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2016 Meritorious Service Award Winner
The Meritorious Service Awards are given in recognition of individuals who best reflect honor upon the University and community through a combination of job performance, relationship with associates, and the ability to relate their work to the missions and values of the University. $1000 Meritorious Service awards are given to employees chosen by the selection committee based on nominations submitted to Human Resources by employee’s at UND.
Trish Muir, Payroll Manager, Human Resources
An excellent representative of UND, this employee has consistently impressed others with their knowledge, work ethic and ability to help find answers to questions and concerns. She collaborates well with others to give prompt and workable advice. Much of what she deals with is outside of normal practices in her area. She always shows patience and great willingness to help in any situation. As we move through new processes at UND she has been an advocate for our department; asking tough questions and helping us navigate through processes. Her positive attitude and optimistic spirit are a breath of fresh air. When your question has a complex answer, she takes the time to walk through the answer with you to ensure that you understand. As we head into the new Time Labor and Attendance system at UND, we are very glad that she is leading the effort for UND!
Kevin Fruhwirth, Administrative Assistant, Vice President for Finance and Operations
High energy. Inquisitive. Dependable. Driven. There are just a few words to describe this person. From the moment this person was hired, they have not held back. They have a desire to learn that goes above the standard necessary for their position. They continuously research everything they are unfamiliar with to ensure a solid understanding for future reference. They strive to find new ways of doing things making the office more efficient and simplifying processes. Reworking the office’s entire filing system, they scanned hundreds of documents, digitizing current and historical records, making them easily retrievable within our current retention system. When things break down and need fixing, he makes every effort to fix it before seeking a solution that would cost money or tech support. 99% of the time, he is successful. He is service driven-focusing on providing what is needed on a moment’s notice to any number of constituents (students, staff, faculty, community, etc.) He is proactive when it comes to scheduling needs, keeping the vice president’s calendar in check along with the multiple constituents with whom she interacts. This is no easy task and he does so almost effortlessly. He is an engaged employee striving to provide a superior service in everything he does.
Ashley Evenson, Program Manager, Master of Public Health Program, Department of Population Health, SMHS
This employee is essential to upholding the missions and values of our program. They were heavily involved in helping us achieve our first accreditation. They are genuinely interested in making our program the best it can be. They regularly alert faculty to relevant opportunities for them, including funding opportunities, teaching workshops, and professional conferences. They frequently attend campus workshops and webinars and will report interesting take-aways to faculty, covering anything that can improve our program. She also takes the time and effort to tailor these activities and tips to specific needs of individual faculty members. Additionally, she disseminates opportunities to students such as assistantships, scholarships, jobs and internships, and professional development opportunities. She initiates social events in our area to keep us engaged and connected. After student orientation in our program, she personally hand-wrote thank you notes to all of the participating faculty members. Through actions like these, she makes everyone in the Masters of Public Health program feel welcome and appreciated.
Kathy Lund, Director of Pancratz Career Development Center, CoBPA
This employee goes above and beyond expectations almost every day. They are selfless and tireless and in a short amount of time has transformed an idea into a vibrant part of our college. They willingly expand their scope of duties. This employee uses a holistic approach to assisting students. They will find any way to meet a student’s needs. They are an advocate for diversity and have taken proactive steps to build real connections to the college and the multicultural student center. She is especially sensitive to the needs of first generation college students, and goes out of her way to help them successfully navigate UND, CoBPA, and job placement. She has brought recognition to the university through building relationships with recruiters at world-class companies in our region. Her session at this year’s Hultberg Lecture has already resulted in alumni committing to participate in the Pancratz Center’s mentorship program. Because of the relationships that she builds with students, alumni of the Pancratz Center remain engaged with UND and begin giving back as soon as they graduate.
Jennifer Lynch Hurst, Lead Building Services Technician, Facilities
This employee’s supervisor said, “while the Fighting Hawks have taken flight, an eagle has landed at UND”. This employee always comes to work with a smile on their face and makes coming to work a joy for both their staff and colleagues. Recently the area they work in went through 3 different supervisors in a period of six weeks due to departmental transition and the employee made the decision to just make things work. They organized their staff into teams and broke down the priorities that just had to be done each night. When the new supervisor walked into the situation, they expected a chaotic and completely disorganized mess but instead, due to this employee, it was an organized team of employees doing a great job. This employee has the ability to make any situation work even when they are short staffed and need to get everything accomplished that needs to be done that shift. They have earned the respect of their colleagues by willingly taking on any task to help. The staff know they can come to this employee with anything and they will give them a hand.
Nicholas Geinert, Aircraft Accessory Shop Manager, UND Aerospace Aircraft Maintenance Dept
This employee has been with UND for over 10 years. He has a genuine disposition with very high integrity. His is willing to lend a hand and routinely goes out of his way to assist those less experienced in his area. He is a very skilled technician who can take something apart, repair it, reassemble it, and it works better than new! He has the sought after ability to learn and understand, and then put that knowledge to use. His resourcefulness and “can do” enthusiasm has saved UND’s Flight Department an enormous amount of costs and reduced aircraft down time over the years, while maintaining the highest level of aviation safety. He has developed a great working relationship with many of our aviation vendors; because of his vast knowledge and his willingness to help make the aviation industry safer, he is currently engaged with Champion ignition systems in the evaluation of new products and the trending of failure rates. At UND, professors are continuously asking him to participate in teaching portions of their ground school systems classes. He is a total professional who is respected by his subordinates for his technical knowledge, friendly disposition, and commitment to aviation safety.
