Thursday, May 24, 2018  
Schroeder wins Outstanding Service Award | Smith, De La Cruz garner classified staff Team Award
Jodi Schroeder
Outstanding Service Award
Jodi Schroeder masterfully directs theatre and film operations

“You must do the things you think you cannot do.” This quote from Eleanor Roosevelt has inspired Jodi Schroeder to strive to grow, learn and improve the environment around her. By all accounts, she succeeds abundantly.

Schroeder, administrative assistant in the Department of Theatre and Film, was selected as this year’s winner of the Classified Staff Council Outstanding Service Award. It was presented to her at the annual CSC spring reception, along with a $1,000 check and a plaque bearing her name, to be permanently displayed on the second floor of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

Theatre and Film is a “complex creature,” wrote department chair Dr. Lesa Lockford, and Schroeder handles the department’s operations with both attention to detail and goodwill.

In addition to its academic classes, which entail class schedules, day-to-day student registration and scheduling, it also has robust theatrical and film productions and other activities that “reach beyond the traditional classroom, for they consistently involve pedagogical experiences that take place in studios, laboratories and field work,” said Dr. Cynthia Baron, professor of theatre and film.

“To create these experiences, the department functions much like a small business that requires purchase of production materials, supervision of multiple budget lines, and constant coordination of schedules and applied teaching spaces. Ms. Schroeder handles all of the complexities of these tasks seamlessly and graciously. She has an exceptional ability to grasp the big picture, and at the same time ensure that all details are addressed.”


Jackson, Liggett on Authenticity and the Polish-American Identity- Medium
Phuntumart, students play key role in discovery - The Blade
Classified Staff 2018 Team Award winners Amy Smith (left) and Rachel De La Cruz
Classified Staff Team Award
Smith, De La Cruz are world-class team builders

Change is hard. And when it comes to academic departments, each with its own culture and practices, it can be especially challenging. So when the decision was made to merge the German, Russian and East Asian languages department with the romance and classical studies department to form the new Department of World Languages and Cultures, everyone knew it would be a demanding process.

Luckily for the endeavor, administrative assistant Amy Smith and senior secretary Rachel De La Cruz were more than up to the job. In recognition of their essential contributions to making the merger a success, as well as their ongoing exemplary service, the team won the 2018 Classified Staff Team Award. Smith and De La Cruz received enthusiastic nominations from faculty, administrators and graduate students. They were honored at the annual Classified Staff Council spring reception May 16. The two will share a $1,500 award and their names will be displayed on a commemorative plaque in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

Working as the sole staff under a new chair, and while also performing their regular jobs, Smith and De La Cruz facilitated the creation of one of the largest and most complex units on campus, abbreviated appropriately as WRLD.

“The merger is a project that involves the completion of so many smaller projects that ‘above and beyond’ does not begin to describe the work the two have accomplished,” wrote new chair Dr. Philip Peek, referring to the award criteria. “The attitude that they bring to work is priceless, inviting and infectious, helping to promote and establish a culture that puts collaboration and community first. In my new role as chair, they are a delight to work with. Without them I cannot begin to learn the curve that I must in order to perform my duties.”