Seven staffers honored with Presidential Awards

Author: Office of Human Resources

Presidential Award winners 2011

Velshonna Luckey, Lawrence Robinson, Tony Yelovich and Nancy O’Connor were honored with the Presidential Values Award at the 2011 Service Recognition Dinner Monday, May 23. The award recognizes employees whose performance reflects the University’s core values of integrity, accountability, teamwork leadership in mission and leadership in excellence.

Luckey, youth development director for the Robinson Community Learning Center (RCLC), oversees the center’s afterschool program. The RCLC’s slogan is “Changing lives, one relationship at a time,” something Luckey sees as a call to action. She helped develop the award-winning Lego Robotics Club, the award- winning Robinson Shakespeare Company and the Biology Club. She also leads the Talk With Your Baby program and the College Prep Freeway program, as well as the Youth Development and Leadership Training program and Healthy Families program. “A true leader, Luckey is truly changing lives, as well as helping strengthen the relationship between South Bend and Notre Dame.”

Robinson, custodian at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, is dedicated to the center’s care and maintenance. He never shirks his responsibilities, even when they’re not pleasant. When there have been accidents on stage, he notes, he just goes up and does his job. “While the band keeps playing, he keeps mopping!” Robinson, who sees his job as a blessing, has been with the University more than 35 years, during which time he’s missed only one day of work.

Yelovich, assistant athletics director, has received many compliments (“Truly goes above and beyond.” “Amazing work, effort and preparation.”) from teams the University has hosted. Yelovich consistently ensures that the nearly 200 teams visiting campus each year enjoy a positive experience that reflects the University’s core values. He arrived on campus with Lou Holtz in 1986, coaching in a variety of positions for eight seasons, and worked three years as the team’s recruiting coordinator, moving into an administrative position in 1994. Since then he has helped visiting Division 1 and Olympic athletes find places to stay, eat, see and worship.

O’Connor, supervisor of administration in the College of Engineering’s Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, provides administrative support to the department chairperson but also functions as a consultant and adviser to the chair on administrative matters. “She consistently displays a willingness to work to the best of her ability… faced with the unfortunate illness and passing of her supervisor, Dr. John Renaud, Nancy took on additional responsibilities, taking her commitment to the University’s mission—and her colleague and friend—to an extraordinary professional and personal level.”

The Presidential Achievement Award, presented in recognition of breakthrough initiatives, extraordinary innovations and significant contributions to the University’s long-term successs, was awarded to Maureen Collins, Sue Walczewski and Dave Ludwig.

Collins, data and reporting manager in the Dean’s Office, Graduate School, began her career at the University in 2001 as a receptionist, but due to her exceptional computer skills and dedication to teamwork, she has been given increasing levels of responsibility, “rising to meet the challenges and exceed the expectations of each new role.” She created a program to monitor students’ progress toward a degree, and convened and oversaw a committee to oversee the recently established Graduate School Commencement ceremony.

Walczewski, supervisor of payroll operations, helped the University take advantage of tax incentives for hiring unemployed workers under the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act. She worked with HR to document eligibility, directed payroll system programming changes and trained users in payroll setup, and worked with OIT to create audit reports and prepare and file the relevant tax forms. The change lasted nine months, but Walczewski’s work saved the University nearly $220,000.

Ludwig, director of IT and analytics in the Investment Office, earned both his undergraduate degree and MBA from the University. After a stint in audit and advisory services, he joined the investment office in 1988, where he’s played an integral leadership role in advancing the technological and data warehousing capabilities of the investment office. Today he is in charge of all internal reporting and investment analytics as well as all IT-related initiatives for the Investment Office.