Joe Atwood

AGBE 445 Class, MSU-Bozeman

Dr. Atwood always had a positive attitude in class and kept us as a class excited to come in every day and learn. Dr. Atwood's unwavering dedication to students in the economics and ag economics program is what makes our program unique. We are proud to have professors that truly care about our well-being while challenging us to go outside of our comfort zone through learning. Dr. Atwood has inspired us to continue through the hard times, which truly make you stronger. We cannot thank you enough Dr. Atwood for being a great professor and person.
Nominated by AGBE 345 Class; Received award on April 19, 2018

Saurabh Tulsankar

Architecture, MSU-Bozeman

Saurabh is an International Student from India. He has taken a great initiative to not only share his culture with the Bozeman community, but also to really experience and soak-in the cultures of the US, Montana, and Bozeman. As part of the Cultural Sharing program, he visited with Manhattan Elementary School to give a presentation to 6th graders on topics like Hinduism and Indian Culture. A gifted artist, Saurabh visited the afterschool program at Irving Elementary to teach traditional Indian drawing and dancing. He also performed traditional Indian dances at the International Food Bazaar and helped prepare authentic Indian food. He being the president of Indian Student Association organized the India night 2017 one of the biggest diversity events on Campus through which he shares his culture with MUS and the Bozeman community.
He volunteered with the Office of International Programs in ACIREMA to help the MSU staff and faculty who participated better understand the experience of international students and the struggles they can face.
He also worked as a student worker in the Office of International Programs, he helped international students complete their applications and prepare to arrive at Montana State University I was one of them. He serves as a peer advisor for these newly-admitted students ? he helps prep admitted students by sharing cultural insights and the norms of our campus and community.He goes the extra mile to make sure everyone feels included, welcomed, and important.
Alongside being a part of Student Engagement and Global Ambassador(SEGA) he encourages MSU student to go abroad and involve in campus actives to share their culture.
As a student, he also worked and researched with Architecture department on the Housing First project of HRDC who are currently trying to solve the issue of Homeless people in Bozeman Community.
Saurabh is an exemplary person and an absolute asset to the MSU community.
Nominated by Rutuja Joshi; Received award on April 11, 2018

Diana Paterson

Associate Director MSSE, MSU-Bozeman

I am pleased to nominate Diana Paterson for the Pure Gold recognition. I have known Diana since the first day I arrived to Bozeman. Diana is a jovial, kind and resourceful person that is always willing to go out of her way to provide assistance, even with matters beyond her job responsibilities. Diana not only helped me and all my cohort members, she also did it with a smile on her face. Diana is quick to respond to inquiries and an excellent problem solver. She's been a great support during the presentation of the capstone projects.

As an international student, I can say that she walked me through the process of admissions, registration, selecting courses, making a program of study and even with the presentation of my capstone. Even today, as an alum, she still helping me with all sorts of inquiries about diplomas, transcripts, etc. People like Diana make MSU a more welcoming place for all students and even more for international students, who at times might feel overwhelmed by the new academic experience.

I feel confident that I speak on behalf of my cohort members when I nominate Diana Paterson as a Pure Gold likely recipient, for sure she is asset in your institution!


Nominated by Alvaro Door; Received award on April 4, 2018

Donna Cooper

Admissions and Records, MSU-Billings

Donna treats students, staff, and faculty with patience, courteousness, respect, enthusiasm, proficiency, and a smile. Her can-do attitude fosters an environment where everyone benefits from having interacted with her, and thus has made her the go-to person for students and employees. The combination of her seasoned professional expertise and her comforting sense of humor makes her a valuable asset to the university. Her knowledgeable background provides a foundational pillar of stability and continuity while her upbeat characteristics bring in a sense of resourcefulness and creativity.
Donna is dedicated, hardworking, and proficient, and MSUB is fortunate to have employed her more than 40 years ago. Donna is an excellent representative for the MSUB campus, and the Student Affairs division in particular, exemplifying our motto of access and excellence. She is committed to helping students succeed and eager to collaborate with campus colleagues. Her drive in taking care of her people often generates a joke within the office that she needs to work less and take time off. She pays particular attention to detail when completing tasks to satisfy her students or peers.
Having been with MSU Billings for an amazing 40 years, Donna Cooper has maintained a vast bank of knowledge. As a result, Donna is quick in sharing her knowledge to assist anyone who asks, whether it pertains to a process that’s current or something that happened back in the 1980s. Her years and experience in this educational institution has enabled Donna to be an excellent facilitator. She does not tire of monotony or routine but rather finds ways to keep things interesting, challenging, and actively engaging. It is our duty to recognize her for her continued dedication, diligence, and drive as she inspires us to follow in her footsteps.
Nominated by Mehmet Casey; Received award on March 28, 2018

