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2023 Staff Excellence Awards Winners

May 05, 2023

Four Angelo State University staff members – Ella Kinney Burnett, Ridge Goodloe, Melissa King and Lanell Nichols – have earned the 2022-23 President’s Awards for Staff Excellence, and another – Brooke Flores – has received the annual Chancellor’s Colonel Rowan Award for Execution.

The honorees were recognized during an awards ceremony May 2 on campus. The President’s Awards for Staff Excellence recipients were selected from over 45 nominees, and the Chancellor’s Colonel Rowan Award honoree was chosen from 11 nominees. The four Staff Excellence Awards recipients each received a $1,000 honorarium and a presentation piece, while the Rowan Award winner received a $1,500 honorarium.

Portrait of Angelo State's Ella Kinney Burnett Ella Kinney Burnett Burnett, office coordinator for the Natalie Zan Ryan Department of English and Modern Languages, received the President’s Award for Commitment to Excellence. Lauded for consistently going above and beyond the call of duty, Burnett has introduced some modernization to her department, established a “positive, welcoming vibe” in the main office, and goes out of her way to do the little things, like “lend a sympathetic ear and stock the office candy dish.” She has also revised outdated filing systems, transitioned the department toward paperless practices, implemented various publicity and recruiting initiatives, and worked to establish the department’s digital displays, for which she creates new content. She also took on extra duties, like creating flyers for the Creative Writing Club, taking department meeting minutes, helping onboard new teaching assistants, and providing valuable assistance toward transitioning the English master’s degree program from on campus to online. From her nomination letter, “Ella tends not to like attention to be paid to herself and certainly would demur from this praise, but she is worthy of more praise than this letter will ever be able to attest.”

Portrait of Angelo State staffer Ridge Goodloe Ridge Goodloe Goodloe, senior administrative assistant in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, received the President’s Award for Excellence in Customer Service. Known for being a “true team player” and “embodying ASU’s Core Values of Community and Integrity,” Goodloe is often the first point of contact for the university’s current, new and prospective donors. While processing over 5,000 thank you and tax letters a year, she does extra research on each donor to add a personal touch and ensure donors feel appreciated. She manages and organizes RSVPs for over 20 campus events every year, and she annually has the daunting task of formulating the seating chart for the Phil George Blue & Gold Dinner and Auction and ensuring all attendees are seated at the right tables. Since she “has knocked it out of the park” every year, other campus departments and offices will often contact her for help with their own events. She also readily handles the routine duties of aligning schedules, communicating information, and booking flights and hotels, while also volunteering help to anyone in her office who needs it. From her nomination letter, “Ridge truly bleeds blue and gold, and we are thankful to have her as an advocate for ASU and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations.”

Portrait of Angelo State staffer Melissa King Melissa King King, lead admissions assistant in the Office of Admissions, received the President’s Award for Excellence in Leadership. Praised for having a “strong work ethic,” supporting her co-workers, and having “a positive attitude and willingness to help,” King is “always helpful when questions arise and is available to help others learn.” A prime example of this is how she mentors and directs all the student workers in the Office of Admissions, doing an excellent job of training them, communicating with them and leading them daily. She was also a valuable resource for the dual credit staff when they became more involved in the application process, helping to train and transition the staff, as well as working on solutions to various problems. Despite battling several health issues and being allowed to work from home, she chose to work from her office on campus and continually “does more than her fair share every day,” including helping various campus departments with questions or concerns about the admission process. From her nomination letter, “While she may not be seen across multiple areas of the campus, she is a key component of the admissions process and the foundation of our department.”

