Fall 2014 Recipients
Graduate School, MSU-Bozeman
The team of Amanda Round, Laura Collins and Melis Edwards recognized that the previous application system for graduate students was not one that matched the Tier 1 status of MSU; and as such this first introduction to MSU could be impacting potential exceptional applicants.
The team, with financial support from the university, implemented the new admission’s software CollegeNet, which took about a year to develop. This undertaking was complex and exhausting since this required customization of over 110 different graduate programs at MSU.
Furthermore, the team was committed to a full functioning capability, which meant multiple meetings with faculty/staff to troubleshoot and develop the individualized applications, and conducting training workshops for administrators and graduate coordinators.
The new application system streamlines the admission’s process for graduate students; it is aligned with the quality, standards, and exceptional education here at MSU. It is 100 percent electronic and provides both prospective student and faculty/staff portals to apply, track, and review the status of applications.
The team has worked tirelessly without disruptive service of their existing workload to improve the graduate application process for The Graduate School at Montana State University. Amanda, Laura and Melis's efforts demonstrate their commitment to The Graduate School and to the faculty, staff and students at MSU.
Nominated by Karlene Hoo; Received award on October 29, 2014
Ag. Econ and Econ, MSU-Bozeman
Jane's nomination is far overdue. Jane is a central piece in any student's success within the agricultural economics and economics department, but she is also the central hub for information on the third floor of Linfield Hall.
With a captivating enthusiasm, Jane is always ready to help. With her sincere smile, she transmits her dedication to make sure the students under her supervision excel not only in school but later in life as well.
Whether it be with graduation requirements, schedule changes or personal problems, Jane is always there to lend a hand or brighten your day with a smile. Any student on campus would feel privileged to know such an amazing person as Jane.
No bad day can halter Jane's enthusiasm. In nearly four years of being a student in her department, I have yet to enter her office and not be greeted by her friendly smile.
Nominated by Tomas Garcia; Received award on September 24, 2014
Instructional Technology, MSU-Bozeman
Amanda is the epitome of consistent friendly customer service. Her ability to coach a frustrated user through a myriad of technical issues is outstanding. We always reach a successful conclusion when Amanda responds to technical issue requests.
Montana State University (MSU) is a better place because of Amanda's contributions as an employee. Her positive and friendly persona are behaviors any leader should strive for. Unknowingly and selflessly Amanda models the role of the consummate problem solver, team player and value adder in the ever changing field of technology. Her ability to solve issues quickly saves MSU money by reducing time spent on technical problems.
By being excellent in her role, Amanda is an inspiration for her MSU customers. If all of us on the MSU faculty and staff could have half of Amanda's positive attitude, customer-focus and friendly nature, we'd be that much better off. Thank you Amanda for being a Pure Gold person!
Nominated by Nan Brandenbergerpayne; Received award on September 10, 2014
Health and Human Development, MSU-Bozeman
If anyone is deserving of a Pure Gold title, it's Nancy Colton. Whether it's making herself available to any student in need of assistance, encouraging all she comes in contact with, or passionately sharing her vast knowledge, she serves as an inspiration to all.
Of Nancy's many positive attributes, her passion is the most captivating. To be able to learn from someone who loves their job, is eager to teach, and is dedicated to improving the lives of others is an immense blessing. She motivates others, not only within the MSU community, but far beyond. She is quick to encourage and thinks very highly of her students. Furthermore, she is always sacrificing her time so that students may have better opportunities and may be recognized for their efforts, all the while pushing them to be the best they can be.
Despite a full schedule, she makes time for students and is willing to assist all with a gracious and positive attitude. In addition to her work as a professor, Nancy also serves as the adviser for the Health Enhancement Majors Club. She makes it possible for all majors to take ownership over their education, learn from local professionals, gain experience, and attend conferences. It's a great privilege to know Nancy.
The following are just a few comments from her students:
"I will forever be grateful for the education I have received and Nancy Colton is a big part of that. Any success I may have as a Health Enhancement major would not be possible without her."
"Nancy is an amazing mentor and teacher. In my time at MSU I was always able to count on Nancy to be there and give great advice. She has been an amazing part of my college career and I don't think I would have made it without her support."
"Nancy's passion and commitment to making us the best we can be is truly inspiring. She always seems to know what to say to keep us motivated and feel like we can make a difference in the world. I would not have the confidence I have in this field without her."
Nominated by her students ; Received award on December 1, 2014
Sociology and Anthropology, MSU-Bozeman
Leslie was the first person I met in the sociology and anthropology department when I transferred to MSU over two years ago. Her warmth and smiling face always light up my day! Being a senior this year, I have had a lot of what I consider the pre-graduation anxiety.
Leslie always goes above and beyond to ensure that I am on track with graduation, on track with life, and that I never forget a smile before leaving her office, which I have been frequenting so often. Her positive attitude and caring personality bring something unique and special to MSU.
