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2006 Administrative Excellence Award

2006 Administrative Excellence Award

Officer Sharon Evans, University of Scranton

Officer Sharon Evans, University of Scranton

The 2006 Award for Administrative Excellence is presented to Ms. Sharon Evans, Crime Prevention Officer at the The University of Scranton.

Ms. Evans' performance in the Department of Public Safety has resulted : in more campus-wide cooperative public safety programs, better-trained student officers, measurable decreases in crime statistics and administrative errors, and innovative programs to develop Student Officers.

For years, Ms. Evans served superbly as the supervisor of Parking Services ensuring the proper registration of vehicles, timely maintenance of facilities and fair enforcement of parking policies.

In January 2004, a reorganization of the office shifted her duties, giving her additional responsibilities. As her parking services functions minimized, Ms. Evans was charged with developing a Crime Prevention Program, overseeing the Student Officer Program and initiating a Student Outreach Program to build better relationships between officers and the student body.

She graciously accepted these challenges and the University is already benefiting from her tireless efforts, dedication and innovativeness.

Ms. Evans jump started the Crime Prevention Program by instituting a schedule of monthly themes. Her research identified sources of information and support materials to promote each theme.

She quickly recognized that campus organizations are more successful if they do not work in a vacuum and initiated collaborative efforts with the campus Women's Center, the United Colors Club, the Center for Health Education and Wellness, and Student Affairs. She not only brought Public Safety into their events and functions as a partner, but also aligned the Crime Prevention Program to support the educational and prevention activities of each group.

She coordinated joint programs to reduce Alcohol Abuse and Sexual Assault, and to increase diversity awareness.

The benefits to the University community and the department were recognized through improved communication and coordination across campus members. Ms. Evans's efforts helped to shift the department's image from a singular enforcement role to a multi-phased, proactive role as seen through the cooperative education programs with student organizations and the student body as a whole.

The department's student corps of officers, which has existed for several years, assists fulltime officers in numerous campus functions. Under Ms. Evans' leadership and administrative skills, their roles and responsibilities were refined and their training program was updated. Prior to her initiatives, the student officers were helpful but required close supervision and direction. With her mentoring, the group now functions as an auxiliary organization within Public Safety. They work under their own leadership, handling some tasks and responsibilities previously performed by a full-time officer. Her creative ideas for building teamwork and cohesion early in the academic year are reaping great rewards.

She added a challenging half-day program to the Student Officer Academy that requires students to pull together as a team, to depend on each other and to learn each other's strengths and weaknesses. This single idea rapidly bonded new and returning officers as one team – with a unified, committed approach to all their tasks.

Ms. Evans's caring model and involvement has doubled student officer membership and dropped turnover by twenty-five percent.

Our ability to communicate with students and proactively interdict campus problems before they occur has aided in reducing serious incidents on campus, especially in residence halls. The department's criminal intelligence efforts have improved as well.

The University Crime statistics demonstrate a significant drop in violence related incidents (15%), criminal mischief (40%) and harassment (20%) in the residence halls. Incidents off campus have shown a similar decline.

Ms. Evan' attention to detail helped to reduce by 30% administration problems in accounting for student hours and pay. She has enlisted student officers to help review and provide ideas for updating procedures. She is in the process of rewriting the Student Officer Standing Operating Procedures manual. The solid performance of the student officer leader is directly attributed to Ms. Evans's ability to relate to the students and mentor without taking charge. Her attention to detail and close supervision has also improved student officer appearance.

Ms. Evans' dedication and contribution to improving the department's image and overall professionalism have also helped our students as demonstrated by the high acceptance rate of student officers into federal, state and local law enforcement positions upon graduation.

Ms. Evans is a team player who is always ready to add her expertise to a new project. When faced with the question of how to improve relationships with the freshman class, she offered several original ideas under the Student Out-Reach program. Her concept of including an officer on the freshman resident halls staff was not initially well received by residence life staff. However, through determination and considerable discussion, a test program evolved.

The success of the test period has led to a full fledged program this semester. She has maintained a volunteer cadre of officers who are assigned to specific residence halls. The officers are fully engaged in hall activities with officers participating in athletic and social activities helping to bridge the relationship gap. Through educational and awareness programs she developed, the officers are also able to offer crime prevention and safety programs on critical subjects. We expect the success of this program to transform the freshman's full academic experience in the University. The success of the program is attributed to Ms. Evans's foresight, supervision and flexibility.

Ms. Evans's generosity and willingness to help others extends beyond the University to the greater Scranton community.

Ms. Evans annually volunteers to help during the Scranton Day of Caring. She joins other volunteers working to clean up common areas, repair damaged facilities or help the elderly in their residence or retirement home. She is a member of the Lake Winola Women's Auxiliary actively engaged in fund raisers to support the Volunteer Fire Company. She participates in the organization of her community's Cottagers' Association annual dinner and the summer children's sports day. You will find Ms. Evans active in the Adopt an Angel Program sponsored by the Lackawanna County Children and Youth Services; helping to raise funds to find a cure for Breast Cancer through The Race for the Cure; and supporting fund raisers for The American Heart Association.

Ms. Evans is always first to reach out and assist individuals in need of financial help or direct hands-in-the-project efforts. Working with her is a pleasure. She is energetic, positive, receptive, pleasant and persistent. Never has she allowed an obstacle to discourage her from her goals. Rather, you can depend on Ms. Evans to determine the basic elements of the obstacle and then to pursue a course that mutually satisfies all concerned. Ms. Evans is a true professional and is most deserving of the award for administrative excellence.

The nomination for Sharon Evans was submitted by Richard A. Pomager, Jr., Director of Public Safety, The University of Scranton.

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