Warhawk Spotlight: Faculty, Staff, Departments Recognized for Dedication to AUM Core Values

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Warhawk Spotlight: Faculty, staff, departments recognized for dedication to core values in 2016

Several AUM employees and departments recently received awards from AUM Human Resources for exemplifying the university’s core values:

• Students First
• Collaboration
• Diversity & Inclusiveness
• Citizenship & Community
• Constant Improvement
• Lifelong Learning
• Excellence

Presented below are winners of each 2016 Core Value Award from across AUM.

Matt Kemp, at the Learning Center — Students First

According to Kemp’s award nomination, “Rarely does a day pass when I don’t see him conducting an ‘emergency’ session with a student who has come in just before a paper is due and when we have no available appointments. Matt is concerned about the whole person, the whole student. So his desire to discover how we can help students believe in their own ability to write successfully and his desire to help a writing consultant benefit from being a part of an undergraduate research project came together in a way that will help the Learning Center serve all of our students better.”

Andree’ Houston, from AUM Athletics — Collaboration

According to Houston’s nomination, “As the assistant director of athletics for compliance, Andree’ plays a crucial role in our transition to NCAA Division II. The NCAA emphasizes that we demonstrate that our move to their association is an institutional decision. Andree’ serves as a liaison to Advising within Colleges, Admissions and Recruitment, Financial Aid, Registrar’s Office, ITS, Student Involvement and Campus Services. It truly 'takes a village' to get through this process, and she is 100 percent the spearhead behind the collaboration that makes that experience possible.”

Ann Gulley, coordinator of the Instructional Support Lab — Diversity & Inclusiveness

The nomination for Gulley notes her efforts to teach math to Logan Prickett, an AUM student with very low vision and physical disabilities.

“Her goal is to help other students with vision disabilities to succeed in STEM courses. Through The Logan Project research, she, along with a team of AUM students, many technology and computer engineers, and Logan himself, is attempting to produce the technology to deliver Process-driven Math to students everywhere with visual impairment. Ann has made certain that AUM students like Logan and another student with low vision are taking part in the research because she cares about them and puts their success first.”

Anita Griffith, library assistant — Citizenship & Community 

Griffith’s nomination describes the trust she developed with a young autistic man named Jonathan.

“Jonathan comes into the library every week to copy old newspaper articles from the databases and microfilms. Jonathan has been a patron for several years and, initially, due to his autism, he never spoke or responded to us. However, Anita patiently communicated with Jonathan and his father and built trust to the point where Jonathan now calls Anita by name, asks for assistance and shakes her hand. Prior to each of Jonathan’s visits, she assures that all requested microfilms are on site so he is not unduly stressed and calls Jonathan’s father to prepare him if for some reason the requested documents are not available. Jonathan’s father has expressed gratitude to Anita on several occasions for her kindness and patience.”

Lori Nielsen, director of Payment and Procurement Services
Constant Improvement

Nielsen’s nomination notes, “In my time at AUM, I have seen this individual strive for her department to be one that is MUCH more user friendly than in years past. I have spoken with her a number of times with projects that I wanted to do with my class. I could tell Lori did not like that she had to tell me no, but it was unallowable according to policy. What a surprise I had when she called me the next day and had another idea! The idea she had was one that took my project in another direction that not only met my objectives, but involved more students, promoted my department and used very little money as an 'allowable' expense. We need more people like her that are willing to look and explore other options!”

Melinda Kramer, data analyst in the Provost's Office — Constant Improvement

The nomination for Kramer states that she has been “instrumental in the implementation of Compliance Assistant, a NCAA mandated software. The additional hours spent developing reports tailored to NCAA specifications, accepting requests for additional meetings to review and test imports, constantly tweaking reports until all the necessary information was available, and her commitment to navigation through uncharted waters is a testament to her desire to help AUM constantly improve and progress for the betterment of the institution.”

Dr. Steve LoBello, professor in Psychology — Lifelong Learning 

The nomination for LoBello notes, “Steve is a lifelong learner in many ways. For one, even though he has been working at AUM for 27 years, he has never stopped publishing new research. Second, Steve is always learning about new statistical analyses/techniques to stay current within psychological literature.”

When mentioning a new project that requires Structural Equation Modeling, Dr. LoBello “chose to learn it on his own because he wanted to understand it and be able to implement it in the future when necessary. He dives in head first, still eager to know more today than he did yesterday.”

