January Porter Graham Staff Excellence Award Winner – Sally Barnes

Posted in: Congrats | People | Porter Graham Staff Excellence Award

The Professional Staff Council would like to congratulate the January Porter Graham Staff Excellence Award recipient: Sally Barnes! Sally is an Office Support Assistant in the Dean’s Office.

Sally Barnes, Office Support Assistant, University of Missouri College of Education

Christine Smith’s nomination

I love working with Sally Barnes. As the front line person in the dean’s office, she takes phone calls from people who are mostly nice, but sometimes not – and she patiently and kindly works out the situation – even when they aren’t looking for the College of Education at all! When Sally is managing a project, she does so with critical thinking skills that make projects even better. Finally, she has been a great colleague to work with during these stressful months – that laugh is contagious.


Sally Barnes, Office Support Assistant, University of Missouri College of Education, Porter Graham Staff Excellence Award Presentation on Zoom

Sonya Nistendirk’s nomination

For many, Sally is the first face and voice of the College of Education they encounter. She is always PATIENT, kind, helpful and thoughtful. Sally doesn’t just refer people to the next person, she actively helps them find the information they are seeking. She greets people in the Dean’s Office with a warm, welcoming smile and laughter that puts people at ease. She reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously and is a ray of sunshine on the most challenging days. The Dean’s Office and College is a better place because of Simply Sally Jo.


Michael Urban’s nomination

Sally Barnes embodies the College’s values on continuous improvement, community, & collaboration. One of the hardest working people I know, I can’t recall her ever uttering the word “no” when asked to help. Sally provides great customer service for all stakeholders and sets proper expectations. If you’ve ever participated in a COE Brown Bag Lunch in the past 3-4 years, chances are it was arranged by Sally. Always interested in getting staff resources, opportunities, & support they need whenever she can, Sally is a go-getter. Given a task, she will stay on top of it & see it to completion like a seasoned project manager. Pre-COVID, Sally was able to get volunteer opportunities for staff to generate funds for PSC that otherwise wouldn’t have been available in a time of budget cuts.


Jason Fenton’s nomination

Sally is the glue that binds so many pieces of our community together. Her friendly demeanor, bright attitude and generous laughter are some of the things I miss most while working remotely. Sally’s desk: Come for business, stay for the jokes. Sally is always ready to lend a helping hand on things big or small, even from a distance. She makes Mizzou Ed a better place to be, and I’m grateful for that.


Porter Graham Staff Excellence Award, University of Missouri College of Education

Established by former Interim Dean Rose Porter, the Porter Graham Staff Excellence Award celebrates the dedication, resolve, leadership, and overall excellence of individuals making significant contributions to the MU College of Education. Rose Porter has always been a strong advocate for staff, noting that “they keep the place running.” Jill Williams-Graham (M ED 1990) and her husband Dr. Steven Graham, Sr. Associate Vice-President, UM System, joined Dr. Rose Porter and her husband Dr. Michael Porter, recognizing the immense impacts staff have in the running of the college. 


View previous recipients Nominate a staff member