Employee of the Month Profiles
Full-Time: Nichole Braun
Nichole Braun, an academic advisor in the Business, Engineering, and Technologies division, works with Columbus State faculty, staff, local high schools and employers to ensure students have the information and skills they need to achieve their goals. She takes relationship building “to a whole new level” according to Marcy Leeds, academic and support officer in Business, Engineering, and Technologies.
“For the past four years, Dr. Braun has worked with a Columbus State team and industry partners such as Honda and Abbot Industries to develop and implement the Modern Manufacturing Work Study program,” she said, adding that Braun also meets with high school students and their parents to educate them about opportunities in the manufacturing industry.
Dick Bickerstaff, recently retired chair of Engineering and Transportation Technologies, also praised Braun for her dedication to the Modern Manufacturing program. “Her passion, innovation, and commitment to this program has been relentless. She has presented on the national and regional state, and is adored by these students,” he said. “She also successfully carries out her day job as the on-site completion advisor for two significant-sized departments with a wide range of degrees and certificates.
Full-Time: Monique Carney
Monique Carney, grant program coordinator in Business, Engineering & Technology, serves as the coordinator for the cybersecurity grant. The cybersecurity program, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, is aimed at creating an integrated academic pathway for this high-demand field. “Monique’s passion for growing the cybersecurity talent pipeline is evident in her commitment to expanding her knowledge of the field,” said Business, Engineering & Technology supervisor Tara Sheffer.
Most recently, Carney helped support the launch of Ohio’s first Cybersecurity Range, a virtual environment used to train cybersecurity students. The day-long event featured a capture the flag cybersecurity competition and was attended by 100 educators, industry partners, Columbus State faculty and staff, and students from area high schools. “Monique led the charge to get all the pieces together on time,” said Larry McWherter, computer science instructor. “Without her leadership and coordination, the event would not have happened.”
Arthur Hayes, a learning support specialist in the math department, creates a supportive atmosphere for students and his fellow tutors alike – and that makes a big difference for students who may be struggling. “He helps to create an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome and valued,” said Ken George, a fellow learning support specialist. “Arthur goes above and beyond his job description to do all he can to help students understand their assignments.”
Hayes was known for being an enthusiastic math instructor at Columbus State before moving into his current role. “Some have compared his style to an energetic preacher,” said Math Department Chair Greg Goodhart. “He now shares that excitement and love of teaching in the Math Tutoring Lab. Beyond his effectiveness as a tutor, his Columbus State spirit shines through in how he treats people.”
Full-Time: Marcia Holleman
Marcia Holleman is a specialist in Student Services at the Delaware Campus, but her accomplishments reach far beyond her job description. Holleman makes an impression from the moment people step onto the Delaware Campus.
“The first time I walked onto the Delaware Campus, Marcia greeted me and made sure I had everything I needed during my time on campus,” said Stacia Edwards, dean of the Delaware Campus. “What I didn’t know at the time is that Marcia greets everyone by name if she can, and makes sure that each person who walks onto the campus knows where they’re going and is being directed to the right place to get services or answers to questions. Marcia’s connection to the students and willingness to support them is one of the reasons the Delaware Campus is such a special place to learn.”
David Bader, an adjunct faculty member in Business Programs, agreed that Holleman understands the needs of students. “She has helped me provide students with a positive learning experience that goes beyond just the instructional material,” he said. Specifically, Holleman helped connect Bader with resources available to students, including presentations from public safety, the Columbus State Peer Mentoring program, and the Pantry Pride Program.
Holleman was also recognized by her colleagues for her leadership and support coordinating the annual food drive for Delaware County People in Need, Employee Appreciation Day at Delaware, and the annual Columbus State Cougar Challenge 5K. “Marcia has such a humble spirit and is a huge team player,” said Nichole Bowman-Glover, Wellness Program coordinator. “Her caring spirit and smile always warm my heart.”
Full-Time: Cecil Williams
Cecil Williams, facilities support worker in Building Services Department, is well-known among staff and students. Why? Because when he sees someone who looks lost, he points them in the right direction. And when something needs to be done, he does it with care and attention. “Cecil is steady, dependable, and takes a lot of pride in his work,” said Building Services Supervisor Christopher Terry.
“The hospitality department often hosts competitions, boot camps, and seminars on Saturdays and Sundays. Cecil always makes sure our department and the College look their best for our outside visitors,” said Jim Taylor, executive director in Health and Human Services. “Many of our students know who Cecil is and admire him for his calm and sincere manner.”
Katrina De Los Santos, specialist in Student Engagement and Leadership, serves as coordinator for the Columbus State Scholar Network, a program that provides mentoring and other support services to Columbus State students who are current or former foster youth. “Katrina has a unique style of completing administrative tasks while focusing on building relationships that matter,” said Senior Director of Student Engagement, Leadership and Inclusion Terrence Brooks. “She is both a mother and big sister figure for those in the Scholar Network.”
De Los Santos is also a former student ambassador coordinator and helped start the Women’s Leadership Summit, which is now in its fourth year. “Katrina serves our students with love, joy and pride. She meets them where they are, but also encourages them to reach their goals,” said Mya Jordan, assistant director of Student Engagement and Leadership. “Katrina is a passionate employee who truly believes in Columbus State.”
Full-Time: Sarah Baker
When Sarah Baker, specialist in the Global Diversity and Inclusion Center, saw an opportunity to build community and provide professional enrichment, she didn’t waste any time. Baker immediately started planning Columbus State’s first Careers in Student Affairs Month. Held last October, the month of events was aimed at bringing students and staff together to talk about passion-filled careers in higher education. Activities included webinars, panel discussions, presentations, and more.
“Planning this event could have taken years to pull off, but Sarah called together
a team and made it happen in just about a month,” said Senior Director of Student
Conduct Terrence Brooks. The event not only engaged students interested in starting
a career in higher education, it also re-energized College employees. “Sarah is always
striving to meet the needs of students and has added a passion for helping people
love where they work,” Brooks said.
Shelley Casbarro is a pool advisor in the Center for Advising, Support, and Exploration (CASE) and COLS instructor. Whether she’s teaching a class, leading an admissions presentation, or working with students one-on-one, Casbarro helps students navigate obstacles with a caring, patient attitude. “Shelley has the right mix of compassion, empathy, and straightforwardness that allows her to impress upon each student their role in their own success,” said her supervisor Dawn Blair, assistant director for CASE. “She loves seeing students get the confidence to achieve goals they thought they couldn’t reach.”
Tari Blaney, director of the Student Advocacy Center, also noted how proactive Casbarro is when advising students. “She doesn’t just answer the question asked, she digs deeper to help students with potential obstacles,” Blaney said. “She works well with all ages and truly loves what she does. I would trust Shelley to help my family, friends, and neighbors.”
Full-Time: Anthony Polito
Anthony Polito, coordinator in Student Conduct, joined the College three years ago. He’s contributed new ideas to the department and has worked directly with faculty and students. But he recently stepped up to help keep the department running smoothly during a transition in Enrollment Management and Student Services.
“Some of the additional roles were assigned to him, but many he took on at his request,” said Terrence Brooks, Senior Director of Student Conduct and Polito’s supervisor. “Anthony never waits for a problem to come to him, he seeks to proactively address issues in an effective and person-centered way.” Brooks added that when interim responsibilities required him to change locations, Polito stepped up to help lead his peers and train new staff. He also took responsibility for leading the College’s Behavioral Intervention Team, a role that requires collaboration with other offices and making decisions under pressure.
“Anthony provided leadership so well people began to get used to the idea of me not being around!” Brooks said. “However, I can’t help but to be proud and take a moment to recognize that Anthony provided the type of leadership that people could get behind as he supported me.”
Ryan Allen, an assistant in the IT Frontliners department, started working at the Delaware Campus in November 2017. He quickly made an impression on his colleagues, including Student Services Specialist Marcia Holleman. “Several times, I have had instructors thank me for sending Ryan to their classroom to assist them with a technical issue,” she said. “He willingly jumps in where there is a need and has a tremendous make-it-happen attitude.”
Allen’s supervisor Rhonda Gurio noted that IT Frontliners also have an important, student-facing role. “When people think of IT, they often think of behind-the-scenes work, but the IT Frontliners are the first people students see in the computer labs.” Gurio also noted that her staff members are frequently called on to help students and staff when they are frustrated and upset. No matter the circumstances, Allen approaches problems with a positive attitude and treats everyone with empathy. “We at the Delaware Campus appreciate the positive attitude Ryan has had even when faced with a challenging situation,” Holleman said.
Full-Time: Kevin Rooney
In addition to serving as the post-award fiscal coordinator for the College’s grants, Rooney coaches others through the process. He’s an effective problem-solver who is always looking for ways to streamline projects. For example, he helped the Columbus State Foundation create a process for scholarship award offerings and reporting. “I can now easily explain to donors how we award their scholarships and this can be efficiently replicated for every offering,” said Julie Barry, major gifts officer for the Foundation. “Kevin then used the amazing spreadsheet he created to streamline the donor scholarship report into a document that has received nothing but compliments from our donors.”
