Student Services Coordinator for the PGA Golf Management program in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management Susan Colby received the inaugural Thomas W. Ross Visionary Leader Award this month.
“I am honored that my colleagues within the UNC System would select me for this award,” Colby said. “I feel as though I have made a positive impact in the lives of my colleagues across the state. Most of the time we don’t realize how lucky we are at NC State to have the opportunities and resources we have. I’ve been fortunate to visit the 16 other campuses in the System and see what is available to staff, faculty and students, and then to work with others across the state to help make improvements for our colleagues on other campuses.”
The new award was created by the UNC Staff Assembly to honor President Emeritus Thomas W. Ross, an inspired leader and advocate for staff members across the UNC System, recognizes a UNC Staff Assembly delegate who exhibits sustained, distinguished and superb leadership achievement by modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, challenging the process, enabling others to act and encouraging the heart of students, staff faculty and other constituencies on his or her campus.
“I’ve always been an idea person,” she said. “Within the Staff Assembly, I would throw out ideas and reasons supporting those ideas and my colleagues would buy in. Together, as an organization, we would work on issues of concern to staff and ways to celebrate staff successes. I’m inspired to continue working toward solutions to the issues and concerns UNC System employees have and to make known the opportunities to celebrate those who help our students, faculty and administrators succeed every day. We can’t stop the momentum we’ve built on all of our campuses to share our voices, build bridges with faculty organizations and have those important campus-wide conversations where we find we have more things in common than most would think.”
Colby served on the UNC Staff Assembly as the Chair for two years and now serves in an advisory role. She also coordinates the Chancellors’ Cup Golf Tournament, which raises funds for the Janet Royster Staff Development Scholarship fund. The scholarship has supported staff at all 17 campuses across the System, with more than $45,000 in the past three semesters.
“Serving as Chair, and as a member of the UNC Staff Assembly, is the best professional development opportunity I have ever experienced” Colby said. “To have the chance to see how higher education in NC works on a System-wide level is phenomenal. I would highly recommend staff get involved in the NC State Staff Senate on the campus level and begin an incredible education process.”