Clyde’s Kudos: March 2020

In the hustle and bustle of the school year, it’s important to take a breath and celebrate our colleagues for their achievements both big and small. This becomes especially important in challenging times such as during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has changed the way we live and work.

Kudos are celebrated each month on Communique. Nominations are also recognized through a variety of forums including the Staff Association website, the Staff Association newsletter, event shout-outs, handwritten cards and other methods of distribution.

Clyde’s Kudos: March 2020

Featured this month:

Residence Life & Housing Team | Alumni & Friends Association | Dining & Hospitality Services Staff | Academic Advising Department | All Essential Staff | Lane Center HealthCircle Primary Care Clinic Team | Claire Ami, Shonda Johnson, Jon Bogh & Andi Diamond | Anthony Cordova, Stephen Cucchiara & Zuleika Johnson | Ann Schwab and Emily Drapeau | UCCS’s Amazing Faculty

Mark Belcher | Claire Ami | Tracy Parks | Jesse Perez | Janet Farley | Season Doebler | Heath Wagner | Liz Bunkers | Diane Dickerson | Heather Gardner | Valerie McClinton | Sean Dean | Rebecca Stephens | Dan Lemack | Robert Block | Aaron Bauer | Chad Garland | Ali Langfels | Candida Bennett | Kristal Fehring | Kayla Gronseth-Boyer | Tam Doane | Greg Williams | Hailey Santonastaso | Stephanie Trujillo | Lisa Darrow | Sabrina Wienholtz | Sarah Stoltz | Kathy Stetler


To: Residence Life & Housing Team
From: Anon.

Moving all of the residents out in less than a week is no easy feat! You all have gone above and beyond the scope of your jobs during this time, and you all deserve high praise!

To: Alumni & Friends Association
From: Anna Squires

I’d like to recognize and celebrate Joanna, Lisa, Liz and Kayla for their phenomenal work this month to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the university made big changes to how it operates, these four extraordinary women dropped everything to staff an emergency call and email center responding to concerned students, parents, community members and more.

They fielded hard questions with grace and compassion. They helped the university to look out for vulnerable populations and did their best to get resources to those who need them most. Even as tempers ran high, they stayed cool as cucumbers and kept their hearts open to our community. I am in awe of them. We are so lucky to have them!

To: Dining & Hospitality Services Staff
From: Benek Altayli

At the Wellness Center, we have been one of the last units to move to a remote work schedule. While we are continuing to serve our students, last week we have been extremely fortunate to have the care and support of Robin and Heath who sent us delicious lunches like clockwork for quite a few days. In addition to the food that fueled our bodies, their thoughtful and sensitive gestures fed and fueled our spirits so we could continue to do our jobs, knowing our community is fully in support of us. Challenge becomes much lighter, and service much more meaningful when a sense of belonging and care is introduced to the picture. THANK YOU DINING AND HOSPITALITY SERVICES!

To: Dining & Hospitality Services Staff
From: Anon.

Although described as “Essential Personnel” during this time of “crisis,” they have gone above and beyond to ensure that remaining students, staff, and faculty are receiving nutritious and delicious meals daily. Their hard work and dedication during this time of need is very much appreciated. Rarely food service workers get recognition for one of the most difficult tasks that we all benefit from. Without them a lot of student would be faced with not being able to obtain proper nutrition due to grocery store shortages. Thank you for all you do and for putting your own health at risk to feed us!!

To: Academic Advising Department
From: Anon.

While we have been working from home, I see everyone coming together. They are finding ways to make some tasks easier and passing on their ideas to make working from home easier for all of us.

To: All Essential Staff
From: Anon.

For keeping our students and campus safe, healthy, and functioning during this incredibly challenging time!

To: The Lane Center HealthCircle Primary Care Clinic Team
From: Karen Talone

Every employee has gone above and beyond during this COVID 19 crisis. We came together to get telehealth running for our patients within hours. We are seeing people and alleviating patient fears with behavioral health therapists and nurses. Our staff has reached out to other organizations to see if they need anything from us. Simply amazing to see such caring people in a time of crisis.

To: Claire Ami, Shonda Johnson, Jon Bogh & Andi Diamond
From: Anon.

