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Madelyn M. Levitt Awards honor three Drake University employees

October 15, 2012

Three Drake University employees received Madelyn M. Levitt Awards at the fall convocation in September. Madelyn Levitt, who served as a member of the University’s Board of Trustees before she passed away in 2007, committed herself to Drake through ongoing interest in faculty and staff achievement. In her honor, the awards were created and are the highest honors Drake faculty and staff can receive.

The Madelyn M. Levitt Distinguished Community Service Award was presented to Carole Tillotson, associate director of career development at Drake Law School.

In addition to commitment to community service, recipients are chosen based on their record of leadership or involvement in community projects and personal or professional behaviors and values surrounding the ideals of giving back to others.

“I was floored by the honor and loved the recognition of a 20-year commitment to public service,” Tillotson says. “It is a very special award, and I was thrilled to receive it.”

Tillotson serves as a member of the governor-appointed Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board. While she is involved with the Windsor Heights Community Development Committee and the Drake University Sustainability Oversight Committee, Tillotson also participates in the Terrace Hill Society Historic Gardens Committee and Des Moines Founders Garden Club.

Tillotson’s service at the Law School was recognized with the Drake Student Bar Association President’s Staff Service Award earlier this year.

The Madelyn M. Levitt Employee Excellence Award recognizes employees’ exceptional commitment and performance in their work. This year’s awards were presented to Lorissa Lieurance, director of residence life; and Angela Embree, director of computer information systems.

Lieurance’s nominator noted collaboration, her detail-oriented nature, and promotion of staff development as components to her excellence. In her mission to ensure staff growth, Lieurance expanded resident assistants’ training to include social justice and identity development issues.

“In our department we consistently ask ourselves what is best for the students at Drake University and use this to guide our daily decisions,” Lieurance says. “Being nominated for the Madeline M. Levitt Award is a humbling experience, and I am honored to have been a recipient.”

Embree’s award results from 11 years of helping others fulfill their roles within the University. Her nominator emphasized Embree’s priority to ensure the campus has immediate access to technology as well as her knowledge and expertise in her field.

“It is a great honor to receive the Levitt Award,” Embree says. “We’ve had opportunities to do a lot of work that positively impacts students, faculty, and staff, and that is something I am thankful I can be a part of every day.”