NORFOLK, NE – Five Northeast Community College faculty and staff members were recognized with awards from US Bank during the College’s spring semester In-Service recently.
The US Bank Great Performer Awards annually honor employees who have been nominated for their outstanding contributions to the College. The bank, or its predecessor institutions, has presented the awards since 1993.
This year’s honorees and their awards include: Andrea Suhr, physical therapist assistant (PTA) instructor (Full-time Faculty); Haley Mattison, adjunct health and wellness instructor (Part-time Faculty); Emily Duncan, director of adult education (Professional Managerial); Brittnee Terrill, assistant director of financial aid (Classified Staff); and Michela Keeler-Strom, dean of institutional planning and effectiveness (Administrative).
Suhr is described as someone who is always willing to put her own work aside to help others.
“During meetings, she contributes meaningful ideas and unbiased solutions. In fact, many times we refer to her as the “fairness police,” her nominator said. “As a team member, she supports and encourages others to be effective, and she is the first to praise them when they are. She is selfless and genuinely commits all her effort toward the team.”
Suhr serves as a leader to students inside and out of the classroom. She currently is the PTA Club advisor and Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society co-advisor.
One student commented that Stuhr has helped her greatly, “and probably doesn’t even realize it.”
The student said, “Just knowing she was always there for me if I needed her helped me get through. She always made it clear that she believed in all of us, and that really made me push myself harder.”
Mattison came to Northeast in 2016 when she began teaching lifetime wellness classes. One of her nominators said she has abundant energy and is engaged with her students from the first day of class to the final day of the term.
“When you walk by Haley’s classroom, there is activity and lively conversation with her students. Often you see her staying after class or coming early to be present so that students can have a sit-down visit about concerns or needs. She always takes time for them.”
Another nominator said Mattison brings her “A” game, engages students and teaches with passion.
“For example, during this past Health and Wellness Career Day, she led 12 mini spinning sessions so our high school student visitors could experience a spinning class while touring our Weller Fitness facility and learning about our health, physical education and recreation programs.”
In addition, one of Mattison’s students said “She is energetic and set the mood for the classroom. It is hard not to be excited for the class when she is the teacher.”
Duncan became the director of adult education in fall 2018 and has made Northeast the premier Adult Education program in the state, according to one of her nominators.
“Emily has successfully launched, maintained, and grown the Upward Academy project at Tyson Food plants in Dakota City and Madison. This initiative has doubled the enrollment with over 400 students at the Tyson Plant in Dakota City alone. This program alone speaks volumes of Emily’s leadership, strategic planning, classroom management, adaptability, flexibility, and dedication to student success.”
Another nominator said Duncan’s positive approach to opportunities has led to Northeast Community College earning some great notoriety with area businesses that opens doors for credit programming or work through Northeast’s Center for Enterprise.
“Emily sees challenges, not closed doors when a problem arises. It is clear in working with her, she is completely focused on student success. She understands that helping adults learn English, basic skills, earn their GED (general education diploma) or prepare for a citizenship exam, she is not just impacting the student, but the entire region we serve.”
Terrill’s nominator said they were amazed by her work ethic and fair, understanding nature. They spoke of Terrill’s work in ensuring student’s succeed at Northeast.
“Brittnee has gone above and beyond to help both me and my students understand their financial aid, which is no easy feat. Whether she’s sending an email explaining a financial aid situation, or discussing financial aid issues over the phone, Brittnee’s communication skills and ability to transform complex ideas into easy-to-understand concepts is impeccable.”
Terrill’s nominator also spoke of her organizational skills, which are invaluable in a position such as hers.
“I consider her one of the unsung heroes of Northeast, and I do not hesitate to nominate her for this award.”
Keeler-Strom was cited for her leadership on major accreditation projects over the past year. One nominator said this work resonates across the entire college.
“Her professional drive for excellence - serving her peers, the institution and our students - is consistently evident. Michela constantly brings a positive attitude to the workplace.”
Keeler-Strom has also been recognized for her work at Northeast’s extended campuses. This includes expansion of early college opportunities involving area high schools.
“She has done an excellent job handling the workload with efficiency and professionalism. Michela’s leadership was evident, observed and appreciated,” the nominator said.
US Bank Vice President Kathryn Svik was joined by Dr. Leah Barrett, college president, in presenting the awards.
In addition to the US Bank Awards, another approximately 70 service year milestones were noted by employees for their commitment to the College. Their combined experience to Northeast is 905 years.
Employees recognized were:
David Lund, Christine McKibbon.
Sharlene Anson, Debbie Lind.
James Batt, John Blaylock, Susan Cooper, Dale Johanson, Tere Karella, Gigi Simonsen.
Coleen Bressler, Tim Fenton, Shelly Lammers, Melissa Lemke-Elznic, Nick Schapmann, Carol Wiedeman, Michael Zierke.
Maureen Baker, Craig Evans, Mary Louise Foster, Doris Holmquist, Sharon Hrabanek, Bonnie Johnson-Bartee, Karen Nielsen, Kurt Pytleski, Wayne Sager.
Carla Andersen, David Beaudette, Patti Bretschneider, Tony Chambers, Kirk Christian, Maria Gonzalez,
Liz Gubbels, Shanelle Grudzinski, Sonia Haberer, Kyle Jansen, Eric Johnson, Ed Lewis, Tracy Melcher,
Lori McClaren, Heidi Merritt, Adam Peterson, Brian Porter, Phillip Schimonitz, Pattie Schuckman,
Margaret Schultz, Carla Streff.
Scott Abels, Rosa Arreguin, Katie Berger, Dawn Doherty, Maryjan Fiala, Matthew Gorman, Tom Hoile,
Kevin McLouth, Shelby McManigal, Chad Miller, Rebecca Miller, Sarah Oligmueller, Ronnie Smith,
Tom Sullivan, Tara Smydra, Tina Teply, Shawn Tillotson, Steve Wagner, Sandy Wurdinger.
US BANK AWARDS PHOTO IDs: (From left) Haley Mattison, Andrea Suhr, Brittnee Terrill, Michela Keeler-Strom, and Emily Duncan.