Throughout Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, our talented and diverse staff is committed to helping our leadership and faculty create, support and maintain an enriching environment for higher education. Our teams work within our administrative units, as well as among our three academic divisions — Arts & Humanities, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences.
In 2017, Dean Valerie Ashby established the Dean's Pillar of Excellence Awards to encourage excellence, celebrate staff accomplishments and recognize the valuable contributions of our staff. These annual awards are presented to non-teaching staff making significant contributions to the excellence of the school through their commitment to service, initiative, outstanding leadership, increased efficiency, enthusiasm, collaboration, mentoring, and diversity.
Nominations are made by students, staff and faculty, with the Dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences selecting the winners in consultation with an awards committee of staff members.
Departmental Business Manager in English
Comment from Nomination: "Catherine is indispensable to our department and to Duke as a whole in part because of her extraordinary knowledge of Duke and its process, her meticulous record keeping, her discretion and her commitment to her job. However, Catherine’s importance to the department is even more a function of her ability to bring out the best in everyone—faculty and staff—and to do so in a respectful, calming and non-confrontational way. I cannot stress enough how extremely helpful I found Catherine’s continued encouragement that I first listen closely to each person involved, so that I could put myself in his or her shoes and consider how the situation likely appears to them, which then allowed me to determine how best to phrase suggestions—or to make hard decisions—in ways that respected the other person’s perspective and dignity.”
Communications and Events Specialist in Service-Learning
Comment from Nomination: “Ruth’s attitude and behavior creates an atmosphere of genuineness, reflectiveness, non-judgmental listening, generosity, gratitude, creativity, advocacy and positivity both within and beyond Duke Service-Learning…She is someone who truly champions team members, Duke colleagues and community partners, as well as brings hope to life. Team members feel that Ruth brings about a sense of shared humanity, collective goals and a spirit of camaraderie both within and beyond our home department.”
Grants & Contracts Manager in Psychology & Neuroscience
Comment from Nomination: "Stella is approachable, an amazing teacher and mentor, and has an impeccable work ethic. Even when in the throes of deadlines and mounting work, she makes a point of trying to make others laugh and feel included. The nature of a grant’s manager work almost always requires one to go above and beyond, work long hours to meet a deadline and show grace under pressure. What makes Stella so special is that she does this, but with so much heart – she is invested in both the success of her faculty and the success of Duke.”
Exhibitions Director in the Center for Documentary Studies
Comment from Nomination: “In her teaching, mentorship, curatorial work, and professional facilitation, Courtney tenderly pushes our community at the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) to address head-on what it means to create healthy, supportive, respectful community with tenets of accountability and without power-plays or meanness. Long the only Black director of a program at CDS, from 2001–2020, she took on the painful role of pointing out where CDS, an institution committed to representing others, was falling short. Courtney’s commitment to righting the ship, to redirecting our collective course, has been nothing short of heroic. Courtney Reid-Eaton is a magnetic, persuasive, and courageous person who has made CDS’s antiracist work possible."