Cameron University staff members Jenny Breeden and James Isham are the recipients of the Spring 2013 semester’s Pickaxe Awards, which recognize full-time Cameron employees who have made an extraordinary effort on Cameron’s behalf. Breeden is the program coordinator for the Southwest Area Health Education Center, and Isham is the heavy equipment operator in the Department of Physical Facilities. Each received a $500 stipend and a commemorative award.
The Pickaxe Award is presented each semester to recognize full-time employees whose performance exceeds the expectations of their job descriptions. The award recipients have made a contribution and/or commitment that has resulted in a significant difference to Cameron students, visitors, or other employees, or whose commitment to their job responsibilities, department, or the university stands out as a clear example to all other employees. Award recipients must have been employed full-time at least one year at Cameron. Nominations were made by Cameron students, faculty and staff. Recipients were selected by the university’s Executive Council.
Breeden was recognized for her outreach to individuals in need and her work in the Lawton/Fort Sill community to provide healthcare resources at little or no cost to uninsured persons. She was nominated by a team of eight Cameron employees, who said Breeden “is the most creative person we have ever known at finding resources” to respond to the needs of low income of students and members of the community. The nominated cited her role in the establishment of Hearts That Care Free Clinic, which helps provide medical care to uninsured individuals, as well as her work to identify assets that will provide a mobile dentist service to provide free care to needy children.
Breeden also plays a positive role in the lives of Cameron students. In addition to assisting students who are pursuing careers in health professions by identifying job shadowing and placement opportunities, she is a champion for Cameron students who are facing severe disabilities. “In just the last year, she has endeavored nonstop to attempt to find physicians and hospital services for two international students with severe disabilities,” the nomination says. Breeden takes it upon herself to transport these students to medical appointments and to identify possible courses of treatment. She often pays for appointments out of her own pocket and has successfully identified a surgeon who will donate her services free of charge.
“She often buys groceries for students that are faced with dire circumstances while they work hard to succeed academically,” the nomination continues. “Without the assistance Jenny offers, these students would have very little hope of having a chance to overcome their serious challenges.”
Isham was recognized for his contributions to making Cameron’s campus “a beautiful and inviting campus,” according to one nominator, who also referred to him as a “self-starter who does quality work and makes sure his duties are handled in a professional and timely manner.” Other nominators concurred. “He is good to help other departments as needed as well as outside contractors that may require his help,” one wrote, referring to Isham’s willingness to assist independent contractors who may need his expertise while working on the Cameron campus.
In addition, Isham’s positive attitude was acknowledged. One nominator said, “James always makes a point to acknowledge you and is very friendly to everyone. He is always willing to help out in any way he can.”
He was also cited for maintaining Cameron’s heavy equipment so that it is always ready for use in order to avoid delaying projects.
One nominator concluded the nomination by saying, “We are lucky to have him in Physical Facilities and need more like him.”
May 14, 2013