Jim Powers Kylie Rawlins Tilly Woodward
The Staff Council recognized three staff members with the spring 2023 Staff Council Grand Grinnellian Award. Each of the winners has demonstrated a commitment and dedication to the College through the excellent performance of their duties, while also representing the core values of the institution, our THRIVE principles, and the mission of Grinnell College.
Jim Powers, executive director of special projects for the Office of Communications and Marketing, has had a remarkable 35-year career with the College, spanning five decades and seven presidents. His nominator described Jim as a kind and generous colleague, always willing to listen, encourage, and assist anyone in any role.
Jim personifies and practices the values and the mission of the College, both as an individual and as a professional. He cheerfully and effectively works with people across all areas of campus. Working on a project with Jim is exciting, because whatever you give him will come back to you so much better than you ever imagined. He’s a tireless practitioner and advocate for teamwork. He truly listens to the ideas of his collaborators. He shares the praise when things go well and will take responsibility when they don’t.
Jim is a true artist, and his amazing visual style shows in everything he does. His artistic sensibilities, graphic skills, design aesthetics, keen eye, and visual imagination beautifully represent Grinnell to the world. He has a very genuine belief in the mission and values of the College and has played a primary role in developing the brand that helps communicate and personify the College’s distinctions to perspective students, alumni, the campus community, and the public.
“After working at the College for over 35 years, it was a nice surprise to receive this recognition,” said Powers. “I credit the staff council for working hard to create opportunities for us to celebrate one another. Their efforts make a terrific place to work even better.”
Kylie Rawlins, academic assistant II for the Dean of the College in the Science Division, was recognized for her tenacity, values, and principles. Kylie’s nominator spoke of her dedication to her job and willingness to lend a hand to others.
Many of you are likely familiar with the invaluable work of staff in the academic support offices, which benefit not only faculty, but also staff and students alike. Every day, a team of dedicated individuals works tirelessly to ensure that these offices run smoothly. Recently, one office faced a challenge: the team went from three full-time staff to just one. Despite the overwhelming workload, Kylie rose to the challenge with admirable flexibility and an unwavering commitment to the well-being of those she supported. Even in the face of unimaginable stress, she never let it show to those she was helping. Instead, she encouraged them to bring her tasks, ensuring that the office’s impact was undiminished.
Through it all, Kylie remained determined to get the job done, even if that meant asking for help from others. Her dedication to the office was nothing short of inspiring, and she continues to train and support new staff members with patience, kindness, and understanding.
“It was a great honor to receive this award, and I am appreciative of the recognition from whoever nominated me,” noted Rawlins. “Our staff council does a really incredible job at putting together awards like this and it creates awareness of the different roles that staff have across the campus community.”
Tilly Woodward, curator of academic and community outreach for Grinnell College Museum of Art, was recognized for her commitment to excellence in all her work with the campus and community. Her nominator shared that everything Tilly does is aligned with the College’s mission, core values, and THRIVE principles. Her programs are inclusive and make everyone feel welcome in the museum.
In the past six months, Tilly has been working with 22 faculty members to create customized museum visits tailored to the course curriculum for Grinnell College students, organizing lunches for students to speak with visiting scholars, and collaborating with various departments to host events such as author talks and museum careers roundtables. Additionally, Tilly has been involved in coordinating a fall study break and virtual sessions; she is also currently teaching a session of First-year Experience.
Tilly’s exceptional abilities extend beyond working with faculty and students to include engaging diverse community groups through a variety of outreach programs. Over the last six months, she has facilitated nine museum-based programs for neurodiverse adults, provided 18 art experiences for young audiences through local preschools, and mentored Grinnell College students in leading 16 programs for Mayflower residents with memory issues and 16 after-school art programs for the local middle school. She also coordinates a weekly yoga class in collaboration with Live Well Grinnell.
“I'm honored by the award, and extremely grateful to be able to work with remarkable staff, faculty, student and community colleagues,” noted Woodward. “I'm lucking to have a job that allows me to connect with and serve people in creative and meaningful ways, and hopefully do some good in the world.”
The Staff Council presents the Grand Grinnellian Award in collaboration with the Office of the President, the Office of Human Resources, and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.