Staff Appreciation Week (SAW) at Texas A&M University will begin on Monday (Feb. 29) and continue through Saturday, March 5, and this year, say organizers, the event has expanded to include more participants, bigger prizes and additional events.
University President Michael K. Young says he values the university’s staff enormously, often referring to them as “the wheels on the bus.” Organizers say that as a display of his gratitude to staff, Young has more than quadrupled the SAW budget from last year.
“Universities such as ours earn their stature in the world because of their people,” Young notes. “Our staff at Texas A&M plays an integral role in the success of the special mission of the university. I am so proud of the contributions made by staff, and I look forward to the opportunity to say this personally at the upcoming Staff Appreciation events.”
This year’s expansion efforts include adding more recipients and higher awards for the President’s Meritorious Service Awards (PMSA), which will kick off SAW on Monday Feb. 29. A Staff Picnic on Tuesday March 1 and an additional day on Saturday March 5 – Staff Saturday on Kyle Field — were also added this year. Special guest Romila Mushtaq (“Dr. Romie”) will visit campus on Thursday, March 3 for a presentation titled “Happy Brain, Happy Life: Strategies for Managing Stress.”
A full listing of SAW events and RSVP forms can be found at www.tamu.edu/saw2016.
Young says he encourages 100 percent participation in the planning of departmental events for Friday, March 4. To motivate such planning is a contest for a $1500 departmental grant for units who submit photos of their departmental functions to the Human Resources Facebook page using #SAW2016. The theme for such entries is “Aggie Spirit.” The winning unit will be selected in a random drawing. Submission guidelines and contest rules are available at http://www.tamu.edu/saw2016/contest-rules.
Staff appreciation outreach this year has expanded to include the branch campuses at Qatar and Galveston, local System staff, as well as state agency staff members in the local area. And for the first time, employees of SSC Services for Education and Chartwells, who provide grounds maintenance and food services, respectively, for Texas A&M’s College Station campus, have been included in SAW efforts.
“This is the first year SSC has been involved and we’re excited to be recognized as part of the Aggie family,” says Richard Gentry, SSC resident regional manager.
Chartwells Senior Director of Operations Nikki Pappas adds to that sentiment, saying, “The Chartwells team is excited to be a part the Texas A&M community and to participate in Staff Appreciation Week. This is an excellent opportunity to let our associates know they are valued members of the Aggie family.”
Janelle Ramirez, interim vice president for human resources and organizational effectiveness, leads the Staff Appreciation Week planning committee, a group of staff members from several campus units, as well as SSC and Chartwells.
“We’re excited to work with the President’s Office and the USC to expand our efforts for the 3rd annual Staff Appreciation Week,” Ramirez says. “Our committee used last year’s feedback and has planned a wide variety of events and activities that are engaging, fun and inclusive for all staff.”
Toni Eubanks ’02, chair of the University Staff Council, says she’s looking forward to this year’s events as an opportunity to show staff, as a group, how much their contributions are valued. “We are excited to celebrate staff in sincere appreciation for all that they do for Texas A&M University,” she notes. “Their hard work and commitment is what keeps the heart of the university beating.”
President Young says he encourages division/unit leaders to allow staff to participate in as many of the week’s events as possible.
The SAW committee encourages participants to Tweet their event pics all week long using #SAW2016; those pics may be used in the official SAW photo gallery.
Media contact: Lesley Henton, firstname.lastname@example.org
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