The 2013 Gabhart Award for Staff Excellence and Service was presented to Senior Director of Curb College Initiatives Sarah Cates during the annual Staff Christmas Breakfast.
Cates is a former Bruin student-athlete, an alumna, a strong advocate for student centeredness and a promoter of the University’s sense of community. As written in her nomination, “She always seeks to do that which is right and uses her faith as a measure for action.”
She is known for fostering community and collaboration among faculty and staff. She has persuaded Curb College staff members to get to know employees in other departments by giving them each $20 of her own money to break bread with colleagues across campus.
It is her responsibility to develop external programs and industry relationships for Belmont students, and she does not stop at 4:30 p.m. She lives out the University mission in her daily life. To help “empower men and women of diverse backgrounds,” she opened her home to provide dinner to Bridges to Belmont students adjusting to life in college. To “engage and transform the world,” she counsels and supports recording artists and their families through Porter’s Call and serves on the NashvilleNext Arts and Culture team using her topical expertise to develop the city’s 25-year plan.
The Gabhart Award for Staff Excellence and Service is the highest honor Belmont University presents to a staff member. It recognizes exemplary commitment and service to the University as well as honors staff members who have demonstrated achievements and contributions of a significant nature.