Staff Employee of the Month 2023
A Talent Acquisition partner and a laboratory specialist were named the Employees of the Month at last week’s First Wednesday in Mitchell Hall.
Full-time Staff Employee of the Month Kris Strange started with the College just as the pandemic closed our campuses in March 2020. As a Talent Acquisition partner, he was nominated by Amanda Gradisek, English Department chair. In her nomination form, Gradisek said, “It’s hard to articulate how time-intensive it is to partner on faculty searches when hiring multiple positions.”
“When things become busy, Kris goes the extra mile, often working late and getting it done. Most of his work is time sensitive, so he manages many high-pressure situations all at once.”
A coordinator in Retention Support Services, who started at the College early in the pandemic, has been named the new Staff Employee of the Month.
Andrew Filippi, Retention Support Services coordinator, started at Columbus State in April 2020. At First Wednesday, his supervisor, Allen Parsons, Retention Support Services manager, called Filippi “the man behind the curtain” of the Starfish system. Starfish is a retention software program used by Columbus State.
In his nomination form, Parsons said, “Filippi worked through the weekend ahead of Autumn Semester classes to set up tutoring schedules to ensure all tutoring services would be ready on day one. He worked long hours and partnered closely with staff and administration to clarify and update details to ensure students had assess to Tutoring Services the first day of Autumn Semester.”
Parsons also says Filippi had a great deal of manual data entry within Starfish, and that he accepted last-minute updates and changes with professionalism and courtesy.
Two people nominated Brayden Bousquet as the full-time Staff Employee of the Month. Bousquet is an instructional designer in Orientation and started with the college last year. Shana Sankey, Orientation specialist, nominated Bousquet for performing “double duty” when 60% of their colleagues left in a short time span. Sankey said, “Instead of freaking out because he was fairly new himself, he embraced the challenge in every sense of the word. Conducting MAPS, new student workshops, new student orientation, sitting on the hiring panel for new College Transition Designers and essentially training them during peak (time).”
Bousquet’s training abilities led to his second nomination from Kevin Szukala, a new instructional designer in Orientation. “Brayden was my training during my onboarding,” said Szukala. “He is the reason I am confident in my job.”
Kyle Strohecker, a Conference Center technician with audio and visual skills that are vital for public events on campus, was named the Staff Employee of the Month at last week’s First Wednesday. He came to the college in 2017.
In her nomination form, Laura Wittle, Institutional Effectiveness analyst, said Strohecker was “incredibly” helpful during an event she hosted in Mitchell Hall. “Kyle was very supportive of our presenters throughout the event. He was able to suggest solutions that made the day flow better…and helped us figure out our PowerPoints for the main room.” Strohecker had taken multiple PowerPoints and organized it into one.
An advisor in Advising and Career Services was named the new Staff Employee of the Month at last week’s First Wednesday.
Scott Rombauer, who has been with Columbus State just shy of a quarter century, was nominated by Shelley Casbarro, director of Strategic Initiatives and Assessment.
Casbarro’s nomination form began with this direct statement: Scott has changed the lives of countless students. “There would be days,” Casbarro said, “when Scott would be welcoming students into an advising lobby while providing advising via chat, and assisting colleagues with complicated questions, all at the same time. This is customer service at its best.”
“Once students met Scott and experienced his care and expertise, they would come back again and again and request to work with him,” said Casbarro, who also called him “the Most Valuable Player to all of us in Advising.”
The Part-time Staff Employee of the Month is Peggy Lucas, laboratory specialist in Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE). She has been with Columbus State for almost 12 years and was nominated by Christine Creagh, professor of Human Services. Creagh’s nomination stated, “During the early part of the pandemic, Peggy was creative as she made sure students had all of the materials they needed to be successful. She was in the parking lot doing an open-air exchange of materials as students drove up.”
“(In addition) she moves her schedule around to accommodate the needs of busy students and faculty who ask her to provide lessons in the ECDE Lab.”
The part-time Staff Employee of the Month is Risa Owen, a learning specialist and mathematics tutor for the Delaware Campus and the Regional Learning Centers. She has been with the college since 2014.
Her nomination form stresses Owen’s dedication and spirit in working with faculty, staff, and students. Specifically, with students, the nominators said, “Risa strives to bring out the Columbus State spirit in the students she tutors by believing in them and helping them gain match confidence, which in turn, helps them stay the course. Owen was nominated by Tim Davis, Delaware Student Support and Engagement supervisor, and Kristine Kinzer, Reference & Instruction coordinator.
Sage Bottger, a senior integrated support specialist in Student Central, was named the part-time Staff Employee of the Month. She has been with the college for four years.
Bottger’s nomination form states that she has worked closely with the Continuous Improvement and Learning Manager to help develop multiple training markets, not just for Student Central, but for all employees and students. She was nominated by Misty Mahefkey, Jessica Plannick, and Jessica Tomasek. The nomination says, “Sage uses the experience as a Columbus State graduate to create content with a ‘student-centered’ focus, and she approaches everyone with care, patience, concern, and respect.”
Nominate a Colleague
Staff employees can be nominated for Staff Employee of the Month for making a difference to Columbus State, going above and beyond expectations, excelling as a team player, or striving to bring out the Columbus State “spirit” in others. To nominate a colleague, click on the forms below.
STAFF EMPLOYEE NOMINATION FORM
Staff Employee of the Month Program Guidelines
Previous SEOM Award Winners
2022 Staff Employee of the Month page
2021 Staff Empoyee of the Month page
2020 Staff Empoyee of the Month page
2019 Staff Employee of the Month page
2018 Staff Employee of the Month page