Banners on Marquette Campus

Trish Johnson, Department of Psychology and Center for Psychological Services

Barbara A. Gaeth, Accounting Assistant, School of Dentistry

Rick Karabon, School of Dentistry

Dan Smith, Information Technology Services

What are University Service Awards?
“Excellence” is exhibited in many different ways at Marquette University, including among staff and administrators. To help celebrate, and encourage, excellence among employees, Marquette University annually honors staff and administrators who exemplify excellence in the work they do.

The 2011 recipients of the Excellence in University Service Awards are Mary Janz, Patricia Johnson, Rick Karabon and Danny Smith.


Mary Janz,
Office of Residence Life

As associate dean for residence life, Janz leads the recruitment, development and evaluation of staff and programs within several residence halls. According to nominators, Janz’s most endearing quality is her caring and compassionate attitude toward students and workers. “She provides the perfect blend of challenge and encouragement, ensuring that she is populating the field of student affairs with professionals who are confident and competent,” said a nominator.

“Much of my work is with young, emerging professional staff,” Janz said. “I have a great opportunity and responsibility to help them learn and grow, helping them acquire good skills that they may take with them as they move up and perhaps on to other institutions.” Students and staff that she has mentored have gone on to institutions that include Clemson, St. Louis, George Mason, Creighton and Bradley universities, among others.

Trish Johnson
Department of Psychology and
Center for Psychological Services

Johnson is enthusiastically cited by her nominators for her ability to deal with multiple tasks simultaneously, showing a positive attitude no matter the circumstances. “Our clinic is required to handle an emergency or two from time-to-time,” said a nominator. “Trish truly is amazing in emergency situations, always remaining calm and professional and ensuring that everyone involved is both physically and emotionally taken care of.”

“Knowing that they are, by definition, in some emotional distress, I strive to be welcoming and empathetic while also getting necessary information in order to make a proper disposition of the case,” said Johnson of CPS clients.

Johnson provides administrative support for the Center for Psychological Services and the Department of Psychology, supervising graduate student clinic assistants and providing secretarial support to department faculty.

Rick Karabon
School of Dentistry

Known throughout the School of Dentistry for his work ethic, helpfulness and humility, Karabon helps run the school’s simulation lab. His responsibilities include preparing the lab for first- and second-year dental students and their instructors. “I truly believe that it is impossible for anyone to do the job better than Rick does it,” said a nominator. “In an environment that is congested with constant stress, he allows his personable and sunny demeanor to lift us all up when we’re having rough days.”
“Servicing these future dentists and interacting with faculty, staff and students is by far the most enjoyable part of my 27 years working for Marquette,” Karabon said. “I feel my service helps the students on the ground level of their dental education in support of the overall mission of the university.”

Dan Smith
Information Technology Services

Smith, deputy chief information officer, oversees e-mail, Lync, PeopleSoft, Oracle e-business, D2L and IT-related projects. “It is amazing to me how dependent organizations are on technology, and Marquette is no different,” said Smith, who was commended for his leadership, technical expertise and problem-solving abilities by nominators. “I enjoy helping people understand how to use new technology to make their jobs easier or more efficient, as well as the ‘keeping the lights on’ aspect of IT Services.”

An example of this occurred on Marquette’s Feb. 2 “snow day” when the air conditioning systems of the data center failed, threatening to shut down the hub of the university’s information technology. “After working over the phone with numerous departments and his own staff, Dan trudged in to assist, climbing over furniture and using a sledge hammer to help open stuck windows in a valiant effort to cool the data center,” said a nominator.