OOD Recognizes Tech Community With Awards Luncheon

With every department dealing with budget cuts, Lanous Wright says he is pleased with the number of graduates at the annual Office of Organizational Development (OOD) awards luncheon, held Nov. 16 in the Student Center Ballroom.

OOD Awards Luncheon
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Georgia Tech staff members receive awards for completing certificate programs through the Office of Organizational Development.

Wright, director of Training Services, said more than 200 staff members had completed a circuit of classes in different certificate program offerings. "We were expecting a significant drop-off in the number attending," he said. "It was a welcome surprise."

OOD recognized banquet attendees for their completion of 10 different programs offered: Defining Customer Service, Office Professional, Management and Supervisory Development, Course Leader, Emerging Leaders, GT Financial Fundamentals and Financial Specialist, Academic Advisors, Emergency Preparedness and Advanced Emergency Preparedness.

"We have one of the most robust training programs, not just in the state, but throughout the country," Wright said at the banquet. "We completed a benchmarking study last summer, and we are well above the curve compared to our peers."

In his welcoming remarks, Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance Steve Swant said he recognized the time and effort each person gave in earning his or her awards. "It's important to continue to try and improve our capabilities to support this institution," he said. "Many of you are probably taking part in the strategic planning conversation. We're setting big grand objectives going forward, and every one of [these big ideas] is going to require dedicated, focused, well-trained and thoughtful staff and faculty."

Wright hopes to keep the self-sustaining program as robust as it has been in recent years. "I try to encourage departments to book private, group-training sessions, as that is the more economical way for us to conduct training sessions," he said, adding that 50 to 60 percent of the classes offered at OOD are free of charge.

Even with OOD feeling the budget pinch, Wright said it was important to provide the luncheon. "This is all about people being recognized," Wright said. "Even in tough times, people need a bright spot. The response we get from the event is tremendous. People appreciate this time out of each year that is taken to recognize something positive. We can't put on events like these without help, so we appreciate the constant support of Institute administration, Sodexo, the Student Center for the Ballroom and Benchmark Trophy Center on Northside Drive."

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.