“What can I get you, dear?” is the phrase that the line of young freshmen patiently wait to hear. They stand at attention at Kathy’s Omelet Grill in anticipation of a taste of home. Some of them don’t have to tell her what they want. She remembers their faces and orders and simply says, “The usual today?”
It’s not just freshmen that enjoy the friendly service and fresh taste of a made-to-order omelet. All kinds come to see Kathy’s smiling face. Early morning class takers, faculty, staff, football players, ROTC, you name it, they come.
The rare absence of Kathy from the grill is a great source of anxiety for most omelet lovers. They come to make sure she’s OK and ask if she will be returning tomorrow.
Kathy not only provides a wonderful breakfast to start the day, but she also cares about each customer and sends them off with a full belly and a smile on their face. Her pleasant manners and fluffy eggs remind students of the moms they have left back home. Kathy and her eggs are definitely a cure for the homesick student.
In order to keep all these customers happy, Kathy cracks about 900 eggs a day! 4,500 a week! In the 12 years she has been whipping up omelets at Miller Dinning Hall, she has happily cracked over 2 million eggs!
Kathy is a unique asset to the university. She goes above and beyond to help out at work and give the students the best experience possible. Thank you, Kathy!
Nominated by her supervisors Jill Flores, Marilyn Cox, Kevin Ball and Mike Kosevich.
Nominated by Jill Flores; Received award on February 25, 2015
I have had the pleasure to work with Roni as part of the MSU Extension team. Roni Baker is an exemplary MSU employee. She is solid, reliable, capable, competent and committed. Roni provides calm, clear leadership. Each year, Roni's positive influence reaches more than a thousand 4-H members, leaders and volunteers. She is a superb teacher, full of enthusiasm for learning with ample knowledge to share.
Because of her dedication to her profession, she is able to accomplish more than most. In addition to her service in Yellowstone County, she provides leadership across the state and nation in the area of 4-H youth development. She is a highly valued team member, due in large part to her competence, capacity and reliability.
I could probably list hundreds of reasons why Roni is Pure Gold, but it could all be condensed to this statement. Every time I interact with Roni, I am better because of it. You couldn't ask for more than that from a colleague or educator.
Nominated by Jane Wolery; Received award on February 4, 2015
Plant Sciences, MSU-Bozeman
Andrew's job on the MSU campus entails conducting wheat genetics research. He brings passion, intensity and enthusiasm to his job. He has inspired me and others to give their best efforts by leading by example and by his infectious enthusiasm and expressed desire to complete research projects that may benefit Montana wheat growers. He goes above and beyond by helping to ensure other researchers, graduate and undergraduate students are able to complete their projects by offering technical assistance and advice. This often entails maintaining progress on his own experiments while supervising technical aspects of other projects, as well.
In his more than 10 years as an MSU research associate, he has helped many students obtain valuable lab experience enabling them to expand their career opportunities. Not only is he a dedicated employee, but he is a dedicated MSU volunteer serving as a scoreboard crew volunteer at both football and basketball games for the last several years.
Nominated by Mike Giroux; Received award on January 14, 2015
Dean of Students Office, MSU-Bozeman
Ed McKenna-Assistant Dean of Students
Nominated by student, Kassandra Makinen
Ed McKenna is not only a great coach, but he also works hard as the assistant dean of students at Montana State University Bozeman. This is my second semester playing rugby, and one of the main reasons I stayed was the coach. Ed pushes us as a team to greatness. Not only is he always there for us as a mentor of rugby, but he is a mentor of our schooling as well. If we ever have any issues with a class he is there to talk through to come up with a resolution.
One of my favorite qualities of Ed is that he knows when to be serious and when to lighten the mood. During practice everyone shows their true self when we are on the breaking point from running or repeating a drill 20 times. But he knows when to let enough be enough or when to tell a joke to release the tension in the room.
Not only does he work in the dean of students’ office, but he also teaches a writing course and after a long day at school he still makes time to spend with us and teach us the game of rugby. I believe he deserves pure gold.
Nominated by Kassandra Makinen; Received award on March 25, 2015
Doctor Classes, MSU-Great Falls
Ted Nesmith is Pure Gold because:
He is a former Marine, a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and belongs to the Gun Safety Club. He serves as a senator in the student government and runs the Food Pantry at Great Falls MSU all while studying to be a doctor.
