On Wednesday, September 4th, 2019, the Division of Student Affairs held its annual All-Staff Meeting. This meeting allowed divisional staff members the opportunity to socialize with colleagues across departments, learn about the new initiatives occurring within the division, and celebrate the success of peers. A signature event at the meeting was the announcing of the 10th Annual DOSA Awards. These unique awards recognize students and staff from within the Division of Student Affairs for exemplary performance during the previous academic year.
Promotion of Public Affairs Award
This award is presented to an individual or team for promoting an appreciation, understanding, or celebration of the Public Affairs Mission through the delivery of a program and/or through personal actions focused on the three pillars that created a positive impact on our campus.
This year’s winner is Commencement Committee. Committee members include Terry Weber, Debbie Letterman, Keith Boaz, Moon Knight, Julie Combs, Rachelle Darabi, Randy Dillon, Scott Embretson, Karen Foster, David Hall, Rebecca Harbaugh, Thomas Lane, Justin Lozano, Katelyn McCoy and Thomas Tomasi. The Commencement Committee promotes Public Affairs, focuses on developing ethical leadership and enhancing cultural competencies. Commencement is the culmination of a student’s college experience where they graduate from MSU and become alumnae. The nominator noted “I could go on and on about how important commencement is...but we all know that is the reason that students start college to begin with. It is an honor that Student Affairs staff have been entrusted to plan, implement and evaluate the Commencement Ceremonies. Terry Weber, and Debbie Letterman before him, have done an outstanding job facilitating the Universities culminating event...the awarding of degrees. Congratulations to the Commencement Committee!
Innovation by a Team
This award recognizes the combined cooperative efforts of a team to develop and/or deliver an innovative response to student needs.
On July 1, 2019, the MSU Career Center launched the student/alumni career management platform “Handshake.” This milestone was the culmination of almost five months of innovation and problem-solving by a group of dedicated staff in order to meet the current generation of job seekers’ career development needs. One quote provided in the nomination “Students love Handshake, the office loves it – students are seeing more jobs. What’s really cool about this software – we tell the students to put in as much info as they can, and then the students are amazed and love it when they log in and the dashboard is tailored to their interests.” By meeting student needs for more personalized, social-media friendly, interactive career planning software, the Career Center and partners’ innovation is poised to help increase student retention, graduation and career outcomes. Members of the team include: Dr. Kelly Rapp, Margie Stewart, Dr. Mike Wood, Amie Squibb, Nick Delamora, Valerie Turner, Amie Case, Payton Davis, Todd Euglow, Gary Stafford, Stacey Tune, Vicki Elders, Kristina Rosewell, SuzAnn Ferguson, and Dr. Jerri Arnold-Cook. Congratulations to the whole team!
Outstanding New Program or Initiative Award
This award recognizes a new program to meet specific outcome(s) in accordance with our Public Affairs Mission.
We had several nominations for this award and this year’s winning initiative is “Disability Equity Week.” October 29th, 2018 marked the beginning of Missouri State University’s first ever Disability Equity Week. The week consisted of a variety of events that included Web Accessibility Clinic, Adaptive sports & games, the Ability Exhibit, Students with Disabilities panel, film screenings, document accessibility training, among other activities. During one of the events, students were asked to fill out an assessment asking how they will use the information they learned in the future. Students said things such as, “I will be more aware when interacting with people with disabilities and treat them like humans” and “Keep helping, being there, and advocating for my students.” The team members that made this event possible include: Justin Lozano, Kristeena LaRoue, Matt Banks, Hannah Jayne Harris, Adena Young-Jones, Shannon Wooden, and Christina Gardner. Join me in congratulating the committee that coordinated Disability Awareness Week.
Student Affairs Bridge Builder
This award is given by the Bridge Building committee to someone who has demonstrated support for the division of SA through collaboration in the development of programs or services.
This year, we had 5 outstanding nominees. We certainly appreciate each of them and the relationship we are cultivating with each other. I would like to recognize each of our nominees so that we can thank all of them for their support and contributions. After we recognize all 5 nominees, then I will share with you who this year’s recipient is.
- Dean Butcher- Instructor in the Communication Dept. and teaches the COM 115 section connected to the STEM LLC. She has built relationships with student that help them engage in material that will set them on a course for success in their first semester.
- Dr. Kyler Sherman-Wilkins- Sociology & Anthropology and has been involved with several student affairs projects such as “Black Men Smile Too” during Black History Month and the Inclusive Excellence Scholars selection.
- Dr. David Rohall- Department Head of Sociology & Anthropology. He has served on several search committees within SA and has piloted the use of a career software program “Foliotech” with all of his Sociology majors and sought input from the Career Center regarding the potential usefulness of the product.
- Dr. Stephen Spates- Professor in the Communication Department and he led a series of active discussions on Communication and Diversity with the Student Activities Council. Each session was engaging, fun, informative and provided hands-on practice working on inclusive conversations.
- Dr. Tracey Glaessgen- Center for Academic Success & Transition. She recently created a Second Year Experience task force and included many in the collaboration. She is certainly giving of her time, talents, and treasures to the Division of Student Affairs.
