Published on 04/23/24

Corley, Nordstrom named UGA-Griffin 2024 Classified Employees of the Year

By Ashley N Biles
The awardees pose with the campus director in front of a replica of the UGA Arch
Jeffrey Dean (center), assistant provost and campus director for UGA-Griffin, with 2024 Classified Employee Award recipients Daniel Nordstrom (left) and Kenny Corley. (Photos by Ashley Biles)

The University of Georgia Griffin campus recently named Kenny Corley and Daniel Nordstrom the 2024 Classified Employees of the Year. The designation was made at the 35th annual Employee Recognition Ceremony held April 3.

The Employee of the Year award is presented to classified personnel who have made a significant impact on programs at UGA-Griffin through superior job knowledge and performance, work attitude, initiative, dependability and time management. Each individual is nominated by his or her unit and must have been a full-time employee on campus for three consecutive years. After all nominations are submitted, award recipients are determined by a committee of their peers.

In addition to Corley and Nordstrom, other UGA Griffin employees nominated for the award include Donna Brown in the Office of Finance and Administration, Brett Byous in the Department of Entomology, Lei Dunn in the Department of Horticulture, Tracy Gauge in Northwest District Extension, Elizabeth Laney in the Office of the Assistant Provost and Campus Director, Angie Lewis in the Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit, Ben Lopez in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, and David Mann in the Center for Food Safety.

Celebratiing the 2024 awardees

Honoree Kenny Corley has been a carpenter with the Facilities Management Division for eight years. A tremendous asset to the entire campus, Corley works behind the scenes to maintain campus facilities and is frequently found lending a helping hand to others on projects beyond his regular responsibilities.

Dale Hess, superintendent of plant operations, praised Corley as “a hard-working team member who can get the job done and done as it should be. With Kenny’s hard work and commitment, the Griffin campus is a much more pleasant place to work.”

Daniel Nordstrom is an agricultural specialist for Field Research Services who oversees the 33-plus acres of turfgrass on the main Griffin campus, including performing routine maintenance and assisting researchers and technicians with projects. While in this role, Nordstrom has developed a mapping system for the turfgrass research plots and improved processes.

Admired for his technical skills, Nordstrom also goes beyond the line of duty to help others, said David Jespersen, an associate professor of crop and soil sciences. “Daniel is a dependable employee who without, we would not be able to do the work we do.”

Jeffrey Dean, assistant provost and campus director for UGA Griffin, congratulated all the nominees, noting the importance of recognizing the work of those who keep the campus running.

All the nominees gather with the campus director in front of the UGA Arch
Nominees for the 2024 UGA Griffin Classified Employee Award include (from left) Lei Dunn, Ben Lopez, Angie Lewis, Daniel Nordstrom, Kenny Corley, Jeff Dean, Donna Brown, Brett Byous, Tracy Gauge and Elizabeth Laney. Not pictured is David Mann.

“We are lucky to have many hard-working and dedicated employees who support the UGA Griffin campus operations in many different capacities, so it is important that we recognize and celebrate the exceptional contributions of this particular group which has set a new standard for performance in the future,” Dean said.

Meritorious Service Awards

Employees celebrating service anniversaries were recognized with Meritorious Service Awards for faculty and staff who have served the campus for 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years.

10 Years

Tyler Brannon, Field Research Services; John Cruickshank, UGA-Griffin Library; Ben Fields, Field Research Services; Viktor Tishchenko, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences

15 Years

Kimberly Allen, Center for Urban Agriculture; Stephanie Harker, Department of Horticulture; Beth Horne, Center for Urban Agriculture; Stephanie Moore, UGA-Griffin Business Office; Kevin Peeples, Facilities Management

20 Years

Ghensheng Zhang, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences

25 Years

Jinru Chen, Department of Food Science and Technology

30 Years

Jye-Yin Liao, Center for Food Safety

The UGA Griffin campus boasts a small college atmosphere with the benefits of a university with a strong national reputation for academic excellence. Learn more about programs and opportunities at UGA-Griffin at

Ashley Biles is an administrative associate at the UGA Griffin campus.