“A problem solver,” “calm excellence under fire,” “resourceful” and “responsible” are some of the words used to describe Robin Euler, winner of this year’s Michael R. Ferrari Award.
The annual award, the highest honor given to administrative staff members at Bowling Green, was presented by the person for whom it was named—former BGSU administrator Michael “Mick” Ferrari—at the Administrative Staff Fall Reception Sept. 27.
Euler, a grants development specialist in the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research, received a $1,000 check, a plaque in her honor and a reserved parking space for a year.
Simply being nominated for the award was an honor, the Bowling Green resident said. As for the feeling of joining the group of past recipients, “there’s just no words for it,” she added.
Her nominators expressed their appreciation for her help in obtaining funding for their research projects. “We believe that Robin clearly personifies each and every one of the attributes honored by the award—innovation and initiative, performance, and relationship with the University community,” they wrote.
“For many years, Robin has demonstrated great dedication to Bowling Green State University and the highest level of professionalism. Her excellent work in SPAR is universally respected by BGSU faculty who have written externally funded grant projects. Robin’s contributions are critical to the success that we and other grant recipients at BGSU have achieved.”
Euler is highly competent at working with large, interdisciplinary groups on complex budgets and applications, sometimes in collaboration with other universities, the nominators wrote. And, because of her familiarity with the requirements of each grant agency, she is able to offer advice to maximize the likelihood of funding. She often works long hours to ensure that each project meets its deadlines.
All her nominators added that Euler remains even-tempered and friendly even under looming deadlines and when dealing with frazzled faculty. “Given that many investigators are in a stressed psychological state (to say the least), it is amazing how she remains cool and calm,” one nominator wrote.
As another added, ”Robin’s approach to her work gives new meaning to the word ‘facilitate.’ Robin is truly invaluable to the University community.”
Before presenting the award, established in 1982 in recognition of his accomplishments and service to BGSU, Ferrari—like President Sidney Ribeau earlier in the program—praised administrative staff for their contributions to the University.
Ferrari, who retired as chancellor of Texas Christian University two years ago, also spoke to challenges facing colleges and universities, citing rising costs, competition for private funds and changing demographics as examples.
“No institution will be exempt from the fundamental changes in demographics,” including increasing numbers of students from minority groups, single-parent families and families where English isn’t spoken in the home, he said. In addition, society needs educated people who can think through moral issues and act on their beliefs, and “has never been more in need of ethical leaders,” he maintained.
“There’s reason to believe the challenge for higher education is to educate the next ‘greatest generation,’” he said, invoking Tom Brokaw’s homage to the World War II generation.
Also past president of Drake University, Ferrari spent 12 years at BGSU in various administrative positions, including provost, executive vice president and, in 1981-82, interim president following the death of President Hollis Moore.
“My family and I have been on a remarkable journey since the first day we set foot on this campus in the summer of 1971,” he said, noting that his children still refer to the 12 years they spent growing up in Bowling Green as “the golden years.”
Also at the Sept. 27 reception, ASC presented a special award to Executive Vice President Linda Dobb for distinguished commitment to administrative staff, as well as scholarships to eight BGSU students, each of whom is in the top 10 percent of his or her college.
The application process for the scholarships includes submission of an essay, references, a history of community service and an interview with the scholarship committee.
Scholarship winners included:
• Darcie Pike, a senior from Wauseon majoring in moderate/intensive special education (intervention specialist), who received $1,000.
• Stephanie Kreilick, a senior from Fremont majoring in early childhood education, receiving $600.
• Keeley Dayton, a senior from Tucson, Ariz., majoring in accounting, receiving $300.
• Kyle Gebhart, a senior from Hamilton majoring in popular culture and telecommunications, receiving $300.
• Jessica Rahm, a senior from Versailles majoring in early childhood education, receiving $300.
• Joseph Gerwin, a senior from Bowling Green majoring in integrated mathematics education, receiving $200.
• Melissa Mahek, a senior from Shelby majoring in pre-physical therapy, receiving $200.
• Jennifer Stacy, a junior from Hamilton majoring in early childhood education, receiving $200.