NORFOLK, Neb. – Four 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 Northeast employees who have been nominated by their peers for their outstanding contributions to the College. The awards have been presented by the bank, or its predecessor institutions, since 1993.
This year’s honorees and their awards include Tony Milenkovich, diesel technology instructor, (Full-time Faculty); Christine Case, adult education GED®/high school equivalent instructor in South Sioux City, (Part-time Faculty); Anthony Faust, director of recruitment, (Professional Managerial); and Lynda Kassmeier, coordinator of the Lifelong Learning Center, (Classified Staff).
Milenkovich’s career has spanned both the public and private sectors. He works in the diesel tech industry when he's not in the classroom, a place he has been for approximately 20 years.
“Mr. Milenkovich excels in his ability to communicate broad and accurate knowledge of the diesel repair field, to create a feeling of cohesiveness between himself and his students, to meet difficulties with composure, to challenge students to think, to coach students, and to demonstrate enthusiasm for the subject and student interests that motivates students to achieve their fullest capabilities,” his nominator said. “He is known as an expert in his field and among his students for his willing to assist everyone in a fair, impartial, and objective manner. It is not uncommon to find Mr. Milenkovich putting in extra hours to coordinate project work for students, mentoring students, or preparing for classes to maximize students' time in the classroom.”
Milenkovich has a commendable career of accomplishments that include developing and initiating curriculum and curriculum changes. He remains influential in the coordination of hands-on opportunities in 21st-century technologies for students to gain experience and further stimulates partnerships with industry leaders as a means to ensure a top-level education and experience for his students. Milenkovich takes on extra responsibilities by serving as a SkillsUSA chapter sponsor and college sponsor for the Nebraska SuperTech Competition for the Diesel Technology program. He spends numerous hours assisting his students in preparing to compete at the state and national levels with great success.
Case’s nominator described her as a quiet, dedicated employee who creates a personal connection with each student she works with.
“Chris is a cheerleader, coach and instructor all rolled into one. For many coming in to work on their GED, it can be overwhelming because their prior educational experiences haven’t been great. Chris’ kindness, gentle demeanor and true care for each person she interacts with helps them to know they are going to be okay. She sets expectations and supports while requiring students to do the work.”
Case has been credited with connecting graduating GED recipients with college admissions, workforce development or other resources to help them take their next step, whatever path they may chose.
“Chris will never seek the spotlight, is always positive and shines a light on all those she encounters,” her nominator concluded.
Since becoming the director of recruitment at Northeast Community College, Faust has worked with his team to identify new ways to connect with prospective students, high school counselors and administrators. His nominator said these new connections are helping increase applications, on-campus visits and enrollments at Northeast.
“Anthony is a strong advocate for his staff in making sure they have everything they need to promote the college at its highest level. High school counselors have noted he will go the extra mile to make sure their students are able to come to campus and have a great experience. It is important to Anthony that all high school students are given the opportunity to explore college options.”
Faust’s nominator said his positive leadership style encourages his staff to continually look at ways to improve outreach, relationships, recruiter visits, and on-campus events. One example that demonstrates this teamwork is an expanded outreach to the Latino market.
“By adding new communications, advertising, family events, bilingual tours and bilingual student ambassadors, Latino applications have increased by 62% in one year! Northeast is fortunate to have a talented marketing and recruitment team that promotes Northeast at the highest level of quality.”
Northeast’s Lifelong Learning Center (LLC) is an extremely busy place. Hundreds of events and thousands of people pass through the building every year. Thanks to the organization of events - from banquets to conferences that are led by Kassmeier - things flow seamlessly.
“Most people who attend events here at the College have absolutely no idea how much work goes into the management of the facility and to the work that goes into making events perfect for the event organizer,” Kassmeier’s nominator wrote. “From planning, staffing the event, setting up the room, etc., Lynda is the one who makes it all look so easy. Most of us who attend events at the LLC and have no knowledge as to what went into the room reservation process, so recognizing the one person who makes it all look so easy is appropriate.”
Brian Chapman, assistant vice president-relationship manager at US Bank-Norfolk, was joined by Dr. Leah Barrett, college president, in presenting the awards.
In addition to the US Bank Awards, another 52 service year milestones were noted by employees for their 565 collective years of commitment to the College.
Employees recognized were:
Mary O'Boyle, Angela Shaffer, Dr. Karen Weidner.
Stacey Aldag, Sara Barritt, Stacy Dieckman, Kevin Furstenau, Jennifer Greve, Ryan Hobza, Karen Hoefler, Tiffany Hopper, Lynda Kassmeier, Makala Maple, Stefanie Mundil, Joshua Schlote, Sandra Shelhamer, Kimberly Vanosdall.
Tonya Brandl, Julie Carlson, Heather Claussen, James Curry, Julie Defor, Jennifer Judt, Dr. Tracy Kruse, John Liewer, Tina Mazuch, Connie Meyer, Cyndee Mitchell, Amanda Schultze, James Serres, Corey Vavra, Makala Williams.
Stacy Anderson, Luz Maria Arreguin, Dr. Trentee Bush, Amy Clausen, Dr. Ashley Cooper, Analia Dorado, Jessica Dvorak, Thomas Elliott, Jazmin Goeden, David Grissom, Brandon Keller, Haley Mattison, Maria Michaels, Tabitha Mitchell, Paul Muncy, Michael O'Byrne, Lucas Reichlinger, Cara Wiebelhaus, Jeanie Wilken.
US BANK AWARDS PHOTO IDs: (From left) Brian Chapman, of US Bank-Norfolk, Tony Milenkovich, Anthony Faust, Lynda Kassmeier, and Dr. Leah Barrett, president of Northeast.
PHOTO ID: Christine Case.