Classified Staff Team Award

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Team Award winners from the School of Teaching and Learning (left to right) Elizabeth Lundquest, Wendy Walston-Vaughn and Lorie Morelock.

Dedication, positivity, solidarity of two teams acclaimed

Classified staff are well known for their team work. This year, two teams were so outstanding that both were honored with the 2019 Classified Staff Team Award. Classified Staff Council presented the awards at the annual spring reception May 15.

Sharing the honors were teams from the School of Teaching and Learning and BGSU Firelands’ Academic and Career Counseling. The two teams will share a $1,500 award and their names will be displayed on a commemorative plaque in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

On the School of Teaching and Learning team are Elizabeth Lundquest, Lorie Morelock and Wendy Walston-Vaughn. Each an expert in different facets of the school’s operation, they work together to keep things running smoothly. All three can be found at their work hours after quitting time when a scheduling deadline looms.

The team comes together to works seamlessly on the daunting task of scheduling classes, where even a small change in one part of the scheduling puzzle will affect everything else, wrote Dr. Deb Gallagher, middle childhood education coordinator. “They always consult faculty when making scheduling decisions, working to meet faculty and student needs, as well as meeting all the requirements of scheduling. I could not do my job if it wasn’t for this team.”

Perhaps their biggest challenge came when the life science and math education faculty and staff had to move from the Life Sciences Building into the Education Building to make room for the new forensic science lab. This brought the education faculty under one roof but was exceedingly challenging, said nominators Gallagher and Drs. Nancy Fordham and Mark Seals. Lundquest, Morelock and Walston-Vaughn spent hundreds of hours providing physical and logistical help while also providing emotional support to frustrated faculty, students and administrators.

“Lorie, a senior administrative secretary, manages our budget and is a firm ‘rule-follower’ of the highest integrity,” said Fordham. “Friendly and knowledgeable, she handles grants, program budgets, arrangements and reimbursements for faculty and applicant travel … all things money-related.

“Wendy registers 2,000+ students for campus classes, e-campus, and endorsement courses. The detail and patience required are mind-boggling! She patiently answers dozens of questions from current BG students, as well as interested prospects around the state. Her work aids in enrolling and retaining these students.

“Ann is the delightful senior secretary sitting at the front desk, whose light shines on everyone she encounters: students, faculty, and guests. She is a technology wizard who schedules classes, oversees arrangements for faculty/student texts and classrooms, and so much more. Like Lorie and Wendy, her attention to detail saves us time and costly errors.”

With their cheerful attitudes and community spirit, “I would have to write a book to include all of the ways this team makes the workplace a great place to be,” Gallagher said.

On the Firelands campus, the team of Deborah Carden, Melanie Didelot and Sharyl Wahl “have combined to show that hard work, a positive attitude and a passion for BGSU can make a difference,” said nominators PJ Mays, assistant dean; Jennifer Buening, associate director of Academic and Career Counseling; Sophia Jackson, academic counselor; and David Denison, career and academic counselor. In an office that has seen a high level of change along with a number of new initiatives recently, they have made sure the office did not miss a beat, and student persistence rose by 5 percent from last year.

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BGSU Firelands Team Award winners (left to right) Deb Carden, Melanie Didelot and Sharyl Wahl

“Without their efforts, we would not have made the great strides in office culture transformation, student persistence/retention, business process improvement, customer service and implementing
other strategic initiatives/programming that have had a significant, positive impact on the student experience at Firelands,” Denison wrote. “The classified staff team has become a tremendous web of support for our students. They juggle countless administrative tasks while still making time for student emails, calls and walk-in appointments on every occasion — never turning a student away, always welcoming them with a smile and positive attitude.”

Carden, senior secretary in Student Services, is known as the go-to person for student questions. Always calm and poised, she takes the fast-paced environment in stride while managing multiple tasks at once, including keeping the advisers’ calendars in order. She also oversees the campus orientation operation. “This is a detailed task with many moving pieces and Debbie does a great job of keeping it organized to make sure students have the best experience when they step foot on campus,” Buening and Mays wrote.

Didelot, student services counselor, provides support to the registration and advising systems and all student schedules. She is detail-oriented and understands University policy, making her a great resource, Jackson said. Routinely working within a very short time frame, she is meticulously thorough about checking the accuracy of details. “The thing I admire most about Melanie is that she will never present an issue without already having thought of a solution,” Buening said.

“As administrative assistant, Sharyl Wahl is the glue that holds our office together,” Buening and Mays wrote. She has a deep understanding of the background behind policies and procedures and handles detailed matters such as graduation, course changes and audits. She created office procedure manuals to help ensure tasks are performed accurately and consistently. “She works well with all departments and serves on the Firelands Budget Committee,” Jackson said.

 “We believe that because the three of them are so unified as a team and committed to the greater good of the college, it has created a ripple effect for the rest of the Firelands community,” their nominators wrote. “The three bring such positivity to their work, it’s contagious and has created a better atmosphere for all.”