• Mary Ceccanese (left) and Karen Dickinson together led workshops on Positive Organizational Scholarship to many units and groups across the University.
1951-1980  |  1981-2000  |  2001-2013  |  Community Service  |  Date Range  |  Gallery  |  Generosity/Compassion  |  Highlights  |  Leadership by Example  |  Longevity  |  Other Memories/Reflections  |  Staff Stories  |  Timeline  |  Topic

“The slogan ‘We Make Blue Go’ is very true here at the university. Without the staff there would be no faculty and no research. It amazes me how many staff it takes to support the faculty here, and we learn a lot from them in return. It is the partnership between the faculty and staff that has an effect on the students and all together it makes the Michigan Difference.

The university is very good at rewarding the obvious high potential people, but almost everybody here has more potential than most. So one of the things that I have been dedicated to is finding those people and making sure they have opportunities to show their leadership.

My vision for the future of the university is that we will continue to grow globally.  The university will continue to be set apart by very good values and an inclusive mission, I think we will continue to be a leader and even in retirement I want to be a part of that.” — Karen Dickinson (former Customer Relationship Manager, Information Technology Services)

And she was. Karen passed away in April 2012. At the time of her death, she was contributing to research conducted by scholars at the Ross School of Business Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship and looking forward to playing a role in documenting the contributions of staff to the history of the University as part of the celebration of the 2017 Bicentennial.

Associate Vice President for Human Resources Laurita Thomas described Karen’s commitment to making the University of Michigan a great workplace: “Karen Dickinson’s belief in possibilities profoundly impacted my life and others’. Her positive belief in the impossible changed and enriched our world. She transformed lives and significantly impacted the our community.”

“Her commitment to developing leaders, building fulfilling careers, to Voices of the Staff — even when it was just an idea, to her indefatigable volunteering in retirement, her commitment to improving the lives of women through the Commission for Women and her support of the Women of Color Task force, through and her passionate belief in the value of Positive Organizational Scholarship and the ideas and work still on our list for the U-M Bicentennial, Karen’s are emblematic of  the powerful stories and cherished memories that will inspire us, now and in the future.”