Aug. 26, 2016
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Marie Giusti has been named the 2016 recipient of the Max L. Starkey Award at Illinois Wesleyan University. President Eric Jensen announced the award winner Aug. 26 at the annual Faculty-Staff Breakfast.
As Human Resources Representative, Giusti is responsible for assisting with the administration of all benefits and the retirement program. In the past few years Illinois Wesleyan transitioned to a new health care insurance plan, and nominators praised Giusti’s patient, expert guidance in easing that transition. Several nominators noted Giusti worked considerably long hours in the evenings and on weekends.
“Marie is always patient, kind, knowledge and hardworking, but this year she truly showed her mettle,” wrote one nominator. “She worked tirelessly to help all faculty members transition from the old health care policy to the new one. She answered all questions, was organized and methodical, and never rushed anyone…she showed genuine concern for everyone who was making an often confusing transition. I think this extra work – for us – should be acknowledged.”
Another person wrote that Giusti is “one of those people whose quiet excellence makes life easier for other members of the IWU community. She doesn’t call attention to herself, but she is supremely competent at what she does. She understands what’s needed even before the other person she is trying to help understands it, and she is comfortable with making sense of partial information and other people’s confusion.”
A third nominator noted that during a recent visit with insurers, “Marie’s name was mentioned several times in gratitude. I know and respect Marie very much and I get the sense that feeling is widespread amongst our colleagues – faculty and staff alike.”
Giusti has worked at Illinois Wesleyan for 19 years. The Starkey Award is given to a staff member whose loyalty, enthusiasm and outstanding contributions have provided an invaluable service to the Illinois Wesleyan community. Established in 2001, the award is named in honor of the late Max Starkey, a 1957 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan, who was the University’s controller for more than 39 years until his retirement in 1996. The award is made possible through a gift of the Starkey family.
A committee comprised of members of the Starkey family and former Illinois Wesleyan staff and faculty selects the Starkey Award winner from nominations from the faculty and staff. This year’s committee included: Agnes Huonker, former office coordinator in Admissions; Chris Prendergast, professor emeritus of sociology; Emmalyn Dickinson, former office coordinator, Alumni Relations; Norma Criley, professor emerita of biology; Ken Browning, former vice president for business and finance; and Donna Hartweg, Caroline F. Rupert Chair of Nursing, professor emerita. Dana Starkey ’94 and Tina Starkey Swingler ’97, two of Max Starkey’s children, were also involved in the committee’s determination of the winner.