University announces summer, fall Employees of the Month

Tue, 12/15/2020

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has announced the summer and fall 2020 Employees of the Month, through November 2020. 

Each month, two staff members are selected from nominations received by the Employee Recognition Committee. Winners of the Employee of the Month awards receive the following:

  • A surprise visit from the provost or her designee
  • A certificate of award
  • A biography and photo featured through KU Today
  • A $750 gross monetary award.

Nominate an employee for this award by completing and submitting the online or paper Employee of the Month nomination form and returning it to HRM by email or fax to 785-864-5790. More information is available here.

Some job descriptions below may note on-campus responsibilities or in-person tasks that have since changed or been suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.

June 2020

Name: Kim Glover

Title: Instructional designer with the Center for Online & Distance Learning

In her role, Kim Glover supports KU faculty and staff who develop and teach online courses. She has helped faculty in various departments in developing a successful online or hybrid course and does so in a way that enhances student engagement and ensures learning objectives are met.

Those who work with Glover recognize her high levels of commitment and professionalism, as well as her kindness and patience when helping faculty, staff and students at KU. Glover’s expertise in the field of curriculum and instructional design makes her an excellent resource, as she has multiple master’s degrees and experience teaching. Her knowledge of Blackboard and other educational software platforms has made her a go-to resource for faculty and course developers. Glover has also represented KU as a mentor for instructional designers at other universities and has published work while at KU that has contributed to the field across the globe. A co-worker said, “Kim joyfully sees most of her work as a series of teachable moments, sharing her amazing talents while making sure that she is ‘teaching people to fish, rather than giving them a fish.’” Glover is not only ready and able to work on courses with faculty but also happy to help her fellow staff and any other department that the Center for Online & Distance Learning may need to collaborate with.

Glover’s co-workers also recognize her selflessness, as Glover is always ready to assist faculty, staff or students with both instructional design questions and even campus move-in or food drives. Glover consistently goes above and beyond by working long hours, offering to help on projects on top of the work she must complete. A co-worker said that everyone in Glover’s unit describes her as “a kind colleague, a mentor and a friend who always strives to do her best and support those around her.”  

Name: Samantha Morgan

Title: General manager with KU Dining

Samantha Morgan ensures top quality at three Roasterie coffee shops and six KU Dining retail concepts, including the Underground, the largest retail location on campus. Some of her duties include staffing, onboarding, training, menus, pricing and maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction.

Morgan is well-known within her unit for her leadership skills and ambition. One example of her tenacity is the high retention and culture she has created in the Underground that is noticed as soon as you walk in. Additionally, she was faced with a challenge when Chick-fil-A was removed from the Underground. Morgan stepped up to the plate to opened three new concepts. She created a different concept for the Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap, the most popular retail item on campus, rebranded as #CCCW, and added options without gluten, dairy or animal products to ensure all customers could enjoy the most famous campus food. Morgan also focused on the Strong Hall location as a pivotal coffee shop for KU Dining. By highlighting merchandising and customer service, the daily sales at this location have doubled over the last year.

Aside from her retail success, Morgan also goes above and beyond her expected job duties. She volunteers, organizes, plans and coordinates many different KU Dining committees, such as summer camps, First Year Experience dinners, Hawk Fests and Kansas Union tailgates. She also participates in New Student Orientation parent panels, informing parents and students how to maximize their Dining plan and make college more affordable. Morgan also excels by serving as a resource for her staff and colleagues. She is one of the first to volunteer to train other managers in areas they may not be as familiar with or provide advice and leadership to better support her student employees. A colleague said, “If Samantha is involved with a KU Dining initiative, you can be sure it will succeed.”

July 2020

Name: Andy Peterson

Title: Landscape worker senior with Facilities Services

As a member of the landscape team, Andy Peterson has job duties that vary each season. During the growing seasons, he is primarily responsible for mowing the 856 acres of campus, including most of the field in West District, all the Sunflower Remediation Area and tree care. He operates the bucket truck, working more than 50 feet in the air, which is used to trim trees, take photos of the KU Marching Jayhawks or help hang flags. Peterson can run any piece of equipment found in the landscape shop, from the bucket truck, to mowers, forklift, aerator, seeder, box blade or goose neck trailer. During the snow season, he plows sidewalks and keeps the Hawk Route accessible and clear. He is often on campus in the early mornings, making sure the paths are cleared before students arrive.

