Spring 2012 Recipients
- Nadeen Baldridge
- James Blazicevich
- Patricia Cavey
- Greg Clouse
- Todd Daniels
- Toby Day
- Steven Don
- Diane Eagleson
- Marty Foxman
- Elizabeth Fullon
- Marsha Goetting
- Kelly Green
- Veronica Griffith
- Portia Hall
- Jaime Henriquez
- Cathy Jamruszka
- Courtney Johnsrud
- Ethan Keeler
- Cindy Krieger
- Ahsan Mian
- Mike Mosby
- Cheryl Polacek
- Nancy Powell
- Stacey Ray
- Halina Rickman
- Kim Schweikert
- Val Smith
- Kevin Ward
- Sheree Watson
- James West
- Janel Wiese
- Chelsey Wilson
- Jane Wolery
Extended University, MSU-Bozeman
Nadeen Baldridge is the videoconference coordinator in Extended University, where
she works with dozens of students, faculty, staff, researchers on campus and around
the world, and partners outside MSU. Graduate classes in computer science and business
administration, introductory Arabic for MSU and half a dozen other institutions, webinars
in mental health nursing, dissertation defenses, job interviews, meetings for state
agencies, and more are all brought together through Nadeen's skills and professionalism.
Her planning and attention to detail make events run smoothly, and her calm, patient
trouble-shooting helps participants through technical glitches.
Now in her 34th year at MSU, Nadeen has made a difference to many, many people and projects. One satisfied customer, Coach Rob Ash, sums up her service this way.
"Nadeen is definitely one of the most dedicated and committed workers on the MSU campus! She has been the 'point person' for our videoconferences for the Bobcat Quarterback Club, and she does an awesome job. She always arrives early, prepares the equipment carefully, stays throughout the program to be sure everything runs smoothly, and comes to the rescue if we ever have problems. She is tremendously conscientious and we can all tell that she truly cares about the program being done properly. It is more than just a job for Nadeen; it is a commitment to our group and we truly appreciate her efforts!
"It is also pretty cool that she is learning football and is a passionate Bobcat Football fan too!"
Nadeen always works hard to make sure everything runs smoothly and that everyone is pleased. If everyone worked half as hard as Nadeen, this world would be a much easier place.
Nominated by Rob Ash; Received award on February 29, 2012
University Printing, MSU-Bozeman
I'd like to nominate James Blazicevich for Pure Gold recognition. James is a computer
science student and until recently, an employee of University Printing Services. In
the 16 months that James worked for University Printing, he consistently demonstrated
a positive attitude with great customer service. James delivered printing jobs and
proofs throughout the campus, and was frequently the person most of the campus community
associated with University Printing. He also helped with all facets of bindery in
the print shop and served as a digital technical support backup.
James frequently faced a challenging delivery schedule and inclement weather, but retained an upbeat, helpful attitude and maintained an excellent G.P.A. James started a new position with Zoot Enterprises in December, but will remain a student at MSU working towards his degree. We will miss him at University Printing, but wish him well in his new future!
Nominated by Bill Hanson; Received award on January 18, 2012
MSU Bookstore, Inc., MSU-Bozeman
I nominate Pat Cavey, the textbook department supervisor at the MSU Bookstore, for
the Pure Gold Award. Pat, who has given over 27 years of dedicated, professional service
to the campus community, will be retiring in April. While it is not often she is recognized
for her hard work and dedication, she has always taken her greater job satisfaction
from the fact that she is contributing to the education of some of the nation's best
and brightest students.
Pat started working at the bookstore as a temporary employee helping students purchase their books at the beginning of each quarter (yes, it's been a few years ago) and then to sell back their books at term's end. Since then, she has held various other positions in the store, but has had primary responsibility in the areas of staff supervision and used book procurement for most of that time. During her tenure at the bookstore, she has helped to sell more than 3,000,000 textbooks to the students of Montana State University, and then helped to buy back more than 1,000,000 of those same books. That's some kind of service! First and foremost, serving the needs of students has consistently been her focus; after all, she and her husband, Mike Cavey, helped put three amazing sons through school - all here at MSU.
She has successfully walked the middle ground between our shareholders (the students and faculty of MSU) and the textbook publishers. That sometimes mushy middle ground can be fraught with obstacles between one group trying to make a buck and the other trying to save a buck, but Pat has always been successful in wading through the mire! More than just a "book jockey," Pat has looked after the best interests of store constituents by helping to find and stock the books requested by professors, while keeping the price to students as low as possible. Her commitment and hard work have long been appreciated, and will always be remembered. Kudos to you, Pat!
Nominated by David Knickerbocker; Received award on April 4, 2012
College of Technical Sciences, MSU-Northern
Greg consistently goes beyond the norm for his students. He exudes passion for the
diesel industry in all its forms, and this passion is picked up and amplified by his
students. He has been a primary driver to make the diesel technology programs at Northern
'world class', and along the way has defined what a world-class 'SuperTech' is all
His leadership for the campus as a whole has been a constant stabilizing influence for the programs and the faculty at Northern. He has never shied from the hard work of being a leader of the Northern campus - championing technical, and liberal arts education with equal fervor. Greg has served as president of the MSU-Northern Faculty Senate for a number of terms and has served as MEA/MFT Local 4045 vice president and grievance officer for the past several years.
