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Callie Edwards, John Kelley Receive College of Education’s 2022 Staff Awards for Excellence

Callie Edwards, associate director of program evaluation and education research at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, and John Kelley, an executive assistant to the head of the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development, have been recognized for their contributions to the NC State College of Education with the 2022 Staff Awards for Excellence. 

The Awards for Excellence are given annually to one EHRA and one SHRA employee who demonstrate excellence to the College of Education and who are the college’s nominees for the University Awards for Excellence

“​I was honored to receive the NC State College of Education’s 2022 EHRA Staff Award for Excellence.​ ​I truly appreciate my colleagues for this recognition,” Edwards said. “I am blessed to love what I do, and it’s an honor to be nominated and celebrated for my contributions. I love that my mom could attend as my guest and meet many of my colleagues, including my supervisor and Friday Institute Executive Director Dr. Hiller Spires, who has been such an amazing mentor and supporter​.”

“I am surrounded by my talented and hard-working peers in the college that are deserving of recognition, many of whom have roles serving the whole of the college, rather than primarily one department. I feel honored and humbled to have won this award,” Kelley said. “It really made my day, week and month for folks to take a pause and offer their appreciation. I would like to offer my thanks to my coworkers for the award and to the staff who planned and worked the celebratory event. While COVID has us apart much of the time, they made this experience, and the opportunity to gather together, especially uplifting.”

More On EHRA Staff Award for Excellence Recipient Callie Edwards

Edwards, the EHRA Staff Award for Excellence recipient, serves as the chief liaison with Centennial Campus Magnet Middle School, the Friday Institute’s partner middle school, and launched the Friday Institue’s Educational Research and Evaluation Internship program, which supports diverse undergraduate students in developing research and evaluation skills.

Those who nominated Edwards for the award cited her ability to work with Centennial Campus Magnet Middle School to navigate the complex logistics of running research studies during the pandemic and her development of innovative processes and procedures for communicating with the school and reporting back to her team at the Friday Institute. 

Several nominators also credited her creation of the Educational Research and Evaluation Internship program with not only providing unique mentoring opportunities for undergraduate students, but helping to improve efficacy, sustainability and productivity among other staff members.

“Creating and managing the internship program was beyond her role and responsibilities; however, Callie saw this program as an opportunity to both enhance our workplace efficiency and develop an innovative way to broaden participation in the educational research and evaluation community,” one colleague wrote in a nomination letter. “Throughout her work, she has always put human needs first, making sure everyone—administrators, teachers, middle school, and graduate students—are always treated with respect.”

The other nominee for the EHRA Award for Excellence was Tish Attayek, director of research development. 

More on SHRA Staff Award for Excellence Recipient John Kelley

In his role with the college, Kelley provides administrative support and handles the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development’s annual reappointment, promotion and tenure cycles. 

His nominator emphasized Kelley’s ability to serve as a positive role model who is always willing and able to offer advice and is able to consistently think outside the box.

“John constantly remains positive and enthusiastic when assisting colleagues. His exceptional skills, professional experience and personal qualities have made him a powerful asset to his department and the college,” the nomination letter said. “His character and integrity are demonstrated with every encounter. His ability to constantly adjust to the environment and make progress is relentless and commendable.” 

Other nominees for the SHRA Award for Excellence were Sukanda Soontiraratn, a post-award specialist in Research Management; June Morton, a fiscal manager in Research Management and Ayelen Valeton, the college’s business service coordinator.