The University Record, July 8, 1998
Faculty, staff honored for service, leadership, role modeling
By Rebecca A. Doyle
"We have a responsibility to the kids who come in here to see they do more than just get through," said Athletic Director Tom Goss. "We want them to have a total experience here at this University. We want them to get a quality education. There is no place better than Michigan to do that."
Goss was the invited speaker at the 13th recognition and awards program of the Association of Black Professionals, Administrators, Faculty and Staff (ABPAFS) on June 24. Minutes before leaving to catch a flight to New York to discuss proposed changes in NCAA basketball regulations, Goss told the audience he thought the "majority of student athletes are being misused." Goss has met with athletic directors at other Big Ten universities and with Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany about making freshmen ineligible for varsity basketball and eliminating the sportswear-sponsored summer athletic camps.
"As we move forward," Goss said, "the focus of athletics at Michigan is on accountability and responsibility. That this message is carried throughout the department is critical--athletes who don't live up to their commitment and responsibility will not play."
ABPAFS members applauded Goss's determination to focus first on academic growth for student athletes at the University.
Awards were made to five U-M faculty and staff members for their contributions of time and devotion, for the example they set as leaders and for the role models they have become in their fields.
Richard Carter, state and community relations officer, received the Exemplar Award, recognizing in particular his "contributions to the University and the African American community at the U-M."
Carter is credited with much of the increased participation in alumni activities and in many other areas at the U-M because of his outreach efforts when he worked at the Alumni Association. "You have been an outstanding member of this University community and the University is better for your presence."
Nathan Norman, manager of Building Services, was honored with the Charles Moody Sr. Higher Achievement Award and applauded for being "an individual of very high standards and achievement. He not only has a commitment to change, but he is one who institutes change. There has been a dramatic change in the climate in his department."
Norman was praised for instituting educational programs that assist employees in completing high school equivalency courses in order to "step up to other jobs on campus."
Chima Ozor, senior clinical technologist, received the Outstanding Public Service Award in recognition of her generosity with her "time and energy in community service and this organization [ABPAFS]. She is active in her church and cooks once a month for the homeless. She and her husband are founders of the African Christian Fellowship, established in 1979."
Margaret Scisney-Matlock, assistant professor of nursing, also was presented with a Career Service Award. She has worked hard to "bring about constructive change in issues regarding diversity and to create a better atmosphere for members of our community in the School of Nursing."
Despite her busy schedule, Scisney-Matlock is "never too busy to interact with students, who have greatly benefited from her role as educator and friend."
Laurita Thomas, human resources administrator, Medical Campus, and assistant director, personnel office, received the Career Service Award in recognition of the contribution she makes to the Health System. "She has a strong sense of right and a keen understanding of the importance of continuing to learn. There are many things you can say about Laurita--she is a wonderful caring friend, a loving mother and an active member of her church."
The awards program, this year titled "Values and Visions in the Workplace," is an annual ABPAFS event designed to highlight the accomplishments of African American faculty and staff.