Arnetta Davis was speechless when her supervisor told her she had won a Duke's Presidential Award in 2008. She was nearly as surprised when the President's office asked her and her fellow winners to help choose the 2009 winners. "I stayed up one night until one o'clock reading all of their nomination letters," said Davis, a receptionist at the Duke Clinical Research Institute. "I wanted to choose the right person for each category - people who were dedicated to their work."Now it's time to pick the winners from 2010, and faculty and staff are invited to submit nominations by the Feb. 18, 2011 deadline.The Presidential Award is the highest award given to employees at Duke, and the five winners each receive $1,000 and a custom Presidential medallion. Up to five Meritorious Award winners are also chosen in each category, and winners each receive $100. The five categories are: Clerical/Office Support, Clinical/Professional Non-Managerial, Service/Maintenance, Managerial, and Executive Leadership.
Any employee can nominate a colleague for the award by filling out a form, obtaining the signature of the nominated employee's supervisor and collecting letters of support for the nominee. President Richard H. Brodhead, who will meet and congratulate the winners at the Presidential Awards Luncheon in April, encourages employees at all levels to consider nominating their colleagues. "By submitting a nomination, you can ensure your co-workers get recognition for their commitment to excellence, which plays such an important part in making Duke a wonderful place for all of us to work," Brodhead said. Judith Horowitz, associate dean for international studies at the Law School, found the nomination process satisfying and simple last year when she coordinated the nomination of Presidential Award winner Suzanne Brown, administrative director for International Studies. "If you have a good applicant, it is very straightforward," Horowitz said. "I had to contact some people to write testimonials about her, but they were all delighted to oblige."Davis, who won a Presidential Award two years ago, still keeps her medallion and picture from the luncheon prominently displayed at the receptionist's desk at the Duke Clinical Research Institute, where she has worked for most of her career at Duke."It is good to know that a place as big as Duke will recognize employees on each level," Davis said. "To be recognized, that means a lot. Now, wherever I go at Duke, I see people who should be nominated because they do their jobs so well."Nominations for the 2010 Presidential Awards are due Feb. 18, 2011. Forms are available on the Duke Human Resources website or by calling (919) 684 9040.