Thursday, 24 April 2014

2013 outstanding NRS recognized

The 8th annual Nationally Recruited Staff (NRS) Awards took place at IRRI headquarters on 16 April 2014 to recognize important contributions of NRS and formally award outstanding performances. The awarding ceremony was witnessed by the members of the IRRI Board of Trustees (BoT), the IRRI Management Committee, organization unit heads and supervisors, as well as the family members and guests of our winners.

The selection of the winners were made by a committee composed of distinguished members of the IRRI community from both research and support professions. This year, the committee received 12 outstanding nominations for the three categories and the process for selecting only one recipient for each award category was truly challenging.

The following were named winners of the 2013 NRS Awards:

Novel Gene Resources Team

The Novel Gene Resources Team from Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology (PBGB) won the award because of the team’s successful effort to create the first time novel genetic variations by transferring traits/genes for biotic and abiotic stresses from the most difficult and distantly related wild Oryza species to improve rice cultivation with broad spectrum and durable resistance worldwide. In terms of peer recognition, they are regarded by superiors as one of the most dedicated, dynamic, and output-oriented teams. They were also able to help NARES partners by providing seeds of the new genetic materials which is used in breeding programs. In addition, there were even partners who had developed new research projects by utilizing materials through bilateral agreements.

Research Database Management Group

The Research Database Management Team from Social Sciences Division (SSD) won the award because they have made a huge contribution to the Institute by compiling and organizing two important rice databases; the Farmhouse Household Surveys (FHS) and World Rice Statistics (WRS). The two databases are not only useful to IRRI employees and scholars but also helped a wider audience such as, but not limited to, policy makers, researchers, students in the country and even those from other countries. In fact, one of their benefactors is none other than the Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture in Myanmar, Dr. Khing Maung Thet. This has made the SSD database a one-stop shop for all rice data needs. The team had not only gathered various positive feedbacks from teammates but even the DG, Robert Zeigler, himself had made commendations, specifically the Farmhouse Household Surveys.

IRRI Web Team

The IRRI Web Team from Communication unit won the award because of the major overhaul of the IRRI Website. The overhaul brought promising improvements and enabled most units to engage donors, beneficiaries and implementers of rice science.  Though the composition of this team is relatively small, it is very impressive that they managed to achieve the objective, worked very closely with each other, and successfully juggled multiple workflows. This team also won the respect of their colleagues inside and outside the Communication Unit. They have been receiving various commendations on the new and improved IRRI.ORG.

Program proper

The program kicked-off with a special video presentation about the IRRI values and its people, followed by a welcoming message from the Vice-Chairman of the IRRI Board of Trustees, Dr. P. Stephen Baenziger (photo). Dr. Baenziger congratulated the winners, highlighting the importance of individual staff contributions to the overall success of the Institute and thanked the winners for their excellent work.

The event was hosted by Ms. Margeorie Vasquez of the HRS Workplace Relations & Advisory Services (HRS-WRAS) and Mr. Christian Guerta of the Supply Chain Services (SCS).

Before the plaques were awarded to the winners, surprise video messages from the OU head / team leaders of the award recipients were presented: Dr. Kshirod Jena for Novel Gene Resources Team; Dr. Samarendu Mohanty for Research Database Management Group; and Mr. Tony Lambino and Mr. Gene Hettel for IRRI Web Team. After the inspiring videos from their respective supervisors, Dr. P. Stephen Baenziger and Director General Dr. Robert Zeigler, presented the plaque of recognition and cash award to the winners.

After receiving their plaques and cash awards, three of the selected team representatives from the winning groups had graced the stage to share their heartwarming acceptance messages:  Ms. Joie Ramos for Novel Gene Resources Team, Esther Marciano for Research Database Management Group, and Mr. Jerry LaviƱa for the IRRI Web Team each expressed their overflowing gratitude on behalf of their group for being chosen as the outstanding NRS in 2013.

Towards the end of the program, Dr. Robert Zeigler expressed in his closing remarks, how he continues to be inspired by the outstanding work of NRS in achieving the IRRI’s mission.

After the ceremony, a special Merienda Cena (celebration treat) was held for the winners, BoT members, IRRI Management Committee, and family members of the award recipients. HRS Workplace Relations & Advisory Services Business Partner Ms. Joyce Finegan gave the welcome greetings.

In addition to the honorary sash, plaque of recognition, and cash award, the winners are now included on the “Roll of Honor” prominently displayed in FF Hill Building at IRRI headquarters.

For inquiries on employee rewards and recognition programs, please contact the HRS-WRAS team at HQ x2363 or send email to Workplace Communications Article No. 2014-048

Click here for more photos.

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