Supplier Diversity Program Manager Receives President's Excellence Award

There were eight Kent State University employees who received an early holiday present last month as recipients of the fourth President’s Excellence Award. Kent State President Lester A. Lefton dropped in on the workplaces of each of the recipients to notify them of their honor and present them with a check for $1,000.

The President’s Excellence Award recognizes full-time, classified and unclassified employees who demonstrated exceptional performance in advancing the university’s strategic goals during the previous fiscal year. There were 197 nominations received, representing 137 staff throughout the university’s multicampus system.

The criteria included actions, initiatives or projects related to student success, diversity and inclusion, effectiveness and efficiency, excellence in customer service, collaboration and serving as an ambassador for the university.  

Veronica Cook-Euell

Supplier Diversity Program Manager
Division of Business and Finance
Nominated for: Diversity and Inclusion; Serving as an Ambassador for the University 

Cook-Euell received two nominations, from a colleague and from her associate vice president. She was recognized for her passion about supplier diversity and the many accomplishments she has made in this area in a short amount of time. In particular, she was nominated for the Business Matchmaker workshop she organized at Kent State, which connected entrepreneurs with architects, project managers and procurement staff.  

Cook-Euell was also recognized for her role in co-chairing the annual Spirit of Women in Business Conference last March at Kent State. The daylong program had a sold-out crowd of 360 women from across Northeast Ohio and beyond; and she worked on this project while continuing to successfully perform her job responsibilities.  

Marcy Curtiss

Graduate Secretary Computer Science
College of Arts and Sciences
Nominated For: Effectiveness and Efficiency; Excellence in Customer Service; Student Success  

Curtiss received seven nominations from co-workers, computer science faculty and her supervisor. Several nominators recognized her for taking on additional duties when a position was eliminated, as well as helping two department chairs transition into their roles. It was also noted that Curtiss is the “mother hen for graduate students,” many of whom are international students. “She makes each student feel welcome and lets them know they have a home away from home if they need it.” She was also described as a role model in professionalism and efficiency who comes to work every day with a smile on her face and a positive attitude.  

Thomas Farmer

Maintenance Repair Worker, Kent Student Center
Division of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
Nominated For: Serving as an Ambassador for the University  

Nominated by a student employee who is a co-worker, the nomination stated that while Farmer achieves any task handed to him, his true strength is the way he represents the university to the students. The nominator stated that Farmer has personally made the experience of many student workers much more enjoyable and welcoming due to his great professionalism, warm personality and cooperative work skills. He was also recognized for always selflessly volunteering his time and energy to go above and beyond to help his fellow workers, even when it is not required. Farmer was also described as the perfect example of the desired abilities and characteristics that a Kent State employee should strive to have.  

Dan Karp

Executive Director, Creative Services
University Communications and Marketing
Division of University Relations
Nominated For: Effectiveness and Efficiency  

Karp was nominated by two co-workers, who noted that since he joined University Communications and Marketing two years ago he has been “an engine of positive effort … making what is not good better and what is already good excellent.” The nominators said Karp has vision and demonstrates “big picture thinking” while keeping an eye on the details, and is a very effective teacher and mentor to the junior staff members and student employees at University Communications and Marketing. Examples of his vision during the past year include work on the annual Kent State Day at the Statehouse, the online app for the Kent State Magazine and integration marketing materials for the new College of Podiatric Medicine.  

Marlo Kibler

Coordinator, University Benefits
Division of Human Resources
Nominated for: Collaboration and Excellence in Customer Service  

Kibler received three nominations, all citing the exceptional quality of service that she provides. One nominator noted the assistance provided when the employee’s husband had a serious health condition; saying “she made me feel that KSU was going to take good care of me and my family.” Another nominator noted that Kibler spreads a positive impression in her daily interactions and it is her kindness that sets her apart from others. She was also nominated for going above and beyond in her service to faculty and staff at the College of Podiatric Medicine during the transition last year. The nominator stated that while some may say she was “just doing her job,” Kibler cares and it shows.

Bryan Molnar

Electronic Technician Supervisor
Division of Information Services
Nominated For: Effectiveness and Efficiency  

An associate professor nominated Molnar for his outstanding support of instructors in the classroom, working tirelessly on a multitude of projects to be sure that the technology in the classrooms supports the instructors' needs and the students' learning experience. The nominator said Molnar is “truly one of the good guys," who can be counted on to promptly respond to issues and problems that get in the way of effective use of technology in the classroom. Specifically, he cited the support he provided to be sure that the remodeled large lecture halls in Bowman were operational for the first day of class. If the technology in the room had not been working, it would have affected not only the more than 200 in-class students, but also more than 300 online students. The nominator added, “his knowledge, dedication and positive attitude in the face of many obstacles deserve recognition.”  

Anissa Strickland

Associate Director, Student Financial Aid
Division of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
Nominated For: Collaboration 

Strickland is responsible for compliance, scholarships and grants in the department and was nominated for being “instrumental in collaborating with the College of Podiatric Medicine to implement all financial aid systems with the new college.” This required extensive overtime to accomplish the awarding of scholarships and federal loans for the College of Podiatric Medicine students, and she was also cited for working one-on-one with the financial aid personnel at the College of Podiatric Medicine to train them on Banner. The nominator also cited Strickland’s collaboration within the Financial Aid Office, working with her staff to improve processes over the past year and managing internal and external audit and researching fraud allegations. The latter required collaboration with multiple departments, and she was recognized for organizing and facilitating the necessary response in a professional manner.  

Cheryl Tennant

Academic Program Specialist
School of Library and Information Science College of Communication and Information
Nominated For: Collaboration; Effectiveness and Efficiency; Excellence in Customer Service  

Tennant received five nominations from faculty members in the School of Library and Information Science at the Kent Campus and at the Columbus location. The nominators described her as “the wonderful glue that brings faculty and students together,” and the “go to” person and primary communicator for faculty and students who are part of the Columbus program. She was also called a “walking definition of efficiency and effectiveness” that accomplishes all she does with professionalism and respect, and a “solid, central pillar in our school.” Nominators also noted that Tennant serves on numerous committees, including the School of Library and Information Science Accreditation and Steering committee, the Library Disaster Response Team and the Student Recruitment Committee.

Originally published in eInside, Jan. 14, 2013

POSTED: Monday, January 28, 2013 - 11:52am
UPDATED: Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 2:11pm
Carla Wykoff