These amazing individuals had a lot on their plates in February and March, but still created time to help review over 250 applications for the Chancellor’s Leadership Class. They read and reviewed each of the applicants and provided great feedback to help in our selection. I appreciate their support and time, it was incredibly helpful.

To: Anthony Cordova, Stephen Cucchiara & Zuleika Johnson
From: Sloan Gonzales

Every year we hold an Interview Day to meet with 40 prospective students that are invited to interview for The Chancellor’s Leadership Class. Due to COVID-19, this day was cancelled two days before interview day. We had to reschedule all of our in person interviews to virtual interviews for that Friday. Anthony, Stephen, & Zuleika took the entire morning to help interview these students. I would not have been able to interview all these students by myself. I know each of them had other things on their plate and they still showed up and did an amazing job interviewing these students. I am so grateful for their time and support.

To: Ann Schwab & Emily Drapeau
From: Anon.

Ann and Emily definitely need a shout out! Their job is busy enough with catalog and course scheduling that occur daily, but with all of the changes happening with going remote and making changes to accommodate this in possible future semesters, I am sure these ladies have been swamped. (And I know this based on how many changes they have received from me alone!!)… But yet these ladies are still phenomenal, hard working, and getting stuff done like the lady bosses they are! A lot of their work is behind the scenes, but they deserve so much recognition! THANK YOU for everything you do. We are lucky to have Ann and Emily!!

To: UCCS’s Amazing Faculty
From: Anon.

For moving to a remote teaching and learning platform in such a swift and informative way!


To: Mark Belcher
From: Pam Sawyer

In this time of uncertainty and change, all of the UCCS Communications Team have done a fantastic job of keeping us informed. They created and catalogued resources in several ways, but Mark’s contributions to the website are particularly notable, as this information is continually updated, curated, and available when anyone needs to access it. Thanks for your long hours and great work!

To: Mark Belcher
From: Anon.

Mark has been critical in getting so many digital communication aspects of remote operations up, running, and excelling. He’s a super-talented person, but his commitment to help other departments during this transition has been awe-inspiring, and tremendously appreciated.

To: Mark Belcher
From: Nick Lockwood

KUDOS for your amazing support of orientation videos, calendar, and COVID-19 response. Grateful for all your work, especially during such a busy time!

To: Claire Ami
From: Stephanie Adams

Claire has helped myself and others become more comfortable and effective in our new remote working roles. She has taken the initiative to have multiple morning calls with me to help create daily structure. I know she is also helping her students and Career Center team with structure and adaptability also.

Claire is a pre-planner and had the virtual career counseling structure completely in place before this crisis, so offering it to students was a breeze. Making that transition easier on her time and more accessible for all UCCS students is a win/win. Claire has also invested her time in helping me brainstorm ways I can make a positive impact on my department outcomes and with my student staff in these challenging times. She makes me feel heard and supported as a colleague. Claire is always willing to listen, explain, and support UCCS coworkers and she is an amazing asset to our campus team.

To: Claire Ami
From: Danny Pape

Claire was very instrumental in helping the Career Center go remote very quickly so we can still support our students. Her ability to think ahead was just incredible!

To: Tracy Parks
From: Anon.

Tracy has been on the front lines of the effort to take all of our on-campus classes to remote learning. She has done with with a high level of professionalism, patience, and expertise. Her work has been greatly appreciated by our students, faculty, and staff, and has made this transition as smooth as possible.

To: Jesse Perez
From: Claire Ami

Thank you for being an amazing colleague and friend! Jesse has been a great source of support during this transition time for myself and all of those around him and I wanted to make sure he was recognized.

It’s hard not being around my UCCS work family daily and he went above and beyond to check in on Teams often so as to make the transition to remote work a little easier. He goes above and beyond to listen with compassion and empathy and is a truly inspiring leader on our campus. HUGE shout out! I look forward to continuing to work on projects with him to create meaningful diversity career programming for our students and I just know he will find some way to make sure the spring commencement cheer hall happens in spirit even remotely!

To: Janet Farley
From: Claire Ami

Thank you for all of the morning coffee meetings during the remote work time! Love seeing your smiling face in the mornings, brings some normalcy and a routine that I’m loving. Thanks!

To: Season Doebler
From: Sally Ziegler

Season is our fearless leader at the Family Development Center and has been there for the families, student employees and staff communicating changes and sending messages of encouragement during this challenging time. Season remains the calm and and informative voice that we all need right now. As Early Childhood Educators, we could not make this transition without her! There are not enough words to describe the gratitude I feel for her leadership and guidance.

To: Heath Wagner
From: Jesie Steffes

Heath and his team have provided us food several days over at the Wellness Center. While we’ve worked together to help our students transition off campus, Heath and his team have kept our bellies full! What a thoughtful way to express love and generosity in such a difficult time.

To: Liz Bunkers
From: Anon.

The UCCS Marketing/Communications team was charged with setting up a call center to field calls, emails and voicemails pertaining to the campus’ response to COVID-19. We needed a team of responders and Liz volunteered immediately to help.

Even though Liz is relatively new to the campus, she quickly immersed herself in the commonly asked questions, sought out the appropriate campus resources to inform herself, and without hesitation jumped into responding to people’s emailed questions and concerns. Her work in providing helpful support and information was quick, empathetic and thorough. The professionalism, positive attitude and team spirit she exemplified buoyed the team and set an example for other to follow. Her contributions brought our team to a much higher level. Thanks, Liz!

To: Diane Dickerson
From: Colleen Stiles

Diane went above and beyond to teach the Bachelor of Innovation faculty the donation process for outside gifts. Thanks Diane for your patience and guidance!

To: Heather Gardner
From: Anon.

Heather took on the task of creating and implementing a policy to create uniformity in the student suspension and probation process. She keeps the team informed of upcoming dates and any changes and works closely with the faculty on answering any questions. This is not an easy task, and for this, she deserves major KUDOS!!

To: Valerie McClinton
From: Ellen Burkart

Valerie has been one of the strongest supports of our office and has worked hard to continuously support a relationship between Academic Advising and First Year Experience. From encouraging her team to refer students to us, to collaborating with us to assist with Starfish assigning and helping to train her graduate assistants to help us out, we couldn’t ask for a better FYE/Starfish ally and friend.

To: Sean Dean
From: Anon.

Sean helps me feel included and seen. I consistently am challenged and feel as if I need to continuously ‘come out’, but Sean uses just the right words with care to support me with feeling like I am a real member of the campus community. I feel affirmed and valued. Sean reminds me that we’re here for each other and for our students.

To: Rebecca Stephens
From: Anon.

Thank you to Becca for her HR assistance as always! She stepped in and is keeping things going for faculty hirings this month. We appreciate her and her job knowledge. Kudos to her!

To: Dan Lemack
From: Anon.

Dan has been instrumental in ensuring the transition to remote learning and remote working in our college. He has helped students obtain technology, and assisted staff with VPN access, and accessing files. He has worked with a great amount of patience and expertise and has made this transition as smooth as possible.

To: Dan Lemack
From: Tracy Parks

Dan has been working so hard for the College of Business during this difficult time. He spent many hours making sure everyone had the technology they needed to work remotely. He met people in person to hand out computers to faculty, staff and students. He did this while maintaining a positive attitude and cheerful spirit.

To: Robert Block
From: Anon.

Dr. Block has been a very positive presence in the midst of this transition to remote working. He has made the effort to connect with staff and ensure we are transitioning well. Not only has he reached out to his direct reports, he has also included staff of the College of Business in his weekly check ins. His calming influence has made this transition less stressful.

To: Aaron Bauer
From: Elaine Blacharski

I went on maternity leave in December 2019, and my first week back at work was scheduled to be March 23, right as UCCS was transitioning to fully online/remote status. This was compounded by my family being placed on quarantine by the county (we are healthy and fine!). Aaron graciously packed up my work computer and delivered it to my house. This allowed me to have full access to all of my files, our team’s documents, and of course UCCS databases, so I am fully up and running in a remote status without having been back to campus. I would be very limited in performing my duties if I only had my personal laptop.

To: Chad Garland
From: Anon.

Chad has always been a fair and thoughtful manager, but his leadership has really shone in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. He has managed the cancellation or rescheduling of thousands of events with calm and patience, provides updates without sensationalism, and has offered clear guidance in a confusing time. We are all extremely lucky to have him leading our team.

