Double Time: Two Library Employees Receive Awards

Liz Johnson, a Library Information Specialist at UMKC Miller Nichols Library, received the Chancellor’s Education First Award for significant contributions to higher education by supporting and/or promoting student learning.

This Staff Council award was established to recognize and celebrate a UMKC staff member who has made significant contributions to higher education through exceptional service, as demonstrated consistently throughout the scope of their work performance.

"I am honored and thankful to receive this award," said Johnson, "I appreciate the support from library administration. In my short time here I’ve been able to work on and chair committees for educational events like the Civil Rights film series, the social justice book discussions and the African American Read-In. And, while these events have been very fulfilling for me personally, being able to bring in and work with students on these events – helping them learn and seeing them grow -  has been the most rewarding experience of all."

Whether it’s through her prompt responses to students, staff, and librarians, her assistance with chat reference, or her organizational and leadership skills on projects like the African American Read-In, Liz goes above and beyond the call of duty for the University Libraries.

Scott Curtis, a Research and Liaison Librarian at Miller Nichols Library, won the 2017 Chancellor’s Award for Embracing Diversity. 

This award recognizes and celebrates UMKC faculty, staff, and registered student organizations engaging in UMKC Strategic Plan Goal 5: Embracing Diversity – To celebrate diversity in all aspects of university life, creating inclusive environments, culturally competent citizens, and globally-oriented curricula and programs.

Curtis was nominated for his work on several diversity and inclusion related activities. From his work with the Women’s Center in leading book discussions and serving on the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" planning committee, to being the Library’s ADA liaison, to working with Veterans on campus, and much more, he has embraced the university’s mission to create inclusive environments and culturally competent citizens.

Curtis follows a prestigious group of librarians who have won this award previously—Gloria Tibbs (2011), Fu Zhuo (2013), and Stuart Hinds (2014).

"Winning this award means a lot to me, as I’m following in some big footsteps," wrote Curtis, "I think the fact that UMKC Libraries are well-represented in this award category reflects the fact that we all have a dedication toward making our university inclusive and welcoming for all."

Curtis and Johnston will be honored at the April 25 Celebrating Excellence: Faculty and Staff Awards Ceremony.

Congratulations, you two!