Nominated by Larry Strizich; Received award on February 8, 2012
Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, MSU-Bozeman
Todd is a consulting engineer for the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, an outreach
center in the MSU College of Engineering. He is a certified Lead Auditor for Quality
Management, a certified HACCP Food Safety Plan specialist and a certified Lean Manufacturing
trainer. He lives in Helena. The following is his Pure Gold Award nomination submitted
by colleague Deborah Nash.
An MSU College of Engineering alum, Todd Daniels personifies the MSU land-grant mission of outreach excellence. Both patient and tenacious, he injects humor and a systems approach to make any stretch goal manageable. He worked tirelessly for Great Falls company, Pasta Montana, for several months to be ready for a full Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) audit of its production facility by late 2011. Todd spent many 16-hour days to ensure the company would reach its goal after he learned key staffing shortages were threatening its deadline to be compliant to the GFSI standard. He also made a huge personal sacrifice, living away from his wife and young daughter in Helena much of the time, to see the project through in just three and one-half months. The process typically takes more than a year. He fit the project into an already loaded calendar, sometimes managing from a distance while earning an Innovation Engineering Black-Belt. The company received certification to the GFSI British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standard, with an "A" rating - the highest achievable - in time to meet a customer's expectation of compliance to the internationally recognized standard.
On the leading edge of where food safety is headed, Pasta Montana General Manager Randy Gilbertson said the company could not have reached its goal without Todd's expertise. He highly recommends Todd's assistance for any company looking to succeed.
Nominated by Deborah Nash; Received award on February 22, 2012
Toby Day is an extraordinary teacher on the MSU campus with the Extension Service
as the horticulture specialist and represents our fantastic college throughout the
state with his master garden courses. He is extremely resourceful, engaging, inspiring,
enthusiastic teacher who, when teaching classes of 50-100 people, keeps all students
fully engaged and makes each one feel as though he is teaching to that individual.
He truly is a master teacher who knows his subject matter inside out and can convey
it to his students in the clearest of terms using humor, examples, moving from known
to unknown concepts with grace and ease. I am amazed watching him teach how interesting
he can make some of the most rudimentary material.
Toby travels the throughout state helping people understand ecosystems and how to care for gardens, green spaces, and brings an attitude of humility and helpfulness to all. What a positive ambassador for MSU!
I have absolutely loved my master garden course with him and his class has empowered me to become a more confident gardener as well as one who can give back to our community gardens and sustainability movement in a more informed way. Toby Day is one inspiring individual who loves his work and gives back in great ways to so many in the state.
Thank you, Toby for your gift of teaching and inspiration! You are Montana Gold!
Nominated by Jill Davis; Received award on March 28, 2012
College of Technical Sciences, MSU-Northern
Steve is an amazing person; he volunteers his time to help the community, he teaches
a full load of classes, is always giving prospective students a tour around campus,
he is on numerous committees on the campus, secretary of the union, and yet he always
makes time to help people with their problems academic or personal. He does all of
this, and I have never heard him ask anything in return for his service. When I was
a student, he took the time to help me with my studies when I needed, and now that
I am a new faculty, he has been crucial in helping me learn the ropes. I tell him
that he has too many irons in the fire, and he just smiles and keeps plugging along.
I hope to one day understand our program, campus, and university system as well as
Steve. This is why I think he is Pure Gold.
Nominated by William Taylor; Received award on February 1, 2012
Institute on Ecosystems, MSU-Bozeman
Diane Eagleson is a single mom with two kids who went back to school to achieve a
master's in accounting from MSU. She has worked at MSU in many capacities, including
working her way through her master's degree. At MSU she has worked with Shakespeare
in the Parks, the Big Sky Institute, and currently the new Institute on Ecosystems.
Both of her kids are now attending MSU, one an undergraduate in business and the other
in a program with Gallatin College Programs.
1. Day in and day out Diane is tireless in giving her time to help faculty, students and other staff. She is a resource of knowledge about all things MSU and genuinely cares for every single person she comes across every day. Students love her. They stop by to ask her questions, and when they are in a pinch for anything, they know that Diane will help.
2. Diane is a hawk for making MSU more efficient and effective. As a parent with two kids at MSU, she knows the burden of paying tuition. She questions every expenditure and always offers ideas for how to streamline systems. She volunteers to serve on university-wide committees and actively engages when given the chance. Diane additionally volunteers her time with other causes such as serving on the board for Haven, a women's advocacy organization.
3. Diane is honorable and genuine, and every day she challenges all of us who work with her to make MSU a stronger institution. She demands excellence and transparency. And although Diane can be tough on MSU, she is the ideal for a staff person in her values, work ethic. She doesn't just do her job; she is an active member of the MSU community. She is also a great friend to many of us, and an amazing mom who has overcome so much in her life. She inspires everyone she meets. She is pure gold.
Nominated by Todd Kipfer; Received award on January 25, 2012
Equal Opportunity Center , MSU-Great Falls
Little office with a big, unconventional heart!
What do first year college students need most? Money, quarters for laundry, a car? No! They need advice and honesty. That's where Marty Foxman comes in. Marty is the voice of reason when students need to understand what taking on a student loan means. He tells them that, if they don't take this seriously, study hard, and read, they will not succeed. Marty is a man unto himself in the TRIO Educational Opportunity Counselor's office at MSU-Great Falls College of Technology. He inspires students during orientation to do their best, helps new students navigate the FAFSA, and provides team building and goal setting activities to many groups on our campus and other campuses in the area.
Marty has also inspired many of his campus co-workers to be their best and give their all while at work. Leave your "junk" at home. Come to work each day. That's Marty. He encourages those around him to do our best today so that we can look back a year from now and say: "I did a great job last year." "I helped people." "I made a difference."
There are many times I have found myself in the hallway overhearing students say, "Go see Marty, the guy with the ponytail." I know they are telling their friends that Marty is a guy who will help. I've also witnessed times that Marty meets a student he helped years ago and they have come back to thank him!
Marty's reach goes way beyond the college. He gives his time to folks at Job Service that want more from life and need help setting goals. Each week he also spends an hour at the local juvenile detention center telling kids, "This isn't the end of the road. You still have a chance. Search for your potential."
Marty has been based at MSU-Great Falls in the TRIO office for 11 years. Prior to that, Marty helped students in Havre at MSU-Northern. He is dedicated, smart, thoughtful, and the same every day--rare qualities that inspire others to be their best and do their best. Marty Foxman is Pure Gold.
Nominated by Natalie Nefzger; Received award on February 22, 2012
General Education, MSU-Billings
Elizabeth Fullon was the heart and soul of the 9/11 project to bring a piece of the
World Trade Center to the MSU Billings College of Technology. She partnered with our
Fire Science instructor Gary Edwards to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the attacks
that changed our country. Her goal was to create a learning opportunity for not only
our MSU-B students, but also the community at large.
Elizabeth applied to the New York City Port Authority to get a remnant of the WTC from Ground Zero. When permission was granted, the work began to involve others in the dedication of the 600-pound I-beam that arrived May 15 in Billings. It was important to her that COT students and faculty be involved in creating the memorial, so our drafting instructor designed and our welding instructor fabricated a twin-tower monument. Students attended panel discussions, researched, and wrote.
She tirelessly worked with community groups such as the Boy Scouts and Billings Exchange Club to create a dedication ceremony that will be remembered forever by those in attendance. During her remarks at the ceremony, we even had an F-15 flyover.
The theme that guided all the activities surrounding the project was "remember, reflect, educate, dedicate." Now is a good time to remember Elizabeth Fullon; she's PURE GOLD.
Nominated by Julia McDade; Received award on January 18, 2012
Extension/Family Economics, MSU-Bozeman
Marsha exemplifies the core theme of engagement. She strives to develop education
and resources based upon the needs of Montanans. Early in her career, she saw a need
for estate planning resources. She has developed a vast library of these resources
which is respected by state agencies and Montana citizens alike. Marsha is always
asking "what are the new needs?" and "what delivery methods are best to address them?"
Across the state, Marsha extends MSU's presence to non-traditional audiences. From her estate planning publications to her "Get a Grip on Your Finances" packets to her participation in the Solid Finances webinar series, Montanans know and recognize her and her university. Marsha makes a special effort to incorporate MSU's logos into every piece of material she creates.
Marsha's positive "can-do" attitude fosters a dynamic environment of creativity and openness among her peers. Always welcoming, Marsha strives to bring personal touches to make information relevant. She continually searches for new delivery methods and is a pioneer in new technology use. Marsha models the openness and willingness of engagement: striving to bring Montana State University to Montanans to address needs in their communities.
Nominated by Mary Anne Keyes; Received award on March 14, 2012
Center for Health & Safety Culture - Western Transportation Institute, MSU-Bozeman
Kelly Green you are Pure Gold.
Kelly is the marketing and program coordinator for the Initiative for Health & Safety Culture - at the Western Transportation Institute at MSU in Bozeman. As part of her position, she is the front line person to connect with clients and funding agencies from across North America.
The Initiative for Health & Safety Culture has the honor of working with several high-level funders and clients including the U.S. White House, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and heads of state agencies. In all projects, Kelly is the front line person to provide logistics and communications and represent Montana State.
Each summer, Kelly is responsible for coordinating our annual Montana Summer Institute (MSI) on our model known as Positive Community Norms.
MSI draws community leaders and speakers from across the globe. There are always unique challenges that emerge, and each year Kelly is the key person who will "Get 'er Done." Whether the issue is providing FBI background information to the White House, making budget adjustments or assembling materials binders until midnight - Kelly makes it happen for MSU!
Kelly is an MSU Grad (College of Business), current MSU graduate student and Bozeman native who exemplifies the MSU work ethic that is PURE GOLD. Thank you Kelly for all you do.
Nominated by Jeff Linkenbach; Received award on April 4, 2012
Adult Education Program, MSU-Great Falls
Veronica is one of the reasons that I went on from receiving my G.E.D. to becoming
a full-time student at MSU-Great Falls College of Technology. Her smile and enthusiasm
for each and every person who passes through the ABEL Program is above and beyond
her duties. She absolutely believes in education for all.
Veronica is the administrative assistant, Great Falls Public Schools, Adult Education, Great Falls COT. Although she is not faculty or staff, she is a valuable asset and motivational advocate of higher learning at the Great Falls COT.
In receiving my G.E.D., I gained a different outlook concerning the sociological stigmas attached to a G.E.D. I found pride, accomplishment and support because Veronica believed in my ability to succeed. Veronica Griffith is Pure Gold!
Nominated by Annie Kling; Received award on March 28, 2012
Writing Center, MSU-Bozeman
Portia began working in the Writing Center as a program assistant in February 2010,
and she pursued her work with an energy and passion that has transformed the Writing
Center at Montana State University. Portia has been tireless in promoting the Writing
Center and coming up with fun and creative ways to help get the word out about what
the Writing Center does. Because of her marketing of the Writing Center, we had 25%
more visits in the 2010 Fall semester than in the 2009 Fall semester.
As soon as she started, Portia began researching other Writing Centers and making contacts with other program assistants in other Writing Centers, and she is an endless source of ideas about how to run the Writing Center better, how to provide better support for tutors, how to get students excited about using the services of the Writing Center. She is an incredibly friendly face when students enter the office, enthusiastic and welcoming.
Before Portia began in this job, I did not have a full understanding of how much a person in her position could accomplish, and how much she could work toward improving our services. She has taught all of us in the Writing Center to take a fresh look at our work - in fact, she makes us do this, because she is always asking questions that demand we do this. As the Writing Center continues to grow into an improved campus-wide resource, we know that Portia will be one of our most important representatives, and that she will always challenge us to see more, try more, and imagine more. I am not exaggerating when I say that Portia deserves most of the credit for the sudden increase in activity at the MSU Writing Center. She is truly committed to the academic mission of Montana State, and I am grateful to have her in our program.
Nominated by Kirk Branch; Received award on January 18, 2012
As the Campus Corps Team Leader at MSU-Great Falls, I've put together multiple volunteer
service projects, from Habitat For Humanity to working at the Great Falls Women's
Shelter. Most volunteers show up once or twice for just one project or group they
feel strongly about, but not Jaime; he wants to go to every service project with a
smile on his face and a "get-it-done" attitude. As a matter of fact, I don't think
I've ever met someone that has the volunteer bug like Jaime does, mostly because he
"just likes to help out." Let me tell you, Jaime can do almost anything, but he has
a passion for photography and has offered his services on multiple projects. Still,
when I asked Jaime to put together a couple games for our St. Patrick's Day Carnival
for the Boy's and Girl's Club, he mentioned he was an amateur magician! The man has
such a valuable set of skills many wouldn't even know about until they asked.
Everywhere Jaime goes, you'll find students often visiting with him in the cafeteria or in the halls. He is such a quiet man, but people seem to gravitate towards him. He's a full-time student, one heck of a volunteer, my friend, and Pure Gold.
Nominated by T.C. Knutson; Received award on March 21, 2012
Northern Ag Research Center, MSU-Bozeman
Cathy volunteered to assist the Montana State University Northern (MSUN) bookstore
when it needed some additional "experienced" assistance during this semester's rush
week to service the returning students. Cathy has previous work experience at the
MSUN bookstore and is currently employed by MSU Bozeman working as an administrative
associate III at Northern Agricultural Research Center (NARC). She was excited and
thrilled to again be assisting and serving the students at Northern, a work component
of her current position at NARC that she misses greatly. Cathy worked mornings assisting
the students purchase text books and supplies, and returned again in the evenings
to process special text book orders.
This across-the-aisles cooperation that exists between MSUN and NARC is outstanding and seen throughout the year through MSUN student employment, co-ops and continued research dialogue with faculty. Cathy's recent extra effort and work should be commended as she performed this work above her normal job duties at NARC.
Cathy is truly loved and appreciated for her constant friendly, abundantly zealous exuberance in our office. She greets visitors, agricultural clientele, vendors and employees with a cheerful reception and a continuously full candy dish when they visit the office. She has an easily recognizable welcoming hello on the telephone and always makes time for a quick chat. Cathy welcomes everyone as if everyone she talks to are all long time friends no matter what kind of work load or less than perfect day she is having. Her bubbly, contagious, happy personality is a joy to be around and aids with the attitude of everyone she is in contact with. Cathy is always ready and willing to roll up her sleeves and wade into any job around the office that needs to be done. In her coworker's eyes, Cathy IS Pure Gold!
Nominated by Darrin Boss; Received award on February 8, 2012
Advising & Career Center, MSU-Great Falls
Please accept this as our joint recommendation of Courtney Johnsrud for the Pure Gold
Award. Courtney is definitely deserving of this award because of her positive attitude,
dedication to the students of MSU-Great Falls, unbelievable work ethic, and ability
to make things happen. Our Advising and Career Center opened this fall and has been
running smoothly ever since due to the advanced planning and hard work Courtney put
into making this endeavor a success. Her outgoing personality and expertise in working
with all departments across campus have made the advising center a resource for students,
faculty and staff alike. Courtney recently worked to find a way for our students with
economic hardship to be able to pay for graduation; another example of her being Pure
Gold. She is definitely a person who leads by example and should be recognized!
Nominated by Greg, Eleazar, Jamie, Sandy Advising & Career Center Staff; Received award on March 21, 2012
Electrical Engineering, MSU-Bozeman
Ethan Keeler is known throughout the Electrical Engineering Department as being the
hardest working and most positive student one could find. His involvement within the
college extends into student groups, lab research, grading for professors, and constant
Elected as IEEE Student President his senior year, he breathed new life into the group, getting more students excited about taking on leadership roles, and becoming a larger positive influence on the youth of our community. Ethan's work within Dr. Nakagawa's lab has been the shining example for his co-workers. His dedication to providing quality results coupled with his ability to help the people around him, makes him an ideal employee.
Besides his work for the department, Ethan has been a huge presence in the EE undergraduate student body. He is always the one to go to when you are confused with a homework problem, the one you end up sharing the lab with while working late into the night, and the one that is always willing to stop what he is doing to help you in your time of need. He is ever humble, and does his best to keep group spirits high when the going gets tough.
I hope that he will be recognized for the influence he has had on the students, faculty, and staff of the Electrical Engineering Department. He has personified the Bobcat Spirit, and I believe he is Pure Gold.
Nominated by Krista Drummond; Received award on February 29, 2012
College of Arts and Sciences, MSU-Billings
It is my pleasure to nominate Cindy Krieger for the Pure Gold Award. The various aspects
of Cindy's personality, her ability to excel, capacity to meet the challenges of her
responsibilities, and dedication to help others by going the extra mile are common
knowledge on this campus.
Cindy's commitment to the success of the university goes beyond the call of duty. In addition to her regular responsibilities, she puts in countless hours organizing the various college events such as the annual convocation and the back-to-school events. While her untiring efforts, her meticulous and flawless arrangements make each college event a remarkable success, her collaboration with colleagues and her professional demeanor make the College of Arts and Sciences efficient in its administration.
Cindy is a role model for other administrative assistants in the college. She gives much of herself and the expertise of her craft to her colleagues and models successful and effective work ethics and discipline. I can recall the times when several departments in the college had to operate without an administrative assistant for several weeks at a time due to various reasons. Cindy balanced her already heavy professional responsibilities with the additional responsibilities and provided administrative support to academic areas of heavy demand at a very busy time of the year.
Cindy spends countless hours getting the new administrative assistant settled, trained and equipped to work and continues to mentor thereafter.
Cindy is a patient, kind-hearted and good-humored person who has served this university wholeheartedly for thirty years. Faculty and staff in the university have voiced the deepest respect for Cindy's professionalism and dedication. She is gifted with uncompromising grace and generosity. I believe that she is most deserving of this recognition as she has been giving her best to the students and the university every day of the 30 years she has been here.
Nominated by Tasneem Khaleel; Received award on March 7, 2012
Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, MSU-Bozeman
My education (BS, M.E. 12/16/12) was fundamentally enriched by Dr. Ahsan Mian. In
addition to the classes I took from him, Dr. Mian served as my mentor during work
on an Undergraduate Scholars Program research project. Dr. Mian went out of his way
to help me find funding for my project and helped me learn about a research area with
which I was previously unfamiliar. More importantly, Dr. Mian's support kindled in
me a strong interest in engineering research. It is not an exaggeration to say that
this project changed the trajectory of my education and career. Prior to working with
Dr. Mian, I had been planning to finish my education with my undergraduate degree.
The thrill I discovered in doing research and the support and encouragement of Dr.
Mian inspired me to continue my education.
I am not the only student to have benefited from Dr. Mian's wholehearted support. In addition to other undergraduate and graduate students, Dr. Mian advised an engineering team which designed and built a Lunar Regolith Excavator and won the NASA Lunar Regolith Challenge, against a field of 22 other competing universities.
Dr. Mian is unfailingly friendly and helpful as an instructor. He was always happy to provide help with classwork, even when it was clear he had other obligations. Dr. Mian also serves as the Pi Tau Sigma engineering honors society organizer.
I wholeheartedly nominate Dr. Mian for the Pure Gold Award.
Nominated by Luke Humphrey; Received award on April 4, 2012
Information Technology Center, MSU-Bozeman
Who saves my bacon when I've invited an evil bug into my computer? Mike Mosby does.
Who doesn't call me an idiot even when I am obviously acting like one? Mike Mosby
doesn't. Who is always at the Help Desk to help us all? Mike Mosby is there.
Over the past 14 years, Mike has been my savior when my much-needed computer is giving me angst. His calm and funny demeanor has provided me much peace in the workplace. Such customer service should be recognized with thanks and praise.
Mike's sustained, positive contribution to MSU's staff and students is to be commended. For very selfish reasons, I am dreading his fast-approaching retirement. THANK YOU, MIKEY! You are golden.