To: Ali Langfels
From: Emma Lange

Ali has been checking in with me regularly and has virtually helped me by walking me through the system as I got set up remotely. She communicates with our department and is the glue that holds everything together.

To: Candida Bennett
From: Karen Bisset

Thank you for encouraging the team to be the best we can be. You are a savvy problem-solver and always go above and beyond to make sure that we understand ‘why and how’ we do what we do. You challenge us in how we do things and in our knowledge base, and that helps us to grow both professionally and personally. You are the best!

To: Kristal Fehring
From: AASO staff

Kristal has been extremely helpful and supportive to the whole office staff as we switched to remote working. She made sure we all had our computers and any other tools to help us transition. She has been checking in everyday to make sure we all have what we need and to see how she can help. She has also taken the lead on contacting our internal clients and coming up with processes to make sure they are still supported. We really appreciate all your support!

To: Kayla Gronseth-Boyer
From: Liz Bunkers

Since I first started at UCCS Kayla has been really helpful to me and is always willing to answer my questions. Since we have gone to remote working she has been a great friend and a superior example of our values here at UCCS. I am proud to be on the same team as Kayla. She brightens my day! :)

To: Tam Doane
From: Sloan Gonzales

This is my first year in my position and my first year reviewing and selecting students for my scholarship program. Tam has been an amazing resource and support during this learning curve. She was always willing to answer my questions, walk me through the process multiple times, and provide wisdom and history on the scholarship process. She was such a support and made this process so much easier.

To: Greg Williams
From: Kelli Klebe

Greg worked with IT and outside vendors to get remote access to statistics software packages needed by students and faculty. This is very important for everyone to be able to do key aspects of research. Thanks Greg!

To: Hailey Santonastaso
From: Nick Lockwood

KUDOS for your excellent job supporting Orientation Welcome Leaders in remote working locations and online training. I appreciate your care and attentiveness to students. You empathize, advocate, and offer a variety of support that puts their well-being at the forefront of your efforts. Thank you!

To: Stephanie Trujillo
From: Nick Lockwood

KUDOS for your patient and student-centered approach to managing our inbox and online orientation support. Your positive and “can-do” attitude helps us prioritize our action items, while not forgetting to see our initiatives through the lens of future students and families. Thank you!

To: Lisa Darrow
From: Jennifer Wells

She started a private FB group for our students in the T-2 classroom at the Family Development Center and helps all her colleagues as well.

To: Sabrina Wienholtz
From: Travis R. Tafoya

Sabrina has done an incredible job over the past 7 years developing the LIVE leadership program to support the development of student leadership and commitment to the campus community. She has consistently gone above and beyond in the development of meaningful mentorship of students even past their participation in the program and graduation from UCCS.

Recently, she relied on the relationships she built when the program first started and recruited several past LIVE leaders, now UCCS alums, to help read and review scholarship applications of incoming students. Sabrina’s commitment to stay in contact and maintain relationships with past students has led to much success in her role within student success. She has been a tremendous mentor and a shinning light for the university for many years.

To: Sarah Stoltz
From: Valerie McClinton

Sarah is the Front Desk Administrative Assistant in Academic Advising. In addition to providing great service to the students, faculty, staff and guests who come to the 2nd Floor of Main Hall she is an incredible resource to our team of Academic Advisors. We are so thankful for Sarah’s graphic design and technology skills and regularly seek her out for help, creativity and support, especially during this time of working remotely. We appreciate you Sarah!

To: Kathy Stetler
From: Rachel Gibson

Kathy has gone above and beyond her role as an Administrative Assistant for UCCS Disability Services & University Testing Center during the transition to remote work/learning. She is our front-line contact for all communication coming into our department. She is quick to respond to countless emails and graciously returns phone calls from her home phone when Teams isn’t possible for the student or family. She’s made trips to the physical office to return documents to faculty or provide resources to department staff. Kathy volunteered without hesitation to support UCCS Housing when they needed, and was returning emails at 7 am before she left her home to volunteer. Her positive attitude and willingness to take on these unexpected challenges make her a rock star. Thank you Kathy!

Want to celebrate your colleagues? Submit kudos anytime through the Staff Association website. Communique publishes Clyde’s Kudos on the first business day of each month.