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Thursday, May 23, 2013 BGSU
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Outstanding Service Award winner Kathleen Newman (center) with Jane Rosser (right) and students from the Office of Service-Learning

Newman is model of outstanding service

Kathleen Newman is the ideal person to be secretary for the Office of Service-Learning (OSL), for she herself is committed to service and the value of civic engagement, according to her supporters. Newman received the Outstanding Service Award from Classified Staff Council at its May 22 reception and awards ceremony.

She was presented a $1,000 cash award, a commemorative plaque and a reserved parking space for a year.

Through her invaluable contributions to the office and its community partners, its student Civic Action Leaders and her colleagues, Newman has also uplifted the University and those it serves, her nominators said.

Calling her "truly the soul of our office," the undergraduate and graduate students wrote, "Kathy serves as a mentor and teacher to us all. Her kind and nurturing attitude has helped us grow personally and professionally. She encourages us to be the best we can be and often serves as a sounding board for our ideas."

Praising her "immeasurable" work ethic, the students said that during busy and stressful times Newman keeps everyone focused and calm while managing multiple tasks at once, completing each one "to a very high standard."

"I have had the privilege of working with her since she joined our office in 2007," wrote OSL director Dr. Jane Rosser. "She has shown great flexibility and endurance as her role has grown and changed as our office has matured and has always given 100 percent of her time and energy to developing her role." Newman is "supremely dependable," Rosser added, and makes sure everything needed is in place - even when she cannot be there herself or when situations change unexpectedly.

Even though many of the office's activities take place at night or on weekends, Newman "is always eager to be part of those events and to bring her skills and talents to those venues," Rosser said. From her accounting skills to her ability to interact effectively with people from within and outside the University, she models for the students engagement and commitment to serving others no matter what role you play.

"Without her stewardship, we would not have been able to develop the MLK Day of Service Challenge from an event including 150 people in 2009 to over 676 people in 2013," wrote Paul Valdez, OSL assistant director for co-curricular programs, citing Newman's strong accounting and budgeting skills.

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Arts and Sciences team
is tops

Celebrating their Classified Staff Team Award are (left to right) Connie Allison, Nancy Martin, Megan Lucy, Toni Jacobs and Mary Hitt. (Not pictured: Chris Bloomfield and Amy Davidson)

Maintaining an office with such varied and complex needs as the College of Arts and Sciences is a challenge, but the team of classified staff who keep things running does it masterfully. The group was recognized with the Team Award by Classified Staff Council at the May 22 ceremony.

Team members Connie Allison, Chris Bloomfield, Amy Davidson, Mary Hitt, Toni Jacobs, Megan Lucy and Nancy Martin will share a $1,500 cash prize.

Nominated by the office's administrative staff, the team was praised for its ability to tend to the needs of both people and processes, and for serving as a vital communication link among numerous constituents.

"The college staff works tirelessly to provide the best educational experiences for students in the College of Arts and Sciences," Dean Simon Morgan-Russell said. "The roles of the classified staff members in the college office are as diverse as the college itself, but the staff work together exceptionally well and truly function as a team."

They must communicate with parents and students on a wide range of subjects. "The classified staff is self-directed and driven in their messaging to students with a tactful tongue and understanding ear," according to the nominators. They regularly go out of their way to find creative solutions to difficult situations and enable students to proceed with their education, wrote Associate Dean Marcus Sherrell.

The information they share with Student Financial Aid, the bursar, Student Orientation and Registration, and the college's academic advisers has enabled the University to improve its recruitment and retention, their nominators agreed.

In addition, the team members' support "can mean the difference between faculty feeling as though the college office is interested in supporting their mission or feeling as though they are left to find complicated answers on their own," they added.

The team's service also extends to those from outside the University, as when a significant donor to the college visited from overseas and received "personal attention and help from a classified staff member."

The team has used new technology to significantly improve operations and save money and time, Sherrell added.

"Overall, the College of Arts and Sciences classified staff keep a large operation running smoothly by providing personal attention to myriad tasks," wrote Associate Dean Julie Barnes. "Whether it is assisting the nearly 5,000 students seeking degrees in the college with issues ranging from degree requirements to personal tragedy or ensuring that over 480 full-time faculty are kept well-informed of contractual status, the classified staff members perform their duties as a team to the benefit of BGSU and its students, faculty and staff."

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May 23, 2013