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UA Little Rock Honors Schrepfer, Breen, Cane with 2024 Staff Achievement Awards

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has honored three of the university’s outstanding staff members for their exceptional work in the areas of service to the university, community service, and personal growth.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has honored three of the university’s outstanding staff members for their exceptional work in the areas of service to the university, community service, and personal growth.

Muriel Schrepfer, graphic designer in the Office of Communications and Marketing, has received the Ben Fry Service to UA Little Rock Award. The award recipient is an individual who is distinctive in service through committees, special events, implementation of creative ideas or support, and encouragement of others.

“I’m honored to receive this award for my service and contributions to UA Little Rock,” Schrepfer said. “I thoroughly enjoy serving on committees and volunteering at our campus events. The collaboration and partnerships across campus and this recognition fuel my enthusiasm to strive for excellence, continue making a positive impact, and support our campus community.”

Daniel Breen, news director for Little Rock Public Radio, has received the Community Service Award. This award recipient has been particularly successful in organizing community events or had major achievements in civic, service, or specialty organizations/events.

“I am beyond grateful to receive this year’s Staff Senate Community Service Award,” Breen said. “I’m so lucky to get to work every day with such a dedicated staff whose first goal is looking out for the public, and each other. I’m honored to be considered among so many other dedicated, talented people who work every day to make UA Little Rock, and their community, a better place. I look forward to continuing our work to be a better neighbor and to reach people where they’re at to better inform them of the decisions and policies that most affect their day-to-day life.”

Additionally, Tamela Cane, resource family coordinator for MidSOUTH, has received the Personal Growth Award. The award winner is described as an individual whose scholarship, research, or creative talent has been particularly outstanding.

“This is such an honor!” Cane said. “I am humbled to be recognized amongst a campus full of so many professionals. This is definitely a manifestation of an answered prayer!”

The three winners will receive a $3,000 award distributed via payroll distributions. UA Little Rock Alumni Association Board of Director members Becky Flynn and Grady McCorkle served as judges.

“Congratulations to all of our winners this year,” said Laterika Tooks, Staff Senate president-elect and director of annual giving. “Thank you for making a difference both on and off campus.”

More information about the Staff Achievement Award winners:

Ben Fry Service to UA Little Rock Award

Schrepfer has been selected for the Ben Fry Service to UA Little Rock Award for her exceptional contributions to the UA Little Rock community through her outstanding work as a graphic designer.

“Muriel’s creative work is exceptional in helping to tell the university’s stories,” said Angie Faller, news director, who nominated Schrepfer. “You will see her work in everything from newspaper ads to event flyers to slides on the digital marquee to billboards. Everywhere you look at UA Little Rock, you are likely to find an inspiring graphic that was created by Muriel. Her dedication to supporting and enhancing our university community through her graphic design expertise is truly commendable.”

In the past year, Schrepfer has taken on some transformative projects, including the implementation of Marq as a campus design solution and the redesign of the UA Little Rock Brand Guide, an essential guide that contains important information about how UA Little Rock should communicate with and present its story to the community.

She also serves on a number of committees and is actively involved in campus life. Schrepfer serves in the positions of staff liaison and co-chair of the Wesley Foundation Board. She is also a member of Safe Zone, SpectacuaLR, and the Eclipse celebration planning committees as well as collaborative committees with Admissions, Athletics, and the Graduate School.

“Muriel has made significant contributions to UA Little Rock through her hard work and commitment to building collaboration with our campus partners,” said Dr. Carrie Phillips, chief communications and marketing officer. “Her service has positively impacted both staff and students, making her a deserving recipient of this award.”

Staff Achievement Award in Community Service

Breen, a 2018 mass communication graduate of UA Little Rock, has received the Staff Achievement Award in Community Service for his hard work and dedication in keeping the public informed through his community reporting. He is a familiar voice on Little Rock Public Radio, serving as a reporter, anchor, former Morning Edition host, news director, and co-host and producer of The Arkansas NewsWrap.

Breen can often be found hard at work in the community, talking to the public about subjects that matter.

“My neighborhood was hit by the tornado (in 2023), and I remember driving down the street and seeing Daniel out talking to people and bringing their stories to the wider community,” said Merrill Wells of Little Rock Public Radio, who nominated Breen. “Daniel Breen has been a fixture in the community at town halls, voting polls, bringing ‘Issues that Matter’ program to the community and even helped orchestrate an ‘Arkansas NewsWrap’ program collaborating with other radio news directors across Arkansas.”

Jonathan Seaborn, general manager of Little Rock Public Radio, said that Breen has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to excellence and a profound dedication to the community through his outstanding work in journalism.

“Daniel’s passion for storytelling and his relentless pursuit of truth have been evident in the quality and depth of his reporting,” Seaborn said. “He has tackled a wide range of issues, from local politics to social justice, with sensitivity and insight, shedding light on important issues and giving voice to those who often go unheard.”

Additionally, Breen is actively involved in community outreach initiatives, participating in panel discussions, hosting public forums, and engaging with listeners to ensure that Little Rock Public Radio’s coverage reflects the diverse perspectives and concerns of the community.

“His impact on the community is massive as hundreds and thousands of Arkansans would wake up hearing his voice as the morning edition host and bringing the local news,” Wells said. “There are a devout group of fans who call themselves ‘Breenies’ that donate to support public radio and community engagement.”

Breen’s impressive community reporting skills have earned him awards from the Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Arkansas Press Women, National Federation of Press Women, and the Arkansas-Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters.

Staff Achievement Award in Personal Growth

Cane has worked at MidSOUTH since 2012, starting out as a resource family trainer before becoming a technical writer, where she developed and maintained written and online training material. As the resource family coordinator for MidSOUTH’s Resource Family Program, she provides meaningful learning and training experiences for newly hired resource family trainers and prospective foster and adoptive families.

“Tami has consistently demonstrated good initiative in fulfilling the task of providing meaningful learning experiences for prospective resource family trainers, foster families, and adoptive families,” said Leisa Myles, director of MidSOUTH’s Resource Family Program, who nominated Cane. “She approaches her job in a manner that allows individuals to enhance their skill level and knowledge. Her dedication to child welfare, MidSOUTH’s mission statement, and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock are unparalleled.”

According to Myles, Cane’s most outstanding achievement took place last year when she created a new training curriculum for MidSOUTH. Cane was selected as a member of Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ Executive Order to Protect Children, Support Families, and Improve the Foster Care System in Arkansas sub-committees, where she worked on a plan to revise the Resource Family Training Program at MidSOUTH.

The Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services selected the National Training Development Curriculum for Traditional Resource Families to replace the current training curriculum for the Resource Family Training Program. Cane participated in a Training the Trainer session with the National Training and Development Curriculum to help prepare the transition to the new training curriculum, Connecting AR Families. Cane organized a facilitator’s guide specific to the state.

At UA Little Rock, Cane has served on Staff Senate, the Arkansas Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect Registration and Planning Committee, MidSOUTH Annual Summer Conference Registration Committee, and the MidSOUTH Prevention Summit Registration Committee.