On December 22nd, President Scott Cowen arrived at Newcomb Hall decked out in a Santa hat. His mission: to recognize Shellond Chester, assistant dean of finance for the School of Liberal, as one of this year’s winners of the President’s Staff Excellence Award.
For everyone who has had the pleasure of working with Shellond, this selection seemed obvious. Having been at Tulane for over 18 years – first in the Provost’s office and then in the newly founded School of Liberal Arts – Shellond is truly central to the mission of the School and the University. Responsible for the finances of the School of Liberal Arts, she not only oversees the budget of SLA , but works closely with chairs, administrative assistants and executive secretaries of our departments, programs, and centers to insure the proper fiscal operations of their units. Due to her diligence and intelligence, the School has always been on a solid financial footing.
But it is not simply that Shellond is seemingly able to perform economic miracles; she does each of her many tasks with the highest level of professionalism, knowledge, and patience. Armed with the MBA from Tulane, she is able to supervise scores of accounts, endowments, and funds. As a tutor and mentor, she is adept at explaining even the most complicated accounting procedure to the financial novice. Skilled at thinking creatively about the use of resources, she has been instrumental in identifying funds that have furthered the mission of the school. Through her guidance, we have been able to enhance the budgets of the departments, increase stipends to chairs and directors, support faculty travel and research, and celebrate the accomplishments of our faculty.
In the end, the President’s Staff Excellence Award was simply a formal recognition of what we in SLA all know: Shellond Chester exemplifies all that is outstanding in our dedicated staff. I am sure you join me in congratulating her on this well-deserved award.
Tulane University, School of Liberal Arts, 102 Newcomb Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118, (504) 865-5225, email@example.com