Kathrin Olson-Rutz

LRES, MSU-Bozeman

Kathrin has worked for me for about ten years, producing high quality presentations, articles, and webpages for my Extension Soil Fertility program. She is THE main reason that my program is highly effective. She routinely goes above and beyond her job duties by suggesting ideas to make our program more impactful. For example, she spearheaded the addition of a custom Google search on each of our webpages, brainstorms creative and fun questions to ask my audience members, and without being asked, often dives into the literature so I can show actual soil fertility results, rather than established dogmas. She started this job with limited soils knowledge, and I would now consider her to be a soils expert. A colleague adds: "Kathrin Olson is one of those invaluable behind-the-scenes stars who makes the rest of us look good. Her attention to detail, good humor, and breadth of scientific knowledge improves every Extension article that she authors or co-authors!" Kathrin has inspired me to be a more effective Extension Specialist through her thoroughness and passion to increase the sustainability of Montana agriculture.
Nominated by Clain Jones; Received award on April 17, 2019

Kelli Grantham

Housing & Residential Life, MSU-Billings

Behind the scenes work is the type of work that can go unnoticed. But when you're Kelli Grantham, the amount of behind the scenes work she's involved with is something that's hard not to notice.

Kelli's detail-oriented mindset keeps everyone in the office on their toes. If you've forgotten to turn in a form or a receipt, she will always remind you before it's too late. Kelli is incredibly committed to the students and making sure all the logistical pieces are seamless. She manages a countless array of software that no one else in the office, or even on-campus, has the amount of expertise she does. If you have an issue with the software, she can solve it. Whether it's billing, room placements, or ID and hand code issues, Kelli is there to support our staff and students. Beyond that, Kelli has been very integral in our office trying out new challenges with our new meal plan offerings and some new components of room reservations for living on-campus. She is truly the unsung hero of our department, the Campus Store, and more.

Kelli is always a person you can go to when you need a break from the madness. I'm so grateful to have her as part of our team.

Nominated by Tyler Bradley; Received award on April 10, 2019

Dagny Mest

Mechanical & Industrial ENgineering, MSU-Bozeman

It is my pleasure to nominate Dagny for special recognition for her truly above and beyond service to our department and university. I am new faculty in Mechanical Engineering, and together with other new faculty rely on Dagny's help on a daily basis to learn MSU's systems. She has encyclopedia-like knowledge of MSU, and is prompt, kind, and generous. Whether I need to find a lost package, navigate unfamiliar software, find a service or person on campus, or solve other daily challenges of being a new professor, Dagny is always ready, eager, and able to help. Its hard to calculate how much time she has already saved me.

Dagny is generally swarmed with students also relying on her guidance. Despite the volume of help that she provides, she is always upbeat, warm, and welcoming. I have many times heard the phrase "Dagny is amazing" from students and faculty.

In summary, I believe that Dagny Mest is PURE GOLD for her service to our department and our institution.

Nominated by Chelsea Heveran; Received award on April 3, 2019

Jeff Kinkaid

, MSU-Bozeman

Jeff is a shining light every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8am in the morning. His witty humor keeps the whole class interested and engaged. He has an unique ability to keep his lecture information flowing and intriguing.

Marcus Byrd

He's an amazing teacher, understands his students and teaches in his own unique and great way. Visiting him in his office hours is a wonderful experience, super helpful and always jamming out to some great music. Can make even the most boring and dry subjects interesting and fun to learn about.

Adam Evans
Nominated by Marcus Byrd Adam Evans; Received award on March 27, 2019

Sarah  Huth

Center for Biofilm Engineering, MSU-Bozeman

Sarah goes above and beyond to help students. She often stays late to answer questions or seek answers for students in every possible way she can identify. Whenever I have a question, if Sarah does not have an answer, she will get me in touch with the appropriate individual(s), rather than merely telling me what I should do. Sarah is very accepting and tries to make everyone feel at home, and has made sure that the CBE is an accepting environment for all individuals, especially LGBTQ+. Sarah is often the first person in the office and the last to leave. She performs many behind the scenes responsibilities that she does so seamlessly that they seem happen by magic. Sarah inspires me daily. She always arrives at work willing to take on the next challenge with a bright smile.
Nominated by Karen Moll; Received award on March 20, 2019

