There is sweet irony in the fact that the 2020 Team Player of the Year award, voted on by the CICS graduating class, was a tie at this year’s CICS Virtual Graduation Ceremony.
It was likely no surprise to anyone when the names of Sudha Gayathri and Dion Utt were read aloud to recognize them as Team Players of the Year. In introducing the award winners, CICS Director Dennis Trinkle said “The next award I think in many ways represents one of the strongest and most important qualities of CICS. Time and again we hear from our employer partners that they love to hire from CICS and they consistently come back every year to interview CICS candidates for their positions because of the character that the graduates bring into their organizations. They especially remark time and time again on the collaborative team oriented nature of the individuals who come out of the CICS program I think we put an extraordinary emphasis on working together supporting one another building a reinforcing culture rather than the competitive culture which is exactly what employers are looking for and desire”.
Dion’s words after hearing about his award were clear evidence of his heart for his colleagues and program “Thank you, I don’t know what to say. I mean, honestly, CICS has been such a huge part of my life and the cohort has always been such an important part for me. To be part of it and really involve myself with a kind of, I don’t know, I love all of you guys a lot and I really appreciate this so much it means a lot to me”.
Dr Tinkle stated that “Both Sudah and Dion were also graduate assistants for the program. Every year we remind our graduate assistants that we don’t get to speak into existence our culture, it really is the students who build that culture and enable it every year. In the end there’s a particular pressure and expectation on our graduate assistants to be role models of the qualities that we want to be characteristic CICS and I think Sudha and Dion helped us to meet that goal every day so thank you for providing wonderful leadership this year”.
Congratulations to Sudha and Dion! If there was ever a year when we needed members of the CICS team to show up and care, it was 2020. What a year it was and what an amazing impact you made! We are so proud of you both.