Nominated by Susan Fraser; Received award on February 8, 2012
Office of Student Activities, MSU-Bozeman
The Student Activities Office serves 202 clubs and counting, and Cheryl Polacek is
currently the backbone of those efforts. Since the retirement of our director, Patty
McGown, Cheryl has been literally doing double duty in the absence of an "in-office"
director. This past year Cheryl's day-to-day duties have almost doubled with little
recognition, as a 3/4-time employee running an office with only three student employees
and no "in-office" full time director.
In light of these challenges, Cheryl still manages to help every student that walks in the door even if it's not club related. I know of few offices that create such an inviting and positive atmosphere for students to bring their questions and ideas. Cheryl sets the tone for the office and an example for the student employees, including myself.
Cheryl believes in empowering students to collaborate and become active members of campus whether it's the Collegiate Young Farmers and Ranchers or Atheists and Humanists. She is thoughtful and considerate of the challenges students face as individuals and has taught me about the benefits of diverse thought.
If you need more references and testimonies to Cheryl's incredible dedication to students and the Office of Student Activities, there are about 202 Student Organizations with about 500 student leaders who could speak on her behalf.
As my mentor, she has taught me the most about diversity and accepting life challenges as they are presented with a positive attitude, even when those efforts are not recognized or praised.
Nominated by Laura Frazee; Received award on March 7, 2012
University Business Services, MSU-Bozeman
Nancy Powell has worked for Montana State University for 28 years. She always puts
110% into her work. She is willing to help anyone in Student Accounts with extra duties
when they are swamped with fee payments and brings in donuts to show appreciation
for the Student Accounts ladies' hard work. Nancy has taken on sending out the 1098
forms to our students. She is so dedicated that she stays late and works through her
lunch to make sure they are out on time. She is very conscious of accuracy also.
Nancy is a huge Bobcats fan. She is the person in the office that wears her Bobcat gear with pride and attends the games regularly. She decorates her cubicle with Bobcat signs to show her pride. Nancy and her husband are both alumni of Montana State University. Nancy also volunteers in the community with the Lions Club and is a mentor for a Montana State University athlete.
Nancy has been a wonderful co-worker and influence in the 5 years I have been here. She is supportive in the work I do and more than willing to help when anyone has a question. Nancy has great ideas of how to improve processes and is willing to go above and beyond to implement them.
I feel that Nancy Powell deserves a huge thank you for all that she does!
Nominated by Tracy Simonson; Received award on February 16, 2012
Stacey goes above and beyond to serve others in several ways. One example that stands
out to me is her dedication to the Exit Gallery on campus. Although she is a full-time
art student, as the Exit Gallery coordinator she works SO hard at training her employees
and bringing shows to the gallery that are going to inspire others. She wants others
to experience art as she has. Stacey has made several positive contributions to the
university and community. Coming from a small town of 300 people, she was very new
to the big college town life. You would never know it though. Stacey was chosen to
design a new space for the Exit Gallery in the SUB. She was in charge of Upheaval.
She is a prime example of a dedicated, honest, and hardworking student. Stacey is
always willing to volunteer and help another out. You never see her doing nothing.
Stacey has inspired me more than she knows. Although my sister, she is the biggest
role model in my life. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout high school and college.
She is always able to give me advice, and though sometimes harsh, that advice has
gotten me through some of the toughest times of my life. Stacey has never doubted
me or my dreams, and I know that she will achieve all of hers. Her desire to help
others and give them a chance to have art impact their life as much as it has hers
is absolutely amazing.
Nominated by Megan Ray; Received award on February 16, 2012
College of Business Dean's Office, MSU-Bozeman
It is my sincere pleasure to nominate Halina Rickman for the Pure Gold award.
Halina has provided dedicated support to the College of Business faculty and three deans in the last decade. She continues to be reliable, enthusiastic and efficient in performing her duties.
I have had the chance to get her help with the search process for two open positions in the last two years. She has always provided excellent support, beat tight deadlines, and delivered error-free work.
All of Halina's efforts were put in better perspective when I found out about the adversity she has been dealing with in her family life. Halina is taking care of serious illness in her family and not once has she used that as an excuse for sub-par work. In fact, there has been no change in her cheerful and bright demeanor.
Halina battles on and makes the College of Business a better place to work with her good humor and pleasant attitude.
I admire her resilience in the face of adversity, and I believe she is a constant source of inspiration not just for me but for all of my colleagues at the College of Business.
Halina embodies the spirit of the Pure Gold award, and I request the committee to acknowledge her efforts with the Pure Gold award.
