The award, created in honor of Jean Shedd, MBA, served Northwestern with distinction for more than 41 years and was the 2018 recipient.
The award recognizes a Northwestern staff member who has continuously worked at the university for at least five years, has a record of sustained high performance and exemplifies a list of honorable characteristics.
Ekesa received the award at a surprise ceremony on August 23 that included colleagues, mentors and Shedd, who presented her with the award along with Lorraine Goffe, vice president and chief human resources officer for Northwestern; Jake Julia, vice provost for administration and chief of staff for Northwestern; and Heather Campbell, MHS, vice dean and chief operating officer at Feinberg.
Ekesa was nominated by Grant Upson, executive director for Administration at Feinberg, and Keith Herzog, former executive director of the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences (NUCATS) Institute.
“Bethany assumed her leadership role in SPARC on March 16, 2020, almost precisely as the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated full dispersion of her new team. Bethany’s optimism, depth of commitment and spirit of service were potent forces in the face of the unprecedented. Since that time, Bethany’s leadership has been transformative,” Upson said.
“The rise of SPARC’s increased efficacy and reputation is tied directly to Bethany’s approach to staff development, teamwork, empowerment and culture.”