The University of Maine Professional Employees Advisory Council (PEAC) has named Dwane Hutto, Forest Bioproducts Research Institute (FBRI) project manager, and Barbara Ouellette, Honors College coordinator of student academic services and budget, the winners of the 2013 Outstanding Professional Employee Award.
The PEAC selects winners based on the employee’s actions and achievements beyond work responsibilities that positively affect their field, the university and community.
Each winner is awarded $1,000 in recognition of his or her contributions, and will be honored at the Employee Recognition and Achievement Reception and Awards Program May 21.
As project manager, Hutto oversees FBRI’s administrative functions, coordinates project work and collaborates with the institute’s executive director to ensure the efficiency of operations.
Hutto joined FBRI in 2008 after working for three years in the UMaine Process Development Center as group leader in pulping.
FBRI members credit Hutto with being instrumental in helping increase the institute’s support staff from three professionals to six, designing and overseeing the construction of new office space in Jenness Hall, and getting students interested in engineering through department tours and his involvement with the Consider Engineering program.
Hutto is also working with a local middle school teacher to bring engineering principles to the classroom and is designing a workshop to provide hands-on experiences, according to Amy Luce, FBRI technology research center manager who nominated Hutto for the award.
Ouellette, who has served the university for more than 30 years, is responsible for coordinating student academic services and handling the Honors College budget. She has served as an adviser to the dean, and is credited with guiding and supporting the college and interim dean after last year’s unexpected death of Honors College Dean Charlie Slavin. Ouellette also advises and teaches students in the Explorations Program, and acts as a liaison between the Honors College and other colleges on campus.
Ouellette aided in the selection of a new Honors College dean, has served on the Associate Deans and Directors Committee, trained Honors associates, served on Honors thesis committees, worked on the Honors College publication “Minerva,” and coordinated and attended the annual National Collegiate Honors Council Conference.
In addition to her work at UMaine, Ouellette has been involved in the community, volunteering in the NICU at Eastern Maine Medical Center, quilting blankets for children in crisis, serving as a Maine Swimming Association official, and being a United Way team and unit leader.
Ouellette’s professionalism, knowledge, commitment and compassion has greatly influenced the Honors College culture and community, says Melissa Ladenheim, adjunct associate professor in Honors who nominated Ouellette for the award.