Clyde’s Kudos: May 2023

Clyde’s Kudos are a Staff Association initiative 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: May 2023


Commencement Volunteers | Danielle Wright & Event Services Team | Janet Van Kampen, College of Public Service | Jeff Foster & Gabby Hensley | Polly Knutson and Mikayla Greenfield | Robynne Dahl, Shelly Raney, Shannon Cable and Jennifer Biga | Sarah Hutton, HR and Finance Professional, Department of Languages and Cultures | The Registrar’s Office | Whitley Hadley, Karlye Engler, Rafael Norwood, and Alè Ruiz


Chancellor Venkat Reddy | Ashley McKinney | Brandon Poulliot | Danielle Wright | Eden Klinedinst | Erin Klein | Lindsay Knell | Olivia McDonald | Paul Anderson | Rafael Norwood | Sarah Long (X2)


To: Commencement Volunteers
From: Danielle Wright

I wanted to once again say thank you from the bottom of my heart for making Commencement so successful last week. With your help, we had a historical year in many ways!

May 2023 history included Color Guard joining the ceremonies, VC of DEI read UCCS land acknowledgement, and of course the record number of graduates. This was all possible because of your collaboration and effort.
Ready to do it all over again?
One more time…. Thank You.

To: Danielle Wright & Event Services Team
From: Robyn Firth

Spring 2023 Commencement was a huge success thanks to their dedicated effort throughout the year. Thanks for all you do for our students and graduates!

To: Janet Van Kampen, College of Public Service
From: Anon.

Janet was instrumental in conducting the McConkie Leadership Conference. That event has become the premier leader development event for the public sector in the Pikes Peak Region. She attracted over 250 registrants, a record for this event. 

To: Jeff Foster & Gabby Hensley
From: Nick Lockwood

Thank you both for your incredible work and assistance with the Orientation Guide and Calendar. Not only is it a joy to work with you both, you are incredibly talented, detailed, patient, and caring. Thank you for all that you do!

To: Polly Knutson and Mikayla Greenfield
From: Anon.

These ladies worked tirelessly to gather donations for the door prize drawings at the staff spring luncheon.

To: Robynne Dahl, Shelly Raney, Shannon Cable and Jennifer Biga
From: Jerilyn Taylor

This group has spent many hours, over several months, working with a team of CU system employees and consultants reviewing our current process in My Leave in preparation for an eventual My Leave replacement project. This is in addition to their regular, busy, workload. One consultant said “We have really enjoyed working with your team.  You’re all knowledgeable, prepared and willing to contribute.  It makes our assignment much easier and enjoyable.”

To: Sarah Hutton, HR and Finance Professional, Department of Languages and Cultures
From: The Department of Languages and Cultures

For going above and beyond the call of duty in her support for the department. She always maintains a positive attitude, energizing the team with her good vibes, efficiency, overall greatness, and a team spirit that helps to keep the Languages ship afloat despite its perpetual springing of leaks. 

To: The Registrar’s Office
From: Brad Bayer and Noelle San Souci

The team in the UCCS Registrar’s Office deserves a “high five” for their support of the Student Body Elections each year!   

To: Whitley Hadley, Karlye Engler, Rafael Norwood, and Alè Ruiz
From: Ellen Burkart 

Thank you for all that you did to make the F.A.M. (First-generation and Multicultural) Graduation Celebration a success. It was so fun to bring together our international, multicultural, LGBTQ+, and first-generation communities to celebrate our graduates. What a wonderful group to collaborate with and what an awesome opportunity it was to be a part of celebrating this milestone for our students. I appreciate all of you.


To: Chancellor Venkat Reddy
From: Anon.

Thank you Chancellor for your dedication to UCCS. Your time as Chancellor has had to be a challenge as you navigated through COVID, defined the new norm, and now with the budget concerns we are facing. The team you have surrounded yourself with to lead UCCS into the future is a testament who you are. Thank you for your service and we look forward to continuing to see you around campus. 

To: Ashley McKinney
From: Kristina Coggins

Ashley was instrumental in the success of two campus events this May.  Ashley created an innovative entrance for the CU Foundation Trustees reception at the William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center on May 4.  Our Trustees got a kick walking through the entrance Ashley created!  Ashley also volunteered at Commencement in a role that Outdoor Services typically does not fulfill.  We all were grateful for the additional help and appreciated Ashley’s commitment to UCCS!

To: Brandon Poulliot
From: Erin Klein on behalf of the LAS Dean’s Office

Brandon was our resource for all things tech for LAS’ spring faculty meeting. Hosting this meeting in the hybrid format requires a ton of planning and troubleshooting, and Brandon was patient and kind throughout the whole process.  I’m most grateful that you were willing to attend the meeting, as you fixed an error I would not have been able to figure out on my own! Thank you for your expertise in making this meeting and new voting method a success!

