Dawn Major

Honors College, MSU-Bozeman

Dawn Major constantly goes above and beyond to serve the students and faculty in the Honors College at Montana State University. From Hike and Read, to Ski and Read, Freshman orientations, Great Expeditions, Presidential Scholarship interviews, Honors Ambassadors, graduation -- there simply is not a facet of "what we do" in Honors that Ms. Major is not a part of, moreover, that she has contributed to in meaningful ways by streamlining processes and operations. Her care for our students, the respect that she has shown parents and faculty, and her cheerful demeanor combine to present our university in an exemplary manner.

She has inspired me, and all who come in contact with her, to do our very best to serve our students and the people of Montana in all we do, with a cheerful disposition and unlimited energy.
Nominated by Ilse-Mari Lee; Received award on September 21, 2016

Leann Koon

Western Transportation Institute, MSU-Bozeman

Leann Koon graduated from Montana State University with a bachelor's and master's degree in Agricultural Education and has applied her diverse skillset and winning personality to a wide variety of projects while employed in the Systems Group at the Western Transportation Institute for more than 10 years. Leann's hard work has led to repeated successes, such as the national award-winning and soon-to-be 11th Annual Western States Forum, as well as numerous related projects.

Leann currently serves as a Research Associate II and is co-principal investigator on multiple high-profile research projects. She has progressively taken on greater responsibilities during her time at WTI.

In addition to general research, Leann oversees program and event planning, curriculum development and professional training, as well as website content development and student coordination with the WTI Systems Group. When asked to describe her responsibilities, Leann always starts by saying, "My job is almost entirely about being a team player."

Indeed, Leann is a team player who gets along with everyone in our organization and is viewed as a key staff member by all of our sponsors. Growing up on a ranch in eastern Montana certainly helped to build her great character and strong work ethic.

In her spare time, Leann volunteers with the FFA at local, state and national levels, and serves as an adviser in multiple capacities to Delta Gamma Chapter, Alpha Gamma Delta. Leann's husband, Jon, is also an MSU graduate and their young son, Josh, is surely a future Bobcat. "Pure Gold" only begins to describe Leann's commitment to Montana State University!

Nominated by Doug Galarus; Received award on September 14, 2016

Jackie Bergstedt

Education/Field Placement, MSU-Bozeman

Arriving at work in Reid Hall each day before the lights come on, Jackie Bergstedt has loyally served the MSU Department of Education's Field Placement and Licensure Office for 19 years. As the licensing, certification and permit technician, she has helped thousands of undergraduate pre-service and in-service teachers to earn, receive and upgrade their teaching licenses. Despite ever-changing regulations and clients' challenges in addressing them, Jackie consistently maintains a cheerful attitude and remarkable efficiency along with highly professional competence qualities that make her a joy to have at one's side when navigating difficulties. Her co-workers count an opportunity to problem-solve with Jackie to be a high spot in their day and an inspiration to do one's best with a smile.

For a multitude of educators in Montana and beyond, Jackie has been a memorably helpful encounter on the road to their career success. Beyond her sterling work record, her caring nature and commitment to human connection have truly made her worthy of the Pure Gold distinction. As one student stated, "Jackie Bergstedt is a personable, hardworking professional who is always willing to take time out of her busy schedule to assist students with any academic or personal obstacles. Her upbeat, positive attitude results in students feeling that their concerns are a priority."
Nominated by Gini Mohr; Received award on September 7, 2016