Leslie always has encouraging words of wisdom to help me, and I sincerely appreciate all her hard work. She is truly an inspiring woman who definitely deserves to have some serious recognition. Thanks for everything you do, Leslie! :)
Nominated by Cheyenne Stevens; Received award on November 19, 2014
COA Dean's Office, MSU-Bozeman
Melodious laughter, uncanny ability to remember names, boundless patience. All that and more come out of Linfield 202 when Susan Fraser is in the room. Whether with students, staff, faculty or stakeholders, Susan is engaging, helpful and comforting. For several semesters, I've observed Susan taking the initiative to be both traffic director and human GPS for Linfield as she helps students and faculty navigate the halls and find rooms during the first weeks of the semester. In just those brief moments with those individuals, Susan learns names and something about them; she will see them again, call them by name then ask how XYZ class is going or provide some personalized greeting to brighten that person's day. It is almost impossible not to feel your spirit, your confidence and your facial expression raised when in Susan's presence.
Susan is also the "go-to" person for faculty, staff and students across the College of Agriculture and the Montana Agriculture Experiment Stations. Within her head, she holds answers to many questions about the College of Agriculture, the research centers, the MSU system, and the greater Gallatin Valley community; if not in her head, then a few keystrokes, and she either has the answer or has a contact who can provide an answer.
I believe Susan inspires us all. Just this morning, as I walked the 2nd floor hallway to my office, I heard Susan sharing a laugh with someone, and just hearing that joyful laughter set my day on a better course. To paraphrase a line from The Help, Susan makes us all believe "we are kind, we are smart, we are important!"
Nominated by Carl Igo; Received award on September 17, 2014
University Communications, MSU-Bozeman
Kelly Gorham is not only a gem for MSU, he is arguably one of the best photographers in the nation.
He exemplifies professionalism and customer service in everything he does. His work impacts the entire university, from admissions publications and websites, to feature story coverage and athletics.
Kelly always makes his subjects feel welcomed and at ease. He will go the extra mile, by photographing in the harshest conditions. Neither rain, wind, sleet nor snow will keep him from capturing the best image that communicates the essence of Montana State University.
When on a photo shoot, he will contort himself into whatever position he needs to get a new and exciting angle.
But what I appreciate most about Kelly is that he will work at any hour to get the job done. And he always does it with a smile on his face. Thank you Kelly Gorham for being pure gold!
Nominated by Julie Kipfer; Received award on November 12, 2014
When thinking of Montana State's blue and gold, one person comes to mind almost instantly - Max Hamberger. Max has been involved with campus since day one. He has served as the director of technology on the Interhall Residence Hall Association (RHA) executive board, as well as serving as the president on the same board. His position was one of great responsibility that he did not take lightly. He attended multiple national conferences to promote MSU spirit and vim.
As well as promoting leadership in residence halls, Max is also an MSU Advocat giving tours to potential students. Anyone listening to one of his tours can tell that through his veins truly runs blue and gold.
Nominated by Henry Arend; Received award on October 1, 2014
Recreational Sports & Fitness, MSU-Bozeman
For 28 years, Sharon Melniker has been the face of Rec Sports. Her passion for the mission of MSU is apparent in everything she does, and her enthusiasm and professionalism set a high standard for those around her. As the business manager for Rec Sports, she works tirelessly to ensure that we are in compliance with university policies and procedures. Her knowledge of employee classifications has proven invaluable as we navigate the hiring process of over 100 people each fall and then integrate that into department entry payroll which she does single-handedly.
She doesn't give it a second thought when she has to work late or come in on weekends and manages a heavy workload with a hearty laugh and a calm, even demeanor. She knows her job is important to us and will accomplish her tasks with utmost accuracy, so that each team member has what they need to keep our department ahead of the game.
Over the years Sharon has mentored hundreds of students and invested in their success by providing their supervision in "real life" work experience through our office. Her open door policy has been a stabilizing force in many of their lives. Sharon's responsibilities intersect the lives of people all across campus and her reputation for service excellence is well known. We count ourselves lucky to have her!
Nominated by Michele Cusack; Received award on October 24, 2014
University Relations, MSU-Northern
Jim Potter consistently goes the extra mile for MSU-Northern. He is always eager to help and puts in long hours, sacrificing weekends and evenings to prepare for or photograph events and publish the weekly Northern Network News. He is friendly and easygoing and cares about Northern and its students.
Besides managing University Relations with finesse and assisting administration by offering sound advice, Jim uses his manifold talents including art, wood-working, percussion, and photography to enrich the endeavors of MSU-Northern with creativity and passion.
Jim has been my supervisor for about five years, since hiring me as a student-worker. Under his guidance I have had invaluable opportunities to learn new things and stretch my wings as a designer. He's encouraging and open to new ideas and makes sure I have the tools I need to do my job. Jim refrains from micromanaging and is gracious when a mistake is made. Though we may disagree on typeface choices, I consider it a privilege to work with Jim, and MSU-Northern is truly fortunate to have Jim Potter on staff.
