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Lobley wins Tradition of Excellence Award

Anne Marie Lobley, graduate coordinator for the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, was honored March 3, 2010, with Lehigh University's Tradition of Excellence Award.

The award recognizes individuals or teams for exceptional contributions within their departments or throughout the university. Recipients are nominated by staff, faculty, students, alumni, parents, visitors, or vendors.

"This program recognizes members of our Lehigh community whose dedication, imagination, creativity, and leadership contribute to making our university a better place to work and learn," said Patrick V. Farrell, Lehigh Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, in a letter to Lobley presented March 3.

Lobley was instrumental to the success of a wiring and HVAC remodeling project that had a major impact on the Whitaker Laboratory building and its inhabitants from 2008 to 2010. She was nominated for her dedication, professionalism, and commitment that allowed Whitaker Laboratory occupants "to function effectively and efficiently during the entire 'construction/makeover' process during the past year," Farrell stated in the letter.

The wiring project, which started in Fall 2008, continued with numerous unexpected delays until the end of the Spring 2009 semester. The HVAC project began in October 2009 and was completed in January 2010. Amid miscommunications between project managers and Whitaker faculty and staff, Lobley communicated Whitaker inhabitants' frustrations and provided suggestions on how project managers could make the process go more smoothly in future building upgrades, such as Lewis Lab, which was next in line to be rewired.

Creating a path to 'best practices'

"Going into the HVAC project I made it clear to the project managers that they needed to utilize me as the point of contact in the building to relay all aspects of the project to faculty and staff," said Lobley, who kept the lines of communication open on both sides and tried to minimize conflicts. "Steve Schlegel from Facilities was great to work with and was very receptive to this concept. The end result was a smooth project with minimal issues." Farrell praised Lobley's continued efforts as a liaison and to streamline the process, which may result in development of standard "best practices" that can make such projects more of a positive experience in the future.

To qualify for the Tradition of Excellence Award, an individual or team must demonstrate outstanding behaviors or produce exceptional results, within a single department or across the university, in the categories of character, job performance, or team-focused contribution. Full- or part-time Lehigh University staff may be nominated. Lobley was nominated by her peers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

"Anne Marie is a very caring and accommodating 'people' person who really does go that extra mile to help everyone in the building," said Janie Carlin, department academic coordinator. "This includes non-Materials Science staff such as the Office of Technology Transfer, Government Relations, etc. Anne Marie is the true embodiment of Lehigh's Tradition of Excellence."

Winners of the Tradition of Excellence Award are selected by a committee composed of representative staff from across the university. Tradition of Excellence recipients receive an award packet containing a certificate and letter, a Tradition of Excellence medallion, and a check in the amount of $150.

Shocked and surprised

Lobley said she was shocked to realize she was receiving the honor, which was awarded during a surprise reception in the Department of Materials Science lounge. "After the initial surprise, I felt very honored to be a recipient of such a prestigious award," she said. "It was amazing to realize that my colleagues truly appreciated all of the hard work that went into the two upgrades in Whitaker. It made receiving the award such an honor."

Lobley started her career at Lehigh in November 1998 working as a payroll coordinator in the Controller's Office, where she worked for three years. In November 2001, she moved to the College of Business and Economics as the administrative coordinator in the Graduate Programs Office, where she remained from 2001 to March 2008. She moved to her current position in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in March 2008.

Award winners

Several staff members of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have received the Tradition of Excellence Award since it was introduced in 2003. They include:

  • Anne Marie Lobley
  • William Mushock
  • Sue Stetler, Gene Lucadamo, Masashi Watanabe, Deanne Hoenscheid, Virginia Newhard, Floyd Miller, Dave Ackland, and Andrea Harmer (team)
  • Janie Carlin
  • Mike Rex

-- Amy White