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Northwestern honors employees for years of service to university

Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s employees were honored for their years of service with gifts and photographs.

The annual Employee Service Recognition Ceremonies were canceled due to COVID-19; however, the honored employees gathered for their respective group photos and received their years of service gift.

Dr. Pat Thompson, Wisdom Family Foundation Doctoral Program for Rural Nursing Practice program director and associate professor of nursing, was awarded the John Barton Distinguished Teaching and Service Award. Nominations for the award are made by faculty, staff and students then the recipient is determined by a selection committee. To be selected, the recipient must be a full-time faculty member at Northwestern and exemplify distinguished teaching and administrative leadership.

Myra Davison, administrative assistant in the president’s office, was named the Thelma Crouch Staff Employee of the Year. This award was established to recognize exceptional performance and/or service by a member of the Northwestern staff. The recipient of this award shows dedication to Northwestern and its students. The Student Government Association accepts nominations for this award and then determines the recipient.

Employees who were honored for their years of service are listed by name and job title:

Five-year service recognition: Dawn Allen, assistant professor of English; Dr. Kaylene Armstrong, associate professor of mass communication; Sadie Bier, comptroller; Dr. Mariann Braten-Hall, assistant professor of education; Dr. Josh Hawkins, assistant professor of education; Dr. Christee Jenlink, associate dean of education; Chuck Korff, groundskeeper; Kyle Larson, assistant professor of art; Dr. Karsten Longhurst, assistant professor of music; Bruce Stoll, custodian; Cory Sullivan, assistant football coach and instructor of health and sports science; Evan Vaverka, instructor of computer science; Jean Wahlgren, coordinator of Ketterman lab; Matt Walter, head football coach; Keith Wear, head athletic trainer; and Olivia Yandel, assistant director of J.R. Holder Wellness Center

10-year service recognition: Dr. Mindi Clark, associate professor of agriculture; Roxann Clark, instructor of education; Dr. Leslie Collins, assistant chair to the Charles Morton Share Trust Division of Nursing and associate professor of nursing; Mistie Kline, lecturer of psychology; and Dr. Stephanie Widick, assistant professor of psychology

15-year service recognition: Skeeter Bird, chief executive officer of the Northwestern Foundation and Alumni Association; Jake Boedecker, coordinator of online education; A.J. Johnson, custodian; Dr. Kylene Rehder, chair of department of social work and professor of social work; and Dr. Eric Schmaltz, chair of social sciences department and professor of history

20-year service recognition: Eric Tutwiler, custodian

25-year service recognition: Dr. Sheila Brintnall, professor of mathematics; Dean Kilgore, custodian; and Dr. Venkata Moorthy, professor of biology

30-year service recognition: Angelia Case, academic projects assistant and media specialist; and Dr. Roger Hardaway, professor of history

Kaylyn Hansen, director of assessment and institutional effectiveness and service-learning coordinator, presented service learning awards on behalf of the SL/CE committee. Those being honored include:

Greatest Student Involvement Award: Dr. Seth Cudd, assistant professor of music and director of bands — given to an employee who had the greatest student involvement in a project. The University Band had 60 students who performed at various sporting events, pep rallies, parades and homecoming.

Greatest Community Impact Award: Brooke Fuller, adjunct instructor of psychology; Jordan Franz, associate head men’s basketball coach; Anthony Barros, adjunct instructor of humanities; Hansen; Halah Simon, Alva High School language arts teacher — given to the faculty or staff whose project impacted their community through beautification, culture, sustainability or other area’s that put a community’s need first. Students in the Habitudes courses organized and conducted instructor-approved community service projects with reputable organizations during the semester. The students worked in groups, and they were able to decide which community service project they wanted to conduct.

Distinguished Service Award: Dr. Tracy Beedy, assistant professor of agriculture — given to an employee whose commitment to service sets a high standard in Service Learning while promoting the meaning of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement. The plant science class participated in planting a wheat variety demonstration trial in cooperation with Greg Highfill, the Woods County Agricultural Extension Educator, and the Oklahoma State University Wheat Improvement Team. This project gives farmers in southern Woods County a chance to view and judge the merits of new wheat varieties.

Most Inventive Project: Dr. Robert Vest, assistant professor of Spanish– given to a faculty or staff member who had a unique, creative project. Due to COVID-19, original plans for service trips to a local school had to be canceled. Instead, students produced informational posters relating to Hispanic culture and civilization that were hung around campus in the fall. These posters included information about important people of Hispanic descent, important artists from Hispanic America and Spain, important moments in Hispanic history, and information about misconceptions surrounding Hispanic culture. The information in the posters had to be researched, fact-checked and designed to catch the attention of passersby.

Applaud Award: members of the university’s cross country and track & field teams, and head cross country coach Jill Lancaster — given to a club/organization that shows the greatest overall effort, participation and hard work. The teams joined the Student Athletic Advisory Committee to raise funds throughout the year for Make A Wish Foundation. The athletes volunteered at the concession stand with proceeds going to the foundation.

Most Expressive Award: Matt Walter and members of the Ranger football team — given to a club/organization that had a unique project/event. The football team volunteered to pump gas at Love’s Country Store to help raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network.

perSERVEring Ranger Award: members of the Enid Leadership Council and Tiffany Misak, Enid campus coordinator– given to an organization for its extraordinary service and serving in multiple community service projects throughout the year. The Enid Staff Council volunteered for numerous community service projects including the 2019 Fall Fest, Angel Tree Project, Wooden Children Project, Loaves and Fishes Food Sorting and the United Way Chili Cook-off.

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