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2015 Meritorious Service Award Winner
Jim Hanson, Maintenance Specialist, Facilities
This person always has a good attitude and is willing to assist any trade in a time of need. As such, they are very well liked and respected by Facilities Staff and the campus community. They liked to be challenged, learn new things, strive for excellence and are concerned about customer satisfaction. Many departments have written positive feedback on his work and specifically comment on how he goes above and beyond to accomplish the various jobs assigned to him.
Barb Rood, Building Services Technician, Facilities
This person is very good at prioritizing work resulting in their ability to accomplish extra tasks and take care of unforeseen problems in their areas of responsibility. This employee’s positivity is very contagious! They are always willing to give a helping hand to co-workers. Being around this employee and watching how they enjoy what they do, brightens up their co-worker’s day and makes others want to work. They take time to make tasks easier for everyone. For example, she reorganized the linen closet in a way to make it clear for others to quickly grab the needed items.
Cindy Barclay, Building Services Technician, Facilities
On a daily basis, this employee demonstrates their dedication to work by performing beyond expectations in all areas. They lead by example in attendance, responsibilities and personal qualities. They can take a complex situation and tackle it with ease. They are always willing to use their skills and abilities not just to train but to teach and help new employees learn the right way to do the job. They are concerned about anything out of the ordinary that may affect an employee’s or student’s ability to work or learn. Anyone who works with her is affected by her outgoing, positive attitude and great work ethic. Each day, her exceptional work performance affects the lives of hundreds of people who have never met her.
Debra Kroese, Administrative Officer, Basic Sciences
This employee has been described as “phenomenal, always prepared and one step ahead of making sure that the needs of faculty are met. I cannot think of anyone else who does so much for our department and trust me, we have a HUGE department. When you ask them for assistance, almost without fail the answer is, “no problem, I can take care of that”. Their positive attitude and even keeled nature make you feel like you can always go to them with a problem or need. They are the model of professionalism to anyone who comes into her office including students, co-workers, faculty and visitors. She listens to the needs and sometimes frustrations of all and focuses on a solution. With the merger of four departments into one large department, she was an integral part of the transition and did everything possible to make sure that it went smoothly.
Kim Ruliffson, Coordinator of Workwell, Health & Wellness
It is difficult to describe this person in an anonymous way due to the nature of what their role is here on campus. Their positive attitude is infectious and engaging everywhere they go. She is often the first person to recognize someone’s accomplishments and champion their efforts. She has forged unique collaborations across campus to advance the goals and objectives of her area of responsibility. She is very creative in her approach to programming and outreach programs. “Who would have ever thought of the “worst office chair” contest that rewards the winner with a new, ergonomically-correct chair?” Her work is wide spread which speaks to her ability to have greater than 60% of UND employees report engaging in a least one at-work wellness activity or event. Her tireless efforts have brought numerous honors, awards, and recognition to UND in the wellness area.
Jane Sims, Sr. Instructional Designer, CILT
“300 words are not nearly enough, so excuse my brief summary” is how one of the nomination forms began for this employee. “Initiative is her middle name; or should be”. “Words you will never hear out of her mouth, “That’s not my job, I don’t know how to do that, I can’t”. This employee will do what is required and much, much more to get things done. The word, “can’t, becomes, “I will find out”. When she learns something new either on her own or via attending a conference or workshop, she does her best to educate other staff, increasing the knowledge of all and thus enabling those staff to educate the campus community. Where others are content to go to work and accomplish their day-to-day, she will do that AND question whether the day to day is working, and/or how we could change it to be more relevant and helpful to campus. Everywhere I go, on campus, whether working with staff or faculty in various departments, at all levels, if our topic of discussion turns to my field of instructional design, the name that comes up is Jane. “You work with Jane Sims? I love Jane.”
Tamara Mulske, Technology and Marketing Supervisor, Music
Over the past few years, our department has deliberated implementing a new course schedule to better help students graduate in 4 years. This has been a huge task that would take many hours. The department chair came to this employee and asked if they would be interested in developing the schedule. This person accepted the challenge and worked diligently for two months and came up with a plan that was implemented two years ago. As this employee has gone further in her own education, she has been given more responsibility. She has risen to each occasion well. She assists in advising students in our program. At any time there are students from many different programs seeking her guidance on classes within our area. Because of the excellent advisement she offers the students, they can adequately plan out their entire time at UND and have the potential to graduate in four years, saving them time and money. Her primary focus is always the students, she will rearrange her life to be there when students need her. Dr. Popejoy was short a clarinet player in the top UND concert band. He asked her if she could/would be willing to help out by playing in the group. She didn’t hesitate and has participated in the course all year, making it a better experience for the students.
Kari Holter, Department Secretary, Student Involvement & Leadership
As an UND employee working with students, this employee regards mentoring student employees, as a highly important responsibility. They care about the student employees and makes an effort to understand who they are and what is happening in their lives. As one student wrote, “she always asks about our weekends, gives us advice when we are going through a hard time, and supports our crazy ideas.” This employee loves UND and works to ensure that all students have a positive experience. Regardless of who she is working with, she provides them with exceptional customer service and ensures that she helps them meet their needs. As on UND staff member stated, “she is well connected and incredible knowledgeable about resources across campus and has an overall understanding that impresses everyone”. “It is her ability to communicate well with others, her positive attitude, and her diligence to customer service that allows her to maintain positive relationships throughout campus.
Jeannie Lewis, Office Manager, Biology
This award winner has been described as the “hub through which most of our departmental administrative activities radiate outward”. They help to direct bewildered students that wander into the office with forms to sign or questions about classes. It is difficult to imagine how our department would function without the hard work and expertize that they deliver each and every day. Because of her long and dedicated service, this employee has accumulated an insider’s knowledge of how to navigate what sometimes seems to faculty as a labyrinth of administrative layers. She is very proactive and has a good sense of what needs to be done when, so she is very good at anticipating and planning for tasks that must be completed and ensuring that all are done on schedule. Along with this she is an excellent problem solver-many of the faculty in her area have mentioned how she has been able to figure out how to get something done, allowing them to focus on their teaching and research. She has demonstrated her dedication to the values and mission of the University in her interactions with those people from outside the institution who reach out to the department for information and assistance.
Mary Beth McGurran, Administrative Assistant, School of Medicine and Health Sciences
This next award winner is a die-hard UND SPORTS FAN! They enjoy discussing how any of the UND teams are doing, no matter what the sport. This employee is the definition of consistent and effective. She is the first line of defense, so to speak, for our department. No matter what the question, she always finds the answer for students and staff/faculty. In her communications with students or perspective students, she could simply email a link to a webpage or send a canned response email, however, she takes the time to explain to a potential student who has no idea how to proceed with a task or a new faculty member who is trying to find a certain form. She is very patient when working with students, who are not always courteous and pleasant towards her. She helps students work through the application process to our undergraduate or graduate programs. We have different routes of study and she helps the students figure out exactly what they need to do for the route they have selected. One person noted in her nomination, “I believe she brings honor to the University through her positive actions.