Time to nominate a co-worker for the 2016 LITS Significant Contribution Award

Photo illustration of a golden trophyNominations are currently being sought for 2016 LITS Significant Contribution Awards. Many of our employees have made key milestone contributions toward LITS objectives or Emory’s mission during fiscal year 2016. If you happen to work with, or manage, someone who has made such a contribution, please document the details of this achievement on the nomination form (sent to staff on September 16) and submit your nomination to Khadijah Muhammad at khadijah [dot] muhammad [at] emory [dot] edu by Friday, September 30.

A committee comprised of LITS Directors, Library Cabinet members, and Human Resources will review the nominations and determine award recipients.

Below are some frequently asked questions and answers that will help explain the nature of this award program, and further details are outlined in the attached nomination form.

What is the LITS Significant Contribution Award?

It is formal recognition of individuals or teams who have made significant contributions to the achievement of LITS objectives and/or Emory’s mission over the past year. This particular award program is modeled after the Emory Award of Distinction, with a few modifications to fit the unique needs and culture of our division.

Who is eligible to be nominated?

With the exception of Directors, Library Cabinet members, and student employees, all LITS employees are eligible and nominations can be submitted by any LITS employee. Also, teams as well as individuals can be nominated. Please note however that any nominations under the category of “Leadership” should recognize the work of an individual.

What is the eligible timeframe for these awards?

Nominations should be for contributions made during the 2016 fiscal year (September 2015 – August 2016).

What are the award categories?

LITS employees can be nominated in any of the following categories (see the attached nomination form for definitions of each award category):

  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Operational Excellence/Exceptional Service
  • Creativity/Innovation
  • Community Relations/Citizenship
  • Leadership

What will the award entail?

Award recipients will be publicly recognized at an upcoming LITS all-hands meeting, invited to attend a special post-meeting reception in their honor, and will receive a physical award to recognize their contribution, along with a modest cash award in accordance with program guidelines.

How is this different from the Significant Contribution Awards issued by the Library in the past?

It’s similar in general concept to the program that had existed previously in the library. However, the award categories have been modified somewhat and there are no limits or quotas on the number of award recipients per category.

Are there other rewards and recognition programs available within LITS?

Yes, managers also have the option of awarding spot bonuses, gift cards, or merchandise to reward extra effort, exceptional service, innovation and other key performance contributions. Spot awards can be issued at any time of year, generally as close to the nominating event as possible. Award size and type will vary based on the contribution and can be approved by department Directors or Library Cabinet members, and administered by LITS Human Resources.

Thank you for your consideration as we look forward to recognizing the great work that is being done throughout the division. Please let me know if you have questions.

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Update from HR

Graphic with "Comings & Goings"

Regular Conversions:

  • Anandi Salinas, Ctr Digital Scholarship, reporting to Wayne Morse , effective 9/1/16 (…bio coming soon).


  • Elizabeth Shoemaker, Rose Library Operations, reporting to Carrie Hintz, effective 8/10/16.
  • Rohith Mandala, Middleware & Web, reporting to Kevin Chen, effective, 8/29/16.
  • Ellen Ambrosone, Area Studies Librarian, reporting to Guo-Hua Wang, effective, 9/6/16.
  • Olubajo Sonubi, Teaching & Learning Tech, reporting to Lee Clontz, effective, 8/8/16.
  • Chella Vaidyanathan, Humanities Librarian, reporting to James Steffen, effective, 9/1/16.
  • Geofrey Munyao, IT Service Management, reporting to Sriram Chari, effective, 9/6/16.
  • Amy Walker, Product Management, reporting to Patrick Maloney, effective, 9/19/16.
  • Stephen Bransford, Ctr Digital Scholarship, reporting to Wayne Morse Jr., effective, 9/1/16.
  • Becky Herring, Library Events, reporting to Leslie Wingate, effective, 8/19/16.
  • Rebecca Sherman, Rose Library Operations, reporting to Carrie Hintz , effective 8/29/16.


  • Library Events, Julie Braun’s last day was 8/24/16.
  • Emory Center for Digital Scholarship, Leah Chuchran’s last day was 8/10/16.
  • Database Administration, Paramjeet Gill’s last day was 8/12/16.
  • Emory Center for Digital Scholarship, Sarah Melton’s last day was 8/26/16.
  • Emory Center for Digital Scholarship, Alan Pike’s last day was 8/18/16.
  • ILL and Reserves, Kitty Quitmeyer’s last day was 8/12/16.


