Abbott Wins STAR Leadership Award

Assistant director of Administrative Services lauded for her quick thinking, hard work after new protocol announced

By Roger AndersonMarch 19, 2018

Beth Abbott knew that February’s Office for Research (OR) staff recognition and appreciation event would conclude with the presentation of the STAR Leadership Award, bestowed quarterly for service excellence in OR.

However, she didn’t know that it would be her own dedication to detail being acknowledged in front of more than 100 colleagues.

“I was completely surprised,” said Abbott, who helped prepare remarks read by Vice President for Research Jay Walsh. “Clearly there was an addition to the script that I was unaware of. I’m honored to have shared the spotlight with so many deserving nominees who do such amazing work every day.

As assistant director of OR’s Administrative Services, it was Abbott’s timely reaction to a recently announced hiring process change that garnered the attention of coworkers, who nominated her for the honor.

“She worked incredibly fast, provided edits, sought additional information when necessary, and was able to submit a substantial number of requests by the first deadline,” said Walsh, reading from the official nomination. “Beth remained calm, focused, and deliberate in getting an incredible amount of work completed in a short period of time.”

Abbott joined Northwestern more than 17 years ago in a role supporting Professor Robert Chang’s Materials World Modules research grant. She then became the business administrator for the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences before accepting a position in the Dean’s Office at the McCormick School of Engineering.

For the past year, Abbott has served as assistant director of Administrative Services, where she manages OR human resource activities, which include staff recruitment, retention, compensation, employee relations, performance management, and professional development for staff within research units and in University Research Institutes and Centers. She also oversees staff recognition, including the OR STAR events.

Abbott was recognized alongside fellow nominees Ryan Brooks from the Center for Comparative Medicine, Kevin Johnson at the Innovations and New Ventures Office, Avi Neurohr with Information Technology, and Cathy Neuses in Sponsored Research.

Walsh also acknowledged staff anniversaries at the Chicago event, including:

  • Ann K. Adams, 10 years
  • Ronnie Anderson, 10 years
  • Nicholas Angeloni, 5 years
  • Taylor Carl, 5 years
  • Theo Downs, 10 years
  • Jena Komosamerle, 5 years
  • Claire Landis, 5 years
  • Anne Martin, 5 years
  • Paul Mireles, 10 years
  • Timothy Simmons, 5 years
  • Jacqueline Simon-Flowers, 10 years
  • Iwona Spath, 10 years
  • Timothy Weber, 15 years

Abbott and Landis also were recognized for recently receiving Northwestern University Service Excellence Awards.