Roger Arnett, sound engineer for the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, received an inaugural University of Michigan Staff Impact Award on May 14. Arnett was one of only six staff members across campus to be honored with an individual award.
The individual Staff Impact Award is bestowed on staff members who demonstrate good character through conduct within department and community; volunteer for initiatives providing service to others within the university community; exhibit exemplary performance of work responsibilities; demonstrate strong work qualities (initiative, dependability, and commitment); empower others by exhibiting exceptional leadership and respect for all; and extend extra effort to take on additional responsibilities in support of colleagues.
Arnett joined SMTD in 1978 as a broadcast engineer, though his title, position and duties have changed and grown frequently to keep pace with the rapidly changing field of sound technology. Throughout his 40 years of service, Arnett has traversed the many changes in his field and in his job with a high degree of collegiality, professionalism, flexibility, and excellence. He is responsible for collaborating in the sound design of more than 150 events annually, requiring an enormous amount of time, energy, teamwork, and attention to detail. In addition, Arnett works closely with students and faculty to produce archival recordings for the School and the University, and he oversees the recording of innumerable concerts, operas, musical theatre productions, and special events with the School’s bands, orchestras, choirs, and jazz and chamber music ensembles.
Arnett’s nomination for this prestigious award was submitted by former SMTD dean Christopher Kendall, who wrote, “One of the more interesting things about Roger’s work is that when all is going well, no one tends to notice. It is when problems occur (equipment failure, usually) that all eyes turn to Roger, who then comes consistently to the rescue—quietly, efficiently, and with a degree of professionalism that is difficult to match under such pressure and visibility.”
Kendall described Arnett as ”an indispensable fixture in the SMTD community… seemingly everywhere at once, contributing, creating, and trouble-shooting.”
“Roger has an innate ability to work constructively and congenially with a wide variety of faculty and staff, and is the consummate diplomat, able to treat faculty concerns with deep seriousness while also keeping them in perspective,” wrote Kendall. “Roger’s dedication to his work is mirrored in his mentoring of students, who enthusiastically absorb the experience and skills that he shares selflessly with the next generation of sound engineers.”
Past and present faculty and staff at SMTD are delighted to congratulate Roger Arnett on this well-deserved honor!