news-category: Campus News

Fall 2020 Top Dawg Winners Surprised with Award Presentation

The winners of the first two Top Dawg Awards

Ashley Chapman and Mavia Lee Chosen for their Exceptional Contributions to GWU 

The first two winners of the Top Dawg Award were recognized on Oct. 22, 2020. They are Ashley Chapman, administrative assistant to the School of Psychology and Counseling, and Mavia Lee, assistant vice president for Digital Learning. Sponsored by the Gardner-Webb Staff Council, the Top Dawg Award promotes excellence and provides visible recognition of exceptionally consistent and superior performance of GWU staff.

Two Top Dawg Awards will be given in the fall and spring of each academic year. Nominations will be accepted at the beginning of each semester. Nominations are received from faculty, staff, and students who complete a survey through Qualtrics.

The awards are made possible by a gift from Dr. Don Caudill, in memory of his father, Alfred Caudill, and in honor of his mother, Shirley Wampler Caudill. Each winner received a plaque, a gift basket with assorted goods (GWU coffee mug, coffee and hot chocolate K-cups, and a GWU bracelet) and a $100 gift card to the campus shop.

Members of the Staff Council and Mac present the Top Dawg award to Ashley Chapman. From left are Jennifer McSwain, Stacy Simmons (Staff Council co-chair), Mac, Ashley and Stephanie Allen.

Ashley Chapman

Those who nominated Chapman said she works out of the kindness of her heart and is always willing to help no matter the job or activity. “She goes above and beyond her job title,” one nominator wrote. Another person said that Chapman is working for three different departments and “wholeheartedly accepts responsibility for any work requests from all of the faculty members, without questioning or complaint.” A faculty member added, “Ashley demonstrates the true spirit of Christianity, selflessness, compassion, and support. She volunteers for on-campus activities, promotes GWU off campus, promotes charity and gives freely of herself.”

Chapman said she is very humbled to have been nominated for this award. “I’m so very thankful to get to work with some awesome people who are like family,” she affirmed. “Thank you all who voted for me. I love my job here at Gardner-Webb!”

Presenting the Top Dawg award to Mavia Lee are, from left, Stephanie Allen, Jennifer McSwain, Lee, Mac, Stacy Simmons (Staff Council co-chair) and GWU President Dr. William M. Downs.

Mavia Lee

Nominations for Lee described her as someone who takes her job seriously and does it with grace and compassion. One student mentioned that Lee was available after hours to answer questions. Staff members wrote that Lee’s leadership has resulted in dramatic improvements in Degree Completion Program (DCP) enrollment and retention. “She has put together a team that supports each other and the mission of DCP while fostering goodwill across campus with other departments and administration,” said one nominator. Another person wrote, “She keeps everyone motivated and inspired to be our best. We have become a dynamic team under her leadership. She always listens to our ideas and many have been implemented during her tenure.”

Lee shared that she is extremely honored to receive the “Top Dawg” award. “I’m earnestly grateful for the recognition I have received for my exceptional and superior performance here at Gardner-Webb University,” she related. “This role has strengthened me to make me the person I am today; someone who sets her eyes on a goal and does not lose sight of it, unless it is achieved. Winning this award would not have been possible without the inspiration I have received from my leaders and the Digital Learning team, for whom I have the deepest respect, and from whom I have derived the strength to challenge myself and perform better at each year.”

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