Staff Award Winners

Congratulations to our 2019 winners listed below 

  • Michael Redd – Exceptional Customer Service Award ($2,500)

    Michael is truly an unsung hero at KSU, having faithfully served this University for well over 20 years. He is the “go to” person that is always willing to take the time to help. He probably has no idea just how many people he has helped through the years. He would say, “I am just doing a job that I love.” Each one of us, though, who have worked with him, appreciate his caring, funny, and dedicated spirit.

    Michael demonstrates exceptional willingness to manage changes in work priorities to ultimately provide better service to his customers.  He is truly dedicated to the KSU students and is a valued employee with a strong commitment to customer service.

    mike redd


    Donys Callado – Exceptional Customer Service Award ($2500)

    Donys always has a positive and lightweight attitude, and she is always able to help quickly and with as little stress as possible. She consistently and substantially demonstrates an ability and willingness to work positively, respectfully, and effectively with others. She often goes beyond the scope of her job. For example, she increased customer satisfaction in distance learning for faculty across KSU by preserving videos and faculty created content from a legacy campus system.

    Donys is willing to take on additional responsibilities, and she is eager to learn new things that allow her to further her customer service capabilities. Nevertheless, perhaps the single most noteworthy trait is Donys’ innate ability to anticipate the needs of the department and to take action before anything is ever asked of her. She truly deserves this award.

    Donys Callado

  • Diedre Brown - Students’ Appreciation Award ($1500)

    One of Diedre’s student nominators state, “Deidre demonstrates an ability to be positive and work respectfully and effectively with others. Through her leadership, I have great customer service skills and I am growing in my ability to use these skills and apply them to my schoolwork. Anyone who knows Diedre never has anything negative to say. She simply has a positive spirit and demeanor.”

    Another nominator notes, “Deidre has become like a mentor to me, always giving me positive feedback and helping with difficult life situations.” Another states that “because Diedre took a chance on me and afforded me the opportunity to work on campus, I have experienced all the campus activities and blossomed as a student.  I have Diedre to thank for that”.

    Deidre Brown

  • Stephanee Stephens – Outstanding Supervisor Award Nomination  ($2000)

    One of Stephanee’s great attributes is that she somehow manages to make a team of over 60 people feel like family. She does this by encouraging and fostering community and teamwork. Even though most of our unit is spread out, we never feel isolated or alone because Stephanee encourages us to remain connected via face-to-face and online events. Every month we have a team retreat and weekly meetings. These meetings often include “shout outs” where Stephanee publicly acknowledges those folks who go above and beyond. She encourages us to be self-sufficient but to also help each other.

    Stephanee Stephens


  • Nicole Densmore – Distinguished Staff Award ($5000)

    Nicole is described as “a driving force in many ways at Kennesaw State University including capacity building, activism, fundraising, and morale building.” She shows uncompromising dedication to our students, staff, and faculty, by maintaining a positive attitude, serving as an adroit listener and shoulder when needed, and maintaining the utmost confidentiality, professionalism, and sensitivity when dealing with difficult circumstances and issues.

    Nicole provides unwavering support of and advocacy for our students in the Ph.D. program. She is incredibly efficient and very approachable, which is of particular importance to international PhD students who might not be aware of 'how things are done' in the US.  She regularly goes above and beyond in helping with everything from paperwork to gathering program swag for trips abroad, to making the front office a welcoming environment.

     Nicole Densmore



2018 Recipients

  • Lindsey Seipel – Exceptional Customer Service Award ($2,500)

    Lindsey has been a consummate professional. She inspires confidence and has clearly gone the extra mile (she has undoubtedly done significant night and weekend work) in making sure these transitions are efficient and transparent. Even though she is working on a number of university-wide projects that undoubtedly are consuming a great deal of her time, but she never makes her customers feel that less than her #1 priority.   She supports her departments in a way that makes them truly understand what it means to have an HR partner.

    lindsey seipel


    Lisa Kessler – Exceptional Customer Service Award ($2500)

    Lisa’s commitment for our University and heart felt dedication, is regularly displayed as she goes above and beyond, accepting phone calls, text messages, and e-mails after hours and on weekends to ensure all employees receive their hard-earned paychecks.  Along with the above dedicated service, Lisa does all of this with a smile, even if we know she must be exhausted from the hours she has put in each week. Lisa not only has a remarkable work ethic, but she is a joy to be around. She takes time to encourage others. She assures those around every effort will be made to correct any issues that arise and, best of all, she makes sure to follow through until the action is completed. Whatever Lisa tells you she will do, she does.

    Lisa Kessler

  • Marcela Cadavid - Students’ Appreciation Award ($1500)

    Marcela’s passion for creating a program that provides support for Latino students at KSU is an inspiration. She pours all of her heart and soul into what she does to honor and give appreciation back to the students she loves so genuinely. Her drive for creating a space for Latinos to flourish, grow as a community, and feel safe and supported gives hope and inspires others to continue giving back to my community.
     Marcela Cadavid

  • Project Management Office – Outstanding Team Award (shared $5000)

    Successful projects are a result of project managers developing and nurturing high-functioning teams for the duration of the project. This mix of tangible and intangible skills and responsibilities are critical to the overall success.  The Project Management Team is a group that is easy to work with, diligent in their responsibilities, and effective when working with multiple individuals with competing priorities. No matter the size of the project, their collective ability to understand and articulate their customers’ needs is without equal.

    PMO Group


  • Maureen Patton – Outstanding Supervisor Award Nomination  ($2000)

    Maureen encourages her team to share ideas, believes that success is derived from teamwork, connects with employees on a personal level because she truly cares, and is a believer in activities that encourage working together as a team and critical thinking.    Maureen is always the first to arrive and the last to leave.  She is highly responsible and holds herself accountable for providing feedback and guidance to help everyone in her department succeed.  Maureen is fair but firm, leads by example, is compassionate but unyielding and above all else, the glue that holds our department together. 

    Maureen Patton


  • Iyonka Strawn-Valcy - Outstanding Administrator Award Nomination ($2000)

    Iyonka is an amazing leader and a true "team player."  She works collegially and collaboratively with dozens of other offices and campus leaders to find creative solutions for that help all of us be more impactful in our work.  She has a deserved reputation for integrity and excellence and has helped KSU lead forward in the quality, consistency and compliance of its international programs.  Iyonka is able to consistently exceed expectations in an ever-changing environment, one that easily overwhelms even the most experienced leaders.  This is often done while delicately balancing requests from passionate faculty members and enthusiastic students.

    Iyonka Stawn-Valcy


  • David Tatu – