Joshua Andona

Residence Life, MSU-Bozeman

I would like to nominate Josh Andona for this award for his contribution to Montana State University and the student body. Last spring (2010), Josh was part of a committee that was led by Jaynee Groseth to discuss and explore various spirit options to increase school spirit/pride within the University community. One of the major ideas they came up with was a new tradition called "The Growl," to take place every Friday before a home football game. Over the summer Josh didn't hear anything about it and thought the idea had died, but during the early part of the fall 2011 semester Josh was asked by Matt Caires, Dean of Students, to sit on a committee to discuss the plan and bring this idea back to life.

Josh has since been a part of the first two Growls and served as the MC for the event prior to Homecoming. Josh takes great pride in his University and is hoping that through various discussions and opportunities that he can leave a lasting impact on the student experience here at Montana State University to start a new tradition that students will want to be a part of.

Josh currently serves as the Assistant Resident Director (ARD) in Johnstone Center for the Department of Residence Life and is also an architecture major. Between all of his extra responsibilities with architecture and the ARD job, he has been able to balance extra meetings and discussions for this event including publicity, design, planning discussions for the event and making sure that all aspects of the event from technology, to the marching band and Champ are all ready to go for the event. He's dedicated to making a difference and he believes a new tradition like this will help bring the University closer together in the future.
Nominated by James Tobin; Received award on November 30, 2011

Joe Atwood

Ag. Economics, MSU-Bozeman

Dan Brattain, my son, was recently admitted to the hospital for three days. During this time, Dr. Atwood was very diligent in checking in on him. He even came up to the hospital to see Dan. Dr. Atwood has worked with Dan to make sure he is caught up in his classes. He has gone above and beyond what one would expect a college professor to do. His personal interest in my son has demonstrated his true ability to help students be successful at MSU. He is also Dan's advisor. He meets with Dan regularly to insure Dan is on track to graduate May of 2012. In a school of about 14,000 students, it is refreshing to know that Dr. Atwood is willing to go above and beyond his daily job. My Son is not just another number. Dr. Atwood has inspired me to realize how important relationships are in meeting the needs of students. As an educator in Great Falls, it reminds me of how I need to be with my middle school students. I thank Dr. Atwood for his interest in my son and seeing that he is successful at MSU. I am hoping he receives this honor because he truly deserves it. Thank you Dr. Atwood.
Nominated by Cindy Brattain; Received award on October 19, 2011

Melanie Baldwin

Earth Sciences, MSU-Bozeman

Melanie Baldwin is the secretary of the Earth Sciences department in Traphagen Hall. The term "administrative assistant" does not come close to encompassing what exactly she does for the department. Melanie is approaching her one-year anniversary in this position, and I am unsure what we did before she was here to address every problem that walked through the office door.

As a graduate student, the transformation from undergraduate student to Teacher's Assistant was intense at times, as was the transition from New York to Montana. Melanie has been there to help with every one of my problems ranging from "How do I use this new copy machine?" to "Oh no! I spilled my lunch in the foyer! Where is a broom?!" and beyond. I am amazed by the ease at which she confronts ANY issue that ANY student or faculty has.

On any given day, she is visited by numerous students with questions about office hours, locations of faculty and deadlines/due dates. She is confronted with questions about forms for graduation, how to add or drop a class and even how to reserve classrooms. Melanie, being an organization master, knows exactly where and how to direct EVERY student.

We, as a department, are so fortunate to have her with us. She has been a personal inspiration to me and I consider her a necessary fixture in the Earth Sciences. She is truly PURE GOLD!

We, as a department, are so fortunate to have her with us. She has been a personal inspiration to me and I consider her a necessary fixture in the Earth Sciences. She is truly PURE GOLD!
Nominated by Christine Maday; Received award on December 7, 2011

Jason Castillon

Financial Aid, MSU-Northern

1. Jason is a student worker in the Financial Aid Office. He is the best student worker we have ever had. Dealing with students and financial aid can be an extremely difficult task. He is always patient and calm with them. Students and their families always seem to feel better about their financial situation after talking to Jason. Jason always goes out of his way to assist a student and their family because he understands students are our number one priority and some of the other duties can wait. He is dependable and mature. He has also taken on a huge role in our office by assisting with the certifying of Veteran's educational benefits and working with Veterans. This requires special attention and he has jumped right in and been able to help these students in order for them to receive their benefits in a timely manner. He always performs in the best interest of the campus!

