Justine Hollingshead, chief of staff for the Division of Academic and Student Affairs, was named one of seven recipients of the 2015 Governor’s Award for Excellence, the state’s highest honor for state employees.
Hollingshead and other winners were honored Tuesday at a banquet at the North Carolina Museum of History in downtown Raleigh.
The Governor’s Awards for Excellence program is designed to acknowledge and express appreciation for outstanding accomplishments that do not fall entirely within the scope of normal duties, but are in the nature of major contributions reflecting credit on the person and state service.
Hollingshead was chosen in the human relations category, which honors one who “made outstanding contributions toward enhancing the quality and morale of the workplace or creating a better public image of state government (such as positive personal interaction with other employees; public awareness; working on relations internally within an agency; or collaboration between different agencies).”
Hollingshead was specifically nominated for her work in the aftermath of the shootings of three members of the NC State community, married NC State alumni Deah Barakat and Yusor Abu-Salha, students at UNC’s School of Dentistry, and NC State sophomore design student Razan Abu-Salha.
“On Feb. 11, 2015, the NC State community was rocked with the news that two alumni and a current student were murdered at their home in Chapel Hill,” reads an excerpt from her nomination. “That day, and the days following, Justine Hollingshead showed leadership, grace and strength of character in handling this tragic event that brought national attention to NC State.
“Justine’s boundless energy brought together all facets of the university to ensure students were cared for, the families of the victims had university support, and the community at large had a place to heal. She was the conduit through which we were able to host a funeral, a call to prayer, and a candlelight vigil all within 24 hours of learning of the death of ‘Our Three Winners.’ She guided the on-campus response that helped morale on campus and showed that in a crisis, NC State can be an example of what to do on a national stage.”