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Michael Smith award
Michael Smith (right) is presented the John Warren Excellence in Leadership and Service Award by Darcell Griffith, interim chief human resources officer.

UD leadership and service recognition

Photo by Evan Krape

Michael Smith receives John Warren Award

Michael Smith, director of strategic initiatives and partnerships for the College of Health Sciences (CHS), has received the University of Delaware’s John Warren Excellence in Leadership and Service Award.

The Warren Award, created in 2011, recognizes significant accomplishments and notable contributions in leadership by University supervisory staff and includes a $1,000 gift.

“Michael is amazing,” said Kathleen Matt, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “He is a tremendous resource to our college. He represents our college in the community and has greatly increased awareness throughout the state of the resources and services we offer.”

Smith serves as the community, government and external affairs liaison for CHS and the STAR Health Sciences Complex. He directs the college’s overall strategy and initiatives related to sponsorship, special events and development engagement. Smith also manages the CHS communications and marketing team, developing and implementing the college’s communications and marketing plans for educational, clinical, events and research units.

In her nomination letter, Matt noted Smith’s keen understanding of local and state government and success in building partnerships with legislators. She praised his development of new events and opportunities for CHS, including the Healthy Newark Cook Off, the Chamber of Commerce STAR Health wellness program, Public Health Week programming, and his work on growing the First Step program for undergraduate students.

“Michael demonstrates true leadership in our college and I am appreciative of all that he does to advance our clinics, help us connect and partner with others in the community and communicate about our work to the public,” added Matt.

David Arthur, assistant athletic director for sports and entertainment sales, said, “Michael takes a lot of pride in anything he is involved with, and utilizes his entrepreneurial spirit combined with his competitive nature to find success. He is always thinking two steps ahead with a strong vision in mind. It is because of this vision that Michael has helped grow STAR Campus.”

Before coming to UD, Smith was executive director of the Greater Newark Economic Development Council. He serves on the board of directors of Lori’s Hands, Inc., a service learning organization in Newark, Delaware. The organization matches students with individuals who have chronic illness, creating meaningful relationships and developing students’ understanding of community health.

“One of the things that I most respect about Mike is his commitment to charity and philanthropy,” said Sarah LaFave, director of community health initiatives in the College of Health Sciences. “He is always willing to run a race, plan an event, give funds, rally a crowd, solicit donations, or do whatever is needed to help a nonprofit succeed. Mike does all of this out of the goodness of his heart, but it has had a tangible impact on our reputation as a college. He has helped us to build trust in the community, and for the community to see greater value in partnering with the University.

“I am incredibly thankful to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from Mike. His positive energy, hard-working nature, and innate skills as a leader inspire me every day.”


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