Those who work with Peterson recognize his stellar work ethic, teamwork and dedication. Peterson is also well-known for his entertaining jokes and stories to lighten the mood during tasks like weed pulling or snow removal. He is a true team player, is encouraging and supportive of his co-workers, and he often recognizes those around him for their work. A co-worker said, “He goes the extra mile to make new employees feel appreciated and included.”

Peterson also goes above and beyond his job duties. He takes part in the Department of Environmental Health & Safety’s annual cleanups for Potter Lake. Peterson has also voluntarily attended arborist school in Manhattan numerous times to improve his knowledge of trees, insects, diseases and learn more about safely burning range land to destroy invasive weeds without pesticides or mowing. Peterson is also recognized for his problem-solving and organizational skills. He is always ready to assist with any issue that may come up, such as helping repair a tractor or change an 8-foot-long, 80-pound scraper blade.  

Name: David Thompson

Title: Procurement officer with Procurement Services

David Thompson has worked for KU for 14 years. In his role, he reviews and approves purchases placed in the FITC system, checks orders against the contract vendors, place bids for university departments, negotiates contracts on behalf of the university and looks for policy or legal issues that might occur from an order.

Thompson goes above and beyond to help with the orders of the departments he serves. One example is when a customer needed a time-sensitive order corrected. Thompson researched previous orders with the vendor, found the needed information and then contacted the vendor to verify the data. He then updated the order to reflect the new information from the vendor to expedite the ordering process. Instead of just sending the order back to the customer to correct, Thompson took the initiative to handle everything on his end to ensure it would please the customer and receive the right order within the time it was needed.  

Thompson works diligently to ensure the departments he assists are happy with the orders and results, and he is friendly and helpful along the way. A colleague said, “Friendly, professional, patient, compassionate and direct are all great descriptors of David.” Thompson also communicates effectively with the departments he assists to make sure the ordering process runs as smoothly as possible. He has stepped in to do extra work to help with documentation, procedures and communication with third-party vendors. A colleague said, “David is a delight to work with because he will contribute to the work, rather than expect you to do the work for him.”

August 2020

Name: Sony Heath

Title: Prevention coordinator with the Sexual Assault Prevention & Education Center (SAPEC)

Sony Heath coordinates and presents multidisciplinary sexual assault education and prevention programs such as the Gender Based Violence Prevention Seminar, prevention education for Sorority and Fraternity Life, and the SAPEC Peer Education Program. They also serve as a liaison to other university departments and student organizations and assist in day-to-day operations for their department.

While Heath’s work requires them to work on a large scale for programming, they can individualize the programs to reflect the experiences and needs of students. Heath drives their work from a place of activism and inclusion, always championing amplification and resources for those with marginalized identities. Heath goes above and beyond to cultivate programs for students who are educational and engaging. Heath also coordinates the Gender Based Violence Prevention Seminar, with over 40 sections of academic courses, and trains and supports 22 instructors while still looking toward growth and sustainability of the program as a whole. Along with supporting the needs of the Gender Based Violence Prevention Seminar, Heath also regularly communicates with 23 different Interfraternity Council chapters to coordinate multiple prevention education trainings.

Heath believes and embodies what it means to be a member of the Jayhawk community. A colleague said, “They give their all for SAPEC and then find more to give to folks across campus.” Heath frequently volunteers across campus, in the Campus Cupboard, as a SafeZone Trainer and at many other different organizations and campus events. A co-worker said, “Sony is courageous as the advocate for the rights of students, faculty and staff. Sony is courageous in the way they live their truth so openly that it inspires and challenges others to do the same.”  

Name: Bonnie Schafer

Title: Administrative associate with the Department of Psychology

Bonnie Schafer serves as the front office support for the KU Psychological Clinic and is the primary point of contact to those visiting the Psychological Clinic. Some of her duties are bookkeeping, accounting, billing and supervising hourly employees.

