1999 Betty Bentley Award
Linda 'Hoppy' Lancaster was honored with the 1999 Betty Bentley Award at a luncheon on May 28, 1999, at the Holiday Inn, Raleigh, NC. Linda began working in main office of the Department of Plant Pathology in October of 1986. Prior to that she worked for eight years as a teacher's assistant in Wake County. She became the Administrative Secretary in the department in 1993 upon Joyce Johnson's retirement and continued working in that capacity until she retired at the end of last year. Linda has held up the tradition of outstanding Administrative support exemplified by Betty Bentley.
The full citation for Linda takes up two pages, single spaced, which is a true reflection of her accomplishments. Here are some excerpts:
"Expertise and attention to detail describe Ms. Lancaster's grasp of personnel regulations. She became so adept at handling personnel papers that some Human resources personnel suggested that she could set equity salary levels as well as they could."
"Hoppy was responsible for preparing all personnel forms before she became the Administrative Secretary, and continued to handle this work load as she did her new job. Then, due to a budget shortfall, one secretarial position was not refilled. Hoppy took on many of the duties of that position on top of her already tremendous work load. She did the work of several people in a cheerful manner and still had time to answer questions from everyone who came into her office."
"If someone was about to miss a deadline, she e-mailed or called, regardless of whether she would benefit from such action."
"She never ignored an opportunity to insert a nicety on behalf of the department. If someone else was about to miss such an opportunity, Hoppy could be depended upon to make a suggestion with so little presumption that the receiver could almost have thought the idea was his or her own."
"When there were personnel problems, she often suggested ways to make the situation better and how to help people work together."
Hoppy helped to establish the departmental SPA organization and always had time to assist with the organization's activities. The cookbook, the SPA's most successful and well received fundraiser to date, was her suggestion. Sometimes, a project was magically produced at just the right time and under Hoppy's direction. An example of such a project was the video that she and Marvin Williams put together for Boss's Day in 1998.
These suggestions and projects resulted in higher standards and created goodwill between staff persons or between faculty and staff. Her suggestions were always given with the greater good in mind, because her contributions were often invisible to the uninformed or the unaware. She was the catalyst for smooth sailing.
In a large and prestigious department, Hoppy was the consummate team player.
Her excellence in overall job performance, her devotion to duty, her contribution to the departmental community, and her expertise in human relations represent the finest standards of a University employee.
– Dr. Barbara Shew
Dr. Frank Louws (photo)