Ife Shafeek, administrative specialist in the Department of Pathology in the Boonshoft School of Medicine, received the 2018 President’s Award for Excellence in Human Relations for her extraordinary efforts to help to students, faculty, staff and visitors. She often goes above and beyond her duties as an administrative specialist in ways that greatly benefit the university and the School of Medicine.
Since 2001, Shafeek has served the Department of Pathology in numerous ways, such as giving directions to visitors, assisting students in scheduling appointments with faculty and helping faculty with class sessions.
Paul Koles, chair of the Department of Pathology, commended Shafeek’s open attitude toward anyone who visits the department’s office.
“She welcomes them as if they belong in our office, putting them at ease while quickly locating the information they need,” Koles said. “I have never seen her lose patience or become annoyed with people who complain.”
Shafeek is also exceedingly open to students who visit the office. She often helps students schedule meetings with their professors. However, her work with students involves so much more. Students often go to Shafeek for moral support, as she has a high discernment and empathy and can easily tell why students stop into the office.
“For students who simply need a sympathetic ear or sincere encouragement, she provides both generously, creating a safe haven from the stresses of professional training,” Koles said. “It’s not unusual to find the same students returning to her desk throughout the academic year, simply because she is habitually open and willing to listen.”
Smita Krishnamurthy, assistant professor of pathology and dermatology, praised Shafeek for helping her put together team-based learning sessions for her classes.
“I know that any session she helps me with will run smoothly because of her dedication to excellence,” Krishnamurthy said.
Krishnamurthy also admires Shafeek’s openness and positive attitude, especially for medical students and visitors. Krishnamurthy is also impressed by Shafeek’s ability to multitask and prioritize, especially identifying top deadlines and tasks even before faculty or staff members do.
“Every day, she inspires those who work with her with her cheerful personality, kindness and compassion towards any visitor who comes in the doors of the Department of Pathology,” Krishnamurthy said. “I am constantly impressed with her compassion towards visitors and students to our department, dedication to excellence and ability to carry out her many duties efficiently and effectively.”