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Employee Appreciation Week

Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson, Evan Krape, Wenbo Fan and Ashley Barnas

UD celebrates its employees with week of activities

University of Delaware employees were saluted and had the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities as the second annual Employee Appreciation Week, a collaborative effort between Employee Health and Wellbeing and Human Resources.

Held June 4-8, the week celebrated the successful completion of the academic year with a variety of special events all targeted to the University’s faculty and staff.

“We had huge engagement across the campus,” Darcell Griffith, interim chief human resources officer, said. “People were excited about the events. We heard feedback that employees were enjoying the programing and how much they appreciate that UD’s leadership is making a conscious effort to invest in them.”

The week kicked off with the annual UDid It! employee appreciation picnic on Monday, June 4. Normally held on The Green, this year it moved into the Trabant University Center after weekend rain soaked the grounds. The change of location did nothing to dampen enthusiasm or attendance.

UD President Dennis Assanis, First Lady Eleni Assanis and Interim Provost Robin Morgan attended and greeted employees in both the Trabant Multipurpose Rooms and the Food Court area, which were both filled with employees enjoying the picnic lunch and listening to music. Games were also available on the Trabant patio.

At the luncheon, Alan Brangman, executive vice president and University treasurer, announced the recipients of this year’s UDeserve It! awards, which recognize exempt and non-exempt employees who have gone above and beyond to support the University, their department, office or colleagues. This quarter’s winners are

  • Travis Craven, administrative assistant III, University Development, gold (first place);
  • Eric Cantrell, manager, Computing Operations, Arts and Sciences, silver (second place); and
  • Marcia Ellis, research associate I, Psychological and Brain Sciences, bronze (third place).

Tuesday, June 4, was Self-Care Day, and activities on the South Green included more than 250 chair massages, two jam-packed yoga classes and self-care education sessions. Certified pet therapy dogs from Paws for People also offered a chance for employees to get some time away from their jobs and focus on themselves.

At a program on Workplace Perspectives held June 5, Brangman hosted more than 90 employees and spoke about his journey from a young adult to his current position, citing the many accomplishments his architectural career has given him. Among those achievements, he was the architect of the original Christiana Mall. (The next talk in the series on “Managing Difficult Conversations” will feature Wendy Smith, associate professor of business administration, from 2-3:15 p.m., Wednesday, June 27, in 006 Kirkbride Hall.)

Also on Wednesday, a Family Movie Night was held at the Trabant University Center Theater.  The movie of choice was a fan favorite Moana, and it drew close to 50 families with children and grandchildren gathering to enjoy a mid-week movie.

Laura Gimbutas
Laura Gimbutas enjoys a hot cup of coffee from the appreciation station on Thursday.

On Thursday, June 7, multiple appreciation stations and a school spirit station were available.  The stations included beautiful flowers where employees could make lovely bouquets for themselves or someone else to show gratitude. Also available were specialty coffee samples and financial mindset coaching. A special employee spirit day contest, open until June 15, gave office teams a chance to compete with one another. The team whose photo gets the most likes on UD’s employee Facebook page will receive a team wellbeing day. Check out the photos online.  

Concluding the week on Friday, June 8, employees celebrated a Night with the Blue Rocks at Frawley Stadium in Wilmington. Employees, along with YoUDee leading the cheers, enjoyed a picnic buffet and postgame fireworks.

UD employees are invited to share feedback on this year’s Employee Appreciation Week by completing this online survey.


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