Fall 2015 Recipients
Recreational Sports & Fitness/Intramural & Club Sports, MSU-Bozeman
Moe is all about the students. She is constantly thinking of ways to serve the students
and their needs. Whether that is a briefing to the RAs about intramural sports and
fitness, setting up booths at the international student fairs, or throwing a party
with some crazy sport like pool battleship on a Friday night, Moe is all about what
she can do the serve the students.
Moe puts herself out there around campus, building relationships with other entities that also care about the students. She works with student activities and engagement on getting sports and recreation clubs off the ground and space to practice on.
Moe inspires me with her cheerful attitude. Even when she is told, "No, that cannot be done," she smiles and finds a way. "If the students need it, it is our job to find a way," she says. If I was building a team to lead a student activity, Moe would be my first pick.
Nominated by James Shepherd; Received award on November 25, 2015
Student Health Services Acute Care, MSU-Bozeman
Kristi has worked at MSU for 25 plus years as a Registered Nurse and then went back
to graduate school while working to advance her degree and became a Nurse Practitioner
to better serve the students at MSU. She has chaired several committees including
Quality Improvement, Acute Care and Staffing, Women's Health and also volunteered
for a committee on improving mental health in the college setting. Each year, Kristi
organizes the entire student health service in adopting a family in need at holiday
time and the Food Bank donation program. She is a strong women's advocate and supports
LGBTQIQ student services. She is a fun person, great to work with, and easy to be
around. She really is Pure Gold!
Nominated by Jean Sternhagen; Received award on November 18, 2015
Dr. Ruff took my doctoral experience to the highest level. Over the past three years
he has offered continual encouragement and problem solving in support of my personal
doctoral journey. Every time I cried "Uncle" he found a way to reach my heart and
mind to engage my will for another deeper round of learning and growing. His patience,
experience and wisdom are invaluable to the doctoral process. I wish all professors
had his depth of caring and perseverance.
Nominated by Lori Clyatt; Received award on November 13, 2015
Career Center, MSU-Northern
Last year, Chancellor Greg Kegel asked me to give a visual description of the Montana
State University - Northern Career Center and the first thing that popped into my
mind was Happy and Goofy of the Seven Dwarfs! This is because of Jennifer Henderson
and her amazing upbeat, positive attitude; she really does seem to whistle while she
works! Even when times are stressful, Jennifer laughs, smiles and reminds all of us
around her that we can accomplish many things with a great attitude.
Within the first few months of working with Jennifer after coming to Northern, it was very obvious to me that she has always been a person who exemplifies a positive attitude, hard work and compassion for others. That kind of heart is hard to hide!
Jennifer will celebrate her 30 year employment anniversary with MSUN and the Career Center in December 2015. Since I came to Northern three years ago, I've not only had the privilege of witnessing Jennifer's wonderful attitude with our current students, but I've had the pleasure of watching her interact with the alumni who return to the Career Center to visit with her. They update her on their lives, share pictures of their children, laugh, reminisce, thank her for the influence she had on them when they were attending school here, and can't wait to give her hugs. This caring and compassionate woman has positively touched the lives of hundreds of students in those 30 years!
I also know that Jennifer carries this persona out into the community of Havre. She is very involved with recycling, community functions and volunteer work. This positive ambiance radiates from her with her beautiful smile and infectious laugh-it truly can't be missed! She exemplifies all the good things in our university and the community of Havre as a whole. I am proud to call her my partner in crime in the Career Center and she is a very deserving candidate for the Pure Gold Award.
Nominated by Mary Heller; Received award on November 4, 2015
KUSM TV - MontanaPBS, MSU-Bozeman
Nancy is the glue that holds our operation together. She is highly respected and admired
by all of her colleagues. By way of personal example, she motivates all of us to be
better employees, friends, and family members. Even though she is extremely busy keeping
our finances in order, she always makes time to listen and provides meaningful professional
mentoring. She cares about the well being of the staff and it shows day in and day
Nancy repeatedly inspires me by her thoughtful and dedicated approach to her work and to the overall success of the organization. I am truly grateful to have Nancy as a colleague and believe she makes everyone better just by being around her.
Nominated by Crystal Beaty; Received award on October 28, 2015
Facilities Services, MSU-Bozeman
You probably don't even know Lester Dennis although he's been quietly and stealthily
keeping our campus locks operating for 12 years. Many of you may think this is no
big deal, the keeping of working doors, but you would should you find students and
staff at 7:42am beating on locked doors as the first snowstorm of the year is dousing
their heads and backs.
