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2014 Meritorious Service Award Winner
Joyce Muz, Administrative Secretary, Communications Program
Joyce Muz has a high level of commitment and goes beyond the expectations of her position. The program has had many leadership changes over the past five years and she has had the responsibility of establishing consistency and informing each new leader of the multiple responsibilities required to continue the program. Most of the program's graduate students routinely go to her with whatever issues they have and she always has her "door open" for them with an ear to listen or help solve problems. Many stay in contact with her once they leave. Joyce is the "glue" that holds us all together wrote one nominator. We often are not able to communicate with everyone in the program but through her we can get everything done that needs to be done. She anticipates procedures and problems which allows us to manage them more efficiently. Joyce is more likely to kindly say, "you need to consider . . .", rather than us saying, "Why didn't you anticipate . . .:. Another nominator wrote, "She embodies the highest of virtues to both internal and external entities. She embraces and promotes the mission of the department and its values. Her professional demeanor is without compare. She is caring, civil, respectful, tolerant, honest, loyal and diplomatic to individuals in the program and those in relation to it. Joyce truly is the backbone of the department and without her, we would not be functioning."
Larry Thompson, Electrician, Facilities Management
There are very few people who are more dedicated to the University than this Larry, wrote his supervisor. His positive attitude is a fine example for the entire shop. He will work anywhere even if it's the dirtiest place on campus. He accepts it and goes to work. One example of his work ethic occurred at the Wellness Center. He was in charge of the project to install the enormous motorized window blinds. He accomplished this complex task with no rough-ins from the original construction available. Another example of Larry's dedication is evident from a complimentary letter he received from the Grand Forks Chamber for services he provided to them when they held their Military Appreciation Day on campus. He provided electrical service and was very attentive to their needs. He will go to extraordinary lengths to keep a project on track and on time. Many times over the years, he has had to work late into the night or on the weekends. He has consistently been available to help out. Larry keeps up with license by attending continuing education classes and is always looking for ways to upgrade his skills and knowledge of his job. It is very important to him that he knows his trade well. Larry strives to give his best every day. This past March marked his 42nd year working for Facilities Management.
Susie Kroestch, Accountant, College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines
Several co-workers felt compelled to write nominations for this award winner. The consistent message throughout the nominations was Susie's patience and willingness to assist whenever needed. During the last year it was medically necessary for her to be away from work but still managed to keep working from home. She was able to complete the necessary paperwork for faculty and staff for the 2014 academic year without a glitch. That's really a demonstration of dedication and going beyond expectations wrote several nominators. Susie's commitment to her work and the college are evident in the active role she takes in bringing wellness and professional development opportunities to the other staff within the college. She has taken the initiative to reach out to individuals, offices, and organizations in the Grand Forks community as well as UND to solicit information on development projects, staff training, and team building exercises. Susie is always up for learning new things. She attends any workshop or class that will enhance her abilities to learn, teach, and expand ways to save time for all of us, states one nominator. Another nominator wrote "Should she not be selected as an award winner, she should be informed that her college values her contributions to both UND and the community at large. And that Susie continues to be an exemplary model of what we all aspire to be.
Karen Martin, Administrative Secretary, School of Law
Karen deserves a ton of credit for being able to serve so many faculty members that have many demanding obligations. She always does this with ease, finesse, and patience. She finds creative solutions to accomplish her tasks and continually anticipates future needs. For example, she will make office supplies and other items accessible over weekends during final exam grading when faculty are likely to be working long hours. Karen also streamlined the exam review process by creating a schedule to combine review sessions making the process more productive for students, faculty and staff. A few of the comments shared by faculty members were: "One of her most important and appreciated qualities is her willingness to do even the smallest and least exciting aspects of a project in order to get it done and done properly. "I remember when I first started; Karen would always be asking if there was more she could do and that she welcomed work." "Karen has been an instrumental part of my day-to-day success." "Karen brings a high degree of professionalism to her position, interacting with students, staff and faculty, and the public in ways that represent the values of the School. She consistently displays respect and civility toward every member of our school community". "Karen takes pride in a job well done and looks for ways that we can increase efficiency and functionality".
Mary Anderson, Student Account Specialist, Student Account Services
Mary has numerous "returning" customers who seek her out for assistance each semester, or year, or with each child in the family. She is the go-to person for many departmental customers within UND who have her on speed dial when a need arises. They know she is a problem solver. One of her colleagues made the following comment: "Mary is an efficient, well organized, and dependable employee that I have the pleasure of working with on a regular basis." Mary has formed numerous positive relationships with so many agencies throughout the U.S. and spreads the UND Spirit to whomever she works with. From cleaning out the departmental fridge, to reorganizing the supply closet to refiling documents in departmental server, she always steps up when she finds the need for something to done and does it without prompting. Mary is a front runner in testing new initiatives. She prides herself in getting over $60MM of financial aid posted and in seeing that our students receive their excess aid as promised. It is a large task, and almost always falls on Labor Day weekend, which she willingly sacrifices. Mary handles it as part of the job and our students are the beneficiaries of her skill and dedication. Mary leaves a lasting impression on those she works and has worked with.
