On Tuesday, December 4, 2019, the faculty and staff of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences came together for the annual Mary Roper Award reception. This event honors staff members whose contributions to the college reflect the example of Mary Roper, whose lengthy and dedicated work for the college and the university set high standards for professionalism and service. The award recognizes the recipient’s dedication and outstanding service in support of the college’s core goals: improving the quality of the liberal arts experience for all students, increasing the capacity for noteworthy and innovative scholarship, and creating and strengthening external relationships.
This year’s awardee was Stephanie Hinnenkamp, the college’s graduate admissions coordinator. “I was completely caught off guard,” she said, when she learned that she had been named.
At the ceremony, however, as Dean Ann Ardis shared some of the enthusiastic testimonials sent in support of Hinnenkamp’s selection, there was no question that her work made her a clear choice for the honor.
“Stephanie is not only extraordinarily good at her job, but she is also an incredibly warm, patient and supportive person,” said one commenter.
“Stephanie is a strong, fearless and dedicated supporter of the CHSS Graduate Admissions office. She advocates for the team, departments and students without hesitation - always looking out for what is best for the students and the admissions process,” added another.
“Stephanie was [our department’s] lifeline when the university switched admissions software platforms,” related another happy colleague. “She was incredibly responsive and helpful during that time, as well as creative, resourceful, and dogged in helping us to solve problems. And while she solves problems with speed, determination and expertise, she always manages to communicate warmth and geniality in her interactions with those for whom she is solving problems.”
Hinnenkamp accepted the award before an enthusiastic group of colleagues, family, previous award recipients, and Mary Roper herself. She spoke about Roper’s dedication and contributions to Mason, and thanked her for the work she has done for the community. She noted the support that she has received from the team in the dean’s office, and recognized her husband, Mark, and their children, recalling that the skills learned in parenting – problem solving, advocacy, negotiation, patience, flexibility, and a sense of humor – have served her well in her role within the college.
“Before I received this award,” she said, “I truly did not understand the significance of what it means. I do love that it’s a college celebration, and everyone seems to understand the significance of that. It’s very unifying.
“It was a lovely event and I feel very honored to be included in ‘Mary’s club.’”
January 15, 2020