Employee Recognition Awards Presented


CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Nov. 30, 2010 — Winners of the first Employee Recognition Awards were announced at Southeast Missouri State University’s Holiday Luncheon Nov. 24.

Winners were selected by the University’s Executive Team based on recommendations from an Employee Recognition Committee that solicited nominations from faculty, staff and students. Nominations also were accepted from members of organizations benefiting from the public service of University staff members.

The Employee Recognition Committee was formed this fall to establish the program and present the awards. Lincoln Scott chairs the committee.

The new Employee Recognition Program highlights this year’s theme at Southeast — the Year of University Teamwork — and is the culmination of a University priority this year to create an employee recognition program to applaud the accomplishments of staff and team members. Awards were presented to staff members in each of the employee categories –Bargaining Unit, Clerical/Technical/Service, and Administrative/Professional. From these three categories, one individual was named Employee of the Year.  A team award also was presented.

All regular full-time and part-time staff members, with the exception of the Executive Team and the Deans, were eligible to receive an award provided they were in good standing in the department and the University, and completed the probationary employment period. Employees may only be honored once every three years.

Employee Recognition Committee members were not eligible to nominate or to be nominated during their term of service to avoid possible conflict of interest.

  Nominations for the team award could be submitted for an individual or a team consisting of two or more eligible employees. Self-nominations were not accepted.

All members of a team were required to meet the nomination eligibility requirements and were to  demonstrate extraordinary service and the University’s values and strategic vision.

To receive an award, an individual or team must have achieved an extraordinary and significant accomplishment demonstrated by ongoing, sustained service or the completion of a special project or activity during the past Fiscal Year – from July 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010.

Employee of the YearLt. Ken Gullett of the Department of Public Safety was named the Southeast Missouri State University Employee of the Year for 2010, and was one of two employees in the Clerical/Technical/Service category who was recognized. 

Gullett was nominated under several of the strategic plan priorities, including Academic and Student Experiences, People, Communication and Infrastructure. 

Gullett works daily with Southeast students, not only through his position with Parking and Special Services, but also in supervising 45 student employees.  He also was recognized for acting as a University ambassador to a prospective student and his family when they visited the campus unexpectedly on a holiday when the campus was closed.

“Ken treats people with the utmost respect and dignity,” according to his letter of nomination. “He exhibits tremendous communication ability in dealing with all components of the University, both internal and external, and goes above the call of duty when dealing with alumni and special guests of the University.

As the Employee of the Year, Gullett received an engraved plaque and was awarded a designated parking space for one year. The parking space will be the closest available space to his work location and will be designated with appropriate signage.

Team AwardThe University Teamwork award was presented to staff in the Office of the Registrar for the successful launch of DegreeWorks, a Web-based tool to help students and advisors monitor progress toward degree completion. Teams, consisting of two or more people, were required to demonstrate extraordinary service, the University’s values and strategic vision. Team projects were to reflect one or more of the University’s priorities: Academics and Student Experience, People, Communication, Funding and Infrastructure.  Members of the team are Sandy Hinkle, Chris Seyer, Julie Grueneberg, Debbie Howey, Rebecca Canoy, Terry Nelson, Ryan Heslinga, Larissa (Wisdom) Bess and Shea Dumey, graduate assistant.

Team members received a team photo, an individual certificate and will receive a luncheon at Wildwood in their honor. The team photograph will be displayed on the Staff Recognition Wall in the University Center.

The team has worked diligently for the past two years supporting University Priority I, Academics and Student Experience, and Priority III, Communication.

As an online advising tool, DegreeWorks enhances the educational experience of students, and the University believes the program will contribute to improved student retention and graduation rates.

The DegreeWorks project was initiated, implemented and marketed by staff in the Office of the Registrar.  Implementation involved converting existing curriculum rules for all areas of study into the new system, using specific software rules and languages. It involved intensive training and time. 

The team’s work was completed on time with little to no interruption in the daily work in their respective offices. While this project took a significant amount of time and dedication on the part of team members, students did not experience a disruption in customer service.  The Registrar’s Office used a team approach, shifting work so all in the Registrar’s Office shared responsibility for the success of this implementation.

Individual Awards

Two employees, Kristin Ham, horticulturalist in Facilities Management, and Violet Lashmet, primary custodian in Crisp Hall, were honored from the Bargaining Unit.

Kristin HamHam is often seen down on her hands and knees dutifully digging in the dirt to either pull out a plant whose color has withered and faded, or she’s planting something that will produce vivid displays of blossoms for special events on campus such as Homecoming, Opening Week and Family Weekend. 

“Sometimes she’s working to create the dome logo at the corner of Normal and Henderson with red and white geraniums, or she’s replacing the last of the impatiens behind Academic Hall with winter poppies,” said Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University. “Where ever she goes on the 328 acres of the main campus, she is creating beauty or assisting with making this an aesthetically pleasing campus which makes our visitors and prospective students feel welcome.”

