LARAMIE, Wyo. - Not only does the Excellence at 7220 Program promote leadership and excellence with UW student-athletes, but the E7220 program also inspires athletics department coaches, staff and administrators to be their best.
In an effort to increase positivity and gratitude in the athletics department offices, Joi Thomas, Assistant AD for Administration, introduced the idea of an Appreciation Cards. Joi was recently inspired by similar cards used by the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA) and Kent Noble, the Director of the Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership.
The idea of the card is to give it to someone, whether within the athletics department or on the UW campus, who has been working exceptionally hard, perhaps, unrecognized or has personally helped the giver of the card. Then, the receiver of the Appreciation Card can share the card with someone they are grateful for. In this way, the card acts as a domino effect of positivity and frankly, an opportunity to stop, and take the time to thank another individual’s contribution.
The introduction of the Appreciation Cards has created an environment of positivity, appreciation, acknowledgement and gratitude, thereby building stronger relationships and producing an even greater dedication to their work. Staff members are more apt to look for positives in the people they work with. As Joi states, “you start looking for positives in other people, instead of looking for negatives.” This environment breeds an optimistic and hard-working community.
Among many receivers of the Appreciation Card, Felicia Read, Assistant Director of Marketing, believes the cards enhances morale. When she received an Appreciation Card and a personal note from Joi, Felicia felt more motivated and encouraged to do more knowing she had support and recognition from Joi.
The E7220 Planning Committee hopes to not only produce more positivity in the office, but also a greater sense of community within all departments and sports. As Joi states, “we are trying to reach out and keep everyone connected as part of one whole athletic department.” With each sport in their own season, practicing and meeting daily with each other, it is easy for staff to stay in their sport-specific bubble. With the Appreciation Cards, individuals can show their appreciation for staff members outside of their department and build meaningful connections.
Overall, the Appreciation Cards are another great step towards excellence across UW athletics. Just as Joi was inspired to create the Appreciation Cards, any staff member is encouraged to share ideas that may generate positivity, productivity, efficiency and community within the athletics department.