University Letter

UND's faculty and staff newsletter

UND Staff Senate announces 2022 UShine Award winners

UND Staff Senate has announced recipients of its UShine Awards for the months of May, June, September, October, November and December in 2022. Fellow recipients from the past year will be highlighted in a future University Letter article.

The UShine Award is presented monthly to a UND staff member who goes above and beyond to make UND a better place. All award-winners receive a certificate and a one-time $50 bonus, which is added to their next paycheck.

Congratulations and thank you to the following UND staff members who helped make a difference on campus in 2022.

For more information on the award, or to nominate a colleague, head to the UND Staff Senate website.

May: Lindsay Sannes, athletics administration coordinator, UND Athletics

Sannes was nominated by Amy Chandler. From the nomination: “Lindsay is the most friendly and outgoing person in our department. She answers all the phone calls and displays such a level of caring and kindness to the callers, and goes the extra mile to help them find answers to their questions.

“You can find her at most games supporting our athletes! She enthusiastically helps her co-workers with even the smallest tasks. Anyone who wanders into the main office looking for a classroom or a person is often personally assisted by Lindsay. She does so much more than just serve our Athletic Director – she makes a difference for all of us. Thanks Lindsay!”

June: Renae Hellerstedt, building services lead, Facilities Management

Hellerstedt was nominated by Megan Wasylow and Aaron Flynn. From the nomination: “This person has gone above and beyond with making others feel included and appreciated. They lead a team with positivity, encouragement, high standards and full bellies. And it doesn’t stop there. They spread the positivity and generous sweets to the staff and student staff who are in a completely different department and division.”

“I don’t think a week has gone by where she didn’t have a treat to offer everyone. She looks out for her colleagues. The collaboration, generosity and inclusiveness that she leads with has helped us all be a more cohesive team and helps enhance customer service throughout the entire Memorial Union building. Her high standards have helped keep our brand new building beautiful. Thank you, Renae!”

September: Kellie Choate, assistant director of systems, Student Finance

Choate was nominated by Laurie Kovar and Matt Lukach. From the nomination: “Kellie has taken the lead and initiative to utilize our student information system to its fullest capabilities. She goes above and beyond to provide a positive student experience, and make sure students are not negatively impacted.”

“Kellie leads by example with her number one focus always on the student and making sure they have their needs met. Her ability to see the big picture, years of experience, system knowledge, and dedication to helping students makes her a valuable member of the Student Finance team, and employee of UND. Kellie has lead process improvement projects and provided extra work above and beyond her normal duties to advance the processing of funding for the students. She provides data and suggestions which have be instrumental in the advancements in Student Finance, and the recruitment and retention of our UND students. Kellies dedication to the university, her motivation to try new things and compassion for students is outstanding and makes her a great candidate for the UShine award.”

“In the last month, Kellie has developed process improvements/achievements in the following areas, that directly affect UND students, faculty, and staff.

1. Kellie developed work around efficiencies for students in programs that had info. Adjustments to them that prevented aid disbursements.
2. Kellie implemented a new process that decreased aid adjustments by over 130 students.
3. She has been asked to speak at ND HEUG and share her Financial Aid Knowledge with the entire state.
4. She is working on processes that will make department waivers and third-party payments flow seamlessly to student accounts with less manual work.

In the past year, she has implemented even more process improvements that have benefitted our UND students and helped reduce workload for her staff (even though it increased hers).”

October: Josh Strayhorn, lead system administrator, University IT

Strayhorn was nominated by Katrina Kriewall. From the nomination: “University Police has several different local and state network platforms that are used to carry out our duties. Josh can always be called upon to quickly respond when we encounter issues.

“On Monday, Sept. 5, we encountered some network issues and, even though it was a holiday, Josh quickly responded and walked me through a way to resolve the issue. Whether he is working remotely or is here on campus, this is transparent because he always picks up the phone, responds in a timely manner to emails, and is there to support UPD networks. He truly sets an example of working remotely and providing exceptional service to internal and external customers!”

November: Danny Schindele, career development coordinator, UND Career Services

Schindele was nominated by Tammy Mulske. From the nomination: “Danny took the initiative to meet the Art and Music students and faculty in their ‘home’ at Hughes Fine Arts Center, in order to make sure that they have ready access to Career Services’ resources.

“Coincidentally, the Art Department’s ceramics sale was occurring simultaneously in the lobby near her table. A staff member was trying to make a purchase, but her Apple Pay was not working with the sale’s payment system. Danny jumped in to offer to purchase the items, then have the staff member reimburse her via Venmo. The staff member happily agreed, and they completed the transactions. After this point, Danny introduced herself to the staff member. They were complete strangers, and Danny had just made the offer without hesitation. Her very presence here and the extreme generosity certainly meet the definitions of above and beyond, special and extraordinary.”

December: Joe Glenn, operations center specialist, Office of Emergency Management

Glenn was nominated by Angie Novak. From the nomination: “My daughter, who is a freshman at UND and lives in McVey Hall, called me on the evening of Dec. 16 after taking her last final of the fall semester to let me know that her car was stuck in a snow drift. Due to the weather that evening, we were not able to get to her to help her. I called UND Operations Center and Joe was our saving grace that night! He told me to call the head RA, which we did, who told me to call the UND Police. When we called UND Police, we were forwarded to ‘Grand Forks Dispatch’ who told me that they couldn’t help my daughter.

“Joe called me back and asked if the RA was able to help and I said not really and told him what we had done so far. We called our ‘roadside assistance’ number and waited on hold for someone to answer. While I was on hold with them (about 20 minutes), Joe called me back again and asked if my daughter had gotten help, to which I told him no. He said, ‘I’m going to have a UND police officer call you back directly,’ and they did. Officer Johnson and another police officer (who my daughter didn’t catch his name), helped my daughter get her car unstuck and shoveled the drift that had piled up in the parking lot! Joe went over and above to help our daughter out when we couldn’t be there for her and we are very grateful for his efforts!!”