Dobbins says Ham helps fulfill Priority V:  Infrastructure in the University’s strategic plan.

Ham is a 13-year veteran of Facilities Management who keeps the Southeast campus looking beautiful

Violet LashmetLashmet is a 10-year veteran of the Facilities Management Division and also meets the infrastructure priority of the Southeast strategic plan.  Her primary building of responsibility is Crisp Hall.

According to her nomination, Lashmet “demonstrates a caring attitude in regard to the safety and aesthetics of the building.  She takes care of the building as though it were her personal living space.  Often, there are potential safety hazards of which faculty and staff are unaware.  Violet identifies these situations, alerts the staff and works with the building manager to notify appropriate personnel.  In recognition of her knowledge, she has been included in decisions about floor coverings for classrooms and related remodeling planning.  Violet’s work has definitely contributed to enhancing the academic program.” Clerical/Technical/Service (CTS) Employee Recognition AwardsLt. Ken GullettIn addition to being named Employee of the Year, Gullett also received an individual employee award for the Clerical/Technical/Service  (CTS) staff.

Cheryl ReinagelThe second recipient in the CTS category was Cheryl Reinagel, senior administrative assistant for the School of Polytechnic Studies and the School of Extended Learning.  Her nomination falls under two of the University priorities – Academic and Student Experience, and People.

Reinagel was described  as “the go-to person” for a variety of entities in two different schools and among four remote and regional campuses, the Agriculture Research Center, the Technology Research Center and the Horticulture complex.  This nomination specifically recognizes her efforts in performing not only her regular duties, but also in taking on additional responsibilities in the absence of the administrative assistant in the Department of Industrial and Engineering Technology (IET).  Among those additional responsibilities was assisting with bidding, purchase and delivery of high tech equipment valued at $500,000 for the five WIRED grants.

Professional Staff AwardsThree professional staff members were honored among the Professional Staff this year. They are Carolyn Figliolo, project manager in Facilities Management; Michele Irby, director of Campus Life & Event Services; and James Lebine, multimedia specialist with the video services division of Marketing and University Relations.

Carolyn Figliolo

Figliolo’s nomination said she represents all of the University’s priorities – Academic and Student Experience, People, Communication, Funding and Infrastructure.

Figliolo was the project manager for New Hall. Shortly after construction began, Figliolo was instrumental in identifying a major structural issue.  In addition, she was conscious of project funding and successfully completed the New Hall construction and Towers renovations under budget.  She accomplished this task while understanding the importance of making sure the end result with any construction project meets the needs of the faculty, staff and students.

Michele Irby

Irby works closely with students on a daily basis, providing guidance, mentoring and leadership. 

As the advisor to Student Government, Irby spends every Monday night bringing a wealth of real-world learning opportunities to these student leaders. University priorities that best represent Irby’s area of accomplishment are Academics and Student Experience, and Communication.

Irby’s responsibilities include major campus events including Family Weekend, Homecoming and the Speaker Series. 

“When those activities don’t need her attention, you can find her busy with Greek Life, the Student Activities Council, student organizations or a multitude of student leadership programs,” her nomination indicated.

One of her many late-night events this year included working the first Cape Splash event during opening week when more than 200 students attended.

Irby “always is willing to assist with programs,” her nomination said. No matter which professional staff member is in charge, she is there to assist or guide them.  This is especially important for some of the younger professionals who began their career at Southeast.”

James LebineLebine’s work has a direct impact on the priority areas of Academics and Student Experience, People, Communication and Funding.

His work on the six-month-long shoot for the University recruitment video showcases the University’s most impressive academic highlights while simultaneously answering any prospective students’ question about campus life, said Lebine’s nominator.

Lebine’s video projects this year have ranged from Foundation work to the Alumni Association where he traveled to showcase the winners of the Alumni Merit Award for videos featured at the Copper Dome dinner.  His Year in Review video for Convocation this fall detailed a year’s worth of University successes during a difficult year.

“James’ work is always of the highest caliber of professionalism and quality,” his nomination said. “He is a pleasure to work with and delivers the client’s vision within the timeframe.”

Individual winners received an engraved plaque and a $500 gift certificate for either Chartwells Redbucks or merchandise in Southeast Bookstore, or a combination of both.  In addition, their photographs will be displayed on a Staff Recognition wall to be located in the University Center. 

From left are President Ken Dobbins, Lt. Ken Gullett and Student Regent Brian Kelly


From left are Ryan Heslinga, Terry Nelson, Debbie Howey, Julie Grueneberg, Chris Seyer, Sandy Hinkle and Larissa (Wisdom) Bess.


President Ken Dobbins and Kristin Ham


President Ken Dobbins and Violet Lashmet


President Ken Dobbins and Cheryl Reinagel


President Ken Dobbins and Carolyn Figliolo


President Ken Dobbins and Michele Irby


President Ken Dobbins, left, and James Lebine