By Felley Lawson
ARKADELPHIA, Ark. – Jana Hardage, gifts processor in the Office of Development at Ouachita Baptist University, has been named the university’s 2021-22 Support Staff Member of the Year. Hardage was recognized in March by the university’s staff development committee and Dr. Ben R. Sells, Ouachita’s president.
She was selected from a group of nominees who demonstrated outstanding performance in their work responsibilities; in relating positively to students, coworkers and members of the public; and in supporting the mission of the university.
“The staff development committee received several excellent nominations,” said Jason Tolbert, vice president for finance at Ouachita and committee chair. “Jana’s nomination highlighted how she has excelled in all of these areas.”
“It is a great honor to be named from among such a deserving group of staff members,” Hardage said, “and it’s very encouraging to feel so valued by our peers and those we support.”
Hardage is a 2021 cum laude graduate of Ouachita, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies through Ouachita Online. She joined the Office of Development as an administrative assistant in 2014 and became gifts processor in 2016.
“The stewardship of our donors is an important job, and we could not do that well without Jana’s commitment and hard work. Every gift we receive passes through her hands,” said Carrie Roberson, director of development at Ouachita. “She is especially attentive to our donors and is always prepared to answer any questions they may have about their support of Ouachita. Jana is very well respected and valued by her coworkers, and we are so happy that she has been honored as Support Staff Member of the Year.”
Ouachita began recognizing a Support Staff Member of the Year in 2001. The winner receives a certificate and a cash award and is honored on Support Staff Day Out – “a day we’re given to spend time together and enjoy some great fellowship,” said Hardage. “This year we had a devotion that focused on 1 Corinthians 15:58, ‘Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.’
“We can all feel a bit like our work is in vain from time to time while we try to navigate life in this world, but this verse is a great reminder that we ultimately serve the Lord,” she added, “and He has blessed me greatly to allow me to do that at Ouachita.”
For more information, contact Jason Tolbert at (870) 245-5409 or at [email protected].