Current Pure Gold Recipients
Jim Barutha, Business Manager for the Ecology Department, goes above and beyond to serve others by being one of the "Faces of Ecology" that is always there to help students, staff, and faculty get their questions answered and their work done effectively.
Jim does the detail work that keeps all of our employment files up to date, makes sure that we get paid on time, and makes sure that every single receipt is accounted for. In a department full of ecologists traveling to conduct fieldwork everywhere from Neihart, MT to Africa, Antarctica, Iceland, and Columbia, that is not always easy. He also ensures that class supplies arrive on time, vehicles are rented for field trips, and Lewis Hall is kept in good order.
Jim has inspired me by his commitment to the success of our department on a daily basis. Whenever a new person comes in to fill out employment forms, he makes them feel welcome. He is so dedicated that I have to encourage him to take time off for a lunch break. His commitment is to be present, to keep the Ecology Department functioning at a high level, and to help us all to be successful. For that reason, he is Pure Gold.
Nominated by Diane Debinski; Received award on November 14, 2018
MSU Testing Services, MSU-Bozeman
Alexandria works at MSU testing services and organizes the tests administered to our students who require accommodations via a Blue Card. I am an instructor in the Math department and have had quite a bit of contact with Alexandria over the last few years. In the past few semesters, as much as I wish this was not the case, getting a completed copy of my tests to her in a timely fashion has proved difficult. Often there are last minute changes to the test items or, due to formatting issues, a portion of the exam is not clear and I need to make an adjustment. In other cases, a student might have become ill and has to reschedule, or the time of the scheduled test need to change due to a conflict. Whatever the case may be, I have always been about to contact Alexandria, explain the issue and have been met with ease, friendly and competent service. She has always helped me find a solution so that my student can complete their test in a fair and timely manner. Our students who make use of accommodations through the Testing Center have truly benefited from Alexandria's patience, as she works with me to ensure all our tests are not only fair, but allow students to do the best they can. Her commitment to working with instructors like me, who pose all kinds of challenges throughout the semester, and to our students inspires me to bring the same level of commitment to my job as a mathematics instructor. I have never met Alexandria in person and yet feels she has been so helpful, to me and my students, that I wanted to nominate her- she has been pure gold to me.
Nominated by Katherine McWalters; Received award on November 7, 2018
Residence Life Resident Advisors, MSU-Bozeman
Resident Advisors (RAs) on the Bozeman Campus continually go above and beyond to make sure that students are connecting to their new home and finding a place in the community. RAs have spent countless hours knocking on doors, planning fun events, and getting to know our on-campus students.
RAs are often the first ones to notice that a student needs extra support. They help to foster a safe environment in our residence halls and connect students with on-campus resources. They support campus-wide events such as convocation, 125th Birthday Bash, and MSU Debut Events by recruiting students and volunteering. RAs seek out those who may not initially connect, and work to draw them in to the community. They live side-by-side with students, working through challenges and celebrating their successes.
The RAs are a phenomenal group of students who are not only strong students academically, but tireless leaders who always ask how they can help. This group of RAs is thoughtful and dedicated to constantly improving what we have to offer our on-campus students. I?m constantly in awe of the hard work of these students and their unending energy.
Box Link to Photo: https://montana.box.com/s/lrlvb8m34kfwpz35sdexnafzsxj3o2qd
Nominated by Korrin Fagenstrom; Received award on October 31, 2018
Associate Dean City College, MSU-Billings
Over the past couple of months Florence has been thrust into a position that many people do not want to be in, nor should they have to be in. Yet, Florence stepped up and took on the role with her head held high. Our college faced hardship as we watched a beloved friend and colleague struggle with health and pass away. While many of us grieved in our own ways, we seem to forget about the genuine friendship that Florence held with this person too. Florence was put in a position of respecting a friend's wishes, dealing with her own grief, being into a position of interim Dean, and pulling a group of heartbroken individuals back together. While I have always respected Florence, her ability over the last several months has shown her dedication to this school and the people, and gained a whole new level of respect from many. Florence handled every situation with poise and Grace, even when the 'wolves' came out to get her.
Nominated by Heather ThompsonBahm; Received award on October 24, 2018
MSU Communications, MSU-Bozeman
To quote a famous playwright (not Shakespeare), for decades, we at Montana Shakespeare in the Parks ?depended on the kindness of strangers? to capture images of our productions and events. We relied on in kind donations from professional photographers around town. While we were grateful for their services, we often had to wait weeks to receive the photos, and the quality was inconsistent depending on the photographer.