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Ken Blacow, Senior IT Specialist, IT Security

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“It’s a great team environment here, as opposed to working by myself. It’s great to be a part of the team.” – Ken Blacow

Ken Blacow (pronounced BLAY-koh) is a senior IT specialist and PCI subject matter expert (PCI is the security standard in the payment card industry) and has been in that position since April.

Before he came to Emory, Ken spent 26 years in the movie theater business. He rose from the humble beginnings of tearing tickets and selling concessions to working as a projectionist and eventually becoming general manager. In 1998, Ken transferred into the IT department with Regal Cinemas and started working in IT security 2001. Prior to joining Emory, Ken was a one-person IT department with the Georgia Theatre Company.

Ken was born in Norfolk, VA, but grew up in Key West, FL. Over his years in the movie business, Ken moved a few times between Georgia and Knoxville, TN, before arriving in higher education. According to Ken, “I saw an opportunity to get a more focused career in IT security. I felt like Emory was a great place to do that.”

For fun, Ken likes to play golf. He has a pilot’s license, but doesn’t have time to fly much anymore. Ken also loves spending time with his wife, Jana.

“There is a great team environment here at Emory, as opposed to working by myself. It’s great to be a part of the team.”

You can reach Ken at kenneth [dot] m [dot] blacow [at] emory [dot] edu.

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Nataliya Bykova, IT Compliance Manager, Enterprise IT Security

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“I have only been here for three months but I’ve learned more here than in my previous jobs. Emory is an open environment which made the transition easier.”

Nataliya Bykova (pronounced nah-TAL-yuh BIK-oh-vah) recently joined the Enterprise Information Security team as the IT compliance manager, joining a newly formed team in April.

Before coming to Emory, Nataliya was the senior manager of information security at AON insurance company (eventually known as Ventive Technology.) She also spent four years at Coca-Cola Enterprises as their IT compliance lead. Nataliya’s first job in the U.S. was with Suntrust, where she began as an information security analyst.

Born in Pavlodar, Kazakhstan, Nataliya attended Pedagogical University, where she was able to earn a bachelor of arts degree in English so she could teach English as a second language in her country. After accomplishing her goals, she came to the U.S. in 1998 and received her master’s of science degree in information security, with a concentration in networking, from Kennesaw State University.

For fun, Nataliya enjoys any outdoor activities involving water and the beach. She also loves gardening, relaxing, and reading. Nataliya has two kids, a sixteen-year-old daughter who is in the marching band and an eleven-year-old son who is a soccer player.

“I am working with a great group,” said Nataliya. “I have only been here for three months but I’ve learned more here than in my previous jobs. Emory is an open environment which made the transition easier.”

You can reach Nataliya at nataliya [dot] bykova [at] emory [dot] edu.

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Justin Henderson, Engineer I, Network Operations Center

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“I’m enthusiastic to be working here,” said Justin. “I’m learning something new everyday. There are always challenges.” – Justin Henderson

Justin Henderson has been promoted to engineer I in the Network Operation Center. Before that he was in Field Services for three years.

Justin worked as an Emory contractor pulling low voltage cable for Summit Systems in Buford, GA for six years. Before that Justin was your favorite bartender at Famous Pub and Sports Palace. “I make a mean Long Island Iced Tea,” quipped Justin.

An Electronics graduate of the Community College of the Air Force in Milledgeville, GA, Justin was born in Athens, Greece in a military family (his mother is Greek).

His favorite hobby is playing with his “maltipoochie” (Maltese, poodle, and chihuahua) named Meekri, which means “little one” in Greek.

“I’m enthusiastic to be working here,” said Justin. “I’m learning something new everyday. There are always challenges.”

You can reach Justin at justin [dot] s [dot] henderson [dot] jr [at] emory [dot] edu.

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Jason Nguyen, Network Engineer, Network Engineering

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“It is so amazing working with many brilliant and talented people in this positive environment. It is an honor to work here at Emory.”- Jason Nguyen

Jason Nguyen (pronounced WIN) recently became one of the newest network engineers on the Network Engineering Run team. Before coming to Emory, he worked at Georgia Tech as a data center specialist for about six and a half years. Prior to that, he spent two years with Web.com as a systems administrator. Jason also worked as a technical analyst with Citigroup for about a year.

Born in Oahu, Hawaii, Jason moved to New Jersey, where he attended Rutgers University and earned his bachelor’s degree in information systems. He also has worked toward becoming a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).

Jason enjoys reading, traveling, volunteering, doing charity work, and biking.

“It is so amazing working with many brilliant and talented people in this positive environment. It is an honor  to work here at Emory.”

You can reach him at jason [dot] nguyen [at] emory [dot] edu.

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