University announces winter Employees of the Month

Wed, 02/16/2022

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas recently has announced the December 2021 and January 2022 Employees of the Month. These staff members have made outstanding contributions to the Lawrence campus community.

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 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.

Recent honorees:

December 2021

Name: Randy Baker

Title: Boiler technician, Facilities Services

Randy Baker has worked at the University of Kansas for six years. He is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of over 150 boilers on campus. Those who work with Baker recognize him for his kindness, dedication, knowledge and his ability to help and teach others.

Co-workers describe Baker as someone who “does whatever it takes to get the job done right.” Baker has worked many hours in the cold weather, working overtime to keep the boilers running or responding to emergencies promptly on-call. In the coldest days of winter, Baker often spends numerous hours on campus clearing frozen boiler outside air intakes to keep the heat working inside buildings. At one time, Baker was the only boiler technician on campus. Co-workers said that he not only kept things running during difficult times, he improved the performance of the equipment he was working on.

Baker also seeks to improve and develop solutions to problems. After the annual boiler inspections, he pursues corrective action on all noted deficiencies. Baker is a knowledgeable and respectful mentor to his peers, and he is always available to lend a helping hand.

Name: Tamarah Dixon

Title: EEO/Title IX Investigator with the Office of Civil Rights & Title IX

Tamarah DixonTamarah Dixon joined the University of Kansas in 2019, and some of her duties include investigating reported violations of harassment and discrimination policies as well as facilitating trainings on bystander intervention, unconscious bias, harassment and discrimination. Those who work with Dixon recognize her as a calm, kind and supportive individual and a great team player. Additionally, Dixon serves on several committees to help press the university forward in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

Dixon was the last employee to remain in her department after a unique turnover situation. She continued to handle a high volume of investigations, informal resolutions, trainings and supportive measures, handling it professionally with grace and resilience. In addition to her normal responsibilities, Dixon has managed the administrative responsibilities of her office, taken on all the external training requirements, and has planned for and welcomed three new staff members as well as onboarding and supporting the interim director. A colleague said, “Against all odds, she has not only sustained continuity of operations within the office but continued to fulfill all mission requirements at an exceptionally high level. Without her professionalism and commitment to making KU a better place to work, our ability to meet federally mandated responsibilities would have been at risk.”

January 2022

Name: Mandy Frank

Title: Education program specialist in the Institute for Policy & Social Research

Mandy FrankMandy Frank assists the Institute for Policy & Social Research project teams with educational program implementation, including organizing logistics, drafting materials, preparing program content, tracking project completion and ensuring compliance with university and governmental guidelines. She monitors various project budgets and funding, assists with the Center for Indigenous Research, Science, and Technology, and supports the Haskell Environmental Research Studies Institute as grant manager.

Frank frequently goes above and beyond her job duties to ensure that not only the entire organization runs smoothly, but also to provide extra support to students and participants. She primarily assists with travel, payroll and other logistical challenges so the interns of the Haskell Environmental Research Studies Institute can focus on learning about writing, research and climate. After the 2020 summer Haskell Environmental Research Studies program was canceled due to COVID-19, Frank worked to contact all participants and assisted in rearranging their plans to allow participation in the 2021 summer program. During the summer program of 2021, she took on additional responsibility in curriculum development, focusing on providing presentations on professional development skills such as public speaking and communications. A colleague said, “Not only does Mandy keep the significant number of complex pieces to program coordination moving, but she does so with great enthusiasm and diligence.”

Name: Jama Salber

Title: Accounting specialist in the Strong Hall Shared Service Center

Jama Salber provides customer service to the departments she serves by processing invoices, purchases and travel expenditures. Salber is always willing to help with any question or process she can assist with. She is customer service oriented, knowledgeable and organized.

Those who work with Salber describe her as an outstanding colleague with vast expertise on the processes and procedures that she assists with at KU. One example of exemplary service from Salber is when her unit had a staffing vacancy, she stepped up and took on five additional units to complete the needed tasks to strengthen both her department and the units the Strong Hall SSC supports. She is also known for her outstanding communication skills. She has taken the time to understand and develop working relationships with each of her departments and created a way for these units to directly send her information. A colleague said, “Jama is friendly, caring and always there to help. She provides the utmost customer service to her departments and co-workers and is a go-to for any questions that new staff may have.”

KU in the news

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times
KU Today