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2016 Meritorious Service Award Winner
Jill Novotny-Administrative Office, University and Public Affairs
This employee is well-respected both within and outside her work group. She works hard to understand the needs of others, and will often proactively set up brief, “information-gathering” conversations to make sure she understands the context of a situation before entering it but when she does engage, she does so very confidently and competently. Her professionalism and calm demeanor are often commented on by others as well. Her supervisor said, “There is nothing I have asked of her that she cannot do or figure out a way to do and I have asked some pretty demanding things.” She accepted a position in our division in the middle of our University’s highly visible effort to replace the UND nickname and logo. Virtually overnight, she had to jump in and pick up responsibilities for managing highly public meetings and communicating with two geographically-dispersed committees involved in the process. This required dealing with open records and open meetings regulations, overseeing remote meeting technology and acquiring skills to do that, while serving as the public face of the University for those contacting our Division with questions. In all these situations, she responded with tact, grace, conscientiousness, professionalism and speed.
Sharlene Rakoczy-Research Specialist-Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine and Health Affairs
She is highly respected by coworkers and technicians within our department, the medical school as well as outside of UND. Many individuals have consulted with her on a variety of procedures. She demonstrates patience and an excellent but humble understanding of the procedures she performs. She comes in whenever necessary. She stays into the evening and comes in on weekends to complete studies, check on equipment. She has been in during the night at least three times in the last 9 months with equipment issues of our own lab and others, coming in at 3am and on Christmas night. She has driven 18 hours on different occasions to pick up mice that were too precious to allow going by carrier. Shehas been an employee for 23 years- that alone shows her loyalty and service to UND. She is also an avid (total understatement) UND hockey and football fan. A visit to the lab would convince you of her loyalty to UND athletics as there are posters around the lab, memorabilia on her desk and even a hockey stick hanging from the ceiling!
Lindsay Kuntz, Academic Advisor/Success Coach, Student Success Center, Student Affairs
This employee is said to have a welcoming and friendly approach to everyone she works with. She works closely with academic departments in a very professional and friendly manner. Many strong relationships with academic departments have been made through her work with them. She is always willing to represent our area in open houses, meet and greet events, and resources fairs. Her supervisor never hesitates to have her be the face or voice of their office. She has a passion for students. As someone who has worked in our office for many years, she is often turned to as others seek guidance in any question that comes through our door. In addition to the many duties she has on campus, she has attended many professional conferences representing UND. This past fall, shepresented at the National Academic Advising Association conference where she shared information on the academic probation program we have on undeclared students. By presenting at a national conference, she demonstrated UND’s commitment to students that struggle academically and how we provide service to them in order for them to be successful. We have many professionals across the country now reaching out to our office requesting more information on our probation program so that they may in turn implement a similar program.
Angie Morgan, Administrative Assistant/Research Information Associate, EERC
Going above and beyond her duties is said to be this person’s normal routine. She jumps right in and gets the job done. She has developed talents in numerous technical computer applications such as advanced Excel capabilities, Vizio, and Project. These capabilities have helped us all in creating tools for our projects and proposals. She has spent extra effort to help prepare large proposals with us so many times. I simply have no idea how many because she does it so often. When we have visitors on site for meetings or to observe testing, she is here very early to ensure everything is ready…and, most importantly, her supervisor is ready! The true testament to her working relationships with others, are the comments we receive from the people we work with internally and externally. She’s very pleasant and gregarious but she will make people tell them what they need in the most disarming way so that they don’t even know they are giving her work. They can’t believe she’s willing to do all the things that she does to ensure success. She has said many times, “the success of others is my success.” She also serves on Staff Senate and this past year worked hard as a member of the UND Presidential Search Committee.
