Award recipients named during Celebration of Excellence Zoom webinar

Clarisse Davis in front on award receipient bannersThe rain didn’t wash away the achievements of students, faculty and staff at the 2021 Celebration of Excellence. The weather on Wednesday, May 13, caused the announcements of the award recipients to be made in a Zoom webinar and the refreshments moved indoors to the Pickle Jar. Recipients’ names were printed in the program and on banners displayed near the Pickle Jar.

Celebration of Excellence 2021 Program (PDF)

The following recipients' names were announced during the celebration:

Student Awards

Students who received Faculty Endowed Scholarships are:

The School of Dance awarded Dana Sheldon. "Dana always has a smile on her face and her positivity, enthusiasm and sheer love for everything she studies is so appreciated by her faculty. She is a beautiful dancer and a beautiful person."

The School of Design and Production awarded Damarius Kennedy. “Damarius light shines in all she touches. She is a leader in her studio and happy to be support to those that need her.”

The School of Drama awarded Acadia Barrengos. “With her inspired leadership and deft artistry, Acadia is amongst the finest young directors to come through our program. Keen intelligence and clever theatricality are hallmarks of all her work. She commands the rehearsal room with an ease and maturity beyond her years. She guides her actors with patience and kindness. It is a joy to be in her audience.”

Please read about additional 2021 prestigious student scholarship recipients.

Staff Awards

UNCSA Emergency Management Coordinator Clarisse Davis is the 2021 recipient of the Staff Council Award for Professional Excellence. She was responsible for contract tracing for employees of which there were zero transmissions among employees since March 2020. She collaborated with UNCSA colleagues and Executive Leadership, as well as, worked with the UNC System Office, Forsyth County Department of Health and Human Services, and other state entities, gathering resources to co-author the UNCSA COVID-19 Employee Response Plan that has since been modeled by Winston-Salem State University and other UNC universities. All while continuing to do her “normal” duties of planning response exercises, monitoring situations such as an Election Response Table Top exercise, a Cyber Security Table Top Exercise and continues to press forward with the grant-funded Hazard Mitigation Plan for the university. One nominator wrote: “While other universities have a team to do this work, Davis is a one-person show relying on the relationships she's built and the expertise she has cultivated to get the job done.”

Manager of Patron Services Laytona Wright is the recipient of the Staff Council Award for Community Service. Wright is an active citizen in Winston-Salem. She sits on several community boards, serves as a scholarship application reviewer for the Winston-Salem Foundation, volunteers with the Symphony and Piedmont Opera, was part of the Arts Day Committee for 2021 and a member of Leadership Winston-Salem’s class of 2020. On campus Wright led the Staff Council Community Service and Sustainability Committee this year that offered opportunities for staff to serve the campus community, as well as a collaborative Shred-It event with neighboring WSSU campus.

Faculty Awards

Announced earlier this year, were the faculty awards for UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching and UNCSA Excellence in Teaching Awards.

Contact: Elizabeth White

May 14, 2021

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