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Four staff members receive award for commitment to excellence

BOONE—The 2014 recipients of the Appalachian State University Staff Award have all shown they will go above and beyond to fulfill their commitment to Appalachian, their colleagues and their community.

View larger imageThe 2014 Appalachian State University Staff Award winners on the stage at Convocation are, left to right, Director of the Office of Disability Services Maranda Maxey, Business Officer for the College of Arts and Sciences Ruth Cook, Senior Associate Registrar Tena Gulliver and University Program Specialist for the Department of Conference and Camp Services Andrea Mitchell. (Photo by Marie Freeman)

This year’s winners are Andrea Mitchell from Conference and Camp Services, Maranda Maxey from the Office of Disability Services, Tena Gulliver from the Office of the Registrar and Ruth Cook from the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Appalachian Staff Award is given to individuals who have been nominated by other staff or faculty members. These individuals show outstanding work in one or more categories outlined by Appalachian’s Office of Human Resources: customer service, efficiency and innovation, human relations, outstanding state government service, public service, safety and heroism and the spirit of North Carolina. The winners received $400 and a certificate during Convocation on Sept. 4.

Andrea Mitchell

Mitchell has worked for more than 33 years as a program specialist for the Department of Conference and Camp Services. During this time, she has shown outstanding public service through her willingness to volunteer. Her nominator wrote, “Time and again, when others might say, ‘not me’ we have seen her say ‘why not me?’”

Mitchell served on Staff Council for approximately 10 years and has been active in the AppKIDS Committee for approximately 15 years. She has also served on the Staff Council Scholarship Committee and participated in collecting coats and school supplies for area children. She also participates regularly in the AppKIDS (Kindness in Donations and Service) winter shopping day.

Mitchell has also volunteered with the State Employees Combined Campaign for four years, has helped with freshman move-in day and in her fourth year of serving on the Appalachian Early Intervention Team was recently elected co-chair.

“We cannot say how she manages it all, but we can say that she manages it all quite well,” Mitchell’s nominator wrote. “She has the same home maintenance responsibilities and parenting responsibilities and extended family responsibilities that most other people experience daily – yet somehow she finds a way to do just a little more.”

Maranda Maxey

For approximately nine years Maxey has worked as the director of the Office of Disability Services. In that time she has shown dedication to maintaining excellent standards of customer service, efficiency and innovation and human relations. Maxey also has shown outstanding government service as well as a personal dedication to public service.

Her nominator wrote that Maxey has created a “reference operation” that many other offices in the state look to for leadership. She also researched and planned funding for a new record system for the office while still maintaining outstanding service to students.

“Many serious concerns come forth from students, parents, faculty and others on a daily basis. In each situation (she) faces them head on with compassion, openness and a mission to work with the individuals,” her nominator wrote. “She pursues many avenues to find solutions such as special housing requirements, and personalized accommodation plans to assist eligible students and employees.”

Outside of work, Maxey is an EMT with the Cove Creek Fire Department.

Tena Gulliver

As a senior associate registrar, Gulliver has shown a dedication to help Appalachian students whether directly interacting with a student, helping the office run smoothly or maintaining a positive attitude on a day-to-day basis.

“(Gulliver) goes the extra mile in every way and always does it with a kindness and a smile,” her nominator said.

Her nominator wrote of Gulliver stepping in to help a student prepare for class registration. She walked the student through each and every step needed to help the student through a complicated issue.

Her nominator said she, “truly cared for our student and because of extra effort and care the student left (the) office in much better shape.”

Gulliver’s nominator wrote of her being the “heart of the office” and “a walking encyclopedia,” always offering an answer to questions on office policies, procedures as well as a number of projects that she works on.

“(Gulliver’s) contributions to enhance the quality and morale of the workplace cannot be overstated,” her nominator wrote. “(She) has never not had time for anyone despite the extremely demanding nature of her position and the skill that she brings to it.”

Ruth Cook

Cook has worked at Appalachian for 25 years, serving a business officer for the College of Arts and Sciences for the past eight years. She maintains a high level of excellence as she upholds exemplary standards of efficiency and innovation as well as human resources.

Among nine nominations by various colleagues, Cook is praised for her ability to assist in whatever is needed, her innovation and expertise in the operations of the college and throughout Appalachian, and maintaining a high level of professionalism throughout all of her duties.

“She has developed written procedures, spreadsheets and databases that have contributed greatly to the efficiency of the office,” one nominator wrote. “She has high expectations of herself and of all the staff that she oversees. Furthermore, she is always pleasant and jovial.”

“(Cook) projects the values of collaboration, efficiency and support that are so critical to a state-supported institution of high-learning,” another nominator wrote. “She embraces the value of each individual.”

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