By Sgt. Michael Reinsch, U.S. Army Europe Public AffairsAugust 7, 2013
WIESBADEN, Germany -- A U.S. Army Europe intern won a national award for her efforts to update and reorganize Office of the Provost Marshal's SharePoint operations.
Noeliz I. Cedeño, office support assistant for USAREUR OPM, Heidelberg, won the Judith C. Gilliom Award for outstanding Workforce Recruitment Program Student Employees from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense.
"Everyone is very proud of me and I'm proud of myself," Cedeño said. "I'm very thankful of all the people (who) have helped me here."
Cedeño transferred OPM's SharePoint 2007 data to SharePoint 2010 and assisted in establishing a professional and sustainable portal. She also introduced OPM personnel to the new portal, helped the organization transfer and upload all necessary documents to the new portal, and assisted OPM in going paperless.
"Noeliz accomplished work that would have diverted three of my staff from their normal duties," said Dahlia E. Lewis, security specialist for OPM and Cedeño's supervisor. "She consistently took on work and completed it without hesitation."
"Ms. Cedeño's ability to quickly learn new tasks and her determination to excel truly makes a difference at OPM and USAREUR. Her actions have made her an invaluable member of the team," Lewis said.
Cedeño coordinated regularly with OPM portal users to ensure that OPM's portal sites met the USAREUR standard. She communicated information and policy to Provost Marshal staff across Europe, and fostered synergy and collaboration with security and operations experts at all levels of command.
Cedeño, a native of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, is a senior at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan. She plans on moving forward to a master's degree program after she completes two more classes and receives her bachelor's degree in psychology. The experience she has had with the Army has helped her in her pursuit of the future, she said.
"There are no limitations in life," Cedeño said. "The program specializes in students with disabilities and I've had a lot of difficulties in my life because of my disability."
"I think this opportunity and experience has broadened her horizons," said Lewis. "I hope that the work she's done here helps her to recognize her abilities and that all around she is a great worker. No matter where she goes, whether it's employment or continuing education, she can do anything. No one is in her way."
"I hear people tell me that 'I can't do that or I can't do this,'" Cedeño said. "There is so much that I can do and so many things I can accomplish."
The U.S. Department of Defense's Office of Diversity Management & Equal Opportunity manages the WRP program. Since the program's expansion in 1995, more than 6,000 students and recent graduates have received temporary and permanent employment opportunities through the WRP.
In 2011, the Office of Personnel Management highlighted the WRP as a model strategy in its guidance to federal agencies regarding the recruitment and hiring of people with disabilities.
Judith C. Gilliom, whom the award is named after, was known for her fight to get government agencies to establish programs for disabled employees and workforce diversity.