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DECEMBER 2012 UPDATE HOME
More December Features:

Holidays bright because of program
Librarian garners top award
Medical information offered through "Let's Talk Health"
Problem-solver lauded for work
Profile: Dr. Lisa Klesges
CSD mission trip aids needy
Simington soothes worries en route
to big honor

Names in the news

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Simington soothes worries en route to big honor

By Laura Fenton

In May 2011, Madeline Simington fielded the phone calls of distressed students when the University of Memphis spring commencement ceremony date and location had a last-minute change.

“It was unexpected, so it caught a lot of students off guard, but we were able to work the situation out, although it still upset a few students,” said Simington, Student Affairs Learning Assessment administrative assistant.

One week prior to the ceremonies, through a series of events, the Memphis Grizzlies announced they were hosting an NBA playoff game at FedExForum the same day as commencement. That meant the U of M had to change locations for the ceremony.

Distinguished Employee of the Year Madeline Simington (middle) with U of M President Shirley Raines (left) and Student Affairs Vice President Dr. Rosie Phillips Bingham.
Distinguished Employee of the Year Madeline Simington (middle) with U of M President Shirley Raines (left) and Student Affairs Vice President Dr. Rosie Phillips Bingham.

“The commencement office’s phone rang off the hook with distressed students and families needing information or just venting their frustrations,” a nominator said. “Madeline offered calm reassurances with information that soothed their anxieties and helped them understand the situation, even if they disagreed with the decision.”

Simington rarely misses a day of work and commutes one hour each way to get to the U of M.

“I honestly have never met another administrative assistant who is committed and dedicated to her job like Madeline,” a nominator said.

For these reasons, and many more that fill the pages of nomination forms, Simington was named one of the 2012 Distinguished Employee of the Year award recipients.

The day her co-workers announced she had won the Outstanding Employee award, the honor that made her eligible to win the Distinguished Employee of the Year award, Simington walked into a decorated office filled with ecstatic staff.

“I felt almost like I had won the lottery because they had done so much to surprise me that day,” she said.

Simington has worked for the U of M for a little more than two years. In addition to assisting with coordination of commencement and gathering data for commencement reports, Simington also trains co-workers to use a Hobsons software program that helps to send emails from the department to undergraduate students.

“Anyone who interacts with Madeline comes to realize she is kind, gracious, hardworking and professional,” another nominator said. “Madeline is a role model.”

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