He will go out of his way to help a fellow man: such as pulling out a car stuck in the snow when he does not know the person. He helps friends with homework, to better understand how to open D2L or understand what they need to write.
He will travel out of Great Falls just to help a friend fix a stranded car in any weather, doing all this without requesting cash. Helping friends is more important to him than receiving money.
Nominated by Ted Guardipee; Received award on February 11, 2015
"Thanks for your hard work today."
At the end of every workday, Kristi says this to each of her staff members.
While just a collection of six words, these words reveal Kristi's management and work style. Kristi Peterson is the director of admissions at Montana State University-Northern. In her role, she oversees prospect and inquiry communications, travel, and all campus recruitment efforts.
She not only cares about the quality of work produced by the MSU-Northern admissions office, but she also cares about making the workplace enjoyable. Kristi takes management far beyond task assignment; she empowers her staff to become their best selves.
Each day, Kristi imparts co-workers with tales of her life as a new stepmom. She takes this new station in her life very seriously: constantly carting the kids to hockey or baseball practice, and always trying to mold them into the best people they can be.
Life in Northern's Student Success Center would not be the same without Kristi and that is why she is PURE GOLD.
Nominated by Lindsay Brown; Received award on March 4, 2015
Music Department, MSU-Billings
The University Relations and Communications office and Extended Campus would collectively like to nominate John Roberts for the Pure Gold Award.
John, a music professor at Montana State University Billings, thrives from sharing with his students and the Billings community the joy that can be experienced through music. His passion for jazz and world music is infectious and his energy is boundless.
Earlier this month, John hosted a statewide jazz festival for high school students, reviving a once very popular festival that had been held annually at MSUB for decades but dissolved in the late ‘90s. In its revival year, more than 400 people attended the one-day event that featured workshops, clinics and guest artists.
He worked tirelessly to bring the event back for his students. His dedication and exemplary leadership exhibits the qualities MSUB holds out to other faculty as examples of excellence in teaching, community engagement and service.
The festival, John said, is near and dear to him and was one of the main reasons why he enrolled in college at MSUB. After earning his degree in 1996 in music performance, he received his master’s of fine arts degree in western orchestral trombone from the California Institute of the Arts. He has done extensive touring and recording throughout the world, including a recent visit to Cuba.
John’s return to Billings and MSUB has added a new flavor to the local jazz scene, and has especially opened students to new opportunities and a fresh, modern take on music. One of his students said that John has helped bring the jazz scene in Billings back to life and has encouraged a lot of young people to start playing jazz and other world music. Students are not only receiving a superior music education from John Roberts, but they also learn alongside a passionate educator who engages students to become better people.
Nominated by Aaron Clingingsmith; Received award on March 18, 2015
College of Agriculture/MAES, MSU-Bozeman
AgIThelp@montana.edu, extension 7177, or "Maaaattttttt!" will get you to him.
Whenever we have computing struggles, Matt Rognlie is our mitigator. It is a good thing he has long legs for all the running he does. As the IT director for the College of Agriculture and the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station, you might expect Matt to be the one who solves the behind-the-scenes problems and he does that.
His knowledge of the hardware and software to make us more productive ranges from the bench sciences through the social sciences. Whether it is resolving IP address problems from his office or sitting with a faculty or staff member who has malware, access, printing, or any other IT issues, the personal service Matt delivers is what makes him positively PURE GOLD!
What puts the 24-carat crown on Matt is that he perfectly blends the archetypal computer geek knowledge and skill with his effusive personality in a way that dissolves stressful situations, whether that is computer failure or an empty coffee carafe. He does it with a smile, kindness and explanations that make the technical...understandable.
Sometimes, we are also lucky enough to witness his musical side from humming down the hallway to playing his trumpet or singing in community orchestra and choir concerts. You may have seen Matt in his role as assistant band director at Bozeman High School, but if you ask him about it, he'll divert the conversation away from himself to accolades for those students.
For such a multi-talented individual, Matt is humble about tooting his own horn. However, we "trumpet" Matt for his expertise, assistance and servant leadership!
