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Employee Recognition

NC State Honors Employees for Service to the University and State

A picture of Tracy Brown in front of sign for the Service Awards.
Tracy Brown, the executive assistant for John Gilligan, the executive associate dean of the College of Engineering, has worked at NC State for 20 years. In July, Brown attended the Service Awards breakfast, an event NC State hosts to recognize employees for their service to the university and the state of North Carolina.

When NC State staff member Tracy Brown moved from Chicago to North Carolina in 2002 to housesit for her sister, she didn’t intend to make this state her home.

Her destiny changed in 2003 when she took a temporary job at NC State to earn some income. Eight months after Brown took that temporary position, she became a permanent employee at NC State. What cemented her stay in North Carolina and at NC State was her experience of working as an executive assistant for Joseph Zublena, a former CALS associate dean and director, starting in December 2003.

“He was awesome as my boss,” Brown said. “He let me lead when I needed to, and he gave me every opportunity I needed to grow.”

Twenty years later, Brown is the executive assistant for John Gilligan, the executive associate dean of the College of Engineering. NC State invited Brown and 441 other employees to the Service Awards breakfast at the McKimmon Center in July to honor them for their years of service to the university and the state of North Carolina. 

The university sends employees their first invitation to the annual breakfast when they reach their five-year service milestone. They receive an invitation to return to the breakfast each time they achieve another five-year milestone. NC State honors employees who reach 25 years of service at a separate event at the chancellor’s home. 

The employees honored at last month’s breakfast reached their service milestones between January and June 2023. The university will honor employees who will reach their service milestones between July and December 2023 at a reception Dec. 1.  

Employees Honored for Service Milestones
Number of EmployeesYears of Service

At the breakfast, in July the honorees sat at tables with colleagues from their colleges and divisions. The guest speakers for the event were Chancellor Randy Woodson and Tim Danielson, associate vice chancellor for human resources.

“I think the event went well,” said Avery Tuttle, a recognition university program specialist and an organizer of the breakfast. “We have tried to enhance this event and give the honorees an opportunity to eat, socialize and network. We want to ensure people are honored for all the work and time they have given to NC State and the state of North Carolina.”

Brown said she is thankful for her 20-year career at NC State and for the university’s recognition of her service.

“I have had opportunities here I may not have gotten at other places,” she said. “I’ve stayed here because of some of those opportunities and some of the flexibility you have working at NC State.”

Shirley Harris, a building environmental supervisor, was among the employees honored at the Service Awards breakfast in July. Harris has been working at NC State for 35 years.

Shirley Harris, a building environmental supervisor, attended the breakfast to celebrate her 35 years of service at the university.

“It was a wonderful breakfast,” she said. “The meal was delicious. I talked to people I didn’t know and people I didn’t realize had as much service at the university as I do.”

As a building environmental supervisor, Harris manages 20 employees who clean 11 buildings, including Holladay and Winslow halls.

“I hadn’t planned on staying here this long, but once I got here I saw I could help,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed working with the faculty and staff, the students and everybody else I’ve come in contact with.”