Nominated by McKenna Newton; Received award on November 5, 2014
Northern has one of the most talented and respected individuals at the helm of the registrar's office. I would like to introduce you to my nominee for Pure Gold:
Alisha Schroeder was hired at MSU-Northern as the assistant registrar in 2010, and by 2013 she was asked to serve as interim registrar. Needless to say, Alisha stepped into her new and demanding role with poise, competence and energy. We all discovered that she was a perfect fit.
Instrumental in all facets of our academic process, I am thankful that as of last December her role has become official. However, her ability to do her job well does not warrant her nomination alone. Rather, it's how she goes about her daily business. She proves her competency every minute, and truly does so with a smile and without misstep. No matter what issue is at hand, she maintains an extremely calming demeanor, a trait truly beneficial during emergencies. For many of us at Northern, Alisha is the go-to person when solutions or assistance are needed.
One of our busiest administrators, Alisha is always available to everyone. She will drop whatever project she's working on and never make anyone feel like they are interrupting her. Basically, she is thinking about others and how to best serve our students, her needs secondary. Despite this, she always gets the job done with the utmost professionalism and a smile. As registrar, she must frequently navigate tricky waters. She's able to do so with integrity, discretion and a sound moral compass. These traits also define her as a great leader. Alisha consistently inspires us to lead with grace and compassion, all the while maintaining a student-centered focus. Alisha is pure gold, but I'll add that I believe she's platinum.
Nominated by Norton Pease; Received award on August 27, 2014
Joe Schumacher is a student staff member at the MSU VOICE Center. As the Education and Prevention Specialist, he works tirelessly to inform the MSU community of the issues we face concerning interpersonal violence and provides the skills and information to prevent further acts of violence on our campus. Joe will never miss an opportunity to connect with others in the hopes of creating a safe and healthy community for all. He works after-hours, weekends, and during academic breaks to ensure that people are informed, excited and empowered to make a positive change in our campus culture.
In addition to his phenomenal work at the VOICE Center, Joe is a devoted husband, father, veteran of the U.S. Army, volunteer, diehard MSU Bobcat fan, and student. His volunteer work is extensive, and he has worked with the Help Center of Bozeman, HAVEN, Thrive as a CAP mentor, served on the Not In Our House Taskforce as chairman, and has been involved with many student clubs. As he finishes his senior year of college, Joe continues to be a straight-A student, an incredibly hard worker and passionate advocate for the community, all the while never missing his 3-year-old daughter's weekly dance class.
Joe is truly an inspiration to everyone who has had the pleasure of meeting him. We are so lucky to have him on the Montana State University campus, and there is no doubt that Joe will continue to do amazing work long after his time at MSU has concluded.
Nominated by Hannah Stark; Received award on October 8, 2014
Native American Studies, MSU-Bozeman
Comments heard around the Native American Studies Department and American Indian Council:
"Lisa not only cares about our students, but she takes excellent care of the Native American Studies faculty and staff. She goes out of her way to make sure the staff has everything they need to perform their duties and does an excellent job with all the financial situations for the department, all with a positive attitude. She is professional, courteous, positive and supportive to all. She is the glue that holds the department together."
"Lisa is always willing to assist our students and she does it with enthusiasm and encouragement. When students are struggling with funding or with their classes, Lisa listens to what they have to say and works with them to come up with options. She is very helpful in scheduling classes and keeps things rolling forward in a good way for the NAS Department."
"Lisa Stevenson is a great advocate for our students, the American Indian Student Success program, and the NAS department. Lisa is instrumental in all facets of our daily operations. For example, she assists with book scholarships, enrolling students in classes, providing helping hands with our events, among many other important duties. Lisa is a tremendous asset to our department."
"When faculty and grad students travel, Lisa makes the arrangements and finds the funds. She makes the many, many Costco runs that make all our special departmental activities special. She keeps the cashbox at the MSU Powwow, and she is the reason that the powwow happens at all because as our accountant, she makes sure everything stays in the black. And she does it all with a smile even though we are constantly imposing our needs and keeping her attentions away from the day-to-day departmental housekeeping that is her actual job. All families need someone who understands everyone's failings but loves everyone enough to look past those things anyway and provide the support that keeps everyone together and happy. That is Lisa. That is why she is Pure Gold."
Nominated by NAS Department; Received award on October 15, 2014
Sharon was incredibly helpful in three searches that I chaired this past spring and summer: two internal searches and then most recently, the search for the new Associate Provost for International Programs. Sharon expertly organized the search schedule, and provided valuable best practices guidance to our committee. She was available for phone calls and e-mails on weekends and even during her vacation, as we proceeded through the search. She helped us represent MSU positively to an extremely qualified pool of applicants, who were also recruited by other institutions.
She was a key part of hiring individuals that will help us move our university forward. Sharon is an inspiration to me: always professional, courteous, insightful and full of (seemingly) limitless energy!
Nominated by Ilse-Mari Lee; Received award on September 3, 2014