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K-State Today

April 6, 2016

2016 President's Award of Excellence for Unclassified Professionals winners

Submitted by Division of Human Capital Services

Four Kansas State University employees have been selected for the 2016 President's Award of Excellence for Unclassified Professionals.

The President's Award of Excellence for Unclassified Professionals fosters excellence in the workplace by rewarding and recognizing unclassified professional staff members who achieve excellence and/or make exemplary contributions to the mission and values of K-State.

Recipients are Scott Finkeldei, assistant director in the Office of Mediated Education, in the Productivity, Creativity and Innovation Award category; Trisha Gott, assistant director in the Staley School of Leadership Studies, in the Team Building, Group Activity and Service to the University Award category; Jack Carlson, project manager in campus planning and project management, in the Distinguished Accomplishment Award category; and Karen Blakeslee, extension associate in animal sciences and industry, in the Leadership Award category.

Recently, with the K-State Online upgrade, the university has moved from the classic K-State Online to the new K-State Online powered by Canvas. Finkeldei has been a critical leader in this effort, from the beginning of the evaluation process through the massive transition effort. Finkeldei spent countless hours meeting faculty in small groups to help facilitate the transition to Canvas. Finkeldei's office has lost count of the number of times someone has made the comment, "I was really confused and hesitant to move to Canvas until I met with Scott, now I am excited about the change." He was nominated by Rob Caffey, interim chief information officer and vice provost for information technology services. 

Gott consistently exemplifies the values of K-State and contributes to advancing the university's mission in her role on campus. In the past year, Gott served as facilitator of an initial gathering of leaders from various units on campus that enhance the educational experience beyond the academic colleges. These include the Office of Diversity, K-State Global Campus, the Graduate School, the Office of International Programs, K-State Libraries, Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, McCain Auditorium and Performance Series, Staley School of Leadership Studies, the Office of Student Life and the Office of Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies. This group is now known as University Programs. Working with unit leaders, Gott helped the group discover a common purpose and laid the groundwork for successful collaboration. Many were involved, including unit heads, the offices of the president and provost and members of the KSU Foundation. Gott, in particular, is recognized for her facilitation of this group that led to its formation, and moving it forward in tangible, productive ways. Gott was nominated by Mary Tolar, director of the Stately School of Leadership Studies, on behalf of the unit leaders of University Programs.

Carlson's ability to connect and coordinate across campus academic and administrative units led to collective success in architectural/engineering and landscape design teams, contracted construction professions and campus life constituencies. Carlson is respected by both the boots on the ground laying down massive 48-inch CW pipes and faculty in the buildings that seem to benefit from its installation. Staff working around him in maintenance zones, building services and grounds teams are engaged, committed and excited about positive outcomes and the integrity with which it has all been accomplished. Carlson is, many times, first in and last out of the office. He is highly organized and has been out front and on top of the many fluid elements of projects that arise. Carlson was nominated by Ryan Swanson, associate vice president of facilities.

Blakeslee's recent work on food preservation resources and training has distinguished her as the K-State Research and Extension expert in home food preservation. She has conducted numerous food preservation agent training workshops to equip agents with the skills to teach local clientele and answer their questions. Blakeslee has led many community food preservation workshops across the state to teach food preservation principles and techniques to extension users. In the last two years, she filmed a series of food preservation principles and techniques for extension users, filmed a series of food preservation demonstration videos, updated food preservation judging guidelines, wrote a collection of new food preservation extension publications and designed two new educational displays. She was nominated by Fadi Aramouni, professor of animal sciences and industry.

Please join the Division of Human Capital Services in congratulating our 2016 award recipients. All award winners receive $1,000 for their contributions to the K-State community.

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