Dustin  Perry

Agricultural Education, MSU-Bozeman

As an instructor for pre-service teachers, Dr. Perry makes sure every student has a chance to succeed in engaging and practical courses. His hands-on approach has resulted in students building greenhouses, chicken coups, sheds and even a whole hog rotisserie smoker. Dr. Perry is an excellent adviser and teacher.
To help grow the agricultural education profession, Dr. Perry has driven thousands of miles around Montana to observe student teachers, facilitate workshops and connect with current high school agriculture teachers. Dr. Perry currently serves on multiple boards and committees focused on bettering agricultural education across Montana. Because of this work, enrollment in agricultural education at MSU has grown rapidly in recent years. His outreach efforts also include putting on an Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems contest, which over 150 high school FFA students from throughout Montana attend.
Dr. Perry also makes time to coach the women?s soccer team at MSU. Beyond this, Dr. Perry serves as co-adviser for the agricultural education club on campus. He not only helped the club get started, but continues to serve the club by taking care of the club's pig at his house each summer, and even hosts the entire college of agriculture for a club luau every fall.

Nominated by Austin Standley; Received award on March 21, 2018

Nika Stoop

Center for Faculty Excellence, MSU-Bozeman

Dr. Nika Stoop is exceptional. There are employees who go above and beyond, and then there are those who live in the Big Sky stratosphere every single day. This summer, Nika was hand selected by the President and Provost for what I like to call a Stoop-Swoop- she came in during the 11th hour to use her creative, competent, conscientiousness to build the university accreditation report. Nika sacrificed a lot in that time to make sure no major balls were dropped while she juggled this third job. You might say we owe our jobs to Nika for her work on that report! Indeed, MSU is lucky to have Nika, and I am personally grateful for her wisdom and friendship. She still gives me a Stoop-Swoop from time to time, even though we no longer work together as often. For example, we just attended our last NSF investigator meeting in Washington DC. Nika and I worked to draft up our poster - a culmination of 5 years of hard work laid out in a giant poster to be on display to a thousand people. And I mean giant poster. Indeed, it was so large that it did not fit in the poster tube we had purchased for travel. When Nika messaged me that our fantastic giant poster didn't fit- I scrambled with a "what do we do?" plea. And the next think I know? Nika writes me back and says the poster is outside my office door. What do I see when I get there? A huge fly fishing rod case that looks like it has been on the Yellowstone river since it first started flowing. It is fast ingenious thinking that makes Nika pure gold to MSU. She doesn't ever say "no" she instead says "let"s think of another way. And that type of Big Sky attitude is exactly what makes her worthy of this award.
Nominated by Jessi Smith; Received award on March 14, 2018

Peggy Lamb

Research Centers - NARC, MSU-Bozeman

As the research scientist in charge of all our on-station and off-station variety trials at the Northern Ag Research Center, Peggy Lamb plays a crucial role in serving our agricultural communities and the various MSU breeding programs. Peggy does not hesitate to put in long hours to get the work done for the best quality science, and she is always available to producers seeking information on the most appropriate crop variety. She doesn?t let the bad times affect her, and she strives for perfection in all she does. Peggy works hard and it cultivates an inspiration among everyone else she works with to do the same.

As people who work closely with Peggy, we have benefited first hand from her professional (and sometimes personal) support. Peggy?s hands-on approach to training people is straight forward, calm, and explained in such a way that driving a big piece of farming equipment isn?t so intimidating after all. It is obvious that Peggy cares and looks after the professional development of her staff, through finding opportunities to attend conferences and workshops. She is also extremely supportive and wants the best for everyone around her. She will even offer to bring food and cold medication to a sick colleague!

Peggy was also recognized by the Havre Chamber of Commerce as an Outstanding Agriculture Advocate last June for her work over the years. This shows how well-known and well-respected she is in the agricultural communities of the five counties we serve. The Montana agriculture community is large, but among our small ag community, Peggy Lamb is a titan.

NARC is like a family and Peggy is in good part responsible for this atmosphere. NARC and our surrounding counties are blessed to call Peggy our Ag Advocate and have her immense support and knowledge. She is a true leader. Thanks Peggy for going above and beyond! You are Pure Gold!

Nominated by Maryse Bourgault Kasee Clark Kyla McNamara Shelly Green; Received award on March 7, 2018

Judi Haskins

Student Success, MSU-Bozeman

{This nomination is joyfully submitted on behalf of the Campus Advising Action Team (CAAT) }

A common aphorism states "if you want a task done right, assign it to the busiest person you know." That statement is a perfect description of Judi Haskins' career at MSU. In a remarkable sequence of key student-centered roles on our campus, Judi has an unsurpassed reputation for creativity, reliability, and getting the job done.

