Bostelman brings skill, care to daily work

Persistence, kindness, professionalism and skill are but some of the characteristics Marsha Bostelman brings to her job as administrative assistant in the Department of Marketing. Her unflagging commitment to excellence and service was Marsha Bostelmanrecognized with the presentation of the 2017 Classified Staff Outstanding Service Award, given to Bostelman at the annual Classified Staff Council awards and reception on May 17. She 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.

Bostelman’s role in keeping the department running smoothly is appreciated by faculty, administrators and students alike, and they joined to nominate her for the award.

“Marsha’s wealth of information, understanding of institutional policy and legacy knowledge of the University is inimitable,” wrote marketing faculty members Kirk Kern and Drs. Douglas Ewing and Jeffrey Meyer. “Her talents for efficient organization and effective communication with our faculty members and department chair keeps our diverse department operating. In short, she is invaluable.”

“To say that Marsha exhibits exemplary job performance (one of the criteria for the award) is an understatement,” said former faculty member and chair Dr. Susan Kleine. “In fact, in an annual performance review, it is a challenge to identify something Marsha could improve; her work is nothing less than excellent in every way.”

The marketing department is a challenging environment, her nominators agreed. Comprising a variety of disciplines from marketing to entrepreneurship to business communications to BIZX to hospitality management, it serves all business students plus others outside the College of Business Administration. Simply scheduling classes is a complex undertaking, but one Bostelman has the expertise and knowledge to accomplish, Kleine said. She also manages course evaluations for 100 sections, which became even more of a challenge when an electronic system was introduced. For that, Bostelman initiated training from ITS and worked with support staff to implement the new system and decide what needed to be communicated to faculty and students — taking a completely positive attitude toward an “onerous task.”

“She saw it as an opportunity to improve the department and also to learn something and tackle a new challenge,” Kleine said. “Marsha enjoys mastering new things and solving puzzles; she approaches such challenges with intellectual rigor, creativity and a high degree of persistence. These characteristics contribute to her ability to manage and complete the breadth of work assigned as well as taking on additional tasks in an exemplary manner.”

One of those additional tasks is supporting the annual Women in Business Leadership Conference, a relatively new event and a major undertaking that required problem-solving and called upon another of Bostelman’s strengths: her cheerful, patient, helpful and kind personality.

“A service orientation is part and parcel of who Marsha is,” wrote Kleine. “Every encounter in the office, phone call, or email she treated respectfully and professionally and with grace. An interaction with Marsha can brighten a frustrated student or an overwhelmed faculty member’s day.”

From career information to degree requirements to financial aid, Bostelman’s institutional knowledge enables her to offer expert help to the many students served by the department. “When walking into the marketing department’s main office, an unaware student wouldn’t expect that the person sitting at the desk is most likely the only one they’d need to solve their issues,” wrote senior Caleb Kerentsew.

Bostelman is “willing to go above and beyond for any students seeking her help,” he said. “Even when walking into her office with heavy concerns, I’ve always left reassured as much as confident.”

With the department’s more than 300 student majors and 300-plus minors, all of whom can be expected to have a question at some point each semester, days can be long and hectic, especially at the start of the semester, Kleine said, and yet she never heard Bostelman speak sharply to or lose patience with a student, no matter how challenging. “She truly cares for each one of them to have the best experience possible and goes above expectations to assist them.”

Offering more assistance than requested, motivating others by her own example, maintaining good rapport and communication with internal and external constituents and demonstrating great school spirit are all part of Bostelman’s philosophy, as she described it, of being “one big team” and “treating others as I would like to be treated.”

And that is why her faculty nominators expressed the department’s mutual feeling that: “In Marsha, we have a valued colleague who daily makes us grateful for her presence.”