Eric Plummer, Chief of Police, Director of Public Safety
It is said that Eric takes a lot of time to ensure that people are being treated fairly. He has earned the trust of various members of the campus community because he follows through with the commitments he makes and makes decisions transparently. He is proactive in dealing with issues. Eric has an open door policy and will adjust his schedule when appropriate to meet with those who need his assistance. He takes every issue seriously. He demonstrates a level of knowledge which cannot be attained merely through experience, but through a constant effort to stay informed. It is rare that he does not have an answer to a question you ask, but if he doesn't, he will soon. Since arriving at UND, Eric has embarked on a mission to transform the relationship between the Greek community and the University Police Department, into a relationship built on mutual respect and trust. The time he puts into his position is nothing short of astounding, and it has resulted in respect from his officers, the Greek community, and the student body as a whole.
Ron Soger, Building Service Technician, Facilities, assigned to Flight Operations
Ron works when the rest of the world is asleep. He never complains, is reliable, respectful, and understands the mission of the University of North Dakota. When we arrive in the morning, he is in the last few hours of his shift, and is still applying full effort to his duties. I have never seen someone dust and polish an elevator door before! Ron's efforts give class to the appearance of our facilities. By picking up on people's schedules and work habits, as some of us come in fairly early in the morning, and even though he has a lot of area to cover, he usually arranges to be done with our particular work areas by the time we arrive. He always does the job right and there is never a need to "follow-up" on him. He is very resourceful with duct tape! Ron is always willing to go the extra mile to make things nice and tidy. Custodial work is probably one of the most underappreciated jobs in any institution. To have someone like him devoted to doing excellent work, night after night, and likely not receive a lot of recognition for their efforts can be frustrating. To have someone like him who continues to do excellent work in spite of this, is an indication of outstanding service to UND.
Jessica Dunphy, Administrative Secretary, Air Force ROTC
Jessica is a "dynamo"! She is typically ahead of deadlines and the quality of work typically exceeds expectations. She is a very balanced individual. She has the respect of students and co-workers and has a vast amount of knowledge, is a terrific worker, and is highly efficient at getting the job done. Jessica is the type of person who only needs to be asked once and we know the job will get done. She is always respectful and is always willing to provide ideas to make our department and the university better. She is the type of person who often doesn't even need to be asked to do something; it just gets done without question. Jessica voluntarily took on the near full-time additional job of departmental supply/uniform custodian. She stepped way out of her comfort zone and had to learn how to properly fit and manage over $116,000 of Air Force uniform items and supplies. She has to meticulously maintain the vast inventory set before her and was a key player in the development of a phased uniform issuing policy, expected to save hundreds of thousands of the taxpayer's dollars. I can't say enough great things about her. Jessica's dedication to the department, UND, and the Grand Forks community is spectacular. She is truly a great asset to the university and to the Air Force.
Tom Peterson, Academic Building Services Supervisor
Tom is always looking at ways to improve the quality of life for co-workers. He has been able to recruit people from outside the university to come and apply and gain employment here. He always displays a positive attitude. He works side by side with those people he supervises. Many of his employees have commented that they enjoy coming to work because of him. Tom provides a professional atmosphere and enjoyable work environment. He values our opinions and input. He works hard and is a good example to those who work for him. He has built good relationships with the other managers and is able to pass along our needs and concerns, thus making a better communication system. Tom is always walking through the building to make sure everything looks great and has high standards. He makes himself available to students, faculty and staff.
Trudy Soli, Office Manager, Helicopter Flight Training Program, Military Science,
Trudy exceeds the standards in EVERYTHING she does! I cannot imagine another person ever being able to do the job she does. She has an incredible reputation throughout our area. This is not just a job to her; it is her "calling". Each year Trudy comes to work with more dedication and passion than the year prior, and we just keep piling the work on her. She is very dependable, always on time, uses sound judgment when problem solving, and works long hours to ensure tasks are accomplished. Trudy has a work ethic that allows her to grab any problem, dig into it, and work hard in order to find a solution to the problem. She visits with prospective Cadets and their parents on a consistent basis either via phone or in person. Trudy's congeniality has undoubtedly influenced many prospects to join our program and come to UND for their education. She lives the Army values on a day to day basis; Loyalty, Dedication, Respect, Selfless-Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage.