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Employee Recognition Awards 2011



  • Employee Recognition Awards 2011

    Five Montana State University employees received coveted 2011 Employee Recognition Awards from MSU President Waded Cruzado at ceremonies held Wednesday.

    The award-winning employees were selected from 59 nominees. They are: Betsey Pitts, Center for Biofilm Engineering; Jake Dolan, University Communications; Bernard Schaff, College of Agriculture/Montana Agricultural Experiment Station Dean's and Director's Office; Merry Paceley, Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences; Linda LaCrone, Office of the Vice President for Research, Creativity and Technology Transfer.

    Each received $500, a 14 karat-gold, custom-designed pin, a certificate of recognition. All winners have his or her name engraved on special Employees of the Year plaque displayed outside the President's Office.

    The winners were selected by a committee of students, classified, professional and faculty representatives.
    All the nominees received  a congratulatory letter from Cruzado and a certificate of recognition. In addition, five more nominees drawn at random received gifts donated by the offices of MSU's vice presidents and president.

  • Betsey Pitts

    Betsey Pitts

    Department: Center for Biofilm Engineering

    Nominated by:  Phil Stewart & 39 colleagues from the College of Engineering, Center for Biofilm Engineering, Microbiology, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Environmental Engineering, MSU Technology Transfer, Land Resources & Environmental Sciences, The Office of the President, Functional Genomics Core Facility, College of Agriculture/Montana Ag Experiment Station, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and The Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries & Aquaculture Research.

    Brief Description
    Amber Broadbent, PhD Candidate in Chemical & Biological Engineering
    “In large part, I credit Betsey for the direction my professional life has taken.  From the beginning, Betsey was a tremendous influence, with her extremely honest and positive perspective.  If I made an embarrassing mistake in the lab, she’d always tell me, “Amber, that’s nothing!” She quickly reformatted my sense of success and in doing so helped me learn to love research.  Betsey’s generosity, enthusiasm and humor have been an inspiration to me as a research engineer.”

    Logan Schultz, a 2010 MS graduate in Chemical & Biological Engineering
    “Working with Betsey in the room is much like drinking coffee without the crash.”

    Susan Fraser, Administrative Associate, Office of the President
    “What a talent Betsey Pitts has in recruiting volunteers.  She literally rescued me the night before the [President’s] inauguration with a crew of 20 folks who set up 1000 chairs and dozens of tables in the sogginess that was early September.  She was even able to ease the anxious musicians who were setting up equipment in the bog and were considering not performing for the festive luncheon… I can easily say it would not have been the stellar success it was without her positive spirit and sweat equity.”

    Phil Stewart, Director, Center for Biofilm Engineering

    “In the past year Betsey has made the extraordinary contribution of raising nearly $1 million dollars in external funding to support major equipment acquisitions in the CBE microscopy facility…. Betsey deserves special recognition for her perseverance (the process took over two years) and success in preparing winning grant proposals that will have an enormous positive impact on CBE research capability.”

  • Jake Dolan

    Jake Dolan

    Department: Communications & Public Affairs

    Nominated by:  Kelly Gorham and Tracy Ellig, MSU News Service; Audrey Thurlow, Office of Sponsored Programs; Julie Kipfer, Lee Cook and Jeanine Schoessler, Communications & Public Affairs; Jade Robbins, Research Computing Group, Phillip Luebke, Montana State University Foundation; Christy Cousino, Extended University

    Brief Description
    Kelly Gorham, News Photographer, MSU News Service
    “We can all thank Web Communications Director Jake Dolan for taking MSU’s image to new heights over the past three years.  He has transformed how people around the world access and interact with the MSU website… Jake always puts MSU first and frequently circulates ideas to help promote MSU and its mission.”

    Jeanine Schoessler, Web Support Programmer, MSU Web Communications
    “He strives to educate the MSU web administrators through presentations, meetings, and ambitious research on topics including web content and visitor tracking.  Additionally, he has initiated plans for new web management classes and a Four-Camps Content Management Solution to ease website updates while continuing to work towards our “One University” goal.”

    Christy Cousino, Web Services Manager, Extended University

    “In spite of a heavy workload, Jake is always professional, always polite, and always positive… Jake is a master communicator.  He values all stakeholders (faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors, lawmakers, and the public) and is always positive, never blaming or criticizing any one group.  He is an asset to our campus and someone I strive to emulate.”

  • Bernard Schaff

    Bernard Schaff

    Department: College of Agriculture/Montana Agricultural Experiment Station Dean’s and Director’s Office

    Nominated by: Jeff Jacobsen & the Staff of the Dean’s & Directors Office 

    Brief Description
    College of Agriculture Dean and Directors Office Staff
    “Bernie has been associated with MSU for over forty years… [His] primary responsibility is as the manager of the Arthur Post Agronomy Farm, however, he is also responsible for all farming operations at the Bozeman Agricultural Research and Teaching Form, the Department of immunology and Infectious Diseases property, the Fort Ellis Farm, Museum of the Rockies and the Lutz Farm.  He manages the Post Farm in a highly efficient manner that allows hundreds of faculty, staff and student from College of Agriculture departments (and others) to conduct quality and productive research and outreach.” 

    Nancy Blake, Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology

    “I’ve always admired Bernie’s dedication to his job of managing Post Farm… I often have to work at Post farm on weekends in the summer and almost invariably when I’m out in the field, Saturday, Sunday or evenings, Bernie will be there working.  He’ll often stop to say hello and chat and despite his sometimes gruff manner he makes me feel my efforts are appreciated.”

    Luther Talbert, Professor, Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology

    “Bernie has always gone above and beyond the call of duty in providing assistance.  When equipment breaks, Bernie has the expertise and the willingness to help get us going again.  This has been true no matter the day or the time of day.  There have been numerous week-ends and evenings when Bernie has worked to repair planters and harvesters, and he has always maintained his good-natured ‘grouchiness’ while doing it.  His work is remarkable considering that he deals with several researchers, and all of us are convinced that our own needs are most important.  Somehow Bernie manages to keep us all on track.”

  • Merry Paceley

    Merry Paceley

    Department: Land Resources & Environmental Sciences

    Nominated by:  LRES Awards Committee, Tracy Sterling, Jon Wraith, Bruce Maxwell, Melody Schimpf, Cliff Montagne, Geoff Pool and Desirae Barkan of Land Resources & Environmental Sciences; Liz Galli-Noble, Center for Invasive Plant Management; Pat Chansley, Office of the Provost; Diane Letendre, Affirmative Action; Brandi Clark, College of Agriculture;

    Brief Description:
    Tracy Sterling, Dept Head, LRES
    “Merry is an extraordinary employee and the glue that holds this incredibly large and complex department together… Merry has amazed me with her incredible work ethic and with her impeccable skills at professionally, graciously and effectively juggling so many individuals of varying needs, while coordinating the many aspects and personnel operations of the department.  She is the behind-the-scenes professional who helps us fulfill the mission of MSU, while making it such a great place to work.”

    Bruce Maxwell, Former Interim Dept Head, LRES

    “While I was Department Head she had to train me to understand the many facets of the position and schedules for completing tasks.  The job would have been impossible without her. .. When we were going through major departmental budget adjustments she was able to provide excellent guidance in how the Department might best handle difficult reductions.”

    Cliff Montagne, Professor, LRES

    “Merry has been the rock of our departmental operations, especially during the departure of one Department head… having an interim department head, going through a national search at the same time as a three-way cluster faculty hire, and ending with the start of a new Department headship.  While balancing all of these coordination tasks with faculty and administration, Merry also coordinated a very loyal and productive office staff… With Merry’s leadership and example, our departmental office is a welcoming and problem solving place.”

  • Linda LaCrone

    Linda LaCrone

    Department: Office of the Vice President for Research, Creativity and Technology Transfer

    Nominated by:  Tracy Miyakawa, Office of Sponsored Programs; Sheryl Dettmann, Technology Transfer Office; Kathy Marcinko, Office of the Vice President for Research

    Brief Description
    Dr. Tom McCoy, Vice President for Research 
    “As Assistant to the Vice President for Research, Linda has performed at an outstanding level for more than a decade.  She is intelligent, articulate, incredibly well-organized and a professional at the highest level… Linda keeps the VPR Office and my life organized and frankly makes my life as Vice President for Research doable… Every task Linda has responsibility for is accomplished professionally, thoroughly and on time.  Linda makes MSU look great to the outside world looking in.  I can think of no one who is more deserving of a 2011 Employee Recognition Award than Linda LaCrone.”

    Pat Chansley, Assistant to the Provost, Office of the Provost

    “I cannot begin to think of the number of times I’ve said “ask Linda LaCrone, she’ll know”…. And she does!  On the rare occasion she doesn’t know, she finds out, going out of her way to ensure a complete and thorough response… I depend on Linda on many levels: for her knowledge of the research enterprise, her counsel on a variety of issues, her ability to problem solve, but most importantly, for her friendship.  Linda not only makes my job easier, she makes my job better.”

    Chris Harmon, Financial Manager, CoBRE

    “I am grateful that I have Linda as a peer.  Her knowledge of policies and procedures is unmatched by anyone in Montana Hall.  I can rely on Linda to either know the answer to a question or how to find the answer quickly.  Any question posed will be met with an answer – any complaint will receive an attentive ear – any confidential matter will be handled with complete discretion… The composed atmosphere in her office can be attributed to her diligence and devotion… Linda is a wonderful role model for anyone who aspires to work in a professional position at Montana State University.”