Kudos is a program designed to recognize a Trinity staff member for their extra efforts. A group of volunteer staff members under the TSEC (Trinity University Staff Engagement Committee) started Kudos in June 2012. In May 2014, TSEC suspended the program because the last chair of the Kudos left the campus, and there was no volunteer leader to continue at that time. This semester, a subcommittee under the TSEC started the program back up.
“We are a subcommittee under the Trinity Staff Engagement Committee. There are elected officer positions, but for the subcommittee Kudos, no. It is all volunteer” said Dena Warneke, the current chair of the Kudos Program.
The Kudos program gives the entire campus community the opportunity to nominate staff members in six categories: good citizenship, collaboration and helping, bright idea, above and beyond, make it happen and unsung hero. Sometimes, Kudos Committee gets nominations for people who are not actually staff. Then, they pass those complements into their appropriate services and departments.
“We have been working on it all summer to get it back,” said Sharon Curry, one of the six volunteers in the subcommittee.
Kudos plays a big role in Trinity community, according to Curry.
“We wanted staff to have a way to show appreciation and to get appreciation from people. Because not only Trinity has an amazing faculty it also has an amazing staff who support the faculty,” Curry said.
The subcommittee sends out notifications at the beginning of every month and shares a link to google form through LeeRoy in the middle of the month. Based on the weekly nominations, the voluntary staff members in the subcommittee deliver kudos to the winners.
“When we get a nomination we print out a certificate of nomination and type up a letter that explains what happened and why they are nominated. Then, we hand deliver that along with a Kudos candy bar,” Curry said. “It is not like a big official reward. It is more kind of a nice little congratulations and pat on the back.”
The TSEC committee gets a list of all the weekly nominations and what they are nominated for. Then, they vote for the monthly Kudos winner.
“We give them more recognition and a gift card as well. We have a newsletter that includes the monthly winners with their photos,” Warneke said.
“The really cool part of being in the committee is to hear about what people are doing across the campus,” Curry said. “I get to hear about some amazing things staff members are doing.”
For instance, the TUPD chief Paul Chapa was the August 2016 winner. He was nominated in the category “Make It Happen — Relentlessly resourceful and productive.” Chapa’s “visionary leadership” is especially emphasized in the nomination.
Chapa has implemented various programs to improve campus safety such as the CART (Community Awareness and Resource Team), Community Appreciation Days and the Alcohol Awareness Days. “[Receiving the Kudos] felt great! It reassured me that we as an organization were on the right track,” Chapa said.
Richard Martinez from the Facilities Services was the Kudos winner of September 2016. He was nominated in the category “Good Citizenship — Promoting positive morale through actions of good spirit.” The nomination for Martinez highlighted his willingness to help his co-workers when they needed an extra hand. His positive attitude in completing his own duties, as well as in helping others, and his ever-smiling manner was noted by the person who nominated him.
Warneke said what Kudos winners do is not a requirement.“They have gone above and beyond their work,” Warneke said.
The Kudos winners do not know about their nomination until they receive the award.
“It is really cool to just come up and brighten someone’s day,” Curry said. “Sometimes when we deliver the Kudos, everybody claps. This makes it so special. It is always nice to know that other people appreciate your work.”
Curry enjoys being a volunteer in the Kudos program.
“It is one of my favorite things to do. Not only I get to make someone else’s day brighter but also just being able to do that make my day brighter too,” Curry said.
Chapa has also been involved in the Kudos program before by giving Kudos to staff members.
“What a simple pat on the back and a candy bar can do to human spirit is incredible,” Chapa said.