MSU Billings honors outstanding staff
Staff recognized at Staff Appreciation Dinner and Awards
University Relations and Communications, 657-2266
MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Montana State University Billings held a Staff Appreciation Dinner and Awards ceremony on May 8 to honor outstanding staff members and recognize them for their contributions to the university.
Staff members were nominated for the Staff Recognition Awards, which included areas such as Excellence for Support Staff, Excellence for Administrative/Professional Staff, and Excellence for Community Service. Staff members at MSUB also were recognized for years of service to the university, as well as retirements, and upcoming retirements.
The following were nominated for their contributions across the university: Mehmet “Mo” Casey, international admission and advising specialist; Janet Drinkwalter, program assistant for Nursing, Health, Public Safety, and General Education at City College; Jackie Ellsbury, payroll manager at Financial Services; Kelsi Gambill, communications specialist for University Relations and Communications; Patricia Hoagland, administrative associate for University Police; Jared Kerr, network/computer systems administrator with Information Technology; Kim Kost, academic coordinator for TRiO and Student Support Services; Henry LaFever, chemistry tutor at the Academic Support Center; Rita Rabe Meduna, administrative associate for the Chancellor’s Office and Academic Senate; Karen Mikelson, administrative associate at the College of Allied Health Professions; Janna Myers, web communications developer at University Relations and Communications; Shelly Ovalle, administrative associate for Extended Campus; Tawni Palin, administrative associate for the Music Department; JoAnn Rhodes, accounting associate for Business Services; Sheryl Shockley, administrative associate for the Department of English, Philosophy, and Modern Languages; Roberta Stewart, administrative associate at the College of Business; and Rhianna Tretin, internship coordinator.
Mo Casey, Jackie Ellsbury, Jared Kerr and JoAnn Rhodes were recognized with the Support Staff Excellence Awards at the event. Kimberly Kost was presented with the Administrative/Professional Staff Excellence Award while Kelsi Gambill received the Community Service Staff Excellence Award.
Mo Casey was nominated by the Office of Admissions & Records/Registrar for his commitment to students and his understanding of the life of an international student. His nominator notes that “Mo moves mountains for his students and they actively seek him out above others because of his heart, empathy, and experience. When the work day comes to a close, you will find Mo still meeting with students without an ounce of impatience. He takes his time to graciously see their needs are met.”
Heather Hanna, director of Financial Services, nominated Ellsbury for the Staff Recognition Awards because of her work ethic. Hanna notes that Ellsbury “is well respected across campus and has earned a reputation of being competent, fair-minded, and in general a good person to be around. She has defused several difficult payroll situations through her professional and patient demeanor, and of course, a smile.”
Kerr, nominated by Brett Weisz, associate chief information officer, was recognized for his dedication to the university’s IT department. Weisz notes that Kerr “over the years has greatly expanded upon his knowledge which has directly helped to serve our university’s IT needs. He’s often the first one on campus in case of an emergency and makes himself available nights and weekends to make sure projects are completed without impacting our users.”
Rhodes was nominated for her attitude by Barb Shafer, director of Business Services, who says “JoAnn is hardworking, detail oriented, enthusiastic, and a team player always willing to learn and take on more as needed. She provides excellent customer service and public relations to students, departments, and vendors. Her great attitude always serves MSUB as a bright light.”
Laura Gittings-Carlson, director of Student Support Services/TRIO, nominated Kost for her dedication to TRIO and Student Support Services. Gittings-Carlson notes that Kost “is an excellent tutor; she is patient, highly intelligent, a life-long learner, and tailors her tutoring style to each student who walks through her door. She is one of the most requested tutors in both math and writing. I can always count on Kim. She is dedicated to her job, her co-workers, and to the students in this program.”
Gambill, nominated by Shannon Wilcox, Director of University Relations and Communications, was honored for her involvement in the community. Wilcox praised Gambill for “continually looking for ways to engage with different groups on campus as well as in our community and region. Kelsi is a great example of how MSU Billings can be engaged in the community and represents us well. I look forward to Kelsi’s contributions to the MSU Billings campus and the community for many years to come.”
Staff members were also recognized for their 5-, 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-year contributions to the university. For 5 years of service, Nicholas Barfield, April Buscher, Ken Chouinard, Paul Cook, Tiffany Ann Costa, Jackie Ellsbury, Dr. Paul Foster, Laura Gittings-Carlson, Derrick MacAskill, Karen Mikelson, Kevin Nemeth, Mickey Potts, JoAnn Rhodes, Jody Stahl, Brett Weisz, Traci Wolff, Makiko Yamashita-Hunt and Rene Rosell Yarbrough were recognized. Cindy Bell, Patrick Cassidy, Brandon Gatlin, Dean Hanson, Connie Nelson, Carla Tilton and Jessica Torgerson-Lundin were recognized for 10 years of service; Jessica Baker, Adam Davis, Terri Kelly, Janice Ouldhouse, Kristin Peterman and Janet Simon were recognized for 15 years of service. Annette Barber, Dr. Michael Barber, Kelli Grantham, Mike Morgan, Debra Miller, and Michelle Watson were recognized for their contributions as staff for two decades. Troy Moore and Brenda Brakke were recognized for 25 and 30 years of service, respectfully.
Retirees that were honored at the event were LeAnn Anderson, Ronna Bell, Kathleen Burke, David Coppock, Barbara House, Terrie Iverson, Deborah Peters, Robert Petersohn, Susan Rhodes, Marsha Sampson, Marj Smith, Jack Underwood, and Shelley Zimmerman. Upcoming retirees Lee Geraud, Joy Ott, and Valerie Sperry were also honored at the event.