Schafer is the go-to person for any difficulties that may occur in the clinic. Schafer has 20 years of experience with the university and is well-known for being the friendly face of the KU Psychological Clinic. Often, new patients may be struggling or are apprehensive about visiting the clinic, but Schafer goes above and beyond to make the clinic a warm, inviting place. Serving as the frontline of the clinic and speaking with people in distress is not for everyone, but Schafer has the professionalism and kind, courteous demeanor to resolve any issue. Schafer consistently goes above and beyond to help the clinic team and the clients that visit. Recently, she made a point of utilizing new technology and taking online courses to ensure she has the best understanding of how to use technology best to improve the practices of the clinic.

Despite her immense workload, Schafer consistently makes herself available to talk with clients and students as appropriate. A colleague said, “The clinic would not be the same without Bonnie.” She is a familiar face for many of the incredibly busy graduate students, providing a shoulder to lean on or offering thoughtful advice. She is considerate of others. She remembers dietary needs when bringing in treats and assists a client with a crossword every week. She takes the extra time to help students in need, to ensure they have the self-efficacy to complete tasks without help in the future, making for a much more efficient clinic and self-sufficient students. A colleague said, “Bonnie personifies the Department of Psychology at its best.”

September 2020

Name: CeAnne Harbin

Title: Associate director of Student Information Services

CeAnne Harbin manages the Student Financials module of Enroll & Pay, which includes tuition, billing and payments. She is also responsible for ensuring successful implementation of various upgrades, bundles, fixes and enhancements to these modules.  

Those who work with Harbin recognize her for her ability to cooperate effectively with both internal staff of Student Information Systems and the many departments her team collaborates with. A few of the other offices Harbin works with include the Registrar’s Office, Financial Services, Parking & Transit, and the Financials and Registrar’s offices at KU Medical Center. Harbin is a great team leader by allowing independence and helping her employees grow. Harbin assists by providing explanations and answers to allow those who work with her become experts in their own field.

Harbin is a dedicated employee. She has stayed up throughout the night to “babysit” an update or process, to guarantee everything is working as it should to ensure no issues occur for anyone else. When COVID-19 led to classes being held online and students needing various refunds, Harbin used creative solutions and out-of-the box thinking to quickly make the processes efficient. This included working with parking to get refunds back to students as soon as possible and participating in constant meetings regarding COVID-19’s effect on tuition and billing. Throughout all these challenges, Harbin completed the work with a smile and took the extra time to get the credits and refunds back to students.

Name: Ryan Lister

Title: Carpenter senior with Facilities Services

Ryan Lister performs carpentry duties across campus and has worked for the university for almost 20 years. Lister is the “go-to” for any roof issues or concrete works on campus. He is very meticulous and dedicated to his work.  

Lister is an extremely hard worker who is productive and takes responsibility for his projects. For roof services, he locates the issues and then meets with the service contractor to show them the problem. He marks areas on the roof so the contractors will know exactly where the repairs need to occur. After the repair, he then returns to the roof to be sure that everything has been completed correctly and nothing was missed. Several customers request Lister by name.  

Lister is knowledgeable and versatile, and he is always willing to work on difficult jobs. He works on a project until it is successfully completed and is very involved in the work of the entire project. He is resourceful and can often find a solution to fix anything that needs to get done. Lister is also always willing to help wherever he is needed. Moreover, Lister is very professional and takes pride in his work. He wants the job done right and for it to look good.  


Name: Larry Thompson Jr.

Title: General maintenance repair technician with Facilities Services  

Larry Thompson Jr is responsible for repairing damaged concrete and asphalt all over campus. He repairs damaged steps, sidewalks and roadways. Thompson installs new concrete, benches and signs. He also plows and sands roads for snow removal in the winters.

Thompson takes pride in his work and goes to the extra effort to ensure the job is completed properly. A colleague said, “Larry’s concrete finishing work is always done with true professionalism.” He looks for potential problems and goes the extra mile to solve any potential issues. Thompson’s snow removal responsibilities include areas that have many ADA parking stalls and ramps, and he makes every effort to keep these areas clean of snow and ice and does so without being told. He works well as a team member and as an individual, taking responsibility and pride for his work. Thompson collaborates effectively with not only those in his department but with the other shop areas. He is always courteous to university staff and students.  

