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Staff receive appreciation awards

Friday, November 20, 2015

More than 40 staff members were recognized for exceptional work at a reception Wednesday hosted by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Honorees were nominated for appreciation awards by their faculty and staff colleagues across the College.

2014 College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Appreciation Awardees:

Andy Anderson, Accounting Specialist, Shared Service Center

Nominated by Marilyn Figuieras; “Andy Anderson is an exceptional colleague, she is known for her professionalism and rapier sense of humor.” 

Heather Anderson, Communications Specialist, School of the Arts

Nominated by Christi Delaroy; “Heather brings positive energy and a smile to every project. She is a true team player, collaborative, creative and inventive.”

Richard Appelhanz, Financial Analyst, College Budget Office    

Nominated by Morgan Swartzlander and Marilyn Figuieras; “Richard’s unfailing knack for always knowing answer makes him an invaluable resource.  He is efficient, ethical, an advocate for students, is mysteriously always available when needed, and just an all-around excellent colleague.”

Aagje Ashe, Graduate Coordinator, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology       

Nominated by Chris Haufler; “Aagje Ashe, the epicenter of the EEB graduate program tornado, voluntarily converted all our departmental files from paper to digital. She is universally admired for her competence, sincerity, and thoughtfulness!”

Trish Baudino Cecil, Administrative Associate, Dance and Religious Studies

Nominated by Michelle Heffner Hayes; “Trish Baudino Cecil efficiently managed two different departments (Dance and Religious Studies) with intelligence and compassion. We are deeply grateful for her amazing support.” 

Christian Beer, Communications Specialist, School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures             

Nominated by Marc L. Greenberg;

“SLLC launched at the start of the year,

Shed was much (metaphorical) blood, sweat, and tear.

The success of the plan,

Owes much to one man,

Our dear colleague Christian Beer.”

Lauren Bias, Administrative Assistant, Psychology

Nominated by Cindy Sexton; “Lauren is able to handle many diverse tasks and she does so with a huge amount of professionalism. We also love working with her because she brings a cheerful sunny attitude to everything she does.”

Kerrie Brecheisen, Administrative Assistant, Mathematics        

Nominated by Lei Song; “Kerrie always puts smile on face, is ready and genuinely willing to help others, even if sometimes the thing is beyond her responsibility.”

Lisa Brown, Administrative Associate, African & African American Studies

Nominated by Clarence Lang; "With minimal support and great expertise, Lisa manages the affairs of faculty, lecturers, language instructors, and center directors."

Rea Ann Brown, Administrative Associate, College Dean's Office           

Nominated by Marsha Haufler; “Rae Ann does excellent work. She also has a great sense of humor and matching interior decoration. It’s great to have a WOO again.”

Karla Conrad, Graduate Secretary, Film & Media Studies            

Nominated by Laura Kirk & Michael Baskett; “Karla Conrad is the backbone of our department. She has insights into how all aspects of KU work, she goes above and beyond in support of faculty, and manages to know all of our students.”

Rhonda Cook, HR Specialist, Shared Service Center        

Nominated by Marilyn Figuieras; “Rhonda is an exceptional staff member, she is always helpful to everyone who asks, and she does her job with poise, grace, knowledge, and confidence.”

Christi Delaroy, Communications Specialist, College Dean's Office

Nominated by Heather Anderson; “Christi is always willing to talk through a problem, brainstorm ideas and is an unending fount of creativity. I admire her work ethic and the inventiveness she brings to our team.”

Emily Dodson, Graduate Affairs Assistant, College Office of Graduate Affairs   

Nominated by Kristine Latta and Morgan Swartzlander; “Emily is focused, efficient, and a diligent advocate for graduate students.  She works at lightning speed, while still maintaining accuracy and demonstrating careful planning and strategy.”

