CCCG Coordinator Jen Smith Wins Arts & Letters Collaboration Award

Author: Center for Citizenship & Constitutional Government

Jen Smith with Phillip Muñoz

On Wednesday, May 24, CCCG administrative coordinator Jen Smith won the College of Arts & Letters Collaboration Award. Jen is an absolutely essential part of the Center for Citizenship and Constitutional Government, and the staff is very happy to see her joy, dedication, and professionalism recognized by the college.

The following was composed by the CCCG staff and was read aloud at the award ceremony: 

Jen Smith has worked at Notre Dame for ten years, serving as the first staff member in the Center for Citizenship & Constitutional Government. Not only has she dedicated countless hours to the Center, building it from the ground up and fulfilling a multiplicity of roles in that endeavor, but she has served the Notre Dame community as a whole, exercising graciousness and generosity to everyone with whom she interacts: students, staff, and faculty alike.

Jen’s role as administrative coordinator has put her in contact with numerous departments and centers on campus. Known for her dedication to inclusivity and hospitality, Jen embodies the spirit of Martha while possessing the virtues of Mary. She demonstrates an indefatigable work ethic and yet manages to make time to listen to, counsel, and encourage those around her.

CCCG associate director Deborah O'Malley shared: "When I arrived on campus as a new staff member this September, Jen was in charge of a major event featuring a high-profile public figure, which meant that she spent all day, often late into the night, communicating with security, venue managers, and the press. Despite being pulled in numerous directions, Jen made time to welcome me. She gave me flowers, furniture for my home, several of her own Notre Dame shirts (it was football season!), and introduced me to others on campus. As I watched her interact with staff, faculty, and students, it was abundantly clear how much they all respected and admired her. I immediately felt home at Notre Dame because of Jen."

When it comes to camaraderie among staff members in Arts & Letters, Jen sets the bar high. She is always willing to lend a hand to other administrators, and her expertise and long tenure have made her a valuable asset to all staff members in Jenkins Nanovic. Her patience with student workers and tenured faculty alike is remarkable, and she is never short with anyone. Jen has now taught and nurtured over five staffers over the years, setting them up for success in the Center and other departments around campus. Her attention to detail and ability to impart her wisdom regarding Notre Dame's many complex academic, budgeting, and various systems is an asset to all of Arts & Letters. 

Jen is multi-talented, possessing skills in everything from finance to graphic design, and yet she is by far one of the humblest people we have ever met. Jen focuses on building up others rather than touting her own talents or striving for recognition. She models the combination of excellence and humility that can serve as an example to all of us.

Congratulations, Jen!