Nominated by Omar Shehryar; Received award on February 22, 2012
MSUBillings Downtown, MSU-Billings
Kim's creativity, stemming from her prior career in the movie industry has transformed
many of the events/outreach activities that MSUB offers to our community. In a few
weeks, MSUB will host the Chicks N Science day of hands-on science learning for young
girls. We are now in the 5th year, and each year the program gets bigger, better and
more exciting. This was the brain child of Kim...she took a simple idea to encourage
young girl's interest in science and turned it into an event that attracts Girl Scout
troops, junior high students from both Montana and Wyoming. There are over 25 major
sponsors who clamor to be part of this exciting day of learning. Kim's work goes beyond
the excitement of the Chicks N Science day. It introduces many young girls to the
possibility of college! As a free event, this attracts girls who may not be able to
afford special summer camps/activities. In addition, Kim's creativity in presenting
the day in a way to attract the attention of a young girl (i.e. lots of pink, candy)
is terrific. Kim makes sure that MSUB is involved in a wide array of activities. Her
creativity and energy is inspirational. She shows that you can have fun while learning.
Kim makes sure that MSUB volunteers at many downtown events, and our presence is "priceless"...you
could not buy the good relationships that Kim has built for us while offering kids
hot cocoa and crafts during the Downtown Holiday stroll or pumpkin painting at the
Kim also develops a phenomenal schedule of children's camps and Educator on Campus courses for the summer. She is always ahead of the curve which brings unique, relevant and state-of-the-art programming to our educators and kids. Kim also realizes the importance of partnerships...and regularly teams up with the Alberta Bair or Downtown Billings Partnership on these initiatives.
Kim deserves this recognition, and I am sure it will inspire others.
Nominated by Kim Gillan; Received award on February 1, 2012
The Learning Center, MSU-Great Falls
Val Smith, in her eighth year as a math adjunct at Montana State University-College
of Technology in Great Falls, has proven to be an invaluable co-coordinator during
a transition period in The Learning Center. A former defense contractor and computer
programmer for Honeywell and Boeing, Val now oversees the demanding, ever-changing
tutor schedule, intense online record-keeping, tutor time sheets, and other ongoing
After earning a master's degree in math education, Val starting teaching as an adjunct instructor for MSU-COT. Personable, reliable and a problem-solver, she makes students her priority in her classroom and in The Learning Center. Patient and intellectually gifted, Val welcomes walk-in students to The Learning Center and guides them, with a high success rate, through various levels of math and statistics. She's especially good at easing student math anxiety. The entire Learning Center staff appreciates her approach to solid teaching, tutoring and mentoring.
Math Department Chair Mark Plante says of her contributions: "Valerie is invaluable. When we needed an instructor for our Math for Elementary Teachers course, Val enthusiastically jumped to the task. In addition to giving quality instruction, she has researched new texts for the course and added manipulative components to the instruction.
"Valerie's work in the Learning Center is very much of note. I frequently hear students' unsolicited praise for the help she has given them. MSUGF is fortunate to have Valerie Smith."
Heidi Pasek, who hired Val as a co-coordinator during a Learning Center staff transition last fall semester, sings her praises, as well.
"I have watched Val teach," says Pasek, associate dean and chief academic officer. "She is able to put students at ease about math. I've seen her spend hours working with students in common areas - helping them work their way through problems."
Nominated by Renata Birkenbuel; Received award on January 25, 2012
University Business Services, MSU-Bozeman
I am honored to nominate Kevin Ward for Pure Gold recognition. Kevin is a director
for University Business Services and is the finance "go to guy" with over 23 years
of service to MSU. Kevin goes out of his way to provide exceptional customer service,
always with a smile and a desire to help anyone in need of assistance. There is no
request too small or too large for Kevin. Kevin has invaluable knowledge of the university
and its complex finance system. One of Kevin's many outstanding qualities is his desire
and ability to teach others. Not only does he provide necessary help and assistance,
but he shares his knowledge with others enabling and encouraging them to grow in their
careers. There have been countless times where it would have been exceptionally difficult
to complete a task, or make it through a difficult day without Kevin's positive approach
and servant's heart.
It is truly an honor and a pleasure to work with Kevin. He is an exceptional representative of Montana State University and a valued co-worker!
Nominated by Dawn Watkins; Received award on March 14, 2012
American Indian Research Opportunities, MSU-Bozeman
Sheree Watson has given exemplary service to MSU students and particularly to Native
American communities throughout Montana. She has played a leading role in the College
of Engineering's nationally recognized Designing Our Community (DOC) program.
Her efforts to support students have elevated MSU as a leading institution for Native American graduates in engineering, engineering technology and computer science. Students describe Sheree as patient, caring, considerate and a good listener.
Sheree is also the face of MSU throughout the Native communities in Montana. She is invested in helping promote higher education on reservations and partnering with tribal colleges.
Last summer after resigning from DOC to pursue her Ph.D., Sheree agreed to stay at MSU an extra year to serve as the interim director of American Indian Research Opportunities. She continues to go above and beyond to serve Native students in science and engineering. Her contributions to our institution are immeasurable.
Like the properties of PURE GOLD, Sheree Watson has proven to be malleable, she adds strength, she is valuable, and a great conductor. We are very grateful she is part of our team.
