2016 Team Irish Awards

by Office of Human Resources

Team Irish

The Presidential Team Irish Award program provides a special and unique opportunity to publicly recognize staff teams that exemplify the University of Notre Dame’s core values on behalf of their department and the University. The public recognition of a significant accomplishment, collaboration or initiative occurs during each home football game. Award recipients collaborate on a project, process or initiative that significantly advances the University’s mission, organizational goals, and/or departmental goals while exemplifying the University’s core values of integrity, accountability, teamwork, leadership in mission and leadership in excellence.

The 2016 Team Irish Award recipients are:

Green Dot, a national program that promotes bystander intervention in the fight against sexual assault and violence on campus, was launched at Notre Dame in November 2015. Green Dot assumes everyone has a role to play in communicating that behavior such as stalking, dating violence and sexual assault will not be tolerated at Notre Dame, and that all — faculty, staff and students — have a responsibility to help. The program also provides an umbrella for organizations that support victims, provides resources and focus on prevention or intervention.

Green DotGreen Dot group

The initiative operates under the auspices of the University’s Committee for Sexual Assault Prevention, and is led by a University-wide steering committee and subcommittees consisting of students, faculty and staff. The group developed and implemented a series of campus events throughout the 2015-2016 academic year, including five athletic match-ups, ongoing overview speeches, bystander training, student programming and a social media campaign.


Waste Warriors Waste Warriors

Waste Warriors, a team of individuals within the University of Notre Dame’s Campus Dining division, received a Team Irish Award Sept. 17 during the Notre Dame-Michigan State football game. The Waste Warriors identified an opportunity to reduce the amount of waste generated by staff during production.

After hours of meeting and planning, the LeanPath program was introduced in late October, and three measuring devices installed to record all waste destined for the landfill. The devices were placed in high-volume areas such as North Dining Hall, South Dining Hall and the Center for Culinary Excellence — locations with the greatest potential to reduce waste. The Waste Warriors taught staffers how to use the new scales for tracking, as well as to bolster trust in the system with the bigger goal in mind — reducing waste.

The team and staff efforts generated a reduction in waste of almost 30 percent or roughly 36,000 pounds in four months. This success was accomplished by an overall increase in awareness, and more timely preparation of food and pantry items closer to service. Moving forward, the warriors will continue their diligence in reducing waste during production and will be searching for more opportunities to reduce waste at campus food and beverage outlets.


FaithND is the Notre Dame Alumni Association’s online spirituality community that gathers the University’s family of faith and shares its spiritual heritage with alumni, parents and friends. The staff was recognized with a Team Irish Award during the Sept. 24 home football game versus Duke.

FaithndFaithND staff

The faith.nd.edu website has offered spiritual resources to the Notre Dame family since 2012. Viewers can personalize and share a digital prayer card from campus; read a moving story about faith in daily life or submit a prayer request to the Alumni Association. The most popular feature of FaithND is the Daily Gospel Reflection email, which allows recipients to reflect on the Gospel. The email, available to everyone, comes at no charge and without solicitations. Four years ago, the email reached 7,000 readers every day. Through improvement in quality, service and design, now more than 50,000 readers receive this email every weekday.


YaliYALI team

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the new flagship program of President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). The initiative was launched in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa. Beginning in the summer of 2014, the Mandela Washington Fellowship brings 500 young Africans (aged 25 to 35) to the United States each year for academic coursework and leadership training. The program’s goal is to create unique opportunities in Africa for fellows to use their new skills in leading organizations, communities and countries. The selected fellows are hosted for six weeks by higher education institutions throughout the country, followed by a gathering in Washington, D.C. Notre Dame has been selected to host 25 Mandela Fellows each year since 2014 with a focus on business and entrepreneurship.

Team YALI is a 24-member group composed of administrators, deans, faculty, program managers, administrative staff, center directors, consultants, undergraduates and high school interns. The team created a world-class, six-week immersion into business and entrepreneurship. Faculty and staff were recruited, business and community groups were engaged. The Notre Dame program has been recognized by the U.S. Department of State as one of its strongest because of this hardworking team. The group was recognized during the Oct. 15 Notre Dame-Stanford game. 


Maintenance 3and4Members of Maintenance Zones 3 and 5

The members of the Maintenance Zones 3 and 5 serve the College of Engineering, College of Science, Mendoza College of Business and the Law School, as well as several other administrative units. These zones are being recognized in particular for their support of the critical research facilities on campus. The zone technicians have developed a strong customer rapport and provide consistently excellent service. Both teams have developed a number of innovative processes to increase their efficiency and provide prompt and quality service to their customer bases. These teams work together to ensure the reliability and performance of the critical systems that researchers rely on daily. Considering the nature of research done by the Colleges of Science and Engineering, these groups are integral parts of maintaining a comfortable, efficient and safe working environment for a wide array of research activities. The group was recognized during the Oct. 29 football game versus Miami.


SacStaff Advisory Council

The Staff Advisory Council (SAC) is a group of Notre Dame non-exempt employees that serves as a pipeline of information between the University administration and fellow staff members of the University. The members are elected to two-year terms and represent staff from every corner of the campus and every operational area. Founded in 1996, the group shares important information about the University with other staff members and also collects ideas and thoughts from the staff to help advise the administration on important issues. Often members of SAC share their perspectives on University issues through focus groups or through various committees on topics impacting employees on campus. In addition, SAC leads fundraisers for several charitable programs.