Recipients of the University President’s Award of Excellence testify to their continued service


The University announcement recipients of the 2022 President’s Achievement Award (PAA), which recognizes staff members for their “commitment to excellence and outstanding performance”. The six University Employee winners, announced in early April, were Vincent Cuomo, Karla Ewalt, Julie Groeninger, Marty Krzywicki, Mary O’Connor and Grace K. Penn ’99.

The Communications Office also recognized 517 staff members, each of whom has worked for more than 10 years at the University. Together, these employees have more than 9,000 years of service to Princeton.

The Daily Princetonian sat down with the honorees to discuss their thoughts on their service to the campus community.

Cuomo is the Senior Elevator/Electrical Shop Maintenance Technician and has worked at Princeton for more than two decades. He learned of the award after being “cheated” in a meeting with his boss, Vice President of Operations KyuJung Whang. At first believing he was in trouble, Cuomo was surprised and honored when the meeting turned out to be about the price.

“I come to work every day, my job is to fix the elevators, to keep them running. It just becomes second nature to you,” he said in an interview with the “Prince.”

“You really don’t know if anyone appreciates it,” he said. “So when I heard that I was recognized because of that, it made me feel good.”

Cuomo was nominated for the award based on his “technical ability, interpersonal skills, dedication and professional drive,” according to the announcement. Within the electrical workshop, he is accessible and eager to supervise and advise his juniors.

Ewalt, Senior Associate Dean for Research in the Office of the Dean for Research, recalled feeling “absolutely speechless” after receiving the award.

“There are so many amazing staff members at Princeton. I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to play a key role in the continuity of research over the past two years, in particular,” she wrote in an email to the “Prince”.

Ewalt co-founded Princeton Research Day, a program that celebrates the research of undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and more. She has also been integral to continuing research on campus throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, a challenge she described as stimulating and rooted in teamwork.

“I have kept a long list of names of people who contributed directly to the continuity of research so that I do not forget how many people came together selflessly in this time of need,” Ewalt wrote.

Groeninger, the director of the Office of Government Affairs (OGA), expressed a similar sentiment: One of the most rewarding parts of her job, she said, is working with the people around her.

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“I am continually impressed by the incredible research and scholarship carried out by our faculty members and by the thoughtfulness of the campus leaders and students with whom I engage,” she told The Prince. .

“I really like my job, I find it interesting and I feel good about what I do every day. It’s quite special,” she continued.

Having worked at the OGA for more than a decade, Groeninger has played a pivotal role in initiatives such as securing funding for the Roman Telescope Mission, organizing an annual Fusion Advocacy Day, and working on the immigration policy in favor of DREAMers.

“Our international community has faced enormous and unreasonable obstacles in recent years,” she wrote. “There is still work to be done, but I am very proud to work for a university that has made engaging in this battle a priority.”

O’Connor, the director of the President’s Office, Arts Fellowships and Special Projects, at the Lewis Center for the Arts (LCA), has been at Princeton for 15 years. The work she does, including managing the Princeton Arts Fellows program and supervising student advisors at the Lewis Center, is truly important to her.

“It’s not just a job…the work we do at the Lewis Center is so connected to our mission and our goals, and so fundamental to what we do,” she explained in an interview with the “Prince”. “Not just creating and working art, but also, it’s deeply meaningful to the way we look at the world.”

Penn, associate director of international affairs and operations in the provost’s office, has been an integral part of the campus for seven years. She was nominated for the award in her previous role as Associate Director of Affiliate Groups and the Princeton Race Relations Award, where she acted as a liaison with Black, Latinx, Asian and Asian American and LGBTQ alumni groups. + from Princeton. Penn helped rebuild many of these networks from scratch.

“Helping strengthen the governance and processes of the affinity groups I have worked with is something that I believe will have a lasting impact on how alumni connect with each other and with Princeton, for generations to come. come,” Penn wrote in an email. to the ‘Prince’.

Her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is reflected in her work with the Princeton Race Relations Award and the Senior Practitioner Diversity Group. A member of the Class of ’99, Penn described feeling more gratified when “her team’s work transformed someone’s bond with Princeton.”

She said she enjoyed “knowing that this new connection will have a lasting impact on Princeton and Princeton’s ability to impact the world.”

Krzywicki is a detective and college police officer for the Department of Public Safety and has been in service for over 26 years. The University’s announcement praised him for his “empathy and support for victims as they work through the details of a case.”

Krzywicki was unable to provide comment at the time of publication.

Winners will receive $2,500, as well as a framed certificate. Their names will be engraved on a plaque in the Office of Human Resources.

Izzy Jacobson is a news writer and contributor for “The Prince”. She can be contacted at [email protected]


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