Portrait of Angelo State staffer Lanell Nichols Lanell Nichols Nichols, executive director of materials management, received the President’s Award for Excellence in Innovation. Hailed for “thinking outside the box” and “always looking for ways to improve processes and procedures,” she is credited with originating several automation projects to gain efficiencies for her office and others. Examples include Chrome River projects for travel and university credit card transactions, Payment Works projects for Accounts Payable and Purchasing, Parcel Lockers for students to receive packages at the ASU Post Office after hours, and electronic signatures for contracts and purchase orders. Under Nichols’ leadership, these previously manual processes have been automated and have saved the university time and money, while also improving customer satisfaction. She has also had to meet the challenge of new legislation that affects her area, and she continually interacts with peers and conducts research to come up with new solutions to any issues that may arise. From her nomination letter, “Lanell never complains and always meets the challenge head on and does what is needed for the university. We are very fortunate to have Lanell as part of the ASU Ram Family.”

Portrait of Angelo State staffer Brooke Flores Brooke Flores Flores, assistant director of dual credit operations in the Office of Admissions, received the Chancellor’s Colonel Rowan Award for Execution, which annually recognizes a staff member who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in carrying out a major project during the last academic year. When tasked with leading ASU’s dual credit program through a series of changes, she did it at “an award-winning level.” A major change was to the scholarship model, and Flores led a host of campus departments, including IT, Student Accounts and the Controller’s Office, to create a process that would work with ASU systems while not creating extra work for counselors at ASU’s dual credit partner schools. She also works with the President’s Office, Provost’s Office and many academic departments to help make the dual credit program the best it can be.

For the fall 2022 semester, ASU enrolled 3,664 dual credit students accounting for 34% of ASU’s total enrollment. Flores is responsible for ensuring all dual credit students apply, are admitted and enroll in their dual credit classes. From her nomination letter, “While we understand that it takes a whole team to have a great experience, Brooke has set the tone. She truly goes above and beyond to make dual credit a success.”

Other nominees for the President’s Award for Commitment to Excellence were: Brit Raley, Communications and Marketing; Courtney Wilson, Registrar’s Office; Dara Anderson, Information Technology; Jennifer Fischer, Communications and Marketing; Jessica Albus, Information Technology; Jody Casares, Physics and Geosciences; Joyce Mechelle Reed, Freshman College; Kailee Malleck, Contracting and Materials Management; Mandy Osborne, Curriculum and Instruction; Melissa King, Admissions; and Sandy Seidel, Social Work and Sociology.

Other nominees for Excellence in Innovation were: Ben Borom, Registrar’s Office; Brianna Hodges, Freshman College; Kelsey Russell, Admissions; Melissa Wood, College of Science and Engineering; and Riley Mashburn, Information Technology.

Other nominees for Excellence in Customer Service were: Callie Harrell, Registrar’s Office; Carey Taylor, Information Technology; Chelsea Renteria, College of Graduate Studies and Research; Cheryl Jordan, College of Education; Cody Vasquez, Admissions; Daniel Martinez, College of Education; DeAnna Gully, Freshman College; Debra Blair, Mathematics; Julia “D” Chandler, Information Technology; June Moore, Office of Accountability; Marshell Peter, Information Technology; Renee Robbins, Biology; Robin Sebolt, Payroll Services; Rudy Jaques, Health Science Professions; Samuel Tafolla, Parking Services; Sandy Conoly, College of Education; Scott Gartman, Communications and Marketing; Tonya Drost, College of Education; Troy Hill, Athletics; Aaron Kentner, University Recreation; and Brisa Sosa, Alumni Association.

Other nominees for Excellence in Leadership were: Amanda Ritchie, Admissions; Britany Hernandez, Freshman College; Brittney Miller, Communications and Marketing; Christian Salamina, Information Technology; Erin Johnson, Porter Henderson Library; and Jayna Phinney, College of Science and Engineering.

Other nominees for the Chancellor’s Colonel Rowan Award were: Amanda Putman, Porter Henderson Library; Christian Salamina, Information Technology; Debra Blair, Mathematics; Erin Girsch, Freshman College; Jeremy Brake, Information Technology; Libby Einhorn, Special Events Facilities and Services; Riley Mashburn, Information Technology; Vickie Rodriguez, Psychology; Wendy Sklenarik, College of Education; and Yulia Priest, History.