2. Jason not only works in our office but he is also the CFO of SIFE, which involves working with the Havre community as well as students on campus.

3. Jason inspires me because he has not had it easy growing up and when he graduated from high school he didn't know even know if he wanted to attend college. Now here he is, almost 4 years later, and he will be graduating with his BS in Business Administration in May. He has far exceeded any expectations many people had for him. I will be sad to see him go as a student worker in the spring, but I know he will be moving on to bigger and better things.
Nominated by Lexy Fisher; Received award on October 26, 2011

Butch Damberger

Strand Union, MSU-Bozeman

As the Director of the Strand Union, Butch Damberger serves more students and customers than any other building on campus. He is committed to providing exceptional customer service to students through a clean, functional and accessible building staffed by friendly supportive individuals. He also oversees all conferences held in the building and holds his staff to the utmost standards to facilitate a positive experience for guests to the university.

Butch is always on-the-clock, he is on-call 24/7 for any emergency or problem that arises within the building. He works tirelessly to assure all operations within the Strand Union are functioning properly.

Butch is a caring and attentive listener. His door is always open and he is compassionate to any and all requests that come to him. He responds promptly to individuals with concerns or questions. His priorities are truly the students and his staff.

As a boss, Butch is wonderful. He truly cares about his employees and that comes through every single day. You can always count on his mood, his attitude, and his goodwill. I truly appreciate his ability to empathize with others and his willingness to listen and work to resolve any conflict swiftly (although rare).

His character, his morals, his standards, his commitment to this University make Butch Damberger an excellent candidate for "Pure Gold".
Nominated by Gina Fife; Received award on October 5, 2011

Rebecca Echeverri

Assistant Clinical Professor-Nursing, MSU-Billings

To say that Rebecca Echeverri exceeds the expectations of employees at Montana State University would be an understatement. Rebecca has gone above and beyond in many aspects on the Billings campus. She is highly organized, prepared, and on time for lectures. She values her student's time just as much as she values her own, and holds extra study sessions to meet with students who may need extended help.

Rebecca has recently just taken a group of students on a rural healthcare trip to Honduras to help provide aid in one of the poorest countries in the world. This is a two week trip in the back country of Honduras where nursing students hike mountains and harsh terrain to provide medical treatment to persons in need. Rebecca positively represents Montana state in the clinical area at St. Vincent Healthcare by providing excellent care to the patients and providing a positive learning environment. There has not been one clinical day that goes by where another registered nurse tells my clinical group how lucky we are to have Rebecca as our clinical instructor.

Rebecca has inspired me to become the best nurse I can be. She has given me the tools and resources to learn and develop over these last few months of my senior year. Not only has she inspired me, but she has also inspired my entire clinical group. Rebecca holds the knowledge, talent, and understanding to provide us with a true education, that we will be able to use in our future. Rebecca is the true meaning of "Pure Gold".
Nominated by Hanna Wells; Received award on November 23, 2011

Autumn Elliot

Alumni Director, MSU-Northern

I have known Autumn for 18 years, ever since she was a student athlete at Northern. She played volleyball for three years and also served a year as graduate assistant. During her undergrad years she was President of the Northstar Ambassadors, among many other achievements.

Autumn graduated from Northern in '98 with a degree in drafting then returned in 2008 as a full time graphic design instructor, a position she served in for two successful years.

She moved to her duties as Alumni Director in 2010 and now serves as a tireless, one person department. This fall she organized a mailing to 10,000 Northern alumni.

She has organized Alumni Socials for many Northern athletic events, including road trips. She spent last summer organizing the successful Homecoming Concert (and, by the way, she helped set up and tear down the temporary outdoor stage) and just last week organized and ran the Alumni Auction, which raised about 10,000 dollars for athletic scholarships. She is currently working on an Alumni Directory.

Keep in mind she does most of the above with no staff, save a part-time student worker. And, most importantly, she does it all with great good cheer, ever smiling and laughing, ready for the next new challenge. I am always happy to see her on campus as she is constantly positive and never complains.

Getting her work done seems to me like a minor miracle, but I want to also note that she consistently does it well.

And to give you an example of how she's always ready to go beyond her assigned task, she spent last weekend helping work a auction/meal benefit for a seriously ill colleague.