Codi Francis

Radiology/University Health Partners, MSU-Bozeman

Codi Francis is "Pure Gold"! She is a Radiologic Technologist & Manager of UHP Radiology at University Health Partners, and so much more! Codi is always willing to go the extra mile for both students and her co-workers. She happily takes on additional responsibilities to help improve and better the University Health Partners. She helps students schedule important tests such as CT scans, MRI's and ultrasounds. She has taken on a large and important role in the UHP accreditation process. Codi is always an absolute pleasure to work with and her positive attitude at work is felt by the students who come to see her for x-rays as well as her co-workers. She always has a warm smile on her face which is contagious to those around her, inspiring others to follow in her footsteps. Codi is a "yes" person who takes on new responsibilities and works diligently and hard for the students and UHP. Codi Francis is "Pure Gold"!
Nominated by Elizabeth Stelz; Received award on March 13, 2019

Stacy Lowry

General Studies, MSU-Great Falls

Stacy is a consummate professional in everything she does. As the front-line contact for the General Studies Division, her calm, friendly demeanor sends a welcoming message to visitors. She is always available to faculty, whether to provide valuable administrative assistance or just a cheerful greeting. She is widely respected by all and contributes significantly to the positive atmosphere of her area.
Stacy can be counted on to go above-and-beyond to support the College, and especially our students, regardless of the time or day. She exemplifies the concept of "all-in." She has stepped in to cover other divisions when their administrative assistants have left and doesn?t complain when ?other duties as assigned? have been added to her workload. Her talent as an organizer has contributed directly to the success of important campus events, like Night Out For Science and the recent Saturday campus Opening Day event. Cloudy days don't stand a chance with Stacy, because her smile and cheerful demeanor bring sunshine wherever she goes. As one colleague recently stated, "she is simply the best!"

Nominated by Larry Vaccaro; Received award on March 6, 2019

Kara Landolfi

Culinary Services, MSU-Bozeman

Kara is the epitome of "pure gold". The heart and passion she brings to her work inspires others and encourages them to give their very best in order to serve our students and community here at Montana State University.
Kara ensures locally sourced foods are purchased and served in the culinary service operations through the dining halls, retail operations, our catering department, and in-house salad and bakery. She works closely with Montana producers to showcase specialty foods, support local business, and expose students to the concept of and reasons for eating close to home.
Kara inspires me to think outside the box. Her energy is endless and she"s simply a fun person to be around. Kara's committed to making sure everyone eating at MSU has access to the highest quality foods available for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I'm thankful to partner with such a dedicated individual each and every day.
Nominated by Tara Jones; Received award on February 27, 2019

Amber  King

VOICE Center, MSU-Bozeman

Amber works in the VOICE Center educating students and campus members about the importance of the VOICE Center's work on campus to provide a safe, highly confidential place on campus for survivors of sexual and domestic violence, offering support, advocacy, and resources.
Amber is an incredible coworker and an amazing prevention education specialist. She always brings her dynamic personality and her positive attitude to MSU each day. Her cheerful manner and engaging attitude ensure that students are attentive, engaged, and interested when she presents to students on campus. Plus, she is fun! She makes an important, serious topic on campus not so scary with her bright attitude and open personality by connecting with both colleagues and students.
Amber inspires me each day to bring a positive attitude to MSU and to look on the bright side when facing challenges. I love her optimistic attitude and her dynamic presence. Go Amber!

Nominated by Danika Comey; Received award on February 20, 2019

Tracey Jette

Student Central, MSU-Northern

The Student Central area of the Montana State University-Northern campus whole-heartedly nominates Tracey Jette for the Pure Gold Award. Tracey, who is the Senior Director of Student Success at Northern, is not only our boss but she also is our team leader in more ways than one.

The Student Central area constantly strives to maintain our team approach to all things we do for our students and Tracey is at the helm supporting us every step of the way. Her approach in this support demonstrates all of the qualities of a good leader. She is in constant contact with each department, through Directors Meetings as well as one-on-one discussions, to stay in the loop as to what is going on, what we need, and what input we have on helping Northern students find success. Her dedication and passion for students is evident every day as she has a consistent flow of students in and out of her office needing help with various problems they face with advising, juggling class and athletic schedules, or needing help with international requirements. We can also count on Tracey to hold herself accountable, right alongside all of us, to ensure that things are getting done right and that students are always the top priority.

When it comes to having fun while working, Tracey plays an active role in Northern's Student Central department in activities such as decorating for Homecoming, Halloween, and Christmas. She is also adamant about recognizing each individual with important events such as birthdays, family celebrations, illness, and anything else to make each person in our department know we matter.

