Annual Awards Honor Staff for Excellence

Each year, faculty and staff nominate individuals for two awards – the Patricia H. Epps Memorial Award and the Jo Ann Humphreys Law Library Employee Performance Award. The award is kept secret until the official announcement at the annual fall luncheon. This year’s event was virtual via Zoom.

The Patricia H. Epps Memorial Award was established in 1996 by the School of Law and the Law School Foundation to honor a staff member who exemplifies Patty’s concern for service, performance, commitment to productivity and office morale. Patty was the Continuing Legal Education Director of the School of Law at the time of her death in 1995. The award consists of a cash prize and the recipient’s name inscribed on a plaque permanently installed at the School of Law.

Monique Prince is the recipient of the 2020 Patty H. Epps Award. She has been the office manager, coordinator, grants officer, paralegal, and the public face of the Family Violence and Criminal Justice Clinics for 20 years, but will be transitioning to the role of senior executive assistant in the Deans’ Suite in October.

Her nominators noted that Monique sets an example for all with her “I can do it” and “I will do it” attitude, and her “ready laugh.” She chairs the staff committee with passion and a desire to “ensure that staff are afforded morale boosting activities at work and making staff feel valued.” Another nominator notes how she often goes above and beyond to assist students with their needs, even during the pandemic. And how “Monique also serves as a haven for diverse students – those of color, those from different nations, those who are for whatever reason marginalized in the student body. The clinic office  … has become a gathering place, a safe space as it might be called, largely because of Monique.”

Using donated funds from the estate of Jo Ann Humphreys, the Law Library honors her memory through an annual award for exemplary performance by one of its employees. In the mid-1980s, Jo Ann helped implement our computer lab and advised other law schools with the implementation of theirs. Her pioneering spirit extended beyond technology to helping set up law libraries overseas in Costa Rica and Ghana.  Jo Ann was the associate director of the law library at the time of her death in 1996 from cancer. She was 42. Her dedication to her profession and abiding care for those she worked with embodies the spirit of this annual award in her name.

Tamara Guilford-Davis is the recipient of the 2020 Jo Ann Humphreys Law Library Employee Performance Award. She is the circulation specialist where she assists library patrons and supervises the circulation desk law student assistants. She retires on August 22 after 35 years of service to the Mizzou library system, most of those years at the Law Library.

One nominator noted how “she has been a caring, competent, and cheerful front-line presence in the Law Library. Her dedication to the care of the students she supervises is unparalleled, she goes well beyond expectations in making sure faculty and patrons receive the information they need, and she is unfailingly personable to all who come in contact with her. Tamara’s dedication to her students is legendary. She takes great pains to train them well for their duties so they know what is expected and how to handle any situation that might arise at the circulation desk. Tamara also pays close attention to student well-being, watching carefully to be sure that all in her charge are well fed, healthy, and at the top of their game. She watches over them as people, not just as workers, and makes sure that law school is not taking too much of a toll. And when they need someone to advocate for them, Tamara is tenacious in doing so.” Another nominator wrote, “Year after year former circulation students would stay in touch with Tamara, evidence of the strong relationships and team that she builds each year. Tamara will be missed.”