Administrative staff honors two of 'B.G.'s Best'

“Take passion in everything,” Dr. Gene Poor told administrative staff as the keynote speaker for the April 5 reception hosted by Administrative Staff Council (ASC). To achieve fulfillment, set high goals, “conquer ‘normal’ and remove yourself from your comfort zone,” he said.

Echoing BGSU’s “Dream Big” motto, Poor advised striving for excellence and cautioned that “‘good enough’ is the dream killer.” And while pursuing one’s aspirations, it is most important to savor the chase, said Poor, the Ernest and Dorothy Hamilton Endowed Professor of Entrepreneurship.

Two members of the administrative staff who epitomize those qualities of aiming for excellence in all they do were recognized with “B.G. Best” awards at the reception.

Though in very different areas of the University, Kim Fleshman, program coordinator for the Academic Resource Center  , and Dr. Catherine Kocarek, assistant director and clinical director of the Counseling Center, demonstrate the qualities of commitment to the core values of BGSU and to the University that the award celebrates.

Kim Fleshman
Kim Fleshman
Kim Fleshman, right, is congratulated by Laura Emch
after receiving a B.G. Best Award.
Fleshman “gladly helps staff members at workshops, faculty members for class assignment projects and students with special circumstances, far beyond what is requested in her job description,” said nominator Laura Emch, associate director of Student Financial Aid. “For example, Kim volunteers on the first Saturday of each semester to talk to the Adult Learners group.”

In her Academic Resource Center   position, where she provides a “friendly location for students to find computer-related assistance for academic projects,” Emch said, Fleshman continually seeks to enhance the center’s services. She has suggested improvements to the Laptop Loan Program and researched and recommended the appropriate equipment needed to provide a “one-stop shop” for students’ academic multimedia needs.

Fleshman has coordinated all aspects of the annual Tech Fair for five years while promoting BGSU as a regional technology center. Three years ago, she created and organized the Northwest Ohio High School Web Contest for the Tech Fair, which the undergraduate admissions office views as a positive recruitment tool, her nominator wrote.

She is also the co-chair of the Falcon Film Festival, created in 2005. Held at the Cla-Zel Theatre, the festival “premieres” short videos created by freshmen to document their first-semester college experience. The festival had 300 people in attendance this year.

She has been a contributing member of ASC since 2003 and was the group’s secretary last year. She was also on the Awards and Recognitions Committee for two years.

In accepting the award, Fleshman encouraged other administrative staff members to get involved with the council.

Dr. Catherine Kocarek
Dr. Catherine Kocarek
Catherine Kocarek proudly displays "The Bird"
as a B.G. Best Award recipient.
Kocarek is devoted to caring for the mental health and well-being of students and staff. “Over the course of a year, Cathy’s contributions to our center, the Division of Student Affairs and the University community have been truly remarkable,” Dr. Craig Vickio, center director and clinical psychologist, told the audience.

Through both innovative approaches and “countless hours” of her own time, Kocarek has “significantly enhanced our staff’s ability to attend to students’ mental health needs,” he said.

“Outside of the Counseling Center, Cathy made concerted efforts to assist faculty, staff and others in recognizing and responding to the mental health needs of students,” he added. For example, she volunteered to serve on a countywide coalition for suicide prevention and also worked with another center staff member in offering suicide-prevention workshops to BGSU faculty and staff.

She worked with multiple students in counseling while also devoting many hours to supervision, training, consultation and crisis intervention. “Cathy served on numerous University committees and even agreed to chair a new psychiatric services task force,” Vickio said. “Furthermore, she assumed a leadership role in designing and implementing various programs aimed at enhancing our staff’s morale, well-being and safety.

“Incredibly, Cathy managed to assume all these responsibilities during a year when she also gave birth to a new baby son,” Vickio said.

Kocarek is a “truly exceptional colleague and one of BG’s very best,” Vickio said, adding that she demonstrates a solid commitment to the welfare of others, to the ethics of her profession and to the core values of the University.

Kocarek said she was “completely overwhelmed and deeply honored” to receive the award, particularly from those whom she works with and holds in high regard. “I have utter pride and appreciation for the people who have supported me,” she said.

Professional Development Grants awarded
Kocarek was also among 12 employees who received ASC-sponsored grants for professional development activities benefiting the University.

Others who received support grants were: Deborah Boyce, promotions and public relations director, WBGU-PBS; Sheila Brown, associate director of multicultural and academic affairs; Colleen Coughlin, circulation coordinator, University Libraries; Andrea Gutierrez, cooperative education, Career Services; Paul Hoffman, manager of student immigration, International Programs; Laura Schrock, clinical supervisor, communication disorders; Barbara Toth, Writing Center coordinator, Academic Enhancement; Jessica Turos, assistant director, Career Center; Nancy VanderLugt, flight systems manager, technology systems; Susan Vining, clinical audiologist, communication disorders, and Sue Zwayer, writing specialist, Student Support Services.

Passing the gavel
Outgoing ASC Chair Lona Leck introduced Steve Kendall, director of the Academic Resource Center  , as the incoming head of the council. Kendall will take over the reins on June 1.
April 10, 2006