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College staff honored at reception

Thursday, November 20, 2014

At a reception Wednesday, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences recognized 36 staff members for their exceptional work over the past year. Faculty and staff across the College were asked to nominate colleagues to be honored with an appreciation award.

“Although staff jobs and duties vary widely, the tributes written about these individuals clearly demonstrate that we couldn’t do what we do without talented staff,” said Danny Anderson, dean of the College. “They are the organizers, the problem solvers, and the innovators who diligently manage the projects that are essential for faculty, student and colleague success. I am deeply appreciative of everything staff members have done for the College and our departments.”

The appreciation reception was held at the Oread and more than 100 staff members were in attendance.

2014 College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Appreciation Awardees:

Carla Aspenberg, Program Assistant, Jewish Studies

“Carla Aspenberg began as Program Assistant to Jewish Studies just three months ago. She hit the ground running and even voluntarily attends faculty meetings.”

Lanis Atwood, Administrative Associate Senior, Student Academic Services

“Lanis quietly maintains her sanity while all about her is experiencing earthquakes, floods and meteor showers. She is efficient, thorough and has a quick smile.”

Lauren Bias, Administrative Assistant, Psychology

“If there was an award for best new staff person, then Lauren should win this award.  Thank you for joining our team.”

Lisa Brown, Administrative Associate, African and African-American Studies

“Lisa has worked loyally in AAAS for years; her marvelous expertise, accommodation, caring, and positive attitude make her truly exceptional.”

Kerrie Brecheisen, Administrative Assistant, Mathematics

“Kerrie is a very valuable and dedicated member of the Mathematics department.  Her willingness to take on any task greatly contributes to the success of the department's programs.  Her work in mathematics outreach has been a key component in providing hundreds of students at the local, state and national levels with positive mathematical experiences.”

Rhonda Cook, Program Assistant, Liberal Arts & Sciences, Shared Service Center

“Rhonda is always cheerful and I’ve never seen her lose her cool. Her calm voice is reassuring, she’s a good listener and cares about people.”

Caitlin Day Wedel, Accounting Specialist, Liberal Arts & Sciences, Shared Service Center

“As a new faculty member, Caitlin has been exceptionally patient and generous with me, and has even shown a sense of humor in her responses (what a treat)! Overall, her upbeat support of KU is infectious and has helped me feel like part of the Jayhawk family.”

Ashley Durkee, Administrative Associate, History          

“Ashley oversees 70 grad students and schedules 35 professors, many with a tenuous hold on the present, and she hasn't strangled any of them, yet.”

Le-Thu Erazmus, Graduate Officer, Anthropology

“Le-Thu defines competence and collegiality. Her performance is excellent. She takes initiative, solves problems, supports others’ efforts, and cheerfully shoulders whatever is asked of her.”

Suzanne Gracheck, Administrative Associate, Communication Studies

“Suzanne Grachek is a jack of all trades.  She helps guide the Communication Studies department in every area imaginable and is the most patient person that I have ever worked with.  She deserves public recognition and appreciation.”

Anne Hamilton, Office Specialist, Applied Behavioral Sciences

“Anne Hamilton is resourceful, smart, innovative, and is good at making us think outside the box. She is efficient and good at anticipating future needs. She truly makes a difference in the department; I’m so lucky that she and Kelly are my front-office teammates.”

Becky Harris, Administrative Associate, Speech-Language-Hearing     

“Becky is the 'go-to' person for answers or assistance; she follows through. Always helpful, effective, and professional - the linchpin in the department!”

Judi Harris, Storeroom Supervisor, Molecular Biosciences    

“Judi runs the bio-store with exceptional organization and focus, supporting and enabling the research of eight floors' worth of labs at Haworth.  Thank you, Judi.”

Kim Hubbel, Administrative Assistant, Physics & Astronomy   

“Kim ensures students are doing well at school and in their personal lives by being a compassionate person with whom they can share their stories.”

Kay Isbell, Academic Advisor, College Office of Graduate Affairs

“Kay demonstrates dedication and professionalism. In a difficult period of transition, she embraced her new role serving multiple departments, helping each strengthen their graduate programs.”

Beth Kelley, Administrative Associate, Honors Program     

“Beth Kelley is a tremendous help to me. More importantly, she is phenomenal with our students. She is welcoming, helpful, caring, nurturing, and supportive.”

Eileen Larson, Administrative Assistant, East Asian Languages & Cultures

“Eileen is always cheerful and friendly, an efficient hard worker who is always there when you need her!”

Karen Ledom, Administrative Director, Student Academic Services

“Karen works tirelessly for the students of the College. She strives to maintain fairness and consistency and never misses dotting and “I” or crossing a “T”. With her intelligence, organization, and sharp attention to detail, the myriad of student a curricular functions that run through that office go much more smoothly.”

