Carver, Strickland honored for selfless leadership, service

Classified Staff Council held its annual reception and awards ceremony May 18. Presented were the Outstanding Service Award, Classified Staff Team Award and Classified Staff Scholarships.

Attendees heard from President Mary Ellen Mazey, Chief Human Resources Officer Viva McCarver, and Trustee Betty Montgomery ’70, an attorney and former state senator, Wood County prosecutor and the first woman to serves as Ohio’s attorney general.

“The quality of an institution is the sum of its parts,” she said, and it is important to hire good people and to listen to them and acknowledge their contributions if an institution is to meet its potential.

She characterized BGSU as a deeply Midwestern, caring, warm and open place that launches good citizens, and praised the efforts of all those who make a difference in students’ lives in even the smallest ways that make them feel welcome and help them succeed.

For the first time ever, two employees were recognized with the Outstanding Service Award. Terry Carver, an administrative secretary in the Division of Recreation and Wellness, and Kim Strickland, a senior fiscal coordinator in the College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering, each received a $1,000 check and a plaque bearing her name, to be permanently displayed on the second floor of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

Terry Carver

Some people live their lives in service to others, and Terry Carver is one of them. Whether at work or in the community, she gets no greater pleasure than helping others, boosting them up and making life better.

In recognition of her myriad contributions over her 13-plus years at the University, Classified Staff Council presented Carver an Outstanding Service Award at the annual reception and awards ceremony May 18.  Along with it came a $1,000 check and a plaque bearing her name, to be permanently displayed on the second floor of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

A natural leader, Carver, an administrative secretary in the Division of Recreation and Wellness, has helped organize numerous events and activities over her 13-plus years at the University, including five years helping coordinate commencement in the Office of Student Affairs, from 2003-08. As she described it, coordinating commencement is “like putting on seven wedding receptions a year for 2,000 students and their families.” In that role she implemented many practices that are still being used today. When she later moved over to the Division of Recreation and Wellness, Carver did not abandon the person who followed her in the job, Jen Moore.

“Instead of leaving me to fend for myself, Terry continued to take the lead on the first ceremony and shadowed me on the next two,” said Moore in her nomination letter. “She cared about the event, the students and their parents, but she also cared about me.”

Now, as the primary resource for the Perry Field House student employees, Carver has implemented resources for welcome desk staff members to ensure they are prepared to provide the best service and enhance the overall experience, said nominator Scott Sehman, assistant director for recreation and wellness. She uses her wide knowledge of the University to help identify the resources or people needed for solutions to problems, and is an independent worker who is always willing to take on additional duties to improve operations.

Carver has served on Classified Staff Council for eight years, in several leadership roles but notably as chair, in 2012-13, where she instituted a number of changes to make council more inclusive and effective and BGSU more welcoming to new classified employees.

That year, for the first time in 25 years, all classified staff classification specifications were revamped, and the president appointed Carver to the Classified Staff Compensation Committee. “The project was a huge undertaking in addition to her regular duties, and her contributions were awesome,” wrote nominator Gail Houtz. “The time and effort and thought that Terry put into each and every review was unmatched.”

Although Carver has been among those who have had additional duties assigned to their position as others vacated their jobs and were not replaced, she has continued to maintain the highest level of service to students and others, Houtz added.

Not only does she have great ideas, Moore said, she puts in the time and energy to make them a reality.

In addition to Classified Staff Council, Carver has also served on numerous University-wide committees and as a volunteer for special events. In the community she volunteers for multiple causes, including those who, like her, are coping with the loss of a loved one to cancer.

“She brings her kind, positive and caring attitude to all she does,” Moore said.

Kim Strickland

The College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering has been Kim Strickland’s professional home for more than 31 years. As senior fiscal coordinator, she has worked with every dean and interim, associate and assistant dean in that time, always striving to provide the best possible service to all constituents.

Strickland received a Classified Staff Outstanding Service Award May 18 in honor of her commitment to professional and personal excellence. She also received a $1,000 check and a plaque bearing her name, to be permanently displayed on the second floor of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

In nominating her for the award, Dr. Venu Dasigi, Dean, Interim of the college, wrote that he counts Strickland “among the top 5 percent of the most dedicated, dependable and outstanding employees I have worked with or come across in my entire career.”

Strickland’s philosophy explains her work ethic, which often finds her in the office long after official work hours: “We’re here to serve and serve well,” she said. “We’re here to serve our students, faculty, staff, our university partners, alumni and donors, and that’s what we do. Our office is the place for answers.”

Being approachable and capable is important to Strickland, and she often uses her institutional knowledge to assist others.

For example, when the University was considering privatizing its flight operations, she identified several transitional issues that could be dealt with effectively, Dasigi said. “Her organization, attention to detail and productivity are superlative,” he wrote, “as reflected in her ability to not just routinely meet deadlines on complex budget-related tasks but also in identifying any special situations and opportunities for efficiency that come to light along the way.”

As a member of the Dean’s Leadership Team, Strickland deals with matters of personnel, budget and facilities, and “often brings a strategic perspective to budget management and problem solving,” Dasigi said. But “when her assistance is needed, she rarely considers whether the task in question is part of her job description,” he added.

She also has a special bond with students, and goes out of her way to make sure they get the assistance they need, wrote nominator Todd Waggoner, interim chair of the Department of Engineering Technologies and interim associate dean for undergraduate affairs. She worked directly with graduate students for many years and served on the Graduate College Advisory Board, among the many University-wide committees she has contributed her time and energy to in addition to her college work.

As a colleague, she is caring and motivating, said Lori Schulz, who has worked with Strickland for over 20 years. Strickland encouraged her to pursue her master’s degree and supported her decision to change jobs from senior administrative assistant in the dean’s office to academic adviser. “She is an excellent coworker and a great friend,” Schulz said.

“Throughout her career, she has been one of the quiet people you can count on to keep the college running smoothly,” Waggoner said.

Updated: 08/10/2023 04:54PM