Enter Adrian Sanchez Gonzalez.
A little over a year ago, Adrian became MSIP?s go to photographer, and we have never been happier. Adrian goes above and beyond to be present at our plays and fundraising events, most of which take place outside the normal working day?s hours. He is always courteous, pleasant, and professional. He sends us his photos (often hundreds at a time ? edited!) in under 24 hours. I know he has many assignments on campus, so how he manages this is a mystery to me.
Adrian is a true artist. His photos evoke not only the emotions presented in the play, but also the feelings of the audience members watching it. There is a beautiful story being told in every photo he turns in. In the last year, his artistry has elevated our national presence as his photos are the first thing you see when you visit our website. It is an honor to work with him.
Nominated by Susan Miller; Received award on October 17, 2018
Kalispell Campus - Admin Associate III, MSU-Bozeman
Michelle Baker is the backbone of the Kalispell Campus positively impacting every nursing student for over 17 years. She is engaged, courteous, funny, resourceful, and goes above and beyond every day. She keeps our teleconference systems operational, keeps us all up-to-date on clinical requirements, manages the master schedule for all lectures, clinicals, and internships, and so much more! We greatly depend on Michelle to keep our campus running smoothly. Michelle's job doesn't end at 5 o'clock; she will answer emails during the evenings or on the weekends. She will stop a task to run to the aid of a student and does so with patience and professionalism. She willingly takes on additional responsibilities to ensure the MSU Nursing Department excels statewide.
We depend on Michelle to be our calming presence during an exam, to laugh with us on those days when everything goes sideways, and to offer some perspective when we get a little overwhelmed. To our class, she is invaluable and we feel such gratitude for having her in our corner during our nursing school journey. Please consider Michelle for the Pure Gold nomination as we feel she exemplifies what a true Bobcat should be!
Kalispell Campus - December 2018 Graduating Seniors
(Faculty & Staff too)
Nominated by Michelle Leigh Ann Shipley; Received award on October 11, 2018
Library - Learning & Research Services Department Staff and Faculty, MSU-Bozeman
I nominate my department in the MSU Library, Learning & Research Services for the Pure Gold award because of their unswerving dedicating to meeting the needs of library constituents, through the hustle & bustle of serving a quickly growing campus population, and especially through our recent summer renovation project at our service area.
With annual visits to the building nearing one million per year, the MSU Library is one of the busiest buildings on campus. Members of the LRS department, including sixteen student employees, eight classified staff, and seven faculty librarians, are the user-centered public face of the library. Daily, these individuals calmly address issues spanning leaky faucets and printer issues, to requests for access to information off-campus and difficult research questions. This summer these individuals calmly and efficiently created a temporary service point in the building while our two former service points (the Borrow Desk and Research Center) were combined via a renovation project that lasted three months. During this, classified staff worked from temporary offices away from the main service point, requiring them to adjust to unfamiliar workflows. Our faculty librarians created an on-call scheduling system for research support, providing electronic research assistance from their offices, and sometimes from home. During the renovation, a process that causes stress for even seasoned veterans, staff of the LRS department worked together, often with much laughter and excitement, to flex through the changes, all the while providing Service Excellent to our users. Their attitudes were infectious, helping me to stay positive as the project-lead while dealing with the last minute changes and challenges present with any renovation project.
I'm very proud of my department, the way they work together, roll with the punches, and always keep the needs of our users as their highest priority. To me, they are truly Pure Gold.