Jama Lickteig, Accounting Specialist, Liberal Arts & Sciences, Shared Service Center

“Jama is an asset to the CLAS outreach team. She works diligently to expedite our requests and does so with a smile on her face. She is resourceful, funny, and an overall great person to work with!”

Cindy Lynn, Graduate Coordinator, College Office of Graduate Affairs    

“Cindy has greatly improved CGS workflow and plays a critical role ensuring implementation of the University’s academic catalog and curriculum management software meets College needs.”

Linda Mann, Accounting Specialist, Speech Language Hearing   

“Linda Mann is exceptional in her accuracy, efficiency and problem solving in managing various sources of funding, in ways that facilitate our work.”

Samantha Montague, Education Program Coordinator, Student Academic Services

“Samantha is an asset to the Student Academic Services office. She truly cares about helping students reach their academic goals and she goes above and beyond with every project she works on. She is also always willing to go the extra mile to help and encourage her fellow co-workers.”

Andrea Noltner, Administrative Associate, Applied Behavioral Science   

“Two years ago, my front office staff members began planning for the HDFL/ABS department’s 50th anniversary reunion and celebration this October. Its receptions, meetings, program, and banquet flowed seamlessly. My staff managed the event diplomatically, quietly, and with great aplomb. It is the best department staff in the College.”

Kemi Obadare, Office Manager, Student Academic Services   

“Kemi is very reliable, easy-going and a great problem solver. Plus, she’s a party in a box – a one woman cure for malaise!”

Kristie Parfet, Administrative Assistant, Center for STEM Learning       

“The Center is spread across two different campuses and across three floors of a campus building in Lawrence. Kristie is the glue that keeps our community working together.”

Jonathan Perkins, Director, Ermal Garinger Academic Resource Center       

“Jonathan Perkins is a consistently thoughtful, resourceful and helpful leader in CLAS. He goes above and beyond to help people and is active in many committees and is well liked by his employees.”

Kristin Rennells, Office Manager, Physics & Astronomy           

“Kristin Rennells is always very efficient and helpful, and really pays attention on what is going on in our department. She has a wide variety of duties, ranging from hosting workshops to knowing every student's situation, and she really shows her leadership in management. I am grateful to have her.”

Cindy Sexton, Administrative Associate, Psychology           

“Psychology wishes to honor Cindy for 17 years of service. She is the primary knowledge source of the psychology department and she defines the department standards of professionalism, kindness, fairness, and success each and every day.”

Kelly Spavin, Administrative Assistant, Applied Behavioral Sciences      

“Kelly Spavin is meticulously organized, creative, and helps keep the rest of us composed. I know that if I ask her to do something, it will be done quickly and perfectly. She is a genuine asset to the department; I’m so lucky that she and Anne are my front-office teammates.”

Sonja Stockwell, Program Assistant, Liberal Arts & Sciences, Shared Service Center      

“Sonja is always extremely helpful, willing to go the extra mile to assist with any issues, and always does so with a smile on her face.”

Morgan Swartzlander, Student Program Manager, College Office of Graduate Affairs

“Morgan is patient, goes above the standards expected of her, and never makes you feel like you are bothering her, even after a dozen emails.”

Leesa Terry, Administrative Assistant, Clinical Child Psychology 

“The KU Child and Family Services Clinic could not meet its mission of serving children and families without Leesa's attention to detail and talent. She is vital to our training and service missions. Thank you!”

Sally Utech, Associate Director, Hall Center for the Humanities  

“Dr. Sally Utech is one of the most complete associate directors in Hall Center history. She is a good staff manager, earning the respect of Center staff, and keeping them on task. She is a deeply efficient administrator, and an effective communicator with humanities faculty and graduate students. Her grant and competition work is second to none. And finally Sally is 'good to think with'; she is an innovative and creative voice within Hall Center circles.”

Cynthia Willingham, Office Assistant, School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures           

“Cynthia is the SLLC day brightener. Optimistic and eager to serve, she is an essential part of the well-oiled machine of the SLLC central office.”

Brandon Woodard, Alumni Relations Specialist, Office of the Dean

“Brandon is an incredible member of the College’s External Relations team. He is organized, positive, creative and always willing to help with any project. He perfectly blends professionalism with humor, interacting with internal and external constituencies with ease. It is a pleasure working with him.”

Tammie Zordel, Administrative Associate Senior, Clinical Child Psychology   

“Tammy's contributions are the gas that makes the engine of the CCPP run. Her years of going above and beyond are the foundation that has allowed our students, faculty, and program as a whole to reach the upper echelons.”