Leading by example, and showing actions are more important than words, Tracey Jette is the Northern Light that inspires all of us in Student Central to be a shining example for others to follow.
Nominated by Student Central; Received award on February 13, 2019

Alisha Downs

Registrar's Office, MSU-Bozeman

Alisha is a constant force on the MSU campus, consistently and passionately working to keep classroom space efficiently running on campus while serving her colleagues and coworkers with speed and a smile. I know that whatever question or concern I have for Alisha will be answered either right away, or that she will help to solve my problem within 48 hours.

Alisha inspires me to provide the best service I can, and to speak up if I'm not understanding what's going on. Alisha has helped me to understand the nuances of my job without making me feel slow, uneducated, or bad at my job, or that I am wasting her time. She's quick to give you direct instruction on how to get things done, or to help along the process in any way she can that both empowers and supports.

While her job does seem daunting, it's rare that you'll see Alisha not smiling or laughing. She completes her technical tasks with ease and is still able to exude joy, something we can all learn from.
Nominated by Kate Cowart; Received award on February 6, 2019

Emily Stark

Office of Institutional Equity, MSU-Bozeman

As a relatively new employee at Montana State, I would like to thank everyone I?ve had the privilege of working with thus far for the helpful and caring way I have been incorporated into the Bobcat family. It is a true testament to the dedication and professionalism of the staff and has been a wonderful blessing to me. I would like to specifically recognize Emily Stark, who has gone above and beyond, epitomizing the qualities of ?Pure Gold?.

Emily, like gold itself, has many unique qualities that make her an invaluable asset to all who attend and/or work at Montana State University. First, Emily is a good conductor. She works tirelessly to transmit the mission and values of the Office of Institutional Equity to everyone at the University. Her enthusiastic style of delivery makes her the perfect person to educate others on difficult topics in a way that is accepted and understandable. Second, Emily is ductile (pliable without loosing toughness). As a leader, Emily is willing to listen and incorporate the ideas of those around her and is also able to make the tough decisions. Third, Emily is rare. The amount of genuine compassion she has for others is extraordinary. The support and professional respect she exhibits is second to none. Finally, Emily is prized. She adds immeasurable value to the office and the University. She has made my transition to MSU smooth and seamless. I am humbled and honored to work with Emily Stark, the epitome of Pure Gold!

Nominated by Victor Maxson; Received award on January 30, 2019

Jamie Smith

MSU Extension Teton County, MSU-Bozeman

Jamie Smith does not get paid by MSU, but she works diligently for MSU just the same. As part of MSU Extension, Jamie is an administrative assistant employed by Teton County. Her love for learning and willingness to serve make her Pure Gold. Jamie is enthusiastically committed to Extension clients.

Jamie accepts new challenges with gusto. Through self-study, she tackled a 4-H software program with such tenacity that she has become an expert in our county and in the state. Jamie serves on the Montana 4-H Curriculum Committee where she is an integral team member, even writing curriculum for the Montana 4-H program. Jamie works adeptly with students from the six-year-old Cloverbud 4-H member taking their "first class from MSU" to the senior 4-H member applying for the State Award, as well as parents and grandparents.

Her tasks are broad from web page management to marketing to serving as a Youth Aware of Mental Health Assistant. Jamie assists in areas as varied as plant disease identification, agriculture diagnostic services, food safety, nutrition, wellness, financial management, mental health and more. She often takes Extension classes on her own time, becoming a true advocate for the impact of Extension education.
She has been a force for MSU Extension. She expands the level of service and educational programming that can be offered by MSU Extension in Teton County and beyond. She shines her Pure Gold on everything she touches!

Nominated by Jane Wolery; Received award on January 24, 2019

Dennis Neuman

Museum of the Rockies, MSU-Bozeman

It takes an exceptional person to embody the three pillars of our land-grant institution - learning, discovery, and engagement. Dennis Neuman, an MSU alumnus, professor and now volunteer at Museum of the Rockies, is just that - exceptional.

After earning M.S. in Analytical Chemistry from Montana State University in 1972, Dennis has shown an unwavering dedication to MSU, our students, and our communities.

Stuart Jennings, a colleague of Dennis in MSU's College of Agriculture, describes him as 'mentor' who was committed to student success and applied research. While Dennis' primary role with MSU was a Research Scientist, Dennis naturally integrated learning with discovery. His kindness and patient tutelage contributed to the success of many graduate students.

Since joining the Museum of the Rockies in the fall of 2014, Dennis has embraced engagement by educating younger Montana students on field trips. Dennis continues use his natural leadership abilities by serving as the chair of the Volunteer Docent Board and was a member of the search committee for MOR's new Executive Director. Even in "retirement," Dennis relentlessly serves our university.