Dr. Benedict Okeke, distinguished research professor and director of the Bioprocessing and Biofuel Research Lab — Excellence 

The nomination for Okeke notes, “Dr. Okeke strongly contributes to fostering an environment of collaboration at AUM through numerous scholarship activities with AUM faculty and students, statewide, nationally and internationally which supports AUM core values. He has written and received numerous research grants, including a million-dollar grant.”

School of Accountancy, in the College of Business — Citizenship & Community 

The School of Accountancy nomination notes that “faculty and staff developed a new, five-course sequence for State of Alabama employees. This program is designed specifically to assist government employees in earning promotions within state government. To date, more than 50 employees have taken courses through this program, and 28 have completed the sequence. Currently, the Accounting Club has more than 100 members, and members participate in four community service projects (Veteran’s House, Save First/Impact Alabama, Operation Christmas Child, and Brantwood Children’s Home.)”

The School of Accountancy is led by Dr. Scott Lane.

Department of Curriculum Instruction and Technology, in the College of Education — Diversity & Inclusiveness 

The CIT Department’s nomination states, ”To this amazing group of faculty, Students First means recognizing the high percentage of non-traditional students, and, therefore, offering evening courses, providing alternative field experiences for those already in the classroom, and allowing multiple opportunities for students to bring their own life experiences into the AUM classroom. Faculty are willing to work with schools close to where students live so that they can complete necessary field experience, minimizing the efforts of travel on their families.”

The CIT Department is led by Dr. Kellie Shumack.

WASC (Warhawk Academic Success Center), in the Office of Enrollment Management — Constant Improvement

The nomination for the WASC states, "The WASC demonstrates a consciousness of all students and the special populations that exist. They strive to meet their needs and are constantly looking to explore how they can improve services, student experiences and student interaction on campus. The WASC initiated a pilot program with a small number of student athletes in our at-risk population to address these needs by providing more proactive and consistent interactions."

The WASC is led by Dr. Virginia Lacy.

AUM Library — Excellence 

The Library's nomination states, “The AUM Library is never afraid to try something new. This past year, they have added many new services and resources for the campus and the surrounding community. Recently, on the second floor, the Library removed some unused materials and shelves to create more space for users, including additional tables, soft seating and more computers. These new areas are always in use, and, because of these changes, more students than ever are frequenting the building. In person, I have watched many of the staff members sit down to help students and community users with projects and research. They are always willing to work with others to help make the campus and our community a better place.”

The Library is led by Dean Phill Johnson.

Learning Center — Students First 

The nomination for the Learning Center notes, “The variety of students Mary, Matt, and Ann interact with is evidence of their friendly, supportive attitude. They make every effort to accommodate and help students. When multiple students come in for the same class, they create small group sessions with one tutor. I have seen them contact departments and professors to find study partners for students. In collaboration with Housing, tutors work evenings twice a week in the residence halls to support on-campus students. A collaboration with Accounting has created weekly small group sessions for select Accounting courses. This collaboration even led to a small group session downtown for state-employed accounting students unable to travel to campus.”

The Learning Center is led by Director Susan Barganier.

(Editor’s note: The Warhawk Spotlight features news about people, projects and programs at AUM that illustrate our Core Values. Need a refresher on our Core Values?)


Warhawk Spotlight: Faculty, staff, departments recognized for dedication to core values in 2015

by Caitlin Forrest | Feb 02, 2016

Several AUM departments recently received awards from AUM Human Resources for exemplifying the university’s core values:
• Students First
• Collaboration
• Diversity & Inclusiveness
• Citizenship & Community
• Constant Improvement
• Lifelong Learning
• Excellence

Presented below are winners of each 2015 Core Value Award from across AUM.

At the Wellness Center, the Department of Kinesiology, led by Dr. George Schaefer, earned a Students First Award.
According to the Kinesiology Department's nomination, the department's faculty members "understand that the students within our college are important people. Without [them] there would be no need for the faculty positions. ... Also, faculty members mentor students by assisting them with research, bringing them to conferences (over 80 publications and presentations with students, [assisting them] with team teaching, and providing them other opportunities, such as designing a Study Abroad opportunity in Trinidad." 

