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Lyon honors Ellis, Robbins for 30 years of service

Diane Ellis and Dr. Helen Robbins were recognized for 30 years of service Wednesday at Lyon’s All Campus Awards Luncheon.

Ellis, director of counseling, was commended for her focus on students, serving them “with her full heart and attention.”

“Diane is an example of the heart of Lyon,” said Jennifer Hidy Pitts, administrative assistant for Student Life. “When you talk with her about her work at Lyon, she’ll say how much she has learned from students and how impressed she is that people at their age are willing to start to work on some difficult issues.”

“That really sums up not only the dedication that Diane has to Lyon and our wonderful students but also why she is so good at what she does.”

Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Dr. Patrick Mulick said Ellis has been “an invaluable member of the Lyon family for three decades.”

“Her dedication to her student clients and the entire Lyon student body is a shining example of someone who truly lives her work.”

“Many college counselors intentionally avoid their campus after work hours, but Diane has done the opposite. She is consistently seen at choir concerts, band performances, art shows, theater productions, athletic events, and more. Her presence at these events is cherished by the Lyon students. Lyon is lucky to have Diane as a member of our community.”

Robbins, associate professor of English, was lauded for her volunteer spirit.

“Helen has always been willing to take on any task that benefits Lyon’s students and faculty,” said Dr. Terrell Tebbetts. “She was a great help to both, for example, by running the writing center for many years, finding tutors and supervising their work.”

“Helen is a model colleague: always generous with her time and ready to share wise insights,” said Dr. Wesley Beal. “My life at Lyon is better for her company.”

Megan Bryant, administrative assistant for the athletic department, received the 2019 Staff Service Award.

“This year’s winner works diligently alongside our staff and faculty to ensure our students have what they need to make their experience at Lyon great,” said Director of Athletics Kevin Jenkins.

“[Bryant] quietly goes about helping students on a daily basis, dispensing love and caring while assisting with insurance and eligibility needs. Her tireless work behind the scenes supporting Lyon College helps our students achieve great things.”

“I can’t explain how much it means to have been selected for this award by the Lyon College staff,” said Bryant. “I have enjoyed being part of the Athletic Department and Lyon College for the last five years, and I look forward to many more!”

The following staff members were also recognized for their years of service during the ceremony:


25 years

Norman Branscum

Dr. Bradley Gitz

Dr. Russell Stinson

Dr. Frank Winfrey

David Worley 


20 years

Dr. Mahbubul Kabir

Cindy Qualls

Dr. David Thomas


15 years

Debra Dickey


10 years

Renda Acklin

Amanda Echols

Jill Varner

Jeanette Youngblood 


Five years

Dana Bennett

Megan Bryant

Andrew English

Jennifer Green

Dr. John Herda

Dr. Irosha Nawarathne

Dakota Robertson

Elliott Sampley

Matthew Sherman

Dr. Jaeyun Sung