Nominated by Brandi Clark; Received award on January 28, 2015
Military Aerospace Studies, MSU-Bozeman
When it comes to service excellence, Maj. Andrew "Andy" Stohlmann is the role model on campus and in the community.
Andy serves as an assistant professor of aerospace studies in the College of Engineering where he teaches military history, management and leadership to more than 50 students aspiring to become commissioned officers in the United States Air Force.
Andy makes a very positive contribution to the development of our students both academically and professionally. He exhibits outstanding dedication to Montana State University while also serving in the Montana Air National Guard in Great Falls. Andy mentors and guides our students developing good study habits for academic success, and also good exercise habits encouraging a healthy lifestyle. While he works a full work week on campus, his weekends are consumed serving our state as an Air Force aviator flying C-130s for the Montana Air National Guard.
What makes Andy stand out is his commitment to student development; his door is ALWAYS open and no matter how busy he is he always stops to meet parents, prospective students and students to share the story of Montana State University and the United States Air Force. When most people call a 45 -hour work week a full week, that's just the beginning for Andy. His weeks often exceed 70 hours between his teaching, mentoring and additional work as an aircraft commander.
One of the friendliest people you will ever meet, he always has a smile on his face and a positive attitude even in the face of difficult challenges. He keeps this department on track while 60 percent of our staff and facility positions were vacant.
Although he will never brag on himself, he is certainly deserving of recognition. For being such a positive and motivated instructor and leader, I am proud to nominate Andy for President Cruzado's Pure Gold Award.
Nominated by David Weide; Received award on February 19, 2015
Extension Communications and Technology, MSU-Bozeman
Millie Veltkamp is a terrific team leader and master planner. In addition to regular duties, Millie spearheaded a year-long effort to celebrate the 100th anniversary of MSU Extension. She was at the center of everything from media to statewide celebrations at MAES Field Days to creating a unique 100 percent Montana Wool scarf. She led the charge to host an exquisite dinner celebration on campus.
Veltkamp was the energy behind the Centennial Extension Challenge. She helped plan a river clean-up, service at the Community Café and a food drive for Extension administration. In addition, she rallied offices statewide, including other MSU departments and 4-H clubs to also participate.
At the same time, Veltkamp was working with Activities Insight to create a special Extension interface allowing necessary state and federal reporting to be done with other university requirements. This is a huge undertaking and Millie has done it with cheer. Recently she has conducted webinars and visited agents and specialists to train on the new system, again, in addition to regular duties. This is a tremendous advancement for MSU Extension and will vastly improve reporting.
Millie is the first to step up, stay late or show up early. She isn't afraid to take on extra work for the good of the organization. She inspires us all with her work ethic and positive attitude.
We are proud to nominate Millie Veltkamp for a Pure Gold Award.
Nominated by Jodie Delay Sara Adlington, Susan Anderegg, Terri Bi; Received award on January 21, 2015
MSU Alumni Foundation, MSU-Bozeman
Traci Weller-nominated by her supervisor, Mary Jane McGarity
It’s no secret that there has been a significant amount of change at the Alumni Foundation as we prepare to launch MSU’s most comprehensive private fundraising campaign ever. During this critical period of preparation, Traci Weller has played a major role in helping to build a successful foundation for the upcoming campaign for MSU.
In addition to serving as relationship manager for MSU alumni Norm Asbjornson, Traci has accepted and excelled at responsibilities for Corporate and Foundation Relations, Liaison for College of Engineering, Regional Lead for Houston and Seattle, and Director of Annual Fund. In her current role as a Senior Director of Development, Traci manages the relationship for many of MSU’s greatest financial supporters. As development officers for MSU, we try to listen more than we talk, and this donor certainly says it best:
“Our contribution to the family scholarship last year was directly tied to Traci’s performance and the relationship that she has developed with me. Traci always follows up, never misses a deadline and completes everything she says she will do. Traci builds and nurtures strong relationships, based on mutual interest, friendship, and sincerity. We have a large number of organizations that want donations; my relationship with Traci differentiates MSU from other organizations wanting money. Current performance is the best indicator of how good a steward of our money MSU would be. Traci turned our attention back to MSU.”
Traci Weller, you are PURE GOLD!
Nominated by Mary Jane McGarity; Received award on March 11, 2015