Many of us first met Judi in 2007 when she became an influential member of the newly established Academic Advising Council. She immediately became recognized for her ability to help connect the national trends and best practices of academic advising with student and faculty needs in the MSU context. Through her emerging leadership within the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) and a sequence of student-focused advising roles at MSU in University Studies, Students in Transition, College of Engineering, and the Office of the Registrar, Judi's level of applied knowledge and experience has paralleled the growth of MSU's enrollment and student support services.

Most recently Judi has harnessed CAAT, the Campus Advising Action Team, to guide the conception and roll-out of the ambitious Sophomore Surge program. Judi has organized the meetings, generated the student mentor recruitment, created the training materials and curriculum, selected the mentors, guided the new student orientation Surge assignments--and accomplished it all in an astonishingly short timeframe measured in months!

Her effort and contagious enthusiasm truly places her among the top role models for student-focused academic advising on our campus. Judi Haskins' relentless pursuit of perfection ensures that each detail of the programs and services she provides will exceed expectations: it's the definition of Pure Gold. Thank you, Judi Haskins!
Nominated by Rob Maher; Received award on February 28, 2018

Julia Dafoe, Delyn  Jensen, Les Gray, Cory Parsons

NARC Livestock Crew, MSU-Bozeman

DelCurto I wanted to bring to your attention the outstanding service provided by the MSU NARC support staff. In my 25+ years of conducting university research with beef cattle, I have not worked with a better group of people. They are efficient, always prepared, supportive of research, and pleasant to work with. When conducting range beef cattle research, the routine tasks such as weighing/condition scores as well as outfitting animals with research equipment often become all day jobs that test the patience and resolve of support staff as well as faculty. Often this work is conducted in less than ideal weather conditions and, to coin the phrase, “if something can go wrong it usually will.” I have worked with this group of people extensively with winter grazing projects, spring feed intake/milk production studies, and summer grazing projects. We have routinely weighed/condition scored over 250 head of animals at a time and usually completed these tasks in less than 4 hours. Recently they saddled horses around 7 AM drove 20 miles and began gathering with temperatures in the teens and a wind chill factor of near zero. Once all the cows were gathered (10 AM) we began to process the cows for the research project only to discover that the hydraulic squeeze chute would not work because the oil was too cold for the electric motor. Fortunately, they had a spare (gas powered) and we were able to process all the animals over in 4 hours. They even had a coffee pot at the squeeze chute and provided lunch. They are a pleasure to work with and represent MSU well. Boss Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life; this group epitomizes this. They are in research because they love the cattle research & way of life. They facilitate research collecting data or saving a calf in winter. They contribute to the most noble of causes, feeding the world through Ag Research. Their expertise & caring allows everybody to be more efficient. See Moving Day, K. Gorham
Nominated by Tim Delcurto Darrin Boss; Received award on February 21, 2018

Kari Cargill

Microbiology and Immunology, MSU-Bozeman

"I am not here to talk you into Microbiology. I am here to invite you to explore what Microbiology has to offer" she said with a twinkle in her eye as she addressed the MSU Friday students and parents. I could actually watch the faces of the young learners light up to Kari's words. This is the effect that Kari has with any student she comes into contact with.

If you are wanting to learn your way around the Microbiology and Immunology Department, Kari is not only a friendly and enthusiastic face, but her passion and love for the sciences permeates energy in the room.

Kari is inspiring in many ways: her eagerness to help, her excitement to share her knowledge and overall the display of finest character that any academic department would be proud to have. She teaches large fromat courses and still has time to meet one on one with her advising students to provide them with the best help possible. I have seen Kari be in the middle of working and stop to help a student with a question.

I am very happy to send in this nomination for Kari Cargill.

Nominated by Ceran Walker; Received award on February 14, 2018

Katie Sutich, Jane Crawford, Molly  Simmons

Department of Mathematical Sciences Staff, MSU-Bozeman

The Department of Mathematical Sciences staff is truly inspiring because they go above and beyond their job descriptions. Every semester, hundreds of students pass through their offices with questions about pre-requisites, courses, and grading. I am continually impressed with this team?s patience and kindness toward each, individual student. They take time to make sure each students? mathematical course needs are met and even get to know our graduate students on a first name basis. They care about students as people both inside and outside of the classroom.

