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Hendrix Staff Awards 2019

CONWAY, Ark. (May 24, 2019) – Eight Hendrix College staff members were recognized with awards today at a special event on campus.

Facilities Maintenance Supervisor Paul Henderson and Catering Coordinator Kelly Hepner were the recipients of the “Indi” Award, given to staff members who, by their service, have proven to be indispensable members of, and contributors to, the Hendrix community.

Henderson’s nominator wrote, “He is our on-call person and comes in at all hours of the day or night, every day of the year to make repairs and assist in all manner of issues. He is very dedicated to his job and never complains, no matter how many times he gets called in. He is always calm in an emergency and knows more about the campus inner workings than anyone else knows. He is amazing.” Hepner received praise for her creativity that enhances the Hendrix Dining Hall experience: “Kelly builds, draws, and paints most of the decorations for our dining room specials and yearly special events. She has done this for many years and is responsible for coming up with new ideas for our weekly ice cream table. She adds so much to make our environment fun and new.”

Two staff members also received the 2019 A. C. Millar Innovator Award: Jenn McKenzie ’94, Associate Director of Campus Visitation and Administrative Services; and Amber Jackson, Program Manager of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion. The Millar Award goes to staff members recognized for having the courage to champion new and innovative ideas for the betterment of Hendrix College. The award is named for former Hendrix College President Alexander C. Millar, who was instrumental in moving the College from Altus to Conway in 1890.

McKenzie’s nominator wrote, “She has totally invented, reinvented, created and recreated our visit program to stand out from the crowd. She has to compile speakers and experiences that involve every single facet of Hendrix – from faculty and staff to dining and maintenance and everyone in between. She helps students acclimate, feel at home, see Hendrix as their place on the front end, but also helps them see the worth and value of Hendrix once they are here, and helps them with professional skills and experiences that get them out into the world in successful and meaningful ways for the future.”

“Amber has been an instrumental part of making the Diversity and Inclusion team shine!” wrote Jackson’s nominator. “With her tremendous ideas and efforts to not only educate our Hendrix community but to also obtain feedback, she has helped jump start discussions that were long overdue.”

The Helen S. Plotkin Team Excellence Award for 2019 went to The Aspire Team. Named for former Vice President of Marketing Communications Helen S. Plotkin, who retired in 2017 after more than two decades of service to Hendrix, this award goes to a staff office (or a project team of staff members from multiple offices) to recognize a successful project or accomplishment that contributes to the strategic goals of the College. This year’s Plotkin Award recognized Charnley Conway of the Office of Academic Success, Amber Jackson of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, and Leigh Lassiter-Counts ’01 of the Office of Career Services for their collaborative efforts in support of Hendrix Aspire Scholars:

“The Aspire Team meets the award criteria due to their success with promoting retention of students at Hendrix, particularly students who are underrepresented due to their financial need,” wrote their nominator. “This team has two cohorts of students for which they’ve retained 100% of the cohorts. Additionally, they’ve worked to promote academic excellence among students, with the average GPA being a 3.0.”

Carolyn Halcrombe of the Housekeeping staff was the 2019 recipient of the John Paulette Unsung Hero Award, which is given by the Hendrix Student Senate to a staff member who has had an impact on students at Hendrix. The Student Senate recognized Halcrombe for her work in Veasey Hall, one of the three women’s heritage residence halls on campus.

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit