Warhawk Spotlight: Faculty, staff, departments recognized for dedication to AUM core values
Several AUM employees and departments recently received awards from AUM Human Resources for exemplifying the university’s core values:
• Students First
• Diversity & Inclusiveness
• Citizenship & Community
• Constant Improvement
• Lifelong Learning
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 nominator 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 —
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?)