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K-State Today

May 3, 2024

2024 University Support Staff Award of Excellence

Submitted by Diana Loomis

Kansas State University is recognizing three university support staff professionals for their job performance with the university's 2024 University Support Staff Award of Excellence.

The award recognizes exemplary performance and contributions of staff members who consistently excel in their positions and demonstrate integrity and a strong commitment to the mission and values of K-State. All award winners receive $1,000 for their contributions to the K-State community.

Recipients are:

  • Teresa Baughman, international admissions specialist, Graduate School, in the Office and Clerical category.
  • Jacob Boggs, maintenance repair tech II, Facilities Custodial Services, in the Service, Maintenance and Skilled Crafts category.
  • Peter Nelson, research technologist, physics department, in the Technical and Professional category

Baughman is part of the admission team for the Graduate School and a valued member of the staff. Her historical knowledge of Graduate School practices and procedures is what leads her to process between 800-1,100 international applications per year and about 300 official transcripts. She serves the academic programs by providing information to the admission committees regarding diverse, and often complicated, educational systems of various countries. As such, she is the key communicator between the graduate admission team and the international students as well as the connector between the applicants and graduate programs.

Baughman is one of the first K-State team members who international students interact with after they arrive on campus. For most of them, this is their first time in the U.S. and Baughman goes out of her way to ensure they have a smooth check-in process and transition to campus life. She is always thinking of how to make them feel more welcome. Thanks to Baughman's ideas, each new international student receives a welcome gift from the Graduate School. She also takes time to introduce them to Manhattan and to give them information they need to learn about the campus and our city.

In addition to performing her job at an exemplary level, Baughman has an excellent work ethic and a very positive attitude. She demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to the Graduate School, to K-State and to the graduate students. Her knowledge of the admission process, regulations governing international admissions and strong organizational skills, contribute to Baughman demonstrating how much K-State values and cares for each of our international applicants.

Boggs has consistently demonstrated outstanding dedication, expertise and initiative that truly exemplify the values and goals of Kansas State University. He is upbeat, professional and shows drive and a passion for all people. Boggs is an educator for the custodial staff and shows them how the equipment works and how to maintain it so it will continue working. His knowledge of the equipment came from working three years in a custodial role. His current position was created to know what equipment was available for the staff to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. Boggs was tasked with adding all equipment assets into the AIM program to track and maintain an inventory, know what parts were missing, and most importantly where items are located for emergency calls. He has also taught our upper management how to navigate the AIM program. His attention to detail and willingness to take on new challenges display his strong work ethic.

Boggs always researches to find better equipment to make work easier on the facilities custodial staff. His drive and passion to help people is refreshing and in many ways addicting to have the desire to continually improve in your own job. He is a natural leader who collaborates with colleagues and demonstrates effective communication skills. The custodians feel comfortable talking to him about their equipment issues and Boggs will answer any question and takes pride in helping the staff grow and become more knowledgeable and comfortable doing the job at hand. He has had a significant impact on morale and productivity and wants everyone to learn at their own speed which makes the staff feel like valued members of the team.

Nelson consistently performs at a level above and beyond his job. He is an indispensable help and serves the physics department in so many ways. He runs the lecture demonstration room, where tens of thousands of students have seen demonstrations over his more than two decades of service. Nelson has trained generations of faculty in the use of these demonstrations. He manages equipment for undergraduate physics teaching laboratories, from oscilloscopes to inclined planes, and mentors faculty and teaching and learning assistants in the proper use of the equipment. He organizes and oversees infrastructure improvements for teaching, learning and research across Cardwell Hall. Nelson goes far beyond executing the department's mission. He initiates, innovates and finds the best new lecture demonstrations to continually upgrade the introductory labs and provide the best student experience. He is willing to work flexible hours and off days with university distinguished professors, Physics Club undergraduates and others to help K-State connect to our communities through physics. He supports K-State Open House, physics demonstration shows at K-12 schools, summer camp science events on campus and other engagement activities.

Nelson dedicated himself to several tasks over the past year which improved safety, accessibility and learning for students, staff and faculty in the physics lecture halls and labs. Working closely with the College of Arts and Sciences assistant dean for facilities and our Facilities partners, he initiated the installation of high-visibility friction strips in our lecture halls, eliminating trip hazards. Nelson organized the installation of under-tile conduits replacing extension cords and coordinated the planning and installation of acoustical tiles in our labs which suppress echo and reverb which make it easier for students to hear.

Nelson is very respectful, has a positive attitude and makes a difference in the quality of lectures for the students. 

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