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University Theatre staff member named Employee of the Month

Thursday, June 06, 2013

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has bestowed Employee of the Month honors for April 2013. They are as follows:

University Unclassified Staff Employee of the Month

David WannerWho: David Wanner

Start date: 1996

Current title: Scene shop manager, University Theatre

What that means: Wanner is in charge of seeing that all scenery for each production in Murphy Hall is built. He also has an unofficial teaching role as he supervises scenic production laboratories and has taught innumerable students the safe use of tools and best scenic production practices. He works with scenic designers, faculty, students and guest artists to bring their visions to the stage.

Notable: Wanner is a craftsman of the highest quality; his skills rival those of the staffs at professional scenic construction houses. Unlike professional theatre, however, where a scene shop fulfills the needs of professional designers, Wanner serves scenic designers with a broad spectrum of experience, from faculty scenic designers and professional guest designers to scenography graduate students and even undergraduates. Often there will be three shows in different stages of completion being built at the same time. Wanner’s ability to organize and prioritize is exceptional, and the sheer amount of scenery produced from his shop is staggering.

University Support Staffer of the Month

Jim HartzellWho: Jim Hartzell

Start date: 1998

Title: Skilled trades manager, KU Housing

What that means: Hartzell provides thorough and prompt responses to high priority and preventative maintenance matters in Housing, and housing administrators depend on him for accurate and timely information on student housing maintenance and safety issues. He also fills a vital role as liaison for FO and Housing personnel.

Notable: Hartzell’s beneficial impact on communication between FO and Housing has resulted in increased service to the residents/students. It has also been a component of the still-in-progress merger of staff and operations of the two units. Typical of his excellent work performance is his contribution on a major facility-related issue in McCollum Hall. Hartzell was able to listen to — and truly hear — the needs of the hall staff and student residents and then clearly communicate those needs to Facility Services and the third-party contractor. He successfully managed the repair process to everyone’s satisfaction. In his newest role Hartzell has “traded his tool belt for an iPad” to take the liaison position and adapted to that change.