2014 Making a Difference Award Winners Announced

Back row: Jeff Lewin, Linnea McGowan Hobmeier, Lori Weir, Amanda Cadwell, Catherine Burns, Darnishia Slade, and David Caspary Front row: Jackie Ellenich, Christina Sarazin, Andrea Ruotsala, and Mary Muncil
Back row: Jeff Lewin, Linnea McGowan-Hobmeier, Lori Weir, Amanda Cadwell, Catherine Burns, Darnishia Slade, and David Caspary
Front row: Jackie Ellenich, Christina Sarazin, Andrea Ruotsala, and Mary Muncil

At an awards program in the MUB Wednesday January 7, 2015, the following staff members were honored with the Staff Council Making a Difference Awards.

Above and Beyond Award – David Caspary (Chemical Engineering)

One of David’s nomination letters states “David goes above and beyond every day to make sure that the Chemical Engineering students get the best education that is possible and that the department runs to benefit the students.”  His primary role is to manage the world class Process Simulation and Control Center which is in tip top shape due to David’s outstanding stewardship.  He runs Summer Youth Programs in the lab, serves on the Chemical Engineering Departmental Executive Committee, and works with alumni staying personally in contact with them.

Bringing out the Best – There was a tie

Linnea McGowan-Hobmeier (Library)

She brings out the best in her co-workers by encouraging the to be active both on campus and off.  She invites others to join her in fitness classes that she thinks they would like.  She also comes up with fun and entertaining lunchtime groups such as Stitch and Ditch, Games and Grub, and Pie and Fly.

Team of Amanda Cadwell, Christina Sarazin, Catherine Burns, and Lori Weir (University Wide)

This team was nominated for their effort in making the UAW classes a reality.  They worked tirelessly to put together a program to advance the skills of our UAW members.  Through collaboration, hard work, and determination they created a cutting edge program that will be a benchmark for other Universities.  According to President Mroz it has already generated interest with UAW at the state level.

Creative Solutions Award – Jackie Ellenich (Humanities)

Because of Jackie’s vision and search for funding Michigan Tech will host an international professional training in Technical and Scientific French with the support of the French Embassy in Washington and the Chamber of Commerce of Paris.  It’s the first one in the United States!  This is just one of the many creative solutions that Jackie has implemented in her Department.

Outstanding Supervisor Award – Darnishia Slade (International Programs)

“Arms wide open, big warming smile.  Darnishia is crazy smart, bleeds black and gold, and has a key role in preparing students to create the future.”  This quote from her nomination letter sums up what her staff thinks of her.  According to her nomination letter Darnishia is “the type of leader that commands respect, not by fear, but by mutual respect.  She has the inherent ability to bring out the best in everyone she meets.”

Rookie Award – Mary Muncil (Rozsa Center)

To say that Mary took over as Interim Director of the Rozsa Center during a difficult time would be an understatement.  Despite enormous challenges Mary came in and led the Rozsa to a successful season.  As Mary’s nominator put it “Mary has met each challenge with a lot of courage, a little smile and a whole lot of class.”  This would be difficult for a veteran, which makes her rookie performance even more impressive!

Serving Others Award – Jeff Lewin (Biological Sciences)

One of his letters called Jeff “the glue to the department in making sure that research and courses offered go as planned, smoothly and safely.”  Jeff wears many hats in his department.  He is the Chemical Hygiene Officer, departmental safety liaison and equipment coordinator.  This is in addition to managing 2 greenhouses, 7 instructional facilities, and 6 common use equipment facilities.  He also assists with fundraising for the department.  Jeff is always there to assist students, staff, and faculty with all of their needs.

Unsung Hero Award – Andrea Ruotsala (Dining Services)

Andrea works diligently behind the scenes to support the ever changing needs of food production.  She is the powerhouse behind all of the various sandwiches, salads, and other grab-and-go goodies that get distributed all over campus.  Her back of the house support makes the retail success possible , even though she is rarely seen outside of the kitchen.  We even received a letter from a food service customer in support of her nomination who told how she is always friendly and makes a point to remember his preferences.