Lester's stellar customer service skills and positive attitude inspire others to go above and beyond within their own work ethic. His quiet and unassuming style is a boon not only to the Facilities Services Team but to every other person on this campus. I am most grateful for his consistent help, a gift far better than gold. Thank you, Lester, for keeping us open for business.
Nominated by Susan Fraser; Received award on October 21, 2015
Help Desk-IT, MSU-Billings
As an administrative assistant, I have regular contact with our Helpdesk to follow-up
on the IT needs of our new hires as well as our returning part-time instructors. Nikki
Olson is the most amazing person to work with. Her position requires outstanding customer
service skills, which don't always come easy with the demands on her. I visit with
her regularly and she is always so pleasant, no matter what issue I have. She communicates
and follows up, she is kind, she goes beyond what most people would do to resolve
any issues with email accounts, or IT problems. What makes her exceptional: her professionalism
and willingness to work outside of her "box." She is the person that gets our instructors
"connected" with email so they can do their job and is efficient in doing so.
I feel MSUB is very fortunate to have such a wonderful person on board in a very crazy, demanding work environment. We all depend on our email account and she makes that happen as quickly as possible. I feel Nikki Olson is a shining star for MSUB and deserves to be a Pure Gold recipient, for she contributes to our success for our students, faculty and staff. Nikki is Pure Gold!
Nominated by Sheri Steiner; Received award on October 14, 2015
Jennifer Anderson has been a member of the MSU-Northern family for over 8 years. For
the last 2 years, she has worked as the Administrative Associate for the Education
Department. As a co-worker, I have seen first hand her deep commitment to students,
faculty, and to the MSU-Northern community. She is the first one in the office in
the morning every day and is usually one of the last people to leave. Her smile, warmth,
and genuine interest in people fill the department offices with cheer and a sense
As the first person that students, faculty, and other staff usually meet when coming to the Education Department, Jennifer is always smiling and readily helpful. She assists with advising and also provides assistance to our education faculty at our satellite campus in Great Falls. She will go above and beyond to assist anyone in whatever area they need help. With her extensive knowledge of policy and procedures across the campus, she is able to provide solid insight when working with others, including myself.
Besides her regular job duties, Jennifer also gives her time to work with the Student Education Association, assisting our education students in a variety of ways as they prepare for their future careers. She also serves as a member of the board for the staff labor union and is a staunch supporter of MSU-Northern community activities.
Jennifer is the type of work associate that makes everyone strive to do a better job themselves. Her work ethic is second to none. She is a valuable asset to the Education Department, and we are lucky to have her. For all of these reasons, I believe that Jennifer Anderson is PURE GOLD!
Nominated by Virginia Braithwaite; Received award on October 7, 2015
University Communications, MSU-Bozeman
During the course of the summer, Brett Davis worked closely with me and members of
the Honors College administrative staff, to migrate the Presidential Scholarship to
a fully online application. This was a monumental task, and the end product, which
Brett designed in its totality, is truly extraordinary. All users of this system --
the applicants, recommenders, counselors and the MSU review committee, will appreciate
the ease of use, as well as the robust nature of the application system. No matter
how complicated our requests were, Brett would make detailed notes and implement our
ideas. This portal, which will serve as the virtual entry to our university for hundreds
of students each year, will represent our university in the best possible light. Thank
you, Brett, for going the extra mile and for doing such a superb job. Your efforts
are greatly appreciated. You are Pure Gold!
Nominated by Ilse-Mari Lee; Received award on September 30, 2015
University Communications, MSU-Bozeman
For the past two years Emily Flynn has been a student worker in University Communications.
As a marketing major and entrepreneurship minor, she brings a wealth of ideas and
energy to our team. Last year, when our office was short handed due to staff turnover,
Emily really stepped up to take ownership of a key community outreach project - the
Welcome Back Bobcat Kits. Last year, she single handedly organized the sign-ups, gathered
volunteers, stuffed the kits, created the delivery routes, and helped deliver the
kits to over 650 community businesses. As she has grown in her position, she continues
to come up with new ideas on how to enhance the program and provide more value to
the community. She is always prompt, energetic and thorough. In addition, she has
built her marketing know-how by participating in photo and video shoots and maintaining
the merchandise social media presence. Her energy and enthusiasm as well as her thoughtful
approach will propel her to an exciting career. She inspires us everyday to have a
go-for-it attitude and embrace our passion for Montana State University.