To: Danielle Wright
From: Polly Knutson

Danielle did an outstanding job planning and executing commencement. She has truly made UCCS a great place to learn and work.

To: Erin Klein
From: Carole Woodall

Erin is the recording secretary for the Committee of Academic Progress and is attached to the LAS Dean’s Office. As CAP chair, I work with Erin, who has been tremendous to the team building work of the committee. The fall semester the CAP committee underwent a revamp of its bylaws. Erin provided invaluable support as she and I worked on detailing various revisions as part of modeling a process of collaborative engagement. Her attention to detail and responsiveness might be considered as part of the work; however, her note-taking at meetings, attention to finalizing CAP petitions, communicating with various members of the CAP team, and working on agendas is vital. I love working with Erin on the various components to ensure that CAP is a vital entity of LAS faculty governance. I am definitely part of Team Erin!

To: Lindsay Knell
From: David Moon

Lindsay should be recognized every time Clyde’s Kudos sends out a reminder.  She has developed so many things that make the work of the three program directors who depend on her.  Because she is so proactive and organized, she also responds to special requests amazingly quickly.  When she sees something on an upcoming agenda she has information about, she provides that information before the meeting in a format everyone can track, even though the proposer of the agenda item didn’t know to ask.  As a program director, I rely on her wisdom and experience on a regular basis.  Oh, and did I mention that she picked up two additional programs while they were searching for a replacement.  Lindsay Knell, one of the people who keeps UCCS working for our students.

To: Olivia McDonald
From: Mary Ann Tillman

The Cyber Programs Office was the 1st to go live with the new UCCS website platform in early 2022. I spent the few months prior working with Olivia — then new to UCCS — on the revamp. We decided to not only migrate the underlying platform, but to incorporate an entire content refresh, as well. This is no small task.

During the process, Olivia was patient, professional, accommodating, and went above and beyond in addressing my needs and concerns. I have been involved in 3 or 4 major website reconstructions, and this was by far the smoothest — as well as on schedule.

Now, more than a year later (our go-live was Feb. 2022), the site flourishes. The constant care and feeding of both the website and myself (new to Drupal, I’ve required a fair amount of education and support), which is the least sexy part of a website, has required Olivia’s attention and expertise. This phase is often ignored b/c the big event (the go-live) is over. I am eternally grateful for her willingness to hang in there with me when many others are clamoring for her time, attention and expertise.

Since the site refresh, we’ve seen:
– 39% growth in unique pageviews (over 1100)
– 12% improvement (reduction) in bounce rate

This growth is entirely due to organic search, indicating that the SEO (search engine optimization — the keywords incorporated in to the site, wholly based on Olivia’s recommendations) is working. The UCCS Cybersecurity site ranks #2 nationally for the search words “cybersecurity Colorado springs”. This is absolutely fundamental to our success — as people find us immediately when looking for cyber in our area. This drives community support and enrollment, not to mention credibility.

With the improved bounce rate, it must also mean that when people get to the site, they like what they are finding, i.e., they’re sticking around. This is due to content, but also do the construction and usability of the site — a key focus for Olivia when we were building the site.

Through all this, Olivia has exhibited the work ethic that I believe is key to UCCS success. She is diligent, knowledgeable, always looking for new and innovative solutions, and patient with new users (like me). In short, she is a huge asset to UCCS.

To: Paul Anderson
From: Patty Witkowsky

Thank you to Paul for the diligent work that was key to a doctoral student’s ability to obtain data for his dissertation. Paul communicated quickly with the external entity to ensure the student’s success.

To: Rafael Norwood
From: Anon.

Rafael did an awesome job presenting Pronouns 101. I learned a lot and since that presentation, I have done a far better job of remembering to include my pronouns in my introductions and to feel comfortable doing so, regardless of the audience.

To: Sarah Long
From: David Moon

As the president of the faculty assembly in 2021-22 (and the past president in 2022-23), I want to extend my deep gratitude to Sarah for the exceptional work she did as president of the UCCS staff association for both those years.  Not only did she represent the staff passionately and comprehensively, she was an unbelievably strong partner to the faculty assembly and student government association across her two terms.  The FA leadership is committed to increasing the role of shared governance at UCCS.  To have such a perceptive and adept ally was a boon to those efforts.  Sarah has been a powerful voice for openness, responsiveness and governance throughout her presidency.  We have all benefited from her service.

To: Sarah Long
From: Anon.

Sarah has done an amazing job representing UCCS staff with leadership and advocating for a staff voice on various issues.  Thank you Sarah for your dedicated 2 years as President of Staff Association.

Want to celebrate your staff colleagues? Submit kudos anytime through the Staff Association website. Communique publishes Clyde’s Kudos each month.