Autumn is married to Northern grad Jim Elliot and they have two sons.
Nominated by Steve Hesske; Received award on November 9, 2011

Paul Furthmyre


Mr. Furthmyre is an extraordinary principal at Anaconda High School who has students at the heart of every decision he makes. As principal of AHS, Mr. Furthmyre has led school improvement efforts and has been instrumental in getting our staff to work as a team. He encourages each of his faculty and staff to do more every day to ensure student success. When students are home bound due to health concerns, Paul arranges for homework to be delivered and often delivers it himself. When students endure significant challenges, Mr. Furthmyre works with them and their families to help the student succeed academically. When students are in need financially, Mr. Furthmyre works with staff to help acquire warm clothes and food for the dinner table. I have been in education for nearly 20 years and am inspired by the way Mr. Furthmyre challenges me and my colleagues to do more than we ever thought we could to impact student learning. He is one of the most ardent Bobcat fans I have come to know and proudly displays his alma mater in his apparel and his office. Education is the key to success and he practices all that he preaches in regards to learning. He is presently enrolled in the Educational Leadership PhD program at MSU Bozeman. He is PURE GOLD!
Nominated by Angela McLean; Received award on October 12, 2011

Mo Harbac

Animal and Range Sciences, MSU-Bozeman

Mo Harbac is one of the most unique and interesting individuals that I have ever known. Only one of six women to reach the rank of Colonel in the US Marine Corp, she retired and became the coordinator for research and extension programs for the State Beef Cattle Specialists. A native of Baker, MT, it is apparent to me that she must be related to half of the producers in eastern MT. Everywhere she goes, she spreads the word about the good things that are happening at MSU. As the direct supervisor to six graduate students, she has taken them to numerous ranches throughout the state to process and "work" cattle as part of research experiments. The students go to her not only for technical advice, but also advice on becoming professionals in the field of Animal Science. The attached photo shows Mo working cattle at the Donald Ranch in Red Lodge with graduate students.

I have never been around anybody who is so positive about life, her job at MSU, her involvement in the community and especially her family. She is such a great ambassador for MSU and she has the respect of so many livestock producers because she is truly one of them and understands the challenges of making a living raising livestock. I can't begin to count the number of times that she has provided tours for youngsters who want to see the research animals in our department. She is patient,an excellent instructor and is truly caring.
Nominated by John Paterson; Received award on November 16, 2011

Charles Kankelborg

Physics, MSU-Bozeman

Some classes have reputations of being inherently difficult, demanding, dry, or all three. From what I've heard, Laboratory Electronics is one such course. Strange - my experiences with it thus far have been great. There's a simple explanation, though - Professor Charles Kankelborg. More than once have I heard classmates say "I hate Lab E, but I love Kankelborg!" It may sound cliché, but Professor Kankelborg truly is one of those blessed instructors who can bring brightness and life into any subject. I'd begin listing examples of his humorous yet practical problems and solutions, or recount his down-to-earth explanations ("If we wire it that way it'll make black smoke"), but the list would be too long.

On top of that extra effort in making class fun, Professor Kankelborg is always willing to take time out to speak with his students, regardless of office hours, about anything from homework to hobby electronics. More than once, he's taken out a half-hour of unscheduled time to discuss ideas and concepts not covered in the text with me.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I have only ever seen two expressions from the Professor: a straight face when in serious thought, or a hearty smile at all other times.
Nominated by Brett Green; Received award on November 16, 2011

T.C. Knutson

Montana Campus Corps, MSU-Great Falls

The effect T.C. Knutson, Montana Campus Corp Team Leader, has had on our campus cannot be measured. In his role as Team Leader, he inspires students and staff to volunteer and to serve the campus and community of Great Falls. T.C. is also developing leaders among our students who will continue to lead service throughout their lives beyond MSU-Great Falls.

He is always helpful and upbeat, which has a positive influence on everyone he comes in contact with. T.C. not only talks the talk of service, but also walks the walk himself; hence he goes above and beyond his requirements of service. He is a coach for a third-grade boys' basketball team in the community and helps coordinate volunteers for the Heisey Youth Center.

He has a reputation for getting things done, always with a smile on his face. On our campus, he has been instrumental in starting our on-campus food pantry and helping our Veteran's Hospitality Center become an integral part of the college. In addition, T.C. has a way of connecting with all of the students on campus. From his elephant jokes to his laugh, T.C. is an inspiration to all of us on campus. Every day, T.C. reminds me of the importance of serving but also the importance of accepting everyone on our campus. There are few people who truly inspire but T.C. is one of them and he makes MSU - Great Falls a little brighter with his presence.
Nominated by Heather Palermo; Received award on December 7, 2011

Shawna Lanphear

Purchasing, MSU-Bozeman

1. Shawna Lanphear, Director of Purchasing, is a great gift to the staff of Montana State University Bozeman. She conveys and implements the expectations and rules of the purchasing department in a clear cut and comprehensive way; she is firm, clear, focused, and gracious. MSU can rest assured that because of Shawna's thoroughness, the university is well represented in the business that passes through that office. Where I might have felt at a loss to understand the purchasing processes, Shawna clearly defined them. One feels like they've learned something when they've met with Shawna, and they feel confident that a completed procedure is well in hand, thoroughly and responsibly accomplished.

2. Shawna is ethical and thorough and objective and knowledgeable about all the caveats of contracts. She is a great teacher with an unfaltering clear set of expectations and follow through from all parties involved.

3. Shawna has always impressed me with her grace and patience in a very busy office, her focus on seeing that tasks are carried out correctly and efficiently according to University standards, that she shares information in a way that is understandable.
Nominated by Ellen King-Rodgers; Received award on October 26, 2011

Don Larsen

College of Business, MSU-Billings

Dr. Larsen has been a professor of mine in multiple classes at Montana State University-Billings. He is also my faculty adviser. He has always been readily available to his students and when asked questions, goes above and beyond in assisting them. It's encouraging to see a professor put equal amount of work into a class as they ask of you.

However, it is in his classes that I learn the most. He also does a great job of relating text material to real time events that surround our current dynamic business environment.

Every class that I have taken from him has been challenging. Not only is he an exceptional professor, he also assists students in finding internships and jobs that will jump start their career. It is evident that Dr. Larsen is a professor who truly cares about student's education and their success in life.
Nominated by Meagan Rees; Received award on November 2, 2011

Susan Luparell

Nursing, MSU-Great Falls

Susan Luparell has been a member of MSU faculty since 1997. She is a true mentor, colleague, and friend. Susan supports MSU's mission and philosophy exemplified by her continued service within the community and nation wide. She represents MSU during her speaking engagements; You can find Susan talking passionately about "Student Incivility" and how it impacts nursing education. Susan takes on great responsibility to teach in the undergraduate nursing program, graduate program, and chair many thesis committees. You will never find Susan slacking, she is always in her office, in meetings, mentoring, or writing.

Susan is a very positive role model to faculty, staff, and students. Her professionalism and respect for others helps to shape nursing education within MSU. She also was the first Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) within the state of Montana.

Recently Susan and I attended the National League of Nursing(NLN) conference in Orlando, Florida, it was such an honor to witness Susan "in action". She represents Montana State University very well. People know her from all areas of the United States; seeing how she represents MSU is enlightening and knowing how well respected she is truly is an honor that MSU should be aware of.

Susan has been my mentor professionally since 2004, she has engaged me, inspired me, and never ceases to amaze me in her work ethic, sincere respect for people, and students.

I hope this helps to convey what a deserving candidate Susan Luparell is for the "Pure Gold" award.
Nominated by Sheila Matye; Received award on October 19, 2011

Theresa Marchwick

Office Human Resources | Affirmative Action, MSU-Bozeman

Going above and beyond summarizes what Theresa Marchwick provides the Office of Human Resources|Affirmative Action on a daily basis. Theresa has organized the (physical) move and relocation of the office three times which took considerable time, organization and persistence in making the moves go smoothly and with little interruption, if any, to the services we provide.

Theresa has been an instrumental member of the Women's Task Force and President's Commission on the Status of University Women by organizing the meetings - which includes working with the schedules of multiple attendees - as well as serving as the secretary. Theresa's contributions have been numerous in such things as designing and updating websites; editing and troubleshooting the online discrimination training program; enthusiastically organizing and participating in the HR|AA booth for Catapalozza all while balancing the significant amount of paperwork that gets distributed through the office.

