2020 Presidential Awards for staff announced

Author: Emily Knouse, Human Resources

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The Presidential Awards recognize staff members for their significant contributions to the betterment of the University and whose actions exemplify Notre Dame’s Core Values: Accountability, Teamwork, Integrity, Leadership in Excellence and Leadership in Mission. Any Notre Dame employee can nominate a staff member for an award. A selection committee reviews the nominations and presents recommendations to the Executive Vice President and the Vice President of Human Resources for final approval. There are six recipients of the award for 2020.


This award recognizes staff members whose performance reflects the University’s core values.

Darrell Rowell
Darrell Rowell

Darrell Rowell
Custodial Crew Leader
Custodial Services

Darrell works for Building Services as the second shift custodian in the LaFortune Student Center. He is responsible for cleaning the upper floors and maintaining all other floors during his shift. Described as steady as a rock and extremely dependable, Darrell is a vital resource for our student Building Managers, Event Assistants and Information Desk workers. He always does his job with a smile and a willingness to help anyone who needs it, even if it is not part of his job description. He consistently goes above and beyond to make sure things run smoothly. Darrell is known for his willing attitude, his lending hand and his genuine smile. He makes the world a better place.

Jennifer Wittenbrink Ortega

Jennifer Wittenbrink Ortega
Literacy Program Director II
Robinson Community Learning Center

Jennifer embodies the University’s mission through her work as a literacy program director at the Robinson Community Learning Center (RCLC), the Center for Civic Engagement and in her everyday life as a servant leader embodying the social mission of the Catholic Church. At the RCLC Jennifer noticed that mothers with young children were unable to participate in the center’s English as a New Language (ENL) classes due to a lack of child care. Jennifer took the initiative to create the ENL preschool, which has been an incredible success. In addition to her professional achievements and contributions, Jennifer inspires others by how she treats people. Everyday, she seeks to reach out to communities that experience poverty, injustice and oppression. She makes people’s lives better and richer by making them feel seen, important, listened to and loved.


This designation celebrates staff supervisors and exempt or non-exempt staff for outstanding servant leadership.

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Calvin Metts

Calvin Metts
Senior Sous Chef
Morris Inn

Calvin is the senior sous chef at the Morris Inn. He exhibits exemplary leadership at Notre Dame and in his local community. At Notre Dame, he encourages his team to stretch their skills and potential career growth by giving them the freedom to create new menu items and to be more involved in special events. In his local community, Calvin created “Cooking with the Cops.” This initiative encourages children to explore a future in the culinary industry while giving them the opportunity to build relationships with police officers. Calvin takes ownership, responsibility and great pride in being a force for good. He has a heart for the future generation, a positive attitude and demonstrated the utmost humility and kindness.

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Tina Jankowski

Tina Jankowski
Associate Director of Law School Administration
Dean's Office-Law School

Tina is the associate director of finance and administration at the Law School. In addition to supporting the school’s financial function, she supervises the administrative staff members who work directly with the law faculty. Tina jumped into the role of de facto director of finance and administration when her previous supervisor was unable to continue. She spent countless hours working with Dean Nell Jessup Newton and provided the financial and administrative support necessary for the Law School to excel without a complaint. Tina continued in that role during the transition in Law School leadership to Dean G. Marcus Cole. Both deans describe her service to the Law School as “heroic.” Tina provides outstanding service with an unwavering positive attitude. She is the first person to volunteer to help and is always kind, giving and responsive.


This award recognizes breakthrough initiatives, extraordinary innovations and significant contributions to the University’s long-term success.

Brandi Klingerman
Brandi Wampler

Brandi Wampler
Research Communications Specialist
Notre Dame Research

Brandi is the research communications specialist for Notre Dame Research. Her excellent technical writing skills have brought ND Research to the national forefront. Brandi’s articles have been published on campus, regional and international media outlets for science and engineering. She has mastered the art of taking the University’s more complex research projects and turning them into compelling content that is both accurate in its description of the science and digestible for audiences outside the science community, making Notre Dame’s research accessible to all. In her past four years of service, Brandi has exhibited the kind of work ethic and professionalism that one wishes were characteristic of every team member. Her dedication and drive to improve her organization has been truly admirable.

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Scott Rhinehart

Scott Rinehart
Director of Media Technology
Notre Dame Studios

Scott is the director of broadcast technology at Notre Dame Studios. Through his technical knowledge, industry relationships and commitment to Notre Dame’s mission, he is the driving force behind Notre Dame’s leading video production and asset management capabilities. Scott was relentless in thinking big and advocating for a technology solution that would serve the University for years to come. Thanks in large part to him, the Martin Media Center has been recognized by HPCwire, Sports Video Group, TVTechnology and other industry groups for its cutting-edge, IP-based technology. Scott’s work ethic, service-orientation and commitment to Notre Dame’s mission is unrivaled. He continually sharpens his industry knowledge and relationships so he can position Notre Dame Studios for technical improvements on the horizon.

Originally published by Emily Knouse, Human Resources at ndworks.nd.edu on November 13, 2020.