Our museum, our university, and our state are a better place because of Dennis"s passion and dedication to our land-grant university mission and values.
Nominated by Angie Weikert; Received award on January 16, 2019

Steve Jones


Steve Jones is Pure Gold for the contributions he has made to the WIMU program in veterinary medicine and to our departmental large animal research programs. Although we have a new group of veterinary students every year, Steve takes the time to get to know every student and genuinely cares about each of them as an individuals. Steve makes an effort to encourage the students during their stressful first year of veterinary school, and the students often comment how this encouragement has been a great boost to their morale. Clearly, Steve adds a personal touch to our teaching programs. In addition, Steve's coworkers also know that they can count on him to be fair, honest, and always willing to help. Steve is humble and a team player, and he considers every success as the teams? success. In fact, Steve often helps students, co-workers, and even supervisors during his time off--from fixing flat tires and giving rides to running errands or picking up groceries for a sick person. Clearly, Steve Jones is a real gem and an asset to the WIMU program and to the MSU community. For these reasons, he is Pure Gold.

Mark Quinn, Director of WIMU

Steve is a huge asset to the WIMU program. He is patient and hard working. His facilities are always well cared for, and he and Kerri were always prepared for labs. His kindness and encouragement got me through several rough days. I would strongly recommend Steve for the Pure Gold Award.

Alyssa Riley, Class of 2021

My favorite thing about Steve is how patient he is. I remember that he spent hours with us working on hand ties and folding, and was never judgmental. He would patiently walk us through the steps, never appearing frustrated if we didn't get something right - even after a few tries. Steve is always willing to help, and has a way of making everyone feel cared for. Every class, he would take the time to check in with each student to see how we were doing, and some days I really needed that. Thanks Steve! We were so lucky to have you as our instructor.

Emily Munday, Class of 2020

Steve Jones plays an instrumental role in the WIMU Regional Veterinary Program by faithfully serving as an instructor both in animal handling and the principles of surgery courses. He possess a unique ability to provide constructive feedback in a positive manner while managing to encourage you in spite of your short comings. Steve is a great asset to any team and we are thankful to have him as part of our organization.

Conner Van Dyken, Class of 2021

Steve Jones definitely deserves the Pure Gold nomination. He works so hard to make sure students have the most optimal learning environment possible. He notices the little things and makes sure they are taken care of so that there are no distractions for the students. He is very encouraging, and always brings positive energy to class. He is very good at teaching in our principles of surgery class and our animal handling class.

Mariah Young, Class of 2021

Steve is dedicated to the students getting as much as possible out of the WIMU program opportunities! He always is encouraging and makes the stress of vet school less by his easy and kind demeanor! He should always be part of this program!

Tori Wilson, Class of 2020

Steve is a wonderful person, who never fails to cheer up a vet student that is having a bad day or week. He is always friendly and helps shy students come out of their shells and become comfortable in the new environment. He excels at being encouraging with students that may not be familiar with large animals and building up their confidence.

Chelsea Mavencamp, Class of 2021

Steve Jones is a spunky person, who continually goes out of his way to help students learn difficult tasks and feel excited about the new things we take on. He is diligent, and fully committed to each and every one of us. If you can't figure out how to do something, he will keep showing you until you finally accomplish it or he will find a new way to do the same task but that fits that individual better.

Kate Madsen, Class of 2022

Steve is everything you could want in both a boss and a mentor. He always pushes people to do their best in everything, and will jump at the chance to lend a helping hand no matter the problem. His positive attitude and confidence in others' ability to succeed never ends to encourage those around him.

Kasey Sweeney, Class of 2022

Steve does an absolutely wonderful job! I look forward to seeing him, working with him and learning from him every Friday. He is not only a stellar teacher, but also a great motivator and ally. I'm so very glad that he is a part of my training.

Allyson Quigley, Class of 2022

Steve was always a bright light in my week. After a difficult week in school, Steve was always there at the barn with the best attitude, ready to help students in whatever way they needed. The amount of knowledge that he is able to share with the students was amazing and he was always eager to help students learn. He has a wonderful sense of humor and always had me laughing. In addition, watching Steve handle the animals at the barn made it apparent that he is incredible with many different species of animals. He is so kind and did such a great job with each of the animals we worked with, sharing with the student's ways to make the animals calmer and easier to handle. Steve is a wonderful asset to the WIMU program and most definitely pure gold.

Maddy Parker, Class of 2021

Nominated by WIMU Students; Received award on January 9, 2019