Three administrative staff members known for their energy, positive outlook and dedication to their jobs were named this year’s “BG Best” at the Administrative Staff Council spring reception April 9.
Winning were Bryan Cavins (who was unable to attend), Gordy Heminger and Stan Lewis. Each winner receives a ceramic Zuni owl (“the bird”) and $100.
Also at the luncheon, eight administrative staff members received professional development funds.
As associate director of the Outdoor Program, intramurals and sport clubs and youth and family programs in Recreational Sports, Bryan Cavins provides an added, extracurricular dimension to students’ lives. And, because of the nature of his personality, Cavins also brings a joie de vivre that informs everything he does.
Unlike most of us, who vary from day to day depending on workload, mood swings and budget crises, Cavins “comes to work every day with the same smile, commitment and optimism,” wrote nominator Thad Long, who has worked with him for 11 years. “He shares his ample resources gladly and equally with students, colleagues and the community. His primary goal is evident daily: Make life fuller and more enjoyable for everyone he encounters.”
He does that through the seven courses he teaches, through volunteering at graduation ceremonies, performing in the annual multicultural dinner theatre, and serving on many Student Affairs committees and as a board member of the national Association for Outdoor Recreation and Education. He and his staff have provided talks on leadership and team-building exercises to dozens of student organizations and departments.
Always striving for quality, he is passionate about using assessment to help improve Recreational Sports programs and services, Long said. He also possesses high emotional intelligence and is able to help people realize they already possess the skills to turn life’s challenges into success.
Gordy Heminger, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from BGSU, won BG Best honors for his work with current students, and staff, as director of Greek Affairs in the residence life office.
Both of Heminger’s nominators, graduate assistants Jayne Appley and C.J. Mathis, cited his implementation of a Chapter Support Program as evidence of his initiative. “Having 45 fraternity and sorority chapters on campus, it becomes difficult to keep the students engaged and connected with our staff,” Mathis explained. “Realizing this issue, Gordy, with the help of other staff members, developed this program to provide each chapter with a staff liaison.”
Each chapter’s leadership and advisors meet with their liaison at least twice a semester. The communication allows the Greek Affairs office to stay current with Greek community issues and triumphs, and students to receive more immediate support and resources, Mathis wrote.
“I believe this has created a more trusting community—one where students and staff work together toward common goals, and where communication is honest and open,” added Appley.
She also noted that Heminger’s leadership and vision has transformed the Greek Affairs staff into “a cohesive, trusting, collaborative team” since he joined it for the second time last July. He has provided “superior supervision,” agreed Mathis, also citing Heminger’s “excellent customer service” to students, their families, chapter advisors, alumni and fraternity and sorority headquarters.
“Gordy is BG’s Best because he never settles for mediocrity,” Mathis summarized, saying “his ability to employ fresh and innovative ideas that help our office better serve our students and the BGSU community is astounding.”
Since 1993, Stan Lewis has been director of adult learner services and evening credit programs. “This hasn’t been an easy task as in the past, the University has been mostly a residential institution with a traditional student population,” wrote nominator Sherri Orwick Ogden, online programs recruiter and representative. But over time Lewis has developed the programs to the benefit of many nontraditional students.
“Stan is always involved—accepting numerous invitations to serve on committees and make positive contributions to BGSU’s nontraditional student population. His vast knowledge allows him to provide valuable information and feedback and help improve BGSU’s nontraditional offerings and services.” Recently he implemented the “Finish What You Started” program to help former students return and complete their degrees.
He maintains a high level of customer service, Ogden said, noting that she and Lewis often speak to the same students. “I have never once heard a student say ‘Stan didn’t call me back,’ or ‘Stan didn’t help me,’” she wrote.
As a colleague, he is equally valued as a source of information and guidance, Ogden said. “He always shows patience, consideration and kindness. He always has time to help me better serve students. . . . I found a great colleague and friend.”
Professional development awards
Receiving funding for professional development activities were Jim Barnes, communication studies; Christine Celestino-Boes, advising and academic success; Garrett Gilmer, Counseling Center; Dave Hollinger, Recreational Sports; Jeanne Langendorfer, University Libraries; Lee Floro Thompson, Large Format Printing Lab; Susan Vining, communication disorders, and Matt Webb, College of Health and Human Services.