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Employees recognized

Black Hills State University recognized employees at the Annual Employee Award Program held April 27 in the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union.

The recognition tea was in honor of employees nominated by a member of the university community for outstanding service in a particular category. The categories are: economic savings, community service, student service, outstanding university service, university area, and special committee.

Tom Wheaton, enrollment center assistant director, is the winner of the Outstanding University Service Award. This award is conferred on an employee of Black Hills State who displays outstanding dedication and commitment to the responsibilities of their position through service to the public and support of fellow employees. Judith Haislett, vice president for student life, in her nomination of Wheaton wrote, “I support his nomination with my strongest recommendation. I would like to see him rewarded for his dedication to Black Hills State University, his willingness to give of himself, his patience with us in finding him a permanent spot in our organization, and the way he inspires all of us to contribute beyond that which is required.”

The award for Economic Savings was presented to Mike Isaacson, director of residence life. The recipient of this award is a person or may be an office unit that initiated and successfully established new methods, practices, or plans which have saved BHSU money, time, or staff. Isaacson was also nominated by Haislett, for his initiative in the replacement of dormitory furniture. She writes, “Mike has managed to earn the money, get the best bid possible, inspect it with a hypercritical eye, and work with the vendor to be sure installation happens during a time that will be least disruptive to our upcoming summer clients.”

Al Sandau was the recipient of the Special Committee Award. Jane Klug, student union director, in presenting the award said, “Historically the committee has given an award to an individual who has gone above and beyond their job description and call of duty. Al automatically came to mind. We talked about how Al has advised the Props and Liners for 26 years, ... his work with the university programming team, ... Swarm Day Committee, ... elderhostel program, ... he gives it his all.”

Klug said the students she spoke with described Sandau as an “inspirational teacher, a dad, always there, and a great guy.” His willingness to put the student in the limelight while he worked behind the scenes was appreciated by the students.

The Student Service Award is conferred on individuals who best fulfill or promote BHSU's mission as a liberal arts university through their services that assist students through: mentoring, service to student organizations, clarification of BHSU information/policies, and advisement. This year's recipients are Deb Brauneller, academic and career advisor, from the Student Assistance Center and Carol Thomas, assistant admissions officer at the Ellsworth Branch Campus. Haislett writes in her recommendation of Brauneller, “Obviously I am a strong advocate of rewarding Deb and giving her some tangible recognition of the many intangibles she has given our students. I support her recommendation. She meets my highest standards for a student-centered person who goes beyond the call of duty. I am sure she is fully qualified for this award...”

Thomas was nominated for the award by Verla Fish whose nomination stated, “Ms. Thomas has been an employee for BHSU for 25 years and has always promoted the university in a positive manner to all the students with whom she has had contact. She assisted the branch campus director in streamlining the registration process to make sure students were treated courteously and quickly each time they went though the process. She has been a big promoter in the field of technology as it becomes a part of that campus. She has spent extra time assisting students in every phase of the technology and has spent much time learning about each technology as it happens, much of that time outside of working hours.”

Priscilla Romkema, assistant professor of business, received the Community Service award honoring her for service provided to the Spearfish community, the region around Spearfish, the state of South Dakota or the nation. Jane Klug, who nominated Romkema, wrote, “Through Priscilla's leadership and service, BHSU and the Spearfish community are growing economically and culturally. When I have seen Priscilla in her community service areas I am amazed at all she does. She is an extremely giving person who is committed to service and the quality of life in our community. I respect her leadership and dedication.”

Three people were nominated by Carl Bunnell for the University Area Award; Janet Bettelyoun, Pete Frederickson, and Gloria Spitler, all of whom are the custodial staff in the Student Union. The recipient of this award is an area of the university that has displayed outstanding dedication and commitment to the responsibilities of that area. Creativity in the effective use of resources, management of a significant project or projects or assignment within rigid constraints may be considered for this award. Bunnell wrote of Bettelyoun, “Jan provides a great place for people to meet in an appealing area.” Of Frederickson he wrote, “Pete facilitates parties, dances student check-in, and of course attracting new students.” Spitler he describes as “maintaining the Student Union as the best place for organizations to meet, students to relax, staff to work, and communication and studying to occur. Her areas sparkle like a jewel.”

Employees honored at a recent employee recognition reception were: front, left to right, Sheryl Styles, Janet Bettelyoun, Ellen Koan, Carol Thomas, Deb Brauneller, Dr. Priscilla Romkema, Judy Berry; middle row, Gloria Spitler, Pete Fredrickson, Dr. Ed Ericson, Art Jones, Verla Fish, Tom Wheaton, Dr. Howard Perry, Barb Chrisman, Sheila Aaker; back row, Tom Termes, Carolyn Skallerud, Mike Isaacson, Dr. Charles Follette, Dr. Tom Hills, Steve Parker, Dr. Riley Chrisman and Al Sandau.

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