Shocker Pride Celebration 2013

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2013 Shocker Pride Celebration Honorees

JPEG ImageMilissa Hawkins, senior administrative assistant,
School of Music, College of Fine Arts, 

President's Distinguished Service Award

For eight years, Milissa Hawkins served Wichita State University as an assistant to the chair of the School of Music. Hawkins has also aided in overseeing and facilitating the recent remodeling of Duerksen Fine Arts Center in addition to her normal duties.

"Milissa has been vital during the past three years to facilitate the transitions necessary during the remodeling of Duerksen Fine Art Center," said Tom Wine, chair of music education at the School of Music.

When remodeling began, Hawkins quickly assumed the responsibility of finding sufficient space for all the students and faculty in the School of Music. Such relocations involved finding spaces for practice, offices, rehearsals and classrooms for over 50 faculty and staff.

"It would not be unusual to find her leaving long after 5 p.m.,” said Dorothy Crum, director of voice and choral studies.  “During the last three years in particular, she has gone above and beyond in her duties.”

In addition to helping coordinate the remodeling, Hawkins has had the responsibility of creating concert programs for the School of Music, such as the 50th Annual Candlelight Christmas Concert.

Hawkins is held to high esteem by her colleagues for her commitment to Wichita State University.  Russell Widener, associate professor at the School of Music believes that Hawkins deserves "much more than an award for the past three years."


JPEG ImageBeth Reid, senior administrative assistant, College of Engineering,
President's Distinguished Service Award

Beth Reid has been a dedicated Wichita State University employee for 17 years. She is described by her co-workers as a warm, caring and hard-working person.

Executive assistant Shanda Burch said that Reid "loves her job and is passionate about her work."

As senior administrative assistant, Reid oversees a wide range of department jobs, one of which is entering payroll information for nearly 300 students, faculty and staff.

Reid has recently taken on extra work due to some restructuring in the College of Engineering.

Despite her long list of responsibilities in the office, Reid always does her job wearing a smile. "She always lifts the spirits of those around her when she is at her work station," said Walter Julian Horn, professor at the department of aerospace engineering.

Reid also participates in the Council of University Women's Scholarship fundraising committee nearly every year.

"Beth plays a critical role in the department and college," said Scott Miller,
chair of the department of aerospace engineering. "She clearly distinguishes herself as an outstanding university employee."


JPEG ImageJennifer Roberts, administrative specialist, Office of Disability Services, President's Distinguished Service Award

Jennifer Roberts has been serving Wichita State University in various departments for almost 12 years. Her last two have been at the Office of Disability Services as an administrative specialist.

To her co-workers, Roberts truly is a specialist. They praise her positive attitude when the office turns hectic, as well as her dedication and compassion to the students that the office serves.

As administrative specialist, Roberts is responsible coordinating student transportation and scheduling testing assistance. Simple as it seems, this often causes Roberts' phone to ring constantly with students requesting rides from one class to the other.

Roberts also coordinates test submission with instructors. During midterms and finals, she handles as many as 250 tests at a time.

"Ms. Roberts manages to not only receive those calls, but place calls to our drivers so that everyone gets picked up and delivered in a timely manner," said Kathy Stewart, assistant director of Disability Services. "She has had a great impact on our office, our services, and our students.”


JPEG ImageAimee Geist, curator of education, Ulrich Museum of Art, President's Distinguished Service Award

Aimee Geist has been a committed supporter of the Wichita State University Ulrich Museum of Art for over nine years.

In her role as education curator, Geist oversees almost all of the planning, production, and promotion for museum programs. Geist is described as resourceful, imaginative and hard-working by her colleagues.

Over the last several years, Geist has helped secure more than $50,000 for Ulrich Museum programming.

Nancy Loosle, director of student involvement at the Rhatigan Student Center, said Geist has taken programming at the Ulrich Museum "to a new level."

Geist gives many guided group tours for K-12 students every semester, making a significant impact on the number of visitors to the Ulrich Art Museum each year. Under her direction, attendance at the Ulrich has more than doubled in the past six years. This improvement is largely because of group tours, for which there is no formal program.

"Aimee Geist performs her role so far beyond the requirements of her job description," said Patricia McDonnell, former director of the Ulrich Museum of Art. "She is ready to volunteer for any duty to support a fellow staff member."