Theatre AUM, part of the College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Communication and Theatre, led by Val Winkelman, earned a Citizenship & Community Engagement Award:
According to Theatre AUM's nomination, "Theatre AUM serves and involves our community in numerous ways, and prepares the AUM students who participate in its activities to be good citizens. ... Theatre AUM also has a student group called TAG, the Theatre Art Guild, which takes performances off campus, out into our community. These students go on the road and perform for free to groups of middle and high schools, to public library audiences, and senior citizens. The Theatre AUM students learn about good citizenship and giving back to your community when completing service learning projects."

Dr. Robert Evans, professor in the College of Arts & Sciences' Department of English and Philosophy, earned a Students First Award.
The nomination for Evans notes that his "efforts to collaborate with students on research and publication projects goes back to the early 90s" and has led to the publication of more than 15 books "that involve contributions by hundreds of AUM students. All these books are in libraries and databases throughout the world, all of them clearly associated (sometimes even on the title pages or in the titles) with AUM, and thus all help to enhance AUM's visibility and promote pride among our students studying at AUM."

Phill Johnson, dean of the Library, earned a Diversity & Inclusiveness Award.
The nomination for Johnson notes that he "is in constant communication with library patrons and seeing to it that their needs are met. ... I have observed Phill building relationships with our visually impaired patrons that others tend to overlook."

Amy Ingram, UNIV program manager in the Warhawk Academic Success Center, led by Associate Provost Lisa Kerr, earned a Lifelong Learning Award.
The nomination for Ingram notes that "there is never a 'this is good enough' moment for her. Se is constantly improving the way we communicate information to students, how they retain and learn information, and so much more."

Dana Bice, Writing Across the Curriculum program manager in the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, led by Dr. Lee Farrow, earned an Excellence Award.
The nomination for Bice notes that "Dana is very creative and a great 'team player.' Dana is the kind of person who is always looking ahead, thinking of the next things she (or a group, or committee) could be doing to make things better, more effective, and more efficient. ... Dana is the kind of employee and coworker that any office would be lucky to have."

At the Administration Building, Dr. Achala Rockwell, Senior Study Abroad program manager in the Department of Global Initiatives, led by Assistant Provost Gokhan Alkanet, earned a Constant Improvement Award.
The nomination for Rockwell notes that "the AUM Study Abroad program is a very important piece of why AUM is considered such a wonderful school" and further that Rockwell "has more than doubled the AUM Study Abroad budget, more than doubled the programs offered through Study Abroad to students, and tripled the amount of students that are currently taking advantage of opportunities to study all over the world."

At the Center for Lifelong Learning, Community Engagement, led by Executive Director Kathy Gunter, earned a Lifelong Learning Award.
Community Engagement's nomination notes that "its summer programs challenge and inspire learning for middle and high school students. In addition, Community Engagement offers an Educational Leaders Conference each summer for River Region principals to enhance and increase their professional development opportunities."

The nomination also applauds Community Engagement's "Osher Lifelong Learning Institute for the retired adult community, the AUM Business Breakfast, which engages the business community to continue learning about topics for their organizations and businesses, and its English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, in which more than 20 countries are represented and where international students come to learn the English language or to become more proficient in the English language." 

At Moore Hall, Tracy Goodwin, senior administrative associate in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, led by Dr. Jean Leuner, earned a Citizenship & Community Engagement Award.
The nomination for Goodwin notes that "Tracy is multi-talented and willing to share her knowledge with student office workers and co-workers. Also, she continues to coordinate Alabama History Day with attention to detail and the ability to work with everyone involved in this complex initiative. She makes sure that her responsibilities do not interfere do not interfere with her new position in the CONHS, yet she takes great pride in what it means to sponsor Alabama History Day. This important outreach activity welcomes students to AUM and not only focuses on history but also encourages the youth of the community to be involved with our university." 

In Clement Hall, Carolyn Rawl, interim CIO of the Department of Information and Technology Services, earned a Collaboration Award.
The nomination for Rawl notes that "Carolyn's heart and soul goes into everything she does and this university would not be what it is today without her initiative. She may not always work directly with students, but she is able to indirectly help through her dedication to FDI (Faculty Development Institute) and CELT (Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching)." 

Rawl's nomination also notes that "Carolyn has stepped in as the interim CIO ... and has become transparent in her new role, helping us to work together better and be more effective as a department." 

(Editor’s note: The Warhawk Spotlight features news about people, projects and programs at AUM that illustrate our Core Values. Need a refresher on our Core Values?)