Carrie Jackson, Office Manager, Anthropology, Academic Affairs
This employee joined the department several years ago, and assumed an impressively proactive role leadership role at a time when our program was undergoing significant revisions and periods of instability. On day one she was on top of critical functions of the department, making efficiency suggestions, recommending new organizational strategies, and meeting our many challenges with exceptional grace and good humor. Since that time she has continuously improved office functions from tracking budgets to organizing and storing historic student files and staffing the office with well-trained student workers. She is continuously seeking to learn and develop her job skills. She has redesigned our outdated departmental web page and created a vivid and attractive Facebook page for our program. On her own volition, she tackled the drab appearance of our main floor by designing, building and installing a secure exhibit case which promotes the study of the department. She scoured our storage rooms for poorly organized random collections of donated artifacts and reached out to our alumni to identify and catalogue the provenance of objects and to thank specific donors. The design of the case, and text placards, finally acknowledge our donors properly and places the artifacts in a meaningful cultural context.
Cheri Tretter, Administrative Secretary/Finance Assistant, School of Law
Her energy and enthusiasm for our department is contagious and it reflects on our students, faculty and co-workers. She always represents our school in a professional manner and has an understanding of going the extra mile for our alumni, specials guests, and VIP’s. She is the first to offer help to set up for events and will stay after everyone else leaves to assist with the clean-up. She is efficient and accurate, and you can absolutely count on her. When you ask for help with something, she immediately takes care of it. She is extremely organized. These skills were very critical during the Law School building construction and relocation. We could not have gotten all we needed to do without her amazing organizational skills. She devised a labeling system to prep for both moves (out and back into the law school). She kept track of all of our inventory, what we sent to surplus, what when to storage, and what went to each of our relocation areas and with whom, besides taking some of the responsibility of keeping track of the construction punch list. Her involvement with the School of Law combined building dedication and Homecoming even this past fall was huge! I was our most important even in School of Law history. She took pride in the success of the building project and it really showed during this time. She was a great hostess to our donor, alumni, state officials and the general public that came to celebrate the occasion.
Jeanne Boppre, Administrative Secretary III, Office of Instructional Development, Academic Affairs
This employee has been in her position for more than two decades and is devoted to excellence and professionalism in all her administrative tasks. Over the years, countless faculty, staff and administrators have commented on how extremely well-organized the programs of our area are and we always give credit to her. Her efforts help make the programs as successful as they have been. One example that illustrates her problem solving and resourcefulness involves multiple grant programs we administer. As grant proposals come into our office, rather than just filing them, she reviews and analyzes them, noting connections and ways in which incoming proposals represent potential synergies with both current and prior work. She shares those insights with the Director, who in turn can contact faculty and help facilitate collaboration across departments and colleges. Her long developed expertise in faculty development work, facilitated with an EXCELLENT memory, serves to magnify the impact of our programs.
Darlene Kenmir-Building Services Technician-Housing, Facilities Management
She enters her work day with the “I can’t wait to get to MY buildings to get them looking great” attitude. She always has a smile on her face. She has a very positive way of dealing with our students. Students often comment how they appreciate the way she takes a moment to say Hi to them, share a story or just smile and say good morning. They also say that even though they take her efforts to clean their areas for granted, she is very much appreciated. She has many years of experience and is always willing to share her knowledge with co-workers in different areas. Students take the time to write personal cards and letters to show their appreciation of how hard she works and what a great job she does in keeping University Place clean. She is a very dedicated and hard worker. She gets along with all her co-workers and supervisor and her positive attitude, strong work ethic and willingness to help others will be missed when she retires.
John Seibel-Building Services Technician, Academic Services, Facilities Management
He is a “get it done” type of person, no matter what situation comes his way. Many times the issues that arise require immediate attention and he is the person you want around when you need experience and knowledge to get things done. He does quality work with a great attitude. The buildings in this specific area present a constant challenge with students and staff arriving very early in the morning and staying to late at night. He is always concerned with improving the working conditions for his area for the other airport staff. He is a floor care expert and continually performs beyond expectations in this area. His knowledge of the Airport buildings and his relationships with staff really assist in making a great work environment. He treats everyone with respect.