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Stanford Engineering announces annual staff award winners

The School of Engineering honored recipients of the annual staff service awards at a gathering on April 10. The event, hosted by Dean Jennifer Widom, recognized the hard work and dedication of School of Engineering staff, who were nominated by colleagues throughout the school.
Stanford Engineering Dean Jennifer Widom (right) and Senior Associate Dean Scott Calvert (left) led the celebration for this year’s staff award recipients (left to right): Ryan Johnson, Julia Gillespie, Monica Marin Lawrence, Bridgett Lyall, Rachelle Celeridad, and Andrej Krevl. | Photo by Steve Fisch

For the first time since 2019, select staff members in the School of Engineering gathered on April 10 in the Mackenzie Room to honor recipients of six unique staff awards. Also honored were individuals employed by Stanford University for over 5, 10, 15, and more years. At the event, hosted by School of Engineering Dean Jennifer Widom, the following individuals were honored with special staff awards.

Monica Marin Lawrence, Financial Manager, Materials Science & Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Citizenship Award

The Citizenship Award recognizes an individual who does the right thing when no one is looking, and earns the trust and respect of their colleagues by taking initiative and being a good steward of Stanford resources.

Monica’s nominators describe her as “supremely competent,” and a pillar of strength through difficult times. She promotes a friendly and relaxed work atmosphere, and serves as a “steadying force” whose colleagues look to her for advice and leadership. During her time as interim Director of Finance and Operations (DFO) for the Department of Materials Science, Monica helped the department stay on track. As Finance Manager for Chemical Engineering, she demonstrates “unwavering commitment to ethical conduct,” even when doing so requires more effort. She fosters a culture of understanding and compliance with financial policies, and her enthusiasm for transparency and education makes her a guiding presence in her department.

Bridgett Lyall, Senior Human Resources & Operations Administrator, Human Resources, Innovation Award

The Innovation Award recognizes contributions that support improvements in customer service, efficiency, or operational effectiveness.

Nominators describe Bridgett, who has been at Stanford just over a year, as a “genuine innovator” whose focus on improving operations has benefited both the Human Resources’ internal team and its clients. By developing the department’s new Smartsheet workflows and dashboard, she has helped streamline HR’s internal processes and improved the ability of client groups to collaborate and share HR-related information. Her nominators add that her “high energy, excellent technical knowledge, and genuine care to get things right” are an inspiration to those who work with her.

Andrej Krevl, IT Director, Computer Science, Client Service Award

The Client Service Award recognizes exemplary customer service, collaboration, and interdisciplinary contributions.

Nominators say Andrej is “an outstanding individual whose dedication, kindness, and unwavering commitment to excellence make him a true asset to our organization.” Technical expertise, a willingness to take on challenges, and a “tireless work ethic” make Andrej instrumental to operations and reflect his dedication to the overall success of the department. Andrej is exceedingly knowledgeable, they note, and he imparts that knowledge to others, fostering an inclusive and supportive work environment. He approaches every interaction with warmth and empathy. They describe Andrej as a true asset who has a profound impact on the team’s morale and productivity.

Julia Gillespie, Director of Finance & Operations, Institute for Computational & Mathematical Engineering, Leadership Award

The Leadership Award recognizes mentoring and management contributions that promote a supportive and respectful work environment by an individual who advocates for growth and opportunities, motivates others, and leads impactful change.

Julia’s nominators say she demonstrates “outstanding leadership, clarity of vision, and moral courage” in the midst of high-stakes, challenging management issues. As a “model DFO and people-leader” she is unflinching in upholding the best interests of the institute’s faculty, staff, and students. They add that Julia seeks out feedback from current students on how to make ICME a better place, and goes above and beyond to ensure necessary changes are made to guarantee that everyone feels safe, welcomed, and heard. Nominators say Julia’s attitude and convictions have improved the lives of those who work with her, and contribute to giving students within the department a voice.

Rachelle Celeridad, Human Resources & Operations Administrator, Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion Award

The Diversity and Inclusion Award recognizes an individual who displays an exceptional effort toward promoting a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment, which may include supporting initiatives involving faculty, staff, students, postdocs, and/or the broader Stanford community.

As an established member of SoE-Connect, Rachelle has been instrumental in designing and leading events that put diversity and inclusion at the heart of SoE-Connect’s work. Her nominators say that, in addition to her regular duties, Rachelle’s “dedication and above-and-beyond contributions help make events such as Black History Month and Pride celebrations come to life.” Her contributions result in engaging and inclusive experiences that bring the SoE community closer together. In addition to being both compassionate and hard-working, Rachelle consistently strives to ensure that everyone feels welcomed and included.

Ryan Johnson, Director of Finance & Operations, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Shah Award

The school’s highest staff honor, The Shah Award is given each year to a staff member who demonstrates outstanding competence, dedication, and accomplishment.

Ryan has played a pivotal role in the ongoing collaboration between the School of Engineering and the Doerr School of Sustainability. Nominators note his “remarkable competence in adeptly navigating through changes, and unwavering dedication to supporting his current team and new partners.” What sets him apart, they add, is “his ability to create a shared vision, assemble a dedicated team, and empower them to achieve remarkable results.” He also serves as a mentor to newer DFOs, and is a valuable resource to the school’s management team, consistently offering candid feedback and diverse perspectives. His background as a former Stanford graduate student provides a unique perspective that resonates with faculty, students, and staff.