Dedication in Action: Meet the 2024 Madderom Staff Award Recipients

By Crown Family School

News Type
Crown Family School News

This year, the Crown Family School selected Mel Lamagna, Director of Field Education, and Kristen Reid Salomon, Dean of Students, Diversity and Inclusion, as recipients of the 2024 Keith Madderom Staff Award.

Established in 2016, the award is named for Keith Madderom, former Associate Dean of Administration, who served the University and Crown Family School for 45 years. The Madderom Award “recognizes an administrative staff member who demonstrates classic Keith traits, performing above and beyond their responsibilities while advancing other necessary administrative tasks, with conscientious service and responsiveness.” 

Mel, described by nominators as “dedicated, thoughtful, engaged, and very creative,” leads a small but mighty staff that manages an essential part of the School’s education experience – providing hands-on placements where students can build skills and confidence and learn from experienced professionals at local and global organizations. 

Finding the right fit when making field placements is always a big challenge. This is where Mel and his team excel. As Faezeh Fathizadeh, AM ’23, said, “The school’s field office went above and beyond to tailor the program to my nontraditional social work background and my aspirations to work in foreign policy. They actively sought out organizations that aligned with my specific interests and needs. Pursuing a career in foreign policy presented its own challenges, but the unwavering support and dedication of the field office made it all possible.” 

Navigating the field education office during COVID required quick and nimble thinking noted one faculty, who also pointed out that “even outside of the pandemic, Mel has been very creative and open to considering ways to improve the student field experience, identify new placements, and support field students and field instructors.” 

Still another summarized why Mel deserved the Madderom Award. “Mel is an indispensable staff member of the Crown Family School. He is excellent at his job, a joy to have around, and makes our School a better place to work. The quality of our master’s program greatly benefits from his leadership of the field education program.”

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Kristen directs the Dean of Students office, a versatile and indispensable group that admits, advises, provides professional development opportunities, and celebrates all students at the Crown Family School. “Kristen works tirelessly, well beyond the regular hours, to ensure that students feel heard and have a sense of belonging in our community,” said one nominator.

Under Kristen’s leadership, the DOS staff has expanded to provide more personalized academic advising, career planning, and leadership development to master’s and PhD students. Kristen’s leadership also has had a deep impact on her staff. “She continues to encourage and empower the team to shine and really grow in their areas,” said another nominator. “She is a person who is deeply committed to the well-being of our students and our school, and she demonstrates this in all her initiatives.”

Within and outside of the Crown Family School, Kristen is highly respected and sought after for her expertise and “gracious and compassionate leadership…..In a split second, Kristen can go from speaking to a large audience of students at the podium to setting tables if that’s what the job calls for,” said another nominator. “And she’ll do it all with a smile on her face. Her positivity, energy, and joy always brighten the spaces where she enters.” 

Congratulations, Mel and Kristen! The Crown Family School is deeply grateful for your many talents, remarkable dedication, and extraordinary service.