The Witmer Award for Distinguished Service is presented to staff members whose careers have been characterized by outstanding and sustained contributions to the University.
This year’s honorees are Clifton Broadhurst, a supervisor with University Parking and Transportation Services; David Butterbaugh, manager of special events for Facilities and Services; Kathy Malmendier, senior director of reporting and leadership donor stewardship in the Office of Advancement; and Beth Olivares, associate dean for diversity initiatives and executive director of the David T. Kearns Center for Leadership and Diversity in Arts, Sciences & Engineering.
Recipients will be recognized at a reception on Wednesday, May 2. Their names will also be inscribed on plaques in the Medical Center and in Wallis Hall on the River Campus.
Cliff Broadhurst, affectionately known as “Good Ol’ Cliffy-Cliff,” has been the face of University transportation for 40 years. To his colleagues in Parking and Transportation Services and others across the University, he’s also a bit of a superhero. He’s been known to “save the day” often—whether it’s helping shuttle hundreds of families to and from commencement ceremonies, producing a bus seemingly out of nowhere to shuttle students out in the community back to campus safely, or coming in on a weekend to drive a special event bus if one didn’t show up as expected.
Because of his cheerful demeanor and his love for interacting with people, customers often specifically request Broadhurst to drive their special event shuttles. He heads up the preparation of shuttles and charter events for events such as Meliora Weekend, Wilson Day, and commencement. He also provides shuttle services for student events held at the Witmer House as well as VIP transport for special guests of President Joel Seligman.
Beverly Buscemi, coordinator of transportation and ticket sales, says Broadhurst seamlessly manages transportation for the 1,300 students to sites throughout the community on the annual Wilson Day of student service.
“All who work with him know that his demeanor and style as a service professional is exemplary, and his smile is always genuine,” she writes in a letter supporting Broadhurst’s nomination.
“Like a postman, Cliff delivers great customer service in rain, sleet, snow, or hail and has been doing so for 40 years,” according to department director Glen Sicard and assistant Monica Tanksley. “He has dedicated his life to the University, University Parking and Transportation, and the customers he serves every day.”
Colleagues say David Butterbaugh has been an “exceptional” employee since he joined the University staff in 1991.
His first role was as a trades supervisor, but nominators say he truly began to excel when he assumed responsibility for special events support in 1998.
Butterbaugh has a hand in more than 600 events each year—from Freshman Move-in Day, to holiday parties, to commencement, and everything in between.
“For many inside and outside the University community, David Butterbaugh is the face of Facilities, and in some cases, the face of the University when they think of event activity,” says Richard Pifer, associate vice president for University Facilities and Services in a letter supporting Butterbaugh’s nomination. “In his daily activity, David demonstrates on a continual basis, unusual dedication to the University’s mission and values.”
He is praised for his strong analytical abilities, attention to detail, and his ability to get the job done right. He is considered the “go-to guy” when problems arise and need to be solved quickly.
“His congenial manner, long hours, and visibility make a significant difference for colleagues and constituents,” writes Sharon Dickman, University spokeswoman, in her nomination letter. “Because Dave is on core teams that work at such major events as commencement and Meliora Weekend, he certainly contributes to showing off the best side of the University to our many publics.”
Often the first person to arrive in the office and the last to leave in the evening, Kathy Malmendier is well respected among her colleagues for her work ethic, her professionalism, and her graciousness.
For nearly 30 years, Malmendier has been a part of the University—holding several positions in Alumni Relations and University Advancement. She currently serves as senior director of reporting and leadership donor stewardship where she manages stewardship projects and reporting.
“Her service is characterized by a strong desire and ability to provide students, alumni, donors, parents, faculty, staff, and trustees with thoughtful interactions that enhance the relationships that are crucial to the University’s mission,” say Erin Moyer, executive director of stewardship, and Joseph Meister, assistant vice president of advancement services in Malmendier’s nomination letter.
She is also praised for being “attentive, flexible, dependable, and a committed team player.”
Many say it’s her outstanding work on Meliora Weekend that sets her apart.
From 2001 to 2008, Malmendier oversaw the development and management of systems that collect registrations, event attendance, and other information to help the University’s signature event run smoothly.
“In her Meliora Weekend work, she was often the first contact with returning alumni and parents and set a warm, amiable tone as she greeted attendees,” writes Kevin Wesley, executive director of alumni relations, supporting Malmendier’s nomination. “No question was too insignificant, and she solved on-site problems quickly.”
Beth Olivares’s passion, energy, leadership, and commitment to the University are just a few of the many reasons she is deserving of a Witmer Award, her colleagues say.
Olivares, who joined the University in 1994, helped create and has expanded the Kearns Center, developing successful educational pipeline programs that work with low-income and minority students from middle school through the doctoral degree.
Under Olivares’s leadership, programs such as the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program have grown significantly and become a national model for mentoring.
In addition to the myriad academic services it provides, the center coordinates graduate student recruitment and retention efforts for Arts, Sciences & Engineering.
“Beth has personally encouraged, nurtured, and invested in students who might not have otherwise found their way to careers in sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” says Richard Feldman, dean of the College, in a letter supporting Olivares’s nomination.
Kearns Center colleagues Charlana Simmons, associate director of college programs, and Anthony Plonczynski, associate director of pre-college programs, say no one at the University has done more for diversity and inclusion than Olivares.
“Through work with individuals in program development, and as an agent of institutional, systemic change, she has profoundly impacted the lives of hundreds of students and dozens of colleagues within her domain,” they write in Olivares’s nomination letter. “Her inspiring and distinguished career exemplifies a vision of a world where all are invited to reach their true potential and become agents of societal progress and transformation.”