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K-State News
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University awards unclassified employees with presidential honor

Wednesday, May 7, 2014



MANHATTAN — The Kansas State University president's office is recognizing four unclassified professionals for achieving excellence in their contributions to the university.

Jan Middendorf, director of the educational innovation and evaluation office in the College of Education; Larry Satzler, assistant dean for academics in the College of Engineering; Russell Taylor, engineer in the Electronics Design Laboratory; and Allan Rankin, assistant scientist in the James R. Macdonald Laboratory, have been selected for the 2014 President's Award of Excellence for Unclassified Professionals.

The award was established to foster excellence in the workplace by rewarding and recognizing unclassified professionals who achieve excellence or make exemplary contributions to the mission and values of Kansas State University through service as a team player, exceptional productivity, creativity or innovation, distinguished accomplishment or leadership. Each professional received a $1,000 award.

Middendorf was selected for the unclassified award in the leadership category. She embraces and embodies the university's mission of teaching, research and service. She supervises a full-service evaluation center with 22 full-time professional staff members, including evaluators, project development, computer specialists, as well as graduate and undergraduate research assistants. She provides leadership in creating collaborative relationships between project team members and key stakeholders for developing innovative joint projects. Her primary interests are institutional and program improvement through strategic planning, change management and evaluation. Middendorf received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Rhode Island, master's degree in international affairs from Ohio University and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Kansas State University. She also has worked in international development, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras, as an external evaluator for Comfort the Children International and in community service learning programs in the British Virgin Islands.

Satzler was selected for the unclassified award in the team building, group activity and service category. He manages the College of Engineering's student services office, providing students with orientation and enrollment assistance. In that role, he helps students overcome personal and academic struggles while preparing them to graduate and have successful careers. His honors and awards include the Presidential Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2003 and the Ralph Reitz Award Outstanding Contributions in Teaching from the College of Business Administration in 2001. Satzler received bachelor's and master's degrees in industrial engineering from Kansas State University. After working in industry, he returned to the university, becoming an instructor in the department of management in 1996 and assistant dean in the College of Engineering in 2007.

Taylor was selected for the unclassified award in the distinguished accomplishment category. At the Electronics Design Laboratory, he helps faculty and students with all phases of electrical engineering projects — from concept and proposal to product delivery and support. He specifically works with high-speed digital, fast programmable gate array, embedded systems and printed circuit board projects. Taylor has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Kansas State University and a master's degree in electrical engineering from Oklahoma State University. He has worked for Halliburton Energy Services, where he developed embedded systems for rolling oil field stimulation equipment, and for John Deere, where he developed embedded systems for funk transmission lines.

Rankin was selected for the unclassified award in the productivity, creativity and innovation category. He has supported research in the Macdonald Lab in several ways for nearly 30 years. He assists students and faculty with experiments, maintaining the lab's laser and vacuum equipment, and performs 3-D computer-aided design of apparatus for atomic, molecular and optical physics research. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1966-1970. He worked in agribusiness for 10 years before coming to Kansas State University to work and to complete his bachelor's degree in physical science.


Jennifer Gehrt

Written by

Stephanie Jacques