He also took a leadership role in arranging agency and congressional visits in Washington D.C. last fall. “He arranged a full day of visits in October, facilitated the trip, and created a debrief of the experience,” said Shane Kirby, director of the Grants Office. “Previously, this had been done by an external consultant, but Kevin continues to find new ways to expand his role at the College to create efficiencies.”
Rooney had earned the respect of his colleagues thanks to his expertise and positive outlook. “Kevin serves with a sense of pride and purpose,” said Tom Habegger, associate vice president of Academic Affairs. “Each grant recipient is provided with thorough background information, support, and the benefit of his expertise. Columbus State is lucky to have Kevin on the team.”
Full-Time: Dedrick Reid
For more than 28 years, Dedrick Reid has served in Facilities Management at Columbus State. As a support worker he assists with staff moves, event set ups and special requests when someone just “needs a hand.”
Mark Dudgeon’s nomination says, “The work Dedrick does daily to serve students is commendable. When the pressure is on and deadlines are critical, Dedrick has the ability to deliver a product that exceeds expectations while gaining the confidence and trust of everyone around him.”
Recently, when a colleague was on extended leave, Dedrick excelled after he was placed in a temporary assignment to coordinate the group that sets up events and provides office moves.
Kudos also came from Student Engagement and Leadership (SEaL) staff members: “SEaL is truly grateful for the fantastic work Dedrick does on an everyday basis. There are times when our events require a quick turnaround and can be demanding. Dedrick always delivers…”
Congratulation, Dedrick, on being Columbus State’s August Staff Employee of the Month!
Full-Time: Katie Weimerskirch
During First Wednesday held on the Delaware Campus this week, Katie Weimerskirch, advisor, was named as the Staff Employee of the Month for September. She works in the Center for Advising, Support and Exploration (CASE) and New Student Programs. In her nomination, Brittany Barrett, CASE supervisor, says Katie, without much guidance, took on a large project to create and streamline the check-in and referral process at the CASE front desk. “Katie spent hours on and off the clock researching technology and avenues to eliminate the paper check-in process,” says Brittany.
Congratulations, Katie, on being Columbus State’s August Staff Employee of the Month!
Also Wednesday, Rebecca Clarridge, a CASE pool advisor, was named the Part-Time Employee of the Month. Stacey Rogers, Student Support Services (SSS), nominated Rebecca. She says, “In January, a TRiO SSS staff member took medical leave. This left our team short staffed at the start of a semester. Rebecca came in and hit the ground running. As a fully trained advisor she was able to jump ring in and serve students and teach the TRiO SSS team along the way.”
Rebecca, congratulations on being out part-time employee for September.
Full-Time: Teresa Berry
During First Wednesday, Teresa Berry, Office Associate in Design, Construction and Trades, was named Staff Employee of the Month for October. Her customer service skills and enthusiasm for the job were key factors in her nomination.
Professor Dean Bortz said, “Teresa is unlike any office associate I have had the pleasure to work with. Her steadfast pursuit of excellence is exceptional and she takes on crises as an opportunity to solve problems.” Her supervisor, Chairperson Doug House, said, “Teresa, who was hired last year, already knows more about the setup and maintenance of class sections that some office associates who have worked at the college for years.”
Marwan Khasawneh had ties to the College before working in his current position as an advisor in the Center for Advising, Support, and Exploration. He’s a graduate, and he worked at Columbus State as an advisor from 2000-2005. Darla Van Horn, coordinator in Student Advocacy, nominated Khasawneh. “I have overheard him start a conversation (with a student) in English,” she said. “Then if he speaks their native language, he communicates with them in their chosen language. This provides a holistic approach and makes them feel welcome.”
Full-Time: Stacey Peer
During First Wednesday on November 7, Stacey Peer, System Analyst in Enterprise Applications Support, was named the Staff Employee of the Month. In nominating her, Supervisor Annetta Keller said, “When the Functional Analyst in the Cashiers and Student Accounting office resigned leaving a large gap in knowledge, Stacey volunteered to help fill in the holes by assisting with complicated processes, training others, and looking for ways to improve our business processes and increase efficiency.
Supervisor Jamie Allen said, “Stacey’s knowledge, skills, and determination have helped many departments and she is continually thinking of ways to improve the way Columbus State does business.”
Librarian Lindsey Gibson was nominated by her colleague at the Delaware Campus Learning Center, Coordinator Kristine Kinzer. Kinzer said, “Lindsey’s work ethic, creativity, and high professional standards were essential for planning this year’s information literacy program for the Day of College field trip for Delaware area fourth graders.
Only a few weeks into her arrival at the Campus, Lindsey revamped the library’s “finding Bigfoot” information literacy presentation and put her own unique stamp on it as well.”