Odella Fuqua, Director, Resource Planning and Allocation, AVP Finance and Operations
It is hard to describe the exceptional work done by this employee in a manner that would not almost instantly give away who it is. So I won’t try. She works tirelessly on the implementation of MIRA and remains positive despite the difficult challenges she has faced to ensure implementation. Her response to the challenges faced are to roll up her sleeves, provide information, utilize support from colleagues, prioritize her time, and constantly engage with the broad campus community. She is highly respectful of others’ opinions and even criticisms of the model and continues to work to meet the needs and answer questions of all constituents. She works closely with University Senate, Academic Deans, Fiscal Officers, and provided information about MIRA through various venues including open forums, one-on-one meetings, chairs leadership institute sessions, college meetings and individual department meetings. To ensure each constituent group is provided with adequate information, she has spent countless hours preparing presentation materials to ensure they understand how they as individuals and their unit can influence their future fiscal picture. In other words, she does not have a canned presentation or dialogues. Instead she goes the extra step to engage from the perspective of the unit/constituent which requires her to spend an enormous amount of time to understand various perspectives on campus. She has championed the implantation of the MIRA budget model since its inception. She has been committed to the success of this project since the beginning and has continued to move this implementation forward through many hurdles.
Carol Anson, Veterans/Military Advisor, Student Success Center
A few of her greatest attributes are her experience, her work ethic, and her genuine personality. One co-worker stated “She is the most caring and kind person I have every met”. Through many years and many moves on campus she has stayed committed to the students she serves. She is a real “go-getter”. She is quick to help students in need. She is always conscientious about getting the student courses certified right away so that they have the funding needed to live for the semester. She has an impeccable memory and is often called upon to troubleshoot many issues when it comes to her students and their financial aid. Her concern for the students goes well beyond the office. She has given students rides when they don’t have transportation, has been a pet-sitter when a student needed to travel out of town, and has driven a student home who wasn’t feeling well. She is well known for two things: her compassion for students and her chocolate chip cookies, which all the students love. She has increased retention by building a solid foundation with students so they are willing to come back to the office and feel comfortable with the staff. Her understanding of military benefits is extremely helpful; visitors to the office are often returning to their academic pursuits after spending years away from the classroom. They are faced with transitioning into a new routine as well as new faces around them. She puts these students at ease with her wealth of knowledge and calm demeanor. Having also served in the Military she has a genuine understanding and commitment to the students she serves.
Sherry Lawdermilt, Director of Administrative Services Technology, Finance and Operations and Student Affairs
She is a very devoted and loyal staff member who is dedicated to UND’s mission and exemplifies the values of our university. She embraces change and welcomes opportunities to improve policies and practices whenever warranted. In dealing with the needs of two major Divisions at UND, it is not surprising that her workday often extends beyond 8-4:30 Monday thru Friday, but you never hear her complain. During the merger of these two Divisions one might expect delays in responses or services but the contrary is true. She and her team respond to requests in a timely and professional manner. Her leadership and oversight of her team is evident in every call placed and in every response by her team members. They are friendly, timely, and knowledgeable. It is evident she empowers them to make good decisions and that they are equipped with the tools they need to do their jobs. Her door is always open and she is approachable and kind. She is warm and friendly which makes her easy to work with and creates a positive work environment. We are lucky to have her as a leader at UND as she loyal and dependable and always had the best interests of the University at heart.
Dennis Schultz, Line Maintenance Mechanic, Aerospace Flight Operations
This award winner was exposed to four quarterly no-notice inspections by the Grand Forks Airport Authority and did not receive a single non-compliance item during these inspections. His expertise with maintenance and operational safety compliance was validated. Also, not a single non-compliance item was noted during an annual FAA inspection. Not a single incident related to mechanical or safety compliance during 49,8854 fuel servicing’s totaling over 900K gallons supporting student training flying activity was reported. These accomplishments demonstrate his outstanding quality service on a sustained basis. His efforts ensure readiness of fleet for safe support to flying activity without interruption. These efforts allowed the line staff to safely handle and precisely account for fuel valued in excess of $9.8m. He is actively involved with Chapter 380 of the Experimental Aircraft Association. He plans and coordinates the annual fundraising Fly-In Breakfast event with over 50 vintage aircraft owners providing flights to children promoting aviation to youth and the general public. He is also in charge of the actual breakfast that serves over 600. Also through his efforts this chapter partners and provides mentorship visibility and recognition to the organization. All these initiatives showcase the University of North Dakota and promotes the aviation program. He personally takes the lead in organizing several work morale enhancing breakfasts/lunches all funded with this personal finances. He further assists with planning meal for department annual training workshops.