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Wendi Simonson holding her award

Graduate program coordinator wins outstanding staff award

By

Jason Krell

The Arizona State University Graduate and Professional Student Association has awarded Wendi Simonson, a School of Life Sciences graduate program coordinator, with the Annette Jecker Outstanding Staff award.

Named after a former association administrative staff member, the award recognizes ASU staff members who go above and beyond their typical duties to help graduate students. All candidates are nominated by the very students they assist. Simonson received 12 individual nominations in which students described the impact she has had on their professional and personal development

“I have a wonderful group of graduate students and they make the challenges of this job enjoyable,” Simonson said. “For them to take the time to nominate me with their hectic lives — I’m beyond words. I couldn’t feel any more excited or grateful than I do now.”

Within the School of Life Sciences’ graduate program, Simonson assists students with almost every aspect of their careers, from start to finish. She monitors incoming applications and each student’s progress through 17 degree programs. She enters grades, schedules graduate defenses, aids in curriculum development, answers program emails, acts a counselor and even mentors other program coordinators across ASU.

The award was presented during the Graduate and Professional Student Association award ceremony on April 25. Shannon Stewart, a student support specialist from the School of Criminology & Criminal Justice, also received the award alongside Simonson. More than 30 staff members were nominated for the award.