Two Widener Employees Honored for Distinguished Service
Carl Pierce of Chester, Pa., director of operations, and Michelle Simon of Parkside, Pa., administrative assistant for the associate vice president for compliance and risk management and the associate vice president and controller, have been awarded the William David Eckard Jr. Award for Distinguished Service in recognition of their hard work and longtime commitment to Widener University.
The Eckard Awardwas established by William David Eckard III, longtime vice president of administration and finance at WidenerUniversity and a 1966 graduate of PennsylvaniaMilitaryCollege. He created the award, a $3,000 cash grant, in memory of his father to help promote and reward excellence at Widener. Recipients must work for Widener on a full-time basis for at least 10 years and consistently demonstrate an outstanding level of service.
Pierce has served Widener for 42 years. He started working in residence life and student affairs at what was then Brandywine College. He was the associate director of athletics and assistant dean of students, before coming to Main Campus in 1988 to take on the role as director of Campus Services. In 1998, he became the director of physical plant departments, before assuming his current role in 2004.
Having the opportunity to work in so many different areas of the university has been rewarding for Pierce. “Being able to change positions and switch campuses felt like a new start for me,” he said. “I feel very appreciated, and my work is rewarding.”
Being named the recipient of the Eckard Award was a surprise for Pierce. “It means a lot to me,” he said. “Widener is a great place to work. The best part is the people I work with.”
In recognizing Pierce, Widener University President Dr. Julie E. Wollman said that Pierce was nominated for providing “an outstanding level of service at all times, being exceptionally patient, and having a great sense of humor.” It was also noted that Pierce is extremely knowledgeable, dedicated and highly competent. “He is Widener!”
Simon has served Widener for 21 years, starting as a cashier in the business office on the Delaware Campus. She eventually made her way to Main Campus, first in the business office and then to human resources. In 2012, she became the administrative assistant to George Hassel, associate vice president for compliance and risk management, working behind the scenes on compliance items for the university. Last year, Simon also assumed the role of working as administrative assistant for Catherine McGeehan, associate vice president and controller.
While she currently wears two hats, Simon enjoys the diversity of her position at Widener. “I’ve been afforded many opportunities throughout my time here,” she said. “The change of pace and responsibilities keeps each day interesting.”
One thing hasn’t changed for Simon – her relationship with her co-workers. “We really are a family at Widener,” she said. “It makes coming to work very enjoyable and allows me to be more effective in everything I do.”
In recognizing Simon, Preisdent Wollman said Simon performs her work efficiently, without pausing to take a bow. “She never passes a problem on to others; she either tackles it herself or seeks help to resolve the issue.”
Her nominator noted that this past year she has graciously handled the increased responsibilities of working for an additional department.
Simon is very appreciative of being nominated for the award. “I’m honored,” she said. “From my experience in HR, I know the thought process that goes into choosing someone for this award each year.”
Simon hopes to put some of her award towards a vacation next year with her husband, Scott to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary. This year, Simon is looking forward to a trip to the Outerbanks with husband, and spending time with her three sons – AJ, Sean, and Scottie and his wife Breanna.
Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener comprises eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. Visit the university website, http://www.widener.edu/.