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KU announces August employees of the month

Friday, October 30, 2015

Lawrence — The University of Kansas has announced its August 2015 employees of the month. They are as follows:

Jason Dozier

Title: IT engineer, Information Technology

What that means: Dozier is responsible for many enterprise-level applications at KU, such as installing, configuring, maintaining, troubleshooting, monitoring, reporting on and providing technical support on several applications.

Notable:  Dozier regularly gets up at 2 a.m. to perform work on systems at a time that won’t interrupt normal services for the university community. He has been awakened at all hours of the night to fix a problem with a critical system. Dozier and his co-workers are the technical underpinnings for almost every visible system on campus. As can be imagined, tremendous pressure exists when things do not go well. For example if Blackboard goes down, job schedulers in the NOC are not working, Dozier can gracefully handle fraught interactions with a little defusing humor and the technical skills to resolve the problem.

Dozier works with vendors, colleagues, and customers to provide a high level of IT service to the university and beyond and is an astute observer of processes that drive technical decisions.  He stays current and takes on tasks that are outside of his comfort zone, performing thoughtfully a broad array of tasks.  Dozier has served as the technical lead for the application side on the “My Community” project.  There has been a learning curve involved, not only for Dozier as he learns a new application and operating system but also a learning curve for the university as “My Community” is the University’s first MicroSoft “Cloud” service. Dozier has worked through it all with humor and skill.  Dozier is willing to learn something new each day and ensures the finished product is what will work best for the user. 

Corinna Johnson

Title: Administrative assistant, Department of Linguistics

What that means: Johnson is the sole support staff member in the linguistics department, where she wears many hats and is the person everyone goes to first, regardless of the question. Despite Johnson’s many, and varied, job tasks she consistently completes tasks ahead of schedule and takes the initiative to take additional steps to improve the administrative organization of the department. 

Notable: Johnson is always willing to take on large-scale projects in addition to her regular administrative duties. In the last year alone, Johnson provided extensive support on two such projects: an international conference organized by two faculty members and a large-scale recruiting effort, initiated by the director of Graduate Studies.  The 45th Annual Conference on African Linguistics brought hundreds of researchers from around the world to KU in April 2014. A conference of this size presents extreme logistical challenges under any circumstances, but the fact that many of the participants were traveling from Africa made it even more difficult. Johnson assisted international travelers and coordinated travel plans for eight invited speakers.  Johnson was additionally in charge of the entire budget, a complicated task given the number of vendors and venues that provided services during the event.  Johnson also assisted the organizers with the production of all of the materials for the conference.  During the event itself, Johnson was on-site at all times.  She wanted everything to go smoothly so that the department and KU would leave a good impression on all of the attendees. She more than succeeded in that effort.

In fall 2014 the department decided to implement new recruiting measures to try to increase both the quality and quantity of applications. With Johnson’s hard work, the effort was a great success as both the quality and quantity of our applicant pool increased. This effort substantially increased Johnson’s workload because she then had many more applications to process in a short period of time. Despite the increased number of applications, she processed all of the applications in record time. Within 10 days, the admissions committee had 86 complete applications to review.

Johnson serves as an invaluable liaison between faculty and students, both graduate and undergraduate.  Johnson knows when student concerns need to be brought forward and does so in the best interest of the student and the department.  She is also the default “mom” to the graduate students, many of whom are international and need assistance far beyond academic advising. In all of these roles, Johnson is warm, supportive and enthusiastic.