The Learning & Research Services Department staff includes:
Mary Anne Hansen
Nominated by Kris Johnson; Received award on October 3, 2018
Hello Dr. Cruzado,
I've never emailed with you or interacted with you personally, but I keep seeing these "You are Pure Gold" emails-- and I have felt compelled for quite some time to let you know about our administrative assistant named Cathy Buettner. She and I started working at MSUB around the same time about three years ago. I have worked at a couple institutions before-- in roles varying from professor to executive administrator-- and I have never witnessed an administrative assistant so quickly go from a 'temp' to an expert. If Cathy does not know the answer to a question, she will not rest until she does. She comes in early, stays late, deals with many a unique situation, and-- oddly-- never seems to be cranky. I truly value her commitment to students and faculty. I suppose I notice moreso how she values each student who comes in and doesn't "leave them hanging," so to speak. And, quite frankly, she doesn't leave us faculty hanging, either. I can ask Cathy to find or figure out pretty much anything-- even if it is right in front of my eyes-- and she never treats me like an imbecile. She smiles at me when she helps me, and not in that "I'm smiling because I have to" sort of way. There are a lot of demands on Cathy, and I noticed this fact in particular when we had lost our long-standing admin assistant while Cathy was quite new to her own job. To tell you the truth, I'd have been very tempted to quit my job if I were her. She was new, yet everyone expected her to know so much (and, we faculty can sometimes be a bit demanding [insert "winky face" emoji here]). Cathy was essentially doing two administrative assistants' jobs (and, as an aside, we honestly need three assistants here in the MSUB COE)-- and she did it with grace. Does Cathy get flustered sometimes? Sure. Is she ever condescending? Never. I wish I could be more like Cathy. I have a lot of demands on me, too-- but I'm not as good at managing them as she is, and that is what inspires me about her.
Nominated by Jeremiah Gee; Received award on September 26, 2018
Women's Center, MSU-Bozeman
Michelle Lopez is a student leader who works hard to foster an inclusive environment for all students. During her time at MSU, she has made it a priority to serve her peers by participating in and leading various activist clubs on campus and building a community for under-represented and marginalized groups.
Michelle has been a member of the F-Word for 3 years now. The F-Word is a student-lead, discussion based inter-sectional feminist club. Michelle took over as president last Fall, and will continue to run the club in the next academic year. Her role as president of the club is to lead and mediate often difficult conversations regarding the role that gender, race, sexual orientation, and politics play in today's society. Michelle studies Sociology at MSU and plans to get a Master's degree in social work. She currently works in MSU's Women's Center and Sac's Thrift Store, a partner program of MSU's help center.
Michelle inspires through her ability to build community, her commitment to students, and her activism. I (and I'm sure many others!) would like to thank her for her dedication to MSU and recognize her achievements with this award.
Nominated by Rose Dormanen; Received award on September 19, 2018
M Photo Committee, MSU-Bozeman
MSU experienced something historic and significant on Aug. 25th. The incoming class "M" photo tradition was transformed by MSU alumni, community members, students, faculty and staff (1,281 to be exact)!
Without the amazing M Photo Committee, this historic event would not have happened. This committee went more than above and beyond their duties as campus employees. They worked all summer to navigate the complex logistics, funding and marketing.
Every member of the committee showed their commitment to MSU, the students and the greater Bobcat community. Their dedication to MSU is truly admirable.
We also want to thank ALL the volunteers who gave of their time that day as well.
M Photo Committee Members:
Chelsey Wilson, Office of Student Engagement (Event Lead)
Kandi Gresswell, Office of the Registrar
Drew Waters, Office of the Registrar
Lauren Anderson, MSU Alumni Foundation
Kelly Gorham, University Communications
Julie Kipfer, University Communications
Kayla May, University Communications
Nathan Stark, School of Music & Spirit of the West
Bethany Cordell, Athletics
Hayden Binde, Athletics
Blake Stemen, Residence Life
Nominated by Mandy St. Aubyn; Received award on September 17, 2018
UPD Support Services, MSU-Bozeman
Melanie Brauchle and Amy Riley have demonstrated energy, enthusiasm, and a can-do attitude to inspire our department every day to strive for Service Excellence. For the past two years, Melanie and Amy have been student workers in the MSU Police Department Detective Unit under the supervision of the Detective Sergeant. In addition to balancing their classwork, Melanie and Amy fulfill duties that positively impact their fellow students every day. They schedule and assist in educational programs and services for students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
Melanie and Amy both passed comprehensive background investigations that give them a security clearance to work with sensitive information. They both completed technical training from the FBI that allows them to identify, categorize, and submit crime data that ultimately makes its way to the National Incident Based Reporting System. They both assist in managing our website and developing content that provides critical safety information to the MSU community.
Melanie and Amy were instrumental in implementing a new records management system for the department. With minimal guidance and supervision, they undertook this massive challenge by creating solutions to identified problems. The software company stated that our implementation was the fastest they have delivered to date and that was due to Melanie and Amy"s dedication to a timely and professional system. Honestly, I"m not sure what we would do without them. Melanie and Amy are the epitome of the caliber of students at Montana State University.
Nominated by Michael Stanley; Received award on September 5, 2018