One of the greatest contributions Theresa made this past year was developing a merge system for the reappointment process. I heard countless comments from MSU employees on how this process assisted them in processing the paperwork in significantly less time than in previous years. Theresa anticipates what is coming and before we can think of the next step, she has it figured out. Her growing knowledge of, and interest in, the human resource field has allowed for a greater distribution of the office workload, while assuming these duties without complaint or concern. Theresa embraces the spirit of human resources in her duties by consistently being cordial and accommodating on phone inquires and greeting customers with superior service. I find Theresa inspirational for her willingness to learn and take on more duties; her sense of humor when things get stressful and/or frustrating; her ability to provide consistent customer service to the campus and her integrity and commitment to the office, MSU and peers.
Nominated by Diane Letendre; Received award on November 2, 2011

Jessica Marks

History and Philosophy, MSU-Bozeman

Jessica Marks is the most inspirational person I have worked with at MSU. Jessica is a truly dynamic person. She is currently the student services coordinator in History and Philosophy, and she has been in this position for a little over one year. I recently came to the department as the accountant in September 2011 after having worked at the university for three years. Jessica's dedication, work ethic and knowledge of the university and department policy have blown me away since I started in History and Philosophy. Jessica is amazing with students. She is incredibly well-versed in assisting students navigate the university, and she is also involved in gathering student feedback to make our programs more responsive and aware of student needs. In addition, Jessica is involved in her community and world in a very meaningful way. She has started a non-profit to help refugees find resources in their new communities, and she has worked with refugees fist-hand in Thailand. She is also pursuing a master's degree in public administration.

Jessica is an amazing person all around. The university and our department are so lucky to have her. Her energy and dedication have definitely inspired me to contribute to my community in the most positive way possible.
Nominated by Cassandra Balent; Received award on November 23, 2011

Frank Newman

Montana Office of Rural Health/Area Health Education Centerr, MSU-Bozeman

**Please note The entire staff at the Montana Office of Rural Health/Area Health Education Center would like to nominate Dr. Frank Newman as a Pure Gold colleague, leader, and mentor.

Dr. Frank Newman is a pure gold pioneer of rural health in Montana. Forty years ago, Dr. Frank Newman played a leadership role in creating the Montana WWAMI Medical School program with the University of Washington. He directed the program for 10 years, and continues to be involved as director of the Targeted Rural Underserved Track, which carefully mentors Montana medical students in a way that will ensure their eventual practice in rural Montana.

Dr. Newman has worked with MSU students for fifty years. He has served as a health professions advisor, helping numerous students apply to and become accepted in health professions schools across the US as well as WWAMI. Although he no longer serves in that role, every week several students stop by his office at the MORH/AHEC for advice and assistance.

WWAMI is not Dr. Newman's only legacy. He also created and obtained funding for the Montana Office of Rural Health, the Montana AHEC, the Montana Office of Primary Care, the Montana Family Practice Residency in Billings, the TRUST Program, and has written and received numerous grants and contracts to support rural health in Montana. Dr. Newman has traveled tirelessly throughout Montana developing a critical understanding of the needs of these remote communities and implementing what is needed to improve the system for better healthcare.

Although Dr. Newman could be enjoying retirement, he has continued to work in rural health into his 80's. He currently runs the Small Hospital Improvement Program, directs TRUST, and successfully obtained two major rural health workforce grants for Montana this past year. Dr. Frank Newman is a joy to work with, and his knowledge and passion for rural health in Montana is second to none.
Nominated by Kailyn Dorhauer; Received award on November 9, 2011

Becky Nicholson

Education, Arts & Sciences and Nursing, MSU-Northern

Becky Nicholson is so important to the operations of the College of Education, Arts & Sciences and Nursing at MSU-Northern that you will often hear me exclaim, "she can never leave!"

Becky started in her current position nearly four years ago in a tense situation within the college. She jumped into the position with utter competence and a cheerful demeanor. As the 'go to' person within our combined college, one can safely say that she does the job of three.

At times, I feel as if Ms. Nicholson is the true conductor of our College. She works with the Chair to put the academic schedule together by checking for time conflicts in classrooms. Becky was integral in putting together documents and exhibits for our OPI accreditation visit. She organized the files of the education students and was on task when she single-handedly streamlined the evaluation process. Lest I forget that she also keeps track of well over 200 Education students through their levels as well as the hourlies of 41 faculty.

As Ms. Nicholson pursues her Master's degree, she still has an amazing ability to balance this in conjunction with the heavy demands in her personal and professional lives. She does all of this with continued patience with students and faculty alike. As she has many projects that are ongoing, Becky is always cheerful, has a ready smile and is eager to help anyone.

