River Falls native Gerda Benedict is the recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence at UW-River Falls. The award is the highest that can be accorded to members of the university's "Fourth Division" of administrators and faculty members who work in support functions. The recipient is selected through nominations by faculty and staff members and is based on exceptional service to the university.
Benedict, who serves as the assistant director for University Services/Food Services, joined the university in 1979 and has been in her present position since 1982.
Thibodeau noted that Benedict "is a person who is a true professional. Her performance is consistently superior. She works in a fluid, difficult area that is filled with stress and time-lines that require her to respond to many demanding requests. She does that exceedingly well.
"She is a role model for other professionals; her contributions were recognized as outstanding by her peers, who nominated her for this award.
"Her professional interaction with her peers and the public is outstanding," Thibodeau said.
Her peers who nominated her for the award commented, "Gerda is hardworking, conscientious, loyal and trustworthy. She is willing to do whatever is necessary to ensure a successful program. She shows a great deal of care for those whom she works with and this care speaks well for the university."
Another wrote, "Daily contacts for Gerda vary from custodian and cooks to production managers and PFM's (Professional Food Services Management) CEO to faculty and administration, and, of course, students. Gerda has excellent human relations skills. She is a team player and sensitive to individual needs as well as that of the university as a whole."
Benedict and her husband DeWayne have three children: Paula, who is a UWRF senior; Michael, who is a UWRF freshman; and Corey, who is a junior at River Falls Senior High.