In addition to her work within the museum, Geist also serves by finding organizations with whom the Ulrich Art Museum can partner for community and on-campus events.


JPEG ImageClaudia Keller, assistant to the dean for finance, College of Education, President's Distinguished Service Award

Claudia Keller is characterized by her peers as hard-working, dedicated and professional. For 26 years, she has served under several presidents and deans as an excellent representative of Wichita State University and the College of Education.

"Her ability to multitask while sustaining explicit attention to detail is legendary," said Sharon Iorio, dean of the College of Education.

As assistant to the dean for finance, Keller handles many simultaneous duties on a daily basis, including managing the college budget and coordinating activities of staff.

Jane Eshelman, sdministrative specialist for Education Support Services, called Keller a "driving force" in her work with the college, referring to Keller's role in forming a staff association.

"Both Unclassified Professional and Classified support staff meet once a month for lunch and to share information," said Eshelman. "This has been a major factor in maintaining the lines of communication."

Keller has also created programs and protocols for tracking grants in addition to finding ways to efficiently communicate between the three buildings and several departments that form the College of Education.

"She is an invaluable resource and consistently helps the whole department out," said Wayne Jennings, research and budget coordinator for the College of Education. He also describes Keller as a "steadfast rock" for the college.


JPEG ImageSabrina Perez Glatt, director of field practicum,
School of Social Work, Unclassified Professional Senate

Wayne Carlisle Distinguished Service Award

Sabrina Perez Glatt has been at the Wichita State University School of Social Work for 18 years as the point person for students in direct service learning.

Perez Glatt is described by her colleagues as a mentor who provides the highest level of commitment to students and the social work program.

During her exemplary service to the university and the local community, she has trained hundreds of students at the bachelor and master level in the direct practice of social work during their senior years.

In addition to being the main contact for many students, Perez Glatt has represented Wichita State University as a member of several community and state boards including the Community Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Coalition, the Behavioral Sciences and Regulatory Advisory Board and the Kansas Council on Social Work Education.

Natalie Grant, bachelor of social work program director, said Perez Glatt has been "instrumental" in the advancement of the Social Work program at Wichita State University.

"She is the glue our department has had for many, many years,” said Grant. “We worry what we will do when she retires.”

Perez Glatt plans to retire in July after a dedicated career in service of the Wichita community and the students of Wichita State University.


JPEG ImageSteven Skinner, associate dean and professor, electrical engineering and computer science, College of Engineering
President's Distinguished Service Award

Steven Skinner has been serving Wichita State and the community for over 17 years. Steve came to WSU in 1991 after earning his doctorate from the University of Iowa in the same year.

In her nomination, Preethika Kumar, assistant professor at the College of Engineering, emphasized Skinner's admirable character and committed service to the university and the Wichita community.

Skinner has been a Faculty Senate member since 2008 and served as senate president from 2011 to 2012. He has also served on a variety of other committees since 2006 which include the Program Review committee, Academic Operations council, and the Faculty Senate Planning and Budget committee.

As an Academy for Effective Teaching Award winner, Skinner has also volunteered his time in teaching classroom sessions for junior faculty members.

"Despite his busy schedule, I have never seen him refuse anyone who was in need of him, be it students, staff, or faculty members," said Kumar.

Outside of work, Skinner volunteers in at the Lord's Diner and participates in Kansas BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science & Technology), which is an annual engineering technology contest for high school students run by volunteer engineers and school coaches.


JPEG ImageMehmet Bayram Yildirim, associate professor, industrial and manufacturing engineering, College of Engineering,
President's Distinguished Service Award

Bayram Yildirim has served Wichita State University for over 11 years, first as an assistant professor then as director of the Industrial Energy Assessment Center. Yildirim joined Wichita State after earning his doctorate from the University of Florida in 2001.

He has consistently invested in the future of the university by serving on various committees since 2002 and more recently as the graduate coordinator for his department.

Now the vice-chair of the Institutional Review Board, Yildirim approves, monitors and reviews research involving human subjects to protect them from physical or psychological harm.

As an associate professor in the department of industrial and manufacturing engineering, Yildirim has advised several master and doctoral students through completion of their theses and dissertations. Since 2011, Yildirim has also served as graduate coordinator for his department.

“His record is indicative of his vast active, direct and indirect service,” said Mehmet Barut, associate professor at the W. Frank Barton School of Business. “I truly believe he should be recognized at the university level for all of his service.”