The College of Education, Arts & Sciences, and Nursing would be lost without Becky Nicholson's steady, competent and sunny influence. She most definitely deserves to be recognized as Pure Gold.
Nominated by S. Norton Pease; Received award on December 7, 2011

Maureen Parsons

ResLife, MSU-Bozeman

Maureen Parsons has been with ResLife for 16 years now, she is the North Hedges Program Assistant. Going above and beyond is just an understatement of what she does not only for her staff, but her residents, colleagues, and family members. She cares about the well being of everyone around her. She is the true definition of, "come early, stay late, and get the job done." Whether it is judicial paperwork, room assignments/complaints/changes, or other miscellaneous paperwork, Maureen completes it all with a smile on her face. She sets the mood and atmosphere at the desk. She makes time for everyone, whether it is a familiar face or her staff, she stays up to date with them as much as possible, which is something you usually don't see from a supervisor or staff member.

Maureen continues to raise the bar in outstanding customer service. She can multitask better than anyone I know. I constantly find myself amazed and admiring the dedication and hard work she puts into our residence hall to make things run as smooth as possible. She is the backbone of North Hedges. She is excellent in returning emails, phone calls, and any possible follow-ups before going home at 5:00. She is extremely knowledgeable in our University. She knows a lot about the campus and can get you just about everywhere. She is knowledgeable in the various programs MSU has to offer. If she can't answer a question for you, she will find the answer herself. She is constantly aware of activities going on around campus and encourages students to get involved.

Personally, Maureen has inspired me to follow anything I pursue. She is constantly encouraging me to follow my dreams of being a commercial pilot. She makes time on Tuesdays and Thursdays to hear how flying went. She has true dedication and motivation. I am truly inspired by her dedication to her staff, and residents. You can always count on her attitude and mood to be fantastic!!
Nominated by Lexi Oium; Received award on November 9, 2011

Crystal Reichhoff

Chemistry/Biochemistry, MSU-Bozeman

Crystal has worked in the Chemistry/Biochemistry Department as our student worker since September 2010. Crystal inspires all of us with her positive outlook and has helped numerous students that come into our department for assistance. Crystal is a junior majoring in accounting. What a positive role model! She always greets people that come into our department with a smile and a happy helpful attitude and she actually completely took over our accounting tech's duties when we were down one employee. Crystal has worked extra hours training our new accounting tech...which is a heavy load for a student.

In addition to training our new accounting tech, she has helped with any other task we have given her and I've never once heard a complaint come out of her mouth, or not seen Crystal with a smile on her face. It goes without saying that our entire staff and faculty have come to depend on Crystal very much, and without her our office would not run as smooth as it does. We, in the Chemistry/Biochemistry Department know, whether Crystal is formally chosen for this award or not, that she is PURE GOLD to us.
Nominated by Kim Sinrud; Received award on November 2, 2011

Carol Reifschneider

College of Education, Arts & Sciences & Nursing/Dean, MSU-Northern

Carol Reifschneider is our new Dean of the College of Education, Arts & Sciences, and Nursing. She is always available to speak with faculty and students and assist them. I have only been in my position for two months and am still very new at my job. Carol's help and support has aided me in learning and understanding the various facets of my job so that I can perform my duties in the best possible way. She does this not only for me but for everyone on the faculty and staff and has an open-door policy.

Carol, as Dean, makes sure that we all are working toward positive outcomes with our students. She stays on top of the necessary requirements for our accreditation process, OPI requireemtns, and university directives. She works to make sure communication is open and direct and provides opportunity for everyone to contribute.

Carol has inspired me in the way she carries herself in the position of Dean and as a member of the MSU family. With Carol, her demeanor makes her approachable. However, she is about the business of making our university that best it can be. With her sense of humor, she has shown me how to be flexible yet get the job done as she navigates through the situations that naturally arise in the office of the Dean. The way in which she listens and works with you in seeking the best solutions to situations makes you feel a valued member of the team.

For me, Carol Reifscneider is Pure Gold here at MSU-Northern.
Nominated by Virginia Braithwaite; Received award on October 19, 2011

Ronda Russell

Admissions, MSU-Bozeman

As a Director of Admissions, a supervisor and a friend, Ronda Russell is "pure gold"!