Name: Jeremy Whetstone

Title: Senior operations manager for KU Memorial Unions  

Jeremy Whetstone is responsible for supervising student event staff employees and serves as the go-to person for problem-solving any issues with room setup or audio/visual. Whetstone has over 20 years of service with the KU Memorial Unions, and he is always kind, patient and ready to solve any problem or help with any request.  

Whetstone creates solutions to complex problems and has an immense capacity to create an ideal guest experience for visitors of the Unions. A colleague said, “If you have spent any time in the Kansas Union, you know Jeremy. And if you’ve been in charge of events there, he’s probably saved the day for you more than once.” Whetstone helps solve any issue that comes up while maintaining a calm demeanor and a positive attitude. A co-worker said, “He knows when he is needed, in many cases, before the folks who need his help realize.  He anticipates need and positions resources to serve that need.”  

Whetstone exemplifies thoughtful, caring and capable service. He is committed to service excellence for the KU community and brings the same caring attention to his co-workers and colleagues. Whetstone supervises up to 10 student building managers. He mentors the student staff through frequent check-ins, weekly meetings and positive encouragement. He is also very in-tune with event needs and shares information across departments, using a variety of technology platforms, to provide outstanding event experiences. A co-worker said, “We never have to worry when Jeremy is on the job!”

November 2020

Name: Cade Cruickshank

Title: Director of broadcast operations and head of network operations in the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications  

Cade Cruickshank serves as the engineer for the journalism school’s student-operated television station, KUJH-TV, and is also in charge of the video production labs in the Dole Center. He has worked in the school for over 20 years, and in additional to his invaluable institutional knowledge, he has the technical and construction skills to manage and complete almost any project. He is a key part of the dean’s management team and is included in major planning initiatives, technical assistance, budgeting, moving assistance, broadcast assistance, and is, as a colleague said, “… the go-to person in the school for just about anything.” Another nominator for this award said, “Cade is the steady hand that allows faculty, staff and students to rest easy when a crisis occurs in our school.”

Both the remodel of Stauffer-Flint Hall and the challenges presented with the COVID-19 pandemic altered Cruickshank’s job duties, but his dedication to his work and his desire to help others remain the same. During the remodel of Stauffer-Flint, Cruickshank took a lead in designing new studio spaces and routinely checked the building to ensure doors were locked and equipment was working properly. He worked with the building renovation team and consistently went above and beyond to ensure the new studio equipment would be ready for students. When the control room console and the ticker arrived in hundreds of pieces, Cruickshank put them together and made them work.  

When KU announced it was moving many classes online, Cruickshank had two goals in mind—make technology accessible for students and ensure that instructors had what they needed to teach, either in the school or from their homes. Cruickshank even delivered laptops and equipment to students, staff and faculty to ensure the transition to remote learning was as smooth as possible. Those who work with Cruickshank compliment his humility, kindness and can-do attitude. Another staff member said, “Cade is willing to do whatever needs doing and is always very helpful. Our school would not be what it is without Cade!” Whether it’s frying up fish for a school lunch or building a studio, Cruickshank makes the journalism school a better place.

Name: Adam Morey

Title: General maintenance repair technician with instrumentation, Facilities Services

Adam Morey is primarily responsible for repairing, maintaining, installing and modifying electronic systems campuswide. This includes all fire alarm and sprinkler systems on campus, audio systems for Kansas Athletics events, and testing and repair of public address systems. Morey also repairs and replaces wires and lights of electric systems campuswide.

Those who work with Morey recognize his dedication to his job. “Adam goes above and beyond to make sure his customers are happy and satisfied, and he is a teammate that can always be counted on for help and knowledge.” Morey takes ownership of his work and always takes on the hardest assignments, and he enjoys being challenged at work. He volunteers when needed and carries the on-call phone. “If a job needs done, Adam will do it without complaint.”  

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