Denise Farmer, Graduation Advisor, CLAS Student Academic Services  

Nominated by Samantha Montague; “Denise has revitalized the Academic Success Seminar course, creating online and hybrid versions, which reach more students. Her long hours, and unrelenting hard work have made this class into what one student described as a ‘true gem’.”

Marilyn Figuieras, HR Specialist, College & Professional Schools SSC

Nominated by Rhonda Cook, Jessica Johnson and Robin Holladay; “Marilyn’s thoughtfulness, kindness, encouragement, funny sayings and baked goodies (not to mention a few embarrassing moments!) have all made the SSC a cheerier place to work. Thank you, Marilyn!!!”

Caitlin Fitzgerald, Student Hourly, School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures

Nominated by Marc L. Greenberg;

"The SLLC launch was celebrated sesquicentennially,

Foreign languages and math were the university’s herald.

Key helpers at the event were two student hourlies,

Benjamin Snook and Caitlin Fitzgerald."

Debbie Garcia, HR Coordinator, Shared Service Center

Nominated by Marilyn Figuieras; “Debbie thinks outside the box and encourages others to do the same, she is hard-working and kind to all who meet her.” 

Suzanne Grachek, Office Manager and Graduate Admissions Officer, Communication Studies 

Nominated by Robin Rowland and Marilyn Figuieras; “Suzanne tirelessly helps graduate students navigate the complexities of graduate education and serving as a GTA.”

Sarah Greenwood, Office Manager, School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures

Nominated by Marc L. Greenberg; "A haiku of nomination for falling orange leaves and Sarah Greenwood

School launch in autumn;

Alumni, students, teachers

Return to campus.



Becky Harris, Administrative Professional, Speech-Language-Hearing  

Nominated by Marilyn Figuieras; “Becky Harris is excels in her position by working closely with students and faculty to help them stay focused in navigating the always changing KU process.”

Kristi Henderson, Director of Communications, College Dean's Office  

Nominated by Heather Anderson; “Kristi is a fab supervisor. She always makes time to think through issues and give guidance. She’s open to ideas and gives me the freedom to work to my own strengths and encourages me when I need it.”

Robin Holladay, HR Specialist, Shared Service Center   

Nominated by Anna Neill and Marilyn Figuieras; “Robin has shared her talents and wisdom through grace and her rapier sense of humor.  She provides tremendous support to departments, especially with navigating some of the more complicated pathways in HR!”

Jen Jedlicka, Administrative Associate, Honors Program             
Nominated by Bryan Young; “Jen is the Honors Program’s central nervous system.  From applications to commencement – she makes everything run smoothly.  She is awesome.  We cannot thank her enough.”

Dorothy Johanning, Administrative Assistant, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology  

Nominated by Katie Sadler; “Dorothy has made an art form of connecting people to the information and services they need. Her knowledge, people skills and dedication not only makes it easier to accomplish our jobs, but make KU a nicer place to work. She is indispensable.”

Beth Kelly, General Manager, Honors Program

Nominated by Anita Herzfeld; “Beth is excellent at her job. She is an unending source of good will, a soothing presence, and offers genuine care and wisdom to everyone.”

Diana Koslowsky, Administrative Officer, School of Public Affairs &Administration

Nominated by Heather Getha-Taylor and Marilyn Figuieras; “Diana does her job with excellence while simultaneously helping others to achieve their goals. Dianna is an extremely valuable colleague and friend. She is part of what makes KU great!”

Jama Licktieg, Accounting Specialist, Shared Service Center      

Nominated by the College's External Relations Team; “Jama is incredibly knowledgeable, endlessly patient, and is always looking for ways to make our lives easier as she helps us navigate all of the accounting documentation requirements. We feel very lucky to have her as part of our team!”

Roxie Lytle, Office Manager, CRMDA

Nominated by Paul Johnson; “Roxie is unfailingly enthusiastic, careful, attentive to detail, ready to take on new challenges, and kind and considerate of the feelings of visitors and others in the office.”

