionalism, and overall dedication to efficiency,” as one colleague wrote. “Aaron sets mini-goals for himself to see if he can complete tasks in a quicker manner than previously or if he can tweak something in his process to decrease the time to completion on a project. This is interesting and inspiring to fellow staff!”
Aaron has been instrumental in driving innovation within the department by making several important changes and updates to forms and processes; and developing a tracking system to provide accurate information on expenditures and account balances. Aaron also strives to communicate financial and budget related information to colleagues within the department in a timely and proactive way.
Besides praise for the quality of his work, several nominators commended Aaron for keeping up morale within the department through “jovial conversations and good-humored jokes.”
“Aaron is the person I look most forward to seeing around the water cooler,” said one colleague. “He has been an incredible support to me while I've felt stressed and down, and has provided constant calm reassurance when I hit hiccups in my research and funding process.”
The SBS Outstanding Staff award will be conferred for the fourth time this year after being instituted in 2015. Past recipients include Kathy Colon (School of Public Policy), Crystal Paul (Political Science), Grace Rock (Anthropology), Karen Mason (Institute for Social Science Research), Wendy Wilde (Sociology), Gail Fleischaker (Resource Economics), Debra Madigan (Communication), and Nancy Lattinville (Economics). In addition to public recognition, the winners will receive a plaque and a $1000 award.
- Department News/General