2011 Robert H. Smith School of Business Staff Excellence Award
Winner: Rebecca Winner
Rebecca: She’s a Winner!
The Wordsmith, the Word of Smith, the Winner of Staff Excellence for 2011
A recipient of the 2011 Staff Excellence Award from the University of Maryland’s
Robert H. Smith School of Business, Rebecca Winner is used to #Winning. She’s been
a “Winner” since her university days when she married her college sweetheart, Darrell
Winner. She’s been poked about her last name by many, including Robert H. Smith,
for whom she wrote many speeches, who frequently said, “You’re a winner!”
“Rebecca brings her ‘A’ game every day to work and has done so for seven years,”
said one award nominator. Rebecca joined the staff in the Smith School’s Office
of Marketing Communications in May 2004 as the senior writer and editor with primary
responsibilities of managing the school’s print publications, Smith Business magazine
and Research@Smith. Over the years her duties have expanded and she is involved
in a wider variety of projects. As associate director of strategic communications,
she's not just the wordsmith for publications, but is also the go-to person for speech
writing and brand messaging … the ultimate “Word of Smith.”
“It’s rare to see someone excel so consistently but Rebecca goes for the A-plus
on every project despite its size. Every job is important to her, which is amazing
when you examine her workload,” said one award nominator. “Among a million other
things, part of Rebecca’s job requires her to interview faculty about their academic
research and then write articles, stories or news releases in a language the average
person understands and enjoys. Nobody, anywhere, does this as effectively as Rebecca.”
"I really enjoy talking to faculty and alumni about their research and
careers," says Rebecca. "Student profiles are fun too. They come to the Smith
School full of hopes and dreams. It is inspiring to know that we are part of
such a transformative experience in their lives."
Rebecca grew up in Northern Pennsylvania and went to Carnegie Mellon University
where she studied creative writing. “I always wanted to be a writer,” she said,
and felt lucky to have parents who encouraged her to follow her dream and not pursue
a possibly more lucrative career in a scientific field. She met her husband while
she was at Carnegie Mellon and they married and moved to California where he pursued
his graduate degree and she worked for the L.A. Mission as the publications manager.
After that, and a short time in Florida, they moved back to the East Coast in
1998 and Rebecca worked as a grant proposal writer for non-profits in D.C.
before joining the Smith School in 2004. When she started working here, her
office was on the second floor of Van Munching Hall in suite 2520 for a few months. Since then,
she’s been in the same office in suite 3570 for about seven years – one of only
a handful of staff members to be in the same office for so long! But she’s getting
ready to move across the suite to a new office in a few weeks, as we prepare to
open the addition to the south wing of Van Munching Hall.
She lives nearby in Greenbelt, and likes to take advantage of the numerous cultural
benefits of the D.C./Baltimore area. She has two daughters, 15 and 13, and they
are frequent visitors to local museums and concerts. Her family enjoys hiking and
traveling and they are looking forward to a trip to England this summer. In her
free time, Rebecca enjoys the outdoors – especially gardening.
To reach Rebecca, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alissa Arford, Office of Marketing Communications