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Chris Cook and Tom LaPenta during John Warren Excellence in Leadership Award presentation

Warren Award

Photo by Doug Baker

Engineering's Christine E. Cook is recipient of 2016 John Warren Award

Chris Cook, chief business officer for the College of Engineering, was presented the University of Delaware’s John Warren Excellence in Leadership and Service Award during a ceremony held Wednesday, May 18.

The Warren Award recognizes significant accomplishments and notable contributions in leadership by University supervisory staff. The award includes a $1,000 gift.

“Chris Cook meets the qualifications and requirements for this prestigious award,” said Tom LaPenta, UD’s chief human resources officer. “She is directly involved in many projects that affect internal and external constituents around campus and exceeds expectations on every project she works on. It is clear that she is dedicated to the University and is always encouraging and motivating, and works to improve existing policies and procedures.”

LaPenta said Cook’s campus-wide efforts to review the University’s human resources processes are the basis for the award.Cook engaged and led this strategic effort beginning in fall 2014 and continues to implement the recommendations from the steering committee that was formed.

As the chief business officer for the College of Engineering, Cook plays a major role in high-priority initiatives at the University, including facilitating human resources training, leading process-change improvement committees and ensuring recruitment and retention of quality employees.

“Chris is described as someone who truly understands management from everyone’s perspective and is able to identify real solutions that can be implemented in a tangible manner,” LaPenta said.

Babatunde Ogunnaike, dean of the College of Engineering, said “Chris prefers to lead by example, putting the University’s overall excellence first in her work, and motivating others around her to strive continually for excellence.”  

Ogunnaike also said he believes that “the primary motivation for Chris is an innate desire to improve the University. She is driven by a relentless commitment to excellence, which makes her view stumbling blocks in administrative processing simply as challenges to be overcome collectively as we drive toward excellence.”

Sharmayne Burns, business officer in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, said that “Chris exemplifies the core qualities of a leader; honesty, communication, commitment, creativity and positivity. She goes out of her way to ensure that decisions that are made are truly in the best interest of the whole UD community.”

A second Warren Award for 2016 will be announced in June.


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