Published: April 16, 2019

Five outstanding colleagues have been named employees of the year by the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder.


Top row, left to right: Jaime Birren, Katie Clark and Paula Dufour. Bottom row: Tim Lim and Donna Maes.

The honorees are:

  • Jaime Birren, procurement program manager in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology 
  • Katie Clark, office manager in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 
  • Paula Dufour, program assistant in the Department of Linguistics 
  • Tim Lim, facilities manager in the Department of Physics
  • Donna Maes, office manager in the Department of Mathematics

James W.C. White, interim dean of the college, recently notified the recipients of the awards, which include a $1,500 bonus.

Birren was commended for her leadership in procurement and purchasing, along with her “can do” helpful attitude and “conscientious and proactive efforts to instill confidence and knowledge with department purchasers, through one-on-one training” and through “Painless Procurement” workshops she has led. 

Further, Birren “helped drive changes and enhancements” toward CU’s strategic procurement goals, White said, also praising her “interpersonal and inspired leadership skills.” 

Clark was praised for her “professionalism, excellent management skills, and boundless initiative,” for her successful efforts to streamline and modernize office systems, procedures and records and for training others in best practices. “Your nominators all describe your contributions as being transformative for the smooth functioning and management” of the department, White wrote. 

Additionally, Clark was cited for helping to navigate the department through a challenging period of staff vacancies. 

Dufour was cited for“demonstrated integrity, fiscal prudence, dedication, professionalism, while taking ‘complete ownership’ of the job” during her longstanding tenure in linguistics, White stated, adding: 

“Department members particularly note your generous patience and compassion towards all in the diverse CU community, your personal interest in students’ welfare, and your proven initiative to improve teaching/learning conditions for graduate students and the working conditions for faculty. Two nominators point out that your efforts are often ‘beyond the call of duty.’” 

Lim was cited for his outstanding problem-solving and project-management skills, strong work ethic, comprehensive technical knowledge, along with a helpful and positive attitude when responding to the “vast array of challenging and potentially stressful situations as building manager for Duane Physics and Astrophysics.”

In addition, Lim was commended for his role in strategic space planning, including improvements to spaces particularly used by students and the public, and his efforts toward the designation of gender-neutral restrooms. 

Maes was cited for her professionalism, knowledge, sense of responsibility, and “invaluable guidance to multiple department chairs over the course of your 14-year department tenure, sometimes in an environment of department instability,” White stated.

One nominator couldn’t imagine “a staff member having a more positive, steady, long-term impact on the well-being of a unit” than Maes has had in the Department of Mathematics.