Jan Beebe, department coordinator for the English and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies departments, has been awarded the 2023 Staff Outstanding Service Award. 

Macalester President Suzanne Rivera announced the award and read from this citation:

In celebration of the immeasurable ways in which you have shaped Macalester through your dedication to creating community, we are proud to recognize you with the 2023 Staff Outstanding Service Award.

Throughout dozens of nomination messages we received, there are words that come up over and over: Bright light. Commitment to community-building. Warmth. Joy. 

From their earliest days at Macalester, people across campus know you, feel welcomed by you, and lean on you. In describing their onboarding experience, one colleague speaks for many: “Each day, through the patience and wisdom of many in the campus community, I learned a little bit more, but one name came up time and time again,” they write. “‘You should ask Jan Beebe about that.’ ‘Oh, I think Jan Beebe has a good example of that.’ ‘Check with Jan Beebe.’”

Your leadership at Mac started in the English department and, more recently, has expanded to the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department, as you now serve as the coordinator for both programs. You create a work environment your colleagues call extraordinarily welcoming, even joyful. You foster community. You manage budgets and coordinate logistics for everything from Bagel Mondays to faculty searches to the ACTC English Majors conference and, throughout it all, you watch for ways to make each process smoother in the future. You are a creative problem-solver and a lifelong learner, with a focus on equity throughout your work. You are dedicated to preserving department traditions, while also developing new events and opportunities for connection.

Your contributions extend far beyond the parameters of your job description. You co-founded the Administrative Coordinators Collective, creating new learning opportunities for your colleagues. When an unusually large group of new department coordinators arrived on campus one fall, you initiated new orientation programming for that cohort, then hosted a monthly mentoring group. You serve on task forces and search committees across campus, and were part of the Staff Affirmative Action Working Group. You’re also the staff advisor for the Voices on Mental Health student organization, and have drawn upon your expertise as a former social worker to facilitate a support group for survivors of sexual violence. 

Any recognition of your work wouldn’t be complete without highlighting the impact you have on students, beginning with the fact that everyone who comes into your departments finds a place where they belong. As a supervisor, you mentor students and help them build job skills. You lay out clear expectations, delegate big projects, and coach them through the process. One group of current students writes that you “strike the perfect balance between letting us make mistakes and plan our own events, while also being on hand and willing to help us if we need it.” You continue to build community for students once they become alumni, and they stay connected. They describe your departments as a second home, and they value you deeply.

In the words of your nominators: “She seems to have made it her mission to make Macalester a better place for everyone whose lives she might be able to touch.” 

Congratulations, Jan. We are truly grateful for your outstanding service.

April 19 2023

Back to top