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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History’s Warren Brown, Shan Jiang and Andrei Sourakov have been rewarded for their service and have received 2020 Superior Accomplishment Awards from the University of Florida.

The annual award recognizes staff and faculty members who contribute outstanding and meritorious service, efficiency and/or economy, or to the quality of life for students and employees.

combined image of 3 people smiling
Shan Jiang (left) won a Superior Accomplishment award at the University level while Warren Brown (center) and Andrei Sourakov (right) won Division 3 level awards. Photo of Brown: ©Sarah Fazenbaker/Florida Museum; Photo of Sourakov: ©Kristen Grace/Florida Museum; Photo of Jiang courtesy of UF Student Affairs/Matt Pendleton

Brown, the Florida Museum’s IT director, and Sourakov, collections coordinator for the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, won the award at the Division 3 level, which includes all schools, colleges, departments and units under the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Jiang, a museum web developer, won a Silver Gator Special Recognition Award at the university level. She was nominated for the award by Sara Tanner, director of marketing and communications at UF’s Division of Student Affairs, where Jiang was a web developer prior to joining the museum. Tanner said she “elevates everyone around her with her hustle, innovative ideas and care,” and that “it is creative, hard-working and caring staff like Shan Jiang who will push UF to Top 5” in her nomination letter.

“I had no idea I was nominated; I was very surprised and excited when I heard I won,” Jiang said. “I felt very happy and proud of my team! This award is a great acknowledgment and recognition of the hard work we’ve done to help students achieve success.”

Florida Museum Senior Associate Director Beverly Sensbach nominated Brown. In her letter, she hailed his efforts in consolidating the numerous collection databases and also said that “he has enhanced the museum’s, and the university’s, national and international reputation through his efforts.”

“I was very surprised to find out that Bev had nominated me and that I had won a divisional award!” Brown said. “I’m surprised, humbled and thankful; I’m thankful to work in the museum with such amazing and dedicated people, without whom none of my work would be possible.”

Jaret Daniels, curator at the Florida Museum’s McGuire Center, nominated Sourakov and highlighted his commitment to outreach and education. In his nomination letter, Daniels said that Sourakov’s work “is a superlative example of stellar and deep community impact and one that should be more broadly highlighted across UF.”

“The fact that Jaret nominated me for the award, and especially the fact that his nomination found a favorable response on the university-wide level, is very important to me for a single reason: it reaffirms that what we are doing has meaning,” Sourakov said. “This is why I chose to work for a museum in the first place – museums are ideal places for doing both research and education under one roof.”

For more information on the 2020 Superior Accomplishment Award winners, visit learn-and-grow.hr.ufl.edu/awards-recognition/superior-accomplishment-awards/2020-superior-accomplishment-award-winners.

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Writer: Nikhil Srinivasan, 352-273-2034, nsrinivasan@floridamuseum.ufl.edu
Sources: Warren Brown, wbrown@floridamuseum.ufl.edu; Shan Jiang, sjiang@floridamuseum.ufl.edu; Andrei Sourakov, asourakov@floridamuseum.ufl.edu
Media contact: Kaitlin Gardiner, 352-273-2028, kgardiner@floridamuseum.ufl.edu