On Monday, December 16, IU Provost Lauren Robel led the annual ceremony to celebrate the “remarkable accomplishments” of six exceptional IUB staff members. Not surprisingly, beloved PBS Human Resources Coordinator Lana Fish was among them. The others were Jay Owens, Douglas J. Burcham, and James Robert Gregg from the Physical Plant, Jennifer Mitchner from SPEA and David Sprinkle in Physics.
Now in its 34th year, the award ceremony is a unique occasion to recognize the immense contributions of IUB staff. Provost Robel set the tone by calling attention to these 5,400 individuals whose work each day literally makes the whole academic enterprise run.
To stand out in such a crowd is no small feat, but if anyone can, it is Lana, who has served the department since 1983, first as clinic coordinator, then as human resources coordinator for the whole department.
The nomination letters for the award passionately and persuasively convey those qualities that made it possible for her do so.
“Hiring Lana Fish,” said one, “proved to be one of the best decisions of my career. As the department’s most dedicated, caring, cheerful, unselfish, reliable, competent, and beloved staff member, she has kept the department running smoothly, happily, and efficiently for many years. With her unassuming, unflappable, loyal, generous, and unerringly competent style, Lana is the consummate example of the ideal professional staff member. IU has been graced by her unsurpassed service.”
“She was my wise mentor,” said another, “training me not to take issues personally, to open my mind to all sides kindly, but logically, to make the best decision for the department, and then to implement that decision transparently, firmly, but with respect for all involved. In summary, this is an outstanding human being and professional who–every day–makes Psychological and Brain Sciences, and IU, work, and does this with a life wisdom that is truly inspirational.”
Or as a third explained, she has been the confidant of four successive chairs, the most senior faculty as well as first-year faculty and graduate students. “Unmatched in her skill, professionalism, diplomacy, and character, her wisdom and unwavering commitment to the good of the whole has made her the bedrock of our department.”
As for Lana herself, she is overcome with emotion in describing the event, especially the response of PBS colleagues, who made up a disproportionately large part of the audience: “To see PBS standing up and cheering, all that support, it was overwhelming.”