Cortney McKay, Senior Academic Advisor, CLAS Student Academic Services      

Nominated by Denise Farmer; “Cortney is an extremely diligent employee who is committed to accuracy in all aspects of her job.  She has an extensive knowledge of CLAS policies and procedures and is always willing to help out her fellow team members.”

Jill Mignacca, Office Manager, Spanish & Portuguese

Nominated by Jorge Perez; “Jill is like a European high-speed train: she is quick, smooth, and efficient.”

Cathy O'Keefe, Graduate Officer, Psychology   

Nominated by Marilyn Figuieras, Cindy Sexton, and Ruth Ann Atchley; “Cathy is warm-hearted, helpful and patient. She has a great eye for detail and is always calm and thoughtful. Cathy approaches many challenging situations with a wonderful sense of humor.”

Kristin Rennells, Office Manager, Physics & Astronomy

Nominated by Hume Feldman; “Kristin is keeping our students, faculty and staff moving forward smoothly and successfully. Without her we will be floundering.”

Cindy Sexton, Office Manager, Psychology

Nominated by Ruthann Atchley and Marilyn Figuieras; “Cindy makes everything in Psychology run better.  She is a fantastic resource for all faculty, she is knowledgeable and kind, helping with everything from ordering pencils to getting tenure.”

Benjamin Snook, Student Hourly, SLLC 

Nominated by Marc L. Greenberg; "The SLLC launch was celebrated sesquicentennially

Foreign languages and math were the university’s herald.

Key helpers at the event were two student hourlies,

Benjamin Snook and Caitlin Fitzgerald."

Kelly Spavin, Administrative Assistant, Applied Behavioral Sciences     

Nominated by Erin Hershchell; “Not only does Kelly ensure the necessary tasks are completed, she has worked diligently to modify and streamline procedures to be the most efficient as they can.”

Lori Springs, Graduate Secretary, Mathematics

Nominated by Milena Stanislavova and Gloria Prothe; “Lori is tremendous asset to our Graduate Program. She has made valuable contributions streamlining and improving the program through her insights, tireless work, and dedication to the success of the graduate students.”

Sonja Stockwell, HR Specialist, Shared Service Center

Nominated by Marilyn Figuieras; “Always poised and gracious, Sonja is helpful to all she meets.  Her kindness is infectious, and her knowledge is shared.” 

Danika  Swanson, Outreach Coordinator, Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies

Nominated by Randi Hacker; “Danika's sincere dedication to the dissemination of information about Latin American and world cultures along with her positive but absolutely NOT Pollyanna-ish demeanor makes her delightful to collaborate with.”

Cathy Swenson-Tucker, Grant Coordinator, Shared Service Center

Nominated by Paula Li; “Cathy is so helpful, she makes our project successful. Without her, we would not be able to make Project GO run so smoothly. Thank you, Cathy!”

Ellie Szalewski, Accounting Specialist, Shared Service Center   

Nominated by Anna Neill; “Ellie Szalewski is marvelous. She is thorough, very well informed, and always ready to help answer a question—no matter how foolish it might be!”

Michelle Welch, Senior Graduate Academic Advisor, College Office of Graduate Affairs             

Nominated by all of the College programs at the Edwards Campus; “Michelle exhibits the perfect balance of professionalism, energetic engagement, and positive disposition.  She is a creative and conscientious problem solver who is dedicated to students and responsive to their needs.  She is and asset the College and joy to work with!”

Ramia Whitecotton, Office Manager Geology, Geography & Atmospheric Science and Environmental Studies

Nominated by Ally Smith; “Ramia is the most caring, supportive, and efficient person I know. She always goes out of her way to help everyone she encounters.”

Tammie Zordel, Administrative Associate, Clinical Child Psychology     

Nominated by Marilyn Figuieras; “Tammie has bestowed her talents, outstanding work, and good will to those of us who have had the pleasure of working with her.”