Thank you to each of these outstanding nominees for the Student Affairs Bridge Builders. Now, for this year’s recipient of the DOSA Bridge Builder award… Dr. Sherman-Wilkins. Dr. Sherman-Wilkins has become one of our most consistent partners and participants working closely with several areas within Student Affairs. As stated earlier, he has been an active participant in the Inclusive Excellence Leadership Scholars program selection which included reading and evaluating over two hundred and fifty individual applications and their essays. In this process, he brought a unique perspective as a faculty member, which helped build an exceptional h2 cohort for the 2019-2020 school year. Dr. Sherman-Wilkins has also supported and assisted with the educational programming with Multicultural Programs and celebrations. One of his nominators shared in his nomination “All of his many engagements with Student Affairs has culminated in what I have seen as Dr. Sherman-Wilkins h2 dedication to student and university success. Our office has been inspired and thankful for the dedication he has shown to meeting the needs of students both inside and outside of the classroom.” Congratulations!
Outstanding Advocate for Social Justice and Inclusion Award
This award is given to the staff member who actively seeks opportunities to increase knowledge of social justice and inclusion and incorporates this knowledge into their practice, brings awareness and/or takes action to remove barriers to social justice and inclusion within and/or outside of MSU.
The recipient of the award is Matt Banks. His nominator said, “Matt has been involved in many meaningful initiatives as a part of the Public Affairs mission. They are a team player. They are an action-oriented leader. They do a great job with their primary work duties, which is reflected in the positive comments made by their colleagues. And, in addition, they do a great job cultivating a relationship with our students in a manner that increases a feeling of inclusion and support. Congratulations Matt!
Outstanding Graduate Assistant Award
This award recognizes a graduate assistant who has completed at least one semester of graduate work and demonstrated superior job performance.
As always, we have many wonderful graduate assistants… but this year’s winning nominee is Lindsey Bell. Her nominator shared “I believe that Lindsey’s commitment to the Public Affairs mission and our division’s mission ‘...to support student success, foster student engagement, inspire commitment to public affairs...’ is clear. Her passion and commitment to help students gain clarity on career goals and assisting them to become ‘career ready,’ is something she does with outstanding proficiency.” Congratulations Lindsey!
Outstanding New Staff Member Award
This award is presented to an exempt or non-exempt staff member employed within the Division of Student Affairs for less than three years who has demonstrated superior job performance.
This year's winning nominee is Toni Green. Her nominator stated “I have received many compliments from across the Department and University about how Toni is always working hard; remains positive even in the most difficult of situations; dedicated and committed to students; communicates timely and effectively, and exceptionally handles herself, students’ needs, crises, and adversity. Toni initiates bringing people together. She is viewed as a go-to person within our Department and there are countless more ways she’s impacted me, our Department, her staff team, the residents, and others.” Congratulations Toni!
Outstanding Part-time Staff Member Award
This award recognizes the many contributions provided by a part-time member of the SA team.
This year’s winning nominee is Karla Gregg. Her nominator said, “Karla exemplifies the characteristics that we want all employees to display...passion, hard-work, student-centric, dedication, and a desire to have a positive impact on others.” Karla works in the Dean of Students office as a Care Consultant and provides support to our students who may have extra needs for care and concern. Congratulations Karla!
Outstanding Non-Exempt Staff Member Award
This award recognizes a non-exempt staff member employed within the Division of Student Affairs for three or more years who has demonstrated superior job performance above and beyond expectations.
This year’s winning nominee is Lori Pearce. Lori is the Event and Meeting Services Coordinator. Her nominator shared, “I have witnessed many times where Lori has the answer to questions that are not even relative to her area. Lori is a staff member that doesn’t give a customer the run around from office to office. Lori always outreaches and searches to give the customer the best answer to their questions” Another nominator stated “I lean on Lori’s knowledge of the campus and her relationships with the different departments here on campus. She is always looking at ways to make events work both for the client as well as the campus.” Congratulations Lori!
Outstanding Exempt Staff Member Award
This award recognizes an exempt staff member employed within the Division of Student Affairs for three or more years who has demonstrated superior job performance above and beyond expectations.
This year’s winning nominee is Priscilla Childress. Priscilla is the Assistant Director of Family Programs and Student Affairs Special Events. Her nominator stated, “Her contagious spirit and warm demeanor endears her to the students, parents, faculty, and staff alike. She has developed meaningful relationships and partnerships throughout the campus. She not only understands the public affairs mission, but she exemplifies it through her actions and deeds. Congratulations Priscilla!
Friend of Student Affairs Award
This is a special award we give each year for someone or group of someone’s that have done something pretty special for our students and/or the MSU community as a whole.
This year’s recipient is the MSU Bear Pantry. At a time where many students are facing challenges of food insecurity, the Bear Pantry is working to help provide sustainable access to nutritional foods for our community. While the BEAR Pantry is not a Student Affairs initiative, it is an important contribution to our campus and an opportunity for collaboration and partnership. The Bear Pantry is founded on the belief that students understand their own needs best. No pre-qualifications are needed to receive support.
To use the pantry, students can make an appointment with a staff member at the Center for Community Engagement or stop by PSU 131 during regular business hours. Then, pantry clients can choose the items they want, and return as often as eight more times throughout the semester. Students’ information will be kept confidential throughout the process. Today we wish to recognize Alex Johnson and the many people within the MSU community that have worked diligently to create and promote the MSU BEAR Pantry. Congratulations!