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Students, Employees Receive Quarterly Awards at Ashford University
Awards presented for "making a difference" at the University

Twenty-one students and employees received awards for “making a difference” at Ashford University during the first quarter of 2016. The AU Gold Standard Awards and Student CHAMPion Awards were presented during the monthly campus birthday celebration on April 1. Nominations for the awards are submitted to a selection committee by campus students and employees.

Receiving awards were:

  • Melissa Smrz for being “always kind and willing to lend a hand to others…being a leader because she takes initiative…(and) being her own boss…”
  • Jill Mussmann, who “has really had left her mark in the lives of the students and those who visit or are a part of campus in any type of capacity. She’s an amazing career planning individual and a great campus resource…Jill has been a tremendous asset to the AU Clinton campus this year.”
  • Renee Bentley, who is “an amazingly resilient Ashford team player. (She has) accepted additional responsibilities and did so with a smile. She continues to pitch in when asked or when she sees a need. All of this is done with a philosophy of ‘it’s what is best for our students.’”
  • Larry Libberton, who “goes above and beyond in helping us move the campus forward and be strong in our final months; he encourages others to ‘sparkle’ even when things are tough.”
  • Ed and Sarah Gall, who “have been an outstanding team for Ashford University for well over a decade. They have spent many hours beyond a 40-hour week attending to individual student needs and serving as faculty moderators to a Christian-focused student club they organized on campus. They also do what they do while being pleasant and helpful to colleagues.”
  • Bruce Bradway, Lee Cartwright, Michael LeBlanc, Carl Melrose and Barb Philibert for helping a faculty member who became ill while teaching a class.
  • Members of the Finish Strong Committee (Lenell Andrews, Megan Black, Juan Cabrera, Andy Eberhart, Emily Gipe, Carene Helms, Kathy Holland, Larry Libberton, Christina Mahoney, Jill Mussmann, Lettie Posey, Carl Robinson and Melissa Smrz) for “stepping up to help keep up the morale of the campus students and employees during our final year. They have done this through a variety of positive events and activities. All of this has been done in addition to their regular duties and responsibilities as employees and students during a stressful period.”


About Ashford University

Where heritage meets innovation – that’s Ashford University. At Ashford, students discover relevant degree programs, innovative technology, and cherished tradition. Ashford offers associates, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs online, allowing students to balance life by providing the flexibility to do school work anywhere, anytime. For more information, please visit,,, or call Marianne Perez, Media Relations Manager, at 858.513.9240 x11636.