It is not without concerted effort, organization and knowledge of current marketing trends that we have been able to achieve another year of record enrollment. Most will agree that Ronda draws from a pool of never-ending energy; some say Ronda is relentless. She is - relentless in her pursuit of information and better ways of finding potential Bobcats; relentless in her pursuit of better, smarter ways of providing everything a potential student and his/her family might need during their first visit to MSU; relentless in pursuit of other departments collaborating with us to provide that initial perfect MSU experience; and relentless in her care and concern for her staff so they have the tools to do the job, and the humor to enjoy it!

Ronda has a rule: every phone call and email gets a response within 24 hours. Sometimes that can be an awesome undertaking when we have hundreds of emails after one of our email campaigns, but it's because of this consistent and personal customer service, that we set ourselves apart from other post-secondary institutions. She has raised the bar with regard to customer service and we are all proud to be a part of that!

Personally, Ronda has inspired me to continue to strive to improve our efficiency and first impression to potential students. A few years ago we rolled out an Admissions Checklist on the web so potential students could track their application status online. It cut down on our phone traffic which helped the rest of the staff get more of their work done in a timely manner. This year we started loading all of our online applications directly into Banner, allowing us to handle the ever increasing app volume without adding new staff or further burdening our existing staff. None of this could have happened without effort from MSU's IT Staff and a lot of other people, but Ronda was the catalyst for those changes and always there to help when we hit a snag.

Those are only examples from my area of application processing. The rest of the staff would have equally wonderful examples of Ronda's positive influences in their areas of Recruitment, Scholarships, Publications and Orientation. It goes without saying that increased enrollment means more filled seats at events and increased clientele for our local businesses. That makes our Director of Admissions, Ronda Russell, PURE GOLD in my book!
Nominated by Becky Roeder; Received award on October 12, 2011

Tom Rust

History, MSU-Billings

To inspire someone is to achieve greatness and Dr. Tom Rust has done just that. He is an absolutely wonderful professor who encourages his students to be exceptional. In the few years that I have had him as a professor he has shown his students how to be great and become excellent people. The way that he teaches is awe inspiring. He is very passionate about what he does and it shows in every lecture. His lectures are stimulating and thought provoking causing his students to become eager for more knowledge. He has influenced me to become the best at what I can. From several conversations he and I have had about further education he has squashed any fears I had had about attending graduate school. He has shown me that I am more than capable of handling it and will be great.

Not only does he motivate his college student he inspires younger students as well. With Dr. Rust as the coordinator for the Montana National History day, he is encouraging younger students to learn. He helps them develop the skills they will need in life and in the coming school years. This alone is inspiring enough, that he reaches out to these younger students so they can achieve greatness as well. He takes time to make sure that each student is fully prepared for the National History day and provides them with the right resources they will need. He has shown them that history is actually really fun.

Dr. Rust is also the lead archaeologist in the Lewis and Clark canoe campsite project. During the last year he has shown all of us that learning is more than just books. It is about getting out there and doing something, and using the knowledge we have gained for practical use.

I believe Dr. Rust exemplifies what it means to go above and beyond. He inspires, encourages and most importantly is one of the greatest professors I have ever had the privilege of knowing.
Nominated by Rowan Riggs; Received award on October 5, 2011

Owen Taylor

Facilities, MSU-Bozeman

I would like to nominate Owen for more reasons than I could ever list. Owen is a wonderful human being as well as a very joyful person to be around. Whenever I see him he brings a smile to my face. I enjoy his company because of how uplifting he is and how positive he is about the job he has to get done.

Working in Montana Hall in the basement can get very hot with the boiler right below you and whenever Owen comes through the office to check out the pipes down below, he always makes it a point to stop, say hello and check in on things. Even when I am out and about on campus and happen to come across him he is always sure to say hello. More than once when walking through the SUB on my way to the SRO to get a coffee, Owen has run ahead of myself and paid for my coffee before I could even get there. What a wonderful start to your day.

Once I had to be moved to a different location in order for work to be done. When I returned to my office Owen hung back after all others had left to help me put my office back together. He went above and beyond, even pulling out the vacuum and making sure my office was as close to perfect as before I moved back in. We were also having some issues with the restroom not having a clean floor, and it came up in conversation with him. Without hesitation he got someone to come over to clean up the bathroom floor in less than a half hour. This is outside Owen's responsibility and not something he had to do for us, but did anyway. Owen is the person who helps keep Montana Hall running and I am sure he is overlooked in all the things he does for us. I would love for him to know just how much he really means not just to me but to the entire HR team.
Nominated by Amber Phillips-Muir; Received award on November 30, 2011