Carol Forsythe has won one of two Thomas Frist Student Service Awards that will be presented during August commencement at the University of Mississippi.
The winner receives $1,000 and a plaque, and Forsythe will be honored at the next commencement.
Forsythe, the senior secretary in legal studies at Odom Hall, said she was shocked when Chancellor Dan Jones called Tuesday and said she was chosen for the award.
“He said he had very, very good letters from people who nominated me for it,” Forsythe said. “That really touched my heart. I think of all my students as my children.”
The award goes to two people each year, one faculty member and one staff member “for going the extra mile in unwavering dedication to students.”
At work, Forsythe helps the department chair and 14 faculty members with anything they need, from sending a fax or typing a test to sometimes giving them. She also handles department accounts and property, and helps students input their schedules and clear up any problems.
“If they have a problem and they’re panicking, I always tell them I’m here if they need me,” she said.
Forsythe is even there to help when she isn’t feeling so well herself.
As a case in point, she helped a student with financial aid from home while on bed rest after a surgery, according to Robin Nichole Powell, a graduate student in the master’s degree program in criminal justice.
“This woman was on doctor-ordered bed rest after surgery, through the first week of fall classes. She would get out of bed to help place students into classes … to secure their financial aid,” Powell said.
“Her replacement, for those six weeks she was out, stated that Mrs. Carol could not possibly make enough money for all that she does.”
Forsythe celebrated 17 years with the department on Jan. 1. She also works weekends at Holly Springs Motor Sports, where her husband is the manager. When time allowed, she was a secretary for the local Crime Stoppers, but resigned because her work hours take up so much of her time.
She is a people person, she said, and enjoys helping others whether she’s at the university or the racetrack.
“It’s just in me to help the students all I can,” Forsythe said. “I still have students who still visit and say, ‘I can’t come to Oxford without coming to see you.’”
Powell agreed that Forsythe is the most-deserving person she can think of for the award.
“Such an amazing and inspiring lady,” Powell said. “I’m going to miss her after graduation.”
Past winners of the Frist Award include current faculty members Aileen Ajootian, Don Cole, Charles Eagles, Ellen Meacham, Terry Panhorst, Ken Sufka and Eric Weber; and current staff members Thelma Curry, Dewey Knight, Ginger Patterson, Thomas J. Reardon, Valeria Ross, Marc Showalter and Linda Spargo.
Gretchen Stone is HottyToddy.com associate editor. Gretchen can be contacted about this story at Gretchen.Stone@HottyToddy.com
Carol Forsythe Wins Frist Service Award for Work with Students
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