As a faculty member, I appreciate their willingness to put aside whatever they are working on to help me reserve a classroom, answer an accounting question, or even fix a copy jam. Without them, I know that I would not be able to do my job as efficiently or as effectively. Their patience and kindness makes MSU a more enjoyable place to work for all of us in the mathematics department. Their dedication to students across campus inspires me to be more helpful, patient, and kind in my own interactions with students.

Note: I could not upload all of their photos but they can all be found on the Math Dept Website.

Nominated by Megan Wickstrom; Received award on February 7, 2018

Larry Strizich

COTS/Provost Office, MSU-Northern

To Whom it May Concern:
I would like to nominate Dr. Larry Strizich for the Gold Award as his consistently good and diligent service to our institution and university system is extraordinary and way above the grade. As a student, my experience was that Larry was there for us as a professor and advisor and also served as a club advisor and leader for our IEEE club. I saw Larry working as a professor to take the classes and senior projects to a higher level of learning and expertise.
Later when I became a faculty member I saw Larry working in committee meetings and COTS meetings helping all of us with accreditation and understanding the work necessary to make our college a better part of the whole. Larry served as Chair of the COTS for many years and helped us without our really understanding all that he did to keep the COTS running as smoothly as it did. As Larry served as Chair of the COTS, making sure that the Dean looked good in all aspects that he could be of service, such as accreditation, assessment, departmental support, extra duty teaching automotive classes, taking the brunt of any conflicts and diffusing the situation to amenable ends, grant writing, and many other duties that I have no idea how deep his service goes, but I know that he was and is always there in support of our efforts to make Northern meet the needs of the students, state, and university system, the best he can and could. I know with a certainty that everyone on this campus would sign on to this nomination without hesitation and am surprised that it hasn't been done before. I took pictures of him on the sly a couple of years ago, before he became Dean of the COTS and now he has stepped up to help as Interim Provost to help Northern maintain an even keel and stay afloat and navigate in the heavy seas of academic and financial waters.
Thank you Larry for your unwavering commitment to excellence for Northern and your exemplary example as a leader for our institution.
Nominated by Trygve Magelssen; Received award on January 31, 2018

David  Craig

Honors Program, MSU-Billings

He is the person who I have noticed cares about the students the most. He is always available for appointments and to help both with student concerns regarding the program or their regular studies questions.

He motivates students to try their best by showing them they are valued and appreciated. I think this is so important in order to get students motivated. He appreciates every effort students make, and his positive attitude towards everything is always very uplifting.

With all the above said, he inspired me to always try my best knowing that my efforts are going to remain appreciated.
Nominated by Miglena Ivanova; Received award on January 24, 2018

JT Saunders

Department of Animal and Range Sciences, MSU-Bozeman

“Make hay while the sun shines" was the mantra for JT Saunders, Red Bluff Ranch Manager.

Just as haying operations were to begin in late June, unexpected staff departures dramatically affected the crew at the Bozeman Agricultural Research and Teaching Farm, near the MSU campus. Understanding the predicament of the farm operations, JT, without hesitation, drove 80 miles round trip daily from Red Bluff to Bozeman, worked exhaustive days, and spearheaded the harvest of more than 460 acres of hay.

During this same time, the Lodgepole Fire burning in central Montana weighed heavily on JT, having grown up in this rural area and knowing many of the people in the communities impacted by the blaze. With modest foundation funds, he worked with Bozeman Costco to purchase 9,000 bottles of water. After work, he and a co-worker drove through the night to deliver the water to the Winnett Volunteer Rural Fire Department. After unloading the pallets of water, they immediately returned to Bozeman to resume haying the next day.

Even with taking on additional labor-intensive responsibilities, JT still managed his duties at Red Bluff. For his inspirational and selfless dedication, JT Saunders gets my support for making a “Pure Gold” impact.

Nominated by Patrick Hatfield; Received award on January 17, 2018

Amy Stix

EMpower, MSU-Bozeman

Amy is always trying to help us in anyway possible coming into the AIRO tutor room at regular intervals even just to say hi or good morning. And following up on emails to provide us with scholarship information, EMpower meetings or anyway we can be involved at Montana State. She sacrifices a lot of her time to go to our EMpower meetings coming in after hours and sending emails after hours to get good speakers and really focusing on our needs as students. Amy Stix positively impacts the community by never letting the students in EMpower feel like they are in it alone. She does her due diligence to create a fun, safe and good learning and growing environment/community. Amy Stix has inspired me to help in the transition of other tribal college students to the larger Universities, acknowledging the struggles and challenges in my own corner of the world to look for solutions that are both impactful and inspiring.
Nominated by Gordon North Piegan; Received award on January 10, 2018