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Presidential Award of Excellence


Joyce E. Perkins

Senior Business Services Assistant
CEPs Business Service Center (BSC)

“Joyce Perkins is by far the most competent and capable person I have encountered in my many years at the University”

Joyce stands directly beneath her future third-floor office at the newly-renovated Kingsbury Hall, home to the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. The construction project is slated for completion in March of 2007.

Even by the standards of the business services profession, Joyce Perkins is an unpretentious person. For 28 years, most recently as senior business services assistant in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (CEPS) BSC, Perkins has managed to avoid the limelight - content to serve in relative anonymity.

Not anymore. After Perkins was nominated for a Presidential Award of Excellence, her admirers (they are many and mighty) came out of the woodwork. And boy, did they have stories to tell.

"Joyce Perkins is by far the most competent and capable person I have encountered in my many years at the University," wrote one material scientist. "Joyce never does anything wrong," offered another. "She always does it quickly."

In her position, Perkins assists in the handling of financial details for hundreds of research projects and has been involved in managing the funds for several multi million-dollar grants. She enjoys a legendary status at CEPS for her apparently 24/7 e-mail presence among faculty and staff desperately seeking last-minute project status reports or office and lab supplies.

In a building full of engineers and scientists, it pays to be "diligent," "efficient," and "creative" - all words that colleagues use to describe Perkins. But Perkins is also praised as a strategic partner whose contributions to CEPS' prodigious research activities go well beyond technical competence.

Professor of Materials Science Donald Sundberg puts it this way: "Joyce can be relied upon to know your program, its people, its project accounts, and to help you think through ways of getting things accomplished.

"I consider her as a true member of my team."

When she is not holding down the fort at CEPS, Perkins relaxes with nonfiction - preferably history - and enjoys a little news channel surfing.

Perkins savors weekend time with her husband, Adam, who also works at UNH, and 13-year-old daughter Katie, with whom she explores the many attractions of the region. "We've done pretty much everything in New Hampshire that you can do," muses Perkins. She's not exaggerating: from race days at the Lee Speedway to trips to Story Land in Glen and tobogganing at Wagon Hill in Durham, it certainly seems as if they've done it all, though she claims not to have made the drive up Mount Washington.

With all that she has accomplished at work, what is Perkins' greatest accomplishment? The answer may surprise those at UNH who imagine this multi-tasker glued to her e-mail all weekend.

"My daughter Katie," she says. "She's the one I focus on."

- David Moore