Nominated by Julie Kipfer; Received award on September 23, 2015
Veterans Center, MSU-Great Falls
I feel that Kevin Lyons would be a perfect recipient for the Pure Gold award. Kevin
is a retired pilot in the Air Force and now runs the Veterans Center at Great Falls
College MSU. His title is Veterans Success Coach, and the title fits him very well.
Kevin has gone above and beyond to ensure that veterans, spouses and dependents have
the greatest chance for success while attending Great Falls College MSU. Not only
has Kevin worked to provide a great learning environment for veteran's families, he
is a friend with a smiling face to anyone that enters the room. To name just a few
things, Kevin has coordinated with the school to provide tutors for veterans in the
center, he has brought in counselors and advisers to help veterans with various issues,
and he has purchased many models to help students with their anatomy classes. Everything
that Kevin has done for the Veterans Center has proven to be a great success. Statistics
have proven that veterans that use the center have a higher GPA and a higher graduation
rate. I feel that for all of these reasons, and many more, Kevin Lyons would be a
great person to receive this prestigious award, and he is a great asset to the MSU
family. I am very happy to call him my friend.
Nominated by Ted Nesmith; Received award on September 16, 2015
With a defined technological skill, an inherent wit and an unsurpassed loyalty to
MSU, Bill Freese has been true gold for the Department of Education and the MSU campus
for the past 33 years.
As the Department of Education assessment coordinator, Bill works closely with faculty and staff to collect, organize and share data through a system he has designed to enhance department growth and effectiveness. Bill's duties are extensive and his contributions are critical to many areas, including the accreditation process. While much of his work happens behind the scenes, his data presentations at staff meetings and retreats have become highly anticipated events that involve consistently creative themes and humorous anecdotes. Being able to get an entire room excited about data is no small task and serves as a testament to just how talented Bill Freese is at his job!
Putting official job titles aside, Bill is also tremendously invested in his colleagues and the campus community. For all that his job entails, you can find Bill generously donating his time on a daily basis to help out a co-worker troubleshoot a menacing projector or tussle with a rogue copy machine. Fortunately for all of us, Bill stays on site, without fail, until the technology is working once again. Furthermore, you can find Bill supporting the campus through his attendance of a wide range of campus activities during the year. Bill is a Montana State Bobcat through and through!
I feel fortunate to have not only learned from Bill when I was a student, but to continue to learn from him as a colleague. Thank you Bill for everything you do day in and day out for our department and across our campus community.
Nominated by Joe Hicks; Received award on September 9, 2015
University Stuides, MSU-Bozeman
As many of you know, MSU in Bozeman implemented a new Cat Course registration system
for new students this past summer/fall. Many people were involved in making the implementation
of this new system a success. In fact, due to the hard work of many, we registered
over 1,300 new freshmen on one day alone (August 21). Things went so well that there
were very short or nonexistent lines the entire day. Needless to say, it was a very
long day for many dedicated MSU staff that helped make this happen in computer labs
all over our campus. One of the people integrally involved with the process for months
in advance and all day long on 8/21 was Diane Donnelly. Her ability to watch course
capacity, communicate about additional section needs, advise students and provide
above and beyond support to our student and professional staff is extraordinary. Diane
and all others who worked in the freshman registration labs all day on 8/21 were,
no doubt, exhausted at the end of the day.
I received a call from a very distraught mother of a new freshman about 5;30 p.m. on that day. The mother was concerned that her son did not get the classes he needed at the times he needed them, etc. I gave Diane a call on her cell, hoping that she would set up a time to meet with the student on Monday morning. Instead, she said: ?I will meet him and his mom in my office in 10 minutes? (She was just walking from the registration site to her office). Imagine the excitement of the mom and student when I called them back with this news!
Diane texted me about 7 p.m. that night, telling me that she had just finished her meeting and both the student and parent left very happy.
To me, Diane's efforts each and every day are PURE GOLD, but her willingness to go above and beyond with the student and parent on what was already a very long Friday is definitely worthy of recognition.
Thank you, Diane, for all you do!
Nominated by Ronda Russell; Received award on September 2, 2015