Nominated by Robert Marley; Received award on April 11, 2012
Military Science - Army ROTC, MSU-Bozeman
Lt. Col. James West, winner of the Army ROTC Excellence in Teaching Award for 2011,
has been the professor of military science at MSU since 2009. I believe he is pure
gold for his exceptional motivation, dedication, and energy in providing 158 Army
ROTC cadets with quality classroom and lab instruction. He diligently instructs both
cadets and civilian students in military history, while also spending countless hours
training the senior level Army ROTC cadets as they prepare to move forward in their
careers as future Army officers. Lt. Col. West has innovatively linked the MSU-Bozeman
cadets to those in our satellite program at MSU-Billings through an online training
program, thus allowing cadets from both campuses to interact with each other on a
weekly basis. He promotes an environment of mentorship, teaching, and coaching students
on a daily basis. This inspires the cadets to help others and inspires his staff to
adopt these attributes. Lt. Col. West has served in the United States Army for more
than 19 years and is able to bring a wealth of experience into the Army ROTC program.
He has served in leadership roles at various Army posts throughout the U.S., as well
as in Germany, Macedonia and Iraq. Having earned his undergraduate degree in social
science education and a master's in administration, leading the Army ROTC program
at MSU has allowed him to pursue his true passion of teaching and mentoring young
adults while sharing with them the opportunities of a service career. Under his three-year
command at Montana State University, Army ROTC enrollment has gone up by 67 percent.
He is a true role model for the students of Montana State University and future Army
Nominated by Maria McKinney; Received award on February 1, 2012
Military Science, MSU-Billings
1. One of the key Army values is selfless service. For cadets in the MSU-Billings
ROTC program, selfless service is what comes to mind in any discussion about Captain
(CPT) Wiese. Everyday, CPT Wiese goes above and beyond to make sure that her soldiers
are taken care of, and that they have the equipment and training necessary to succeed.
Outside the program, CPT Wiese is quick to involve herself in volunteer projects within
the Billings community.
2. By looking after future leaders of the U.S. Army, CPT Wiese is making a major contribution to Billings and the nation. During joint training exercises, and competitions with other ROTC programs, CPT is the face that represents MSU-Billings. CPT Wiese has also served a number of years in the Montana Army National Guard, which shows her loyalty to the Big Sky State.
3. I have heard people say that CPT Wiese is the gold standard for females in the military, and I think that is a serious underestimation. CPT Wiese is the gold standard for anybody in the armed forces. In fact, I have on a number of occasions, watched her out-perform the boys. With that being said, I think there are few professors on campus that show up at six every morning to exercise with their students. Physical readiness aside, her professionalism and work ethic are the major factors that have led to my inspiration.
Nominated by Cody Fryxell; Received award on April 11, 2012
Office of Admissions, MSU-Bozeman
Chelsey works as one of two front office receptionists in the Office of Admissions
at MSU in Bozeman. As part of her position, she is the first person to meet and greet
the thousands of families who come to visit our campus each year.
The entire staff in the MSU Office of Admissions does their best to welcome and provide information to all those who are considering MSU. We strive to go above and beyond on a daily basis to ensure that prospective MSU students and families get the very best possible look at Montana State.
On the Friday before spring break, Chelsey went 'far beyond the call of duty' as the story below illustrates:
On Friday, March 9, the Office of Admissions welcomed a very large number of students and families who were here to check out the campus. One of the last set of visitors scheduled to check in - a father and son - were driving from CA and had an issue with one of the tires on their rental car along the way. The mom called to let Chelsey know that her son was super excited about visiting MSU and that they were having car trouble. They arrived at 4:55 p.m. Instead of just providing them the basics and going home, Chelsey stayed late and gave them a campus tour. She took them to Roskie Hall and asked a student who happened to be walking by if they wouldn't mind showing them his room, which he did. She also took them to the Fitness Center for a tour and while they were there, the dean of the College of Arts and Architecture saw them - maybe he overheard the conversation - and offered to meet with them. Chelsey showed this family the very best of MSU until 6:45 p.m. on the Friday before spring break. She even had to figure out how to get herself and the visitors back into our office to retrieve her purse and their belongings as the campus was pretty much closed and locked.
This story is one example of the kind of effort that makes me very proud of each and every member of our MSU Admissions staff and all the faculty, staff and students at Montana State. GO CATS and GO CHELSEY!
Nominated by Ronda Russell; Received award on March 28, 2012
Jane is definitely Pure Gold!
Jane has been the FCS, 4-H, and community development agent in Teton County for nearly 15 years. In that time, she has been a leader in and out of Extension. Jane's commitment to the citizens of Teton County is unending and complete.
In addition to handling the numerous calls and questions that come into the Extension office on a regular basis, Jane has developed programs that are acclaimed both state and nationwide. She has routinely led Extension programs and helped to shape the future of Extension. It can be difficult to sit down with her since she is always running!
A great example of Jane's commitment to teaching is easy to find. On numerous occasions, she has used her own home to facilitate classes in cooking, leadership development, community development, sewing and canning. A lack of good facilities will not stop her.
No task is too large (or small) for Jane. She is perhaps the most organized person I know. The citizens of Teton County are extremely lucky to have her and they tell me on a regular basis. She spends time in each of the six communities in the county and has extensive relationships in each area. Leaders in each community, as well as region-wide call on Jane for her insightful and provocative thoughts. Jane, you truly are Pure Gold!
Nominated by Mark Major; Received award on April 11, 2012