Past Employee(s) of the Year

Employee of year 2014


Ms. Alesia Cummings was chosen from her peers as the Star Employee of the Year! She has worked for the university since April 2006 in the Department of American Indian Studies. Ms. Alesia enjoys her work here at UNCP and explains, “I am fortunate to have supervisors, faculty and co-workers who appreciate my hard work and dedication to UNCP.” She is obviously a hard worker and well thought of, as described in the following comments:

“Alesia Cummings is the glue that holds the American Indian Studies Department together. She is consistently available to help support the faculty and students of American Indian Studies in a wide range of projects that ensure the efficient, productive functioning of our department. She accomplishes all this with warmth, professionalism, and good humor. She takes care of travel arrangements not only for AIS faculty, but for the visitors who come through the Native American Speakers Series and the annual Southeast Indian Studies Conference, and she is a primary organizer of the annual Honoring Native Foodways fall event. On a daily basis, Alesia fields calls and in-person requests from the campus and local community, students, and faculty, who often require immediate attention, whether this is about a student scheduling issue or a community question regarding American Indian issues. She is always professional and accommodating on the front line, and presents a warm and welcoming face to the front office of our department, which increases office morale. Not only is Alesia a pleasure to work with but to drop by and chat with in between classes or other tasks. She always makes time for students, faculty, and staff because she genuinely cares about them; she never needs to be asked twice about accomplishing tasks; she is always prompt in following up on diverse projects without having to be reminded. Further, she is now working a second job on top of her full-time AIS job because of financial necessity. Despite Alesia's ever-increasing workload -- especially with the addition this year of a director of the Southeast American Indian Studies Program, for whom Alesia also works -- Alesia continues to be a dedicated and positive staff member who puts the needs of others before her own.”

“Alesia Cummings is the Administrative Support Associate and Web Information Coordinator for both the Department of American Indian Studies (AIS) and the Southeast American Indian Studies Program (SAIS). That job title is telling because Cummings does the work of two (at least!) people, and she does an outstanding job of it.

As the sole AIS staff member, Cummings is responsible for coordinating the logistics of depart-mental events including the Native American Speaker Series and the Southeast Indian Studies Conference. Faculty members make initial contacts with speakers and brainstorm the content, but Cummings ensures we have appropriate venues, refreshments, honorarium checks, travel arrangements, and hotel accommodations. Since Jane Haladay and I arrived here, these visits by distinguished guests have grown in complexity as we want to give students, faculty, staff, and community members multiple opportunities to meet with speakers. We now ask her to help us arrange receptions, meals, and meet-and-greets, too, and she never drops the ball. I can count on her to get things perfect and to make an outstanding impression on our guests. She handles even the most difficult of people (and some of these prestigious scholars and activists, we have learned, have not been easy people with whom to work!) with grace. This work is extremely important to the mission of AIS, and we couldn’t do it without Cummings. This past year, Cummings has taken on the additional administrative work of the new SAIS. Her expertise, professionalism, and commitment are essential to the successful development of this program. Although it isn’t directly related to her job description, it is worth noting that during the past year, Cummings maintained her excellent performance while carrying a heavy burden – her beloved only son Christian was deployed to Afghanistan. A lesser person would have been distracted and let some things slip. Not Cummings. Although she clearly was worried for her son, she continued to put other people’s sons and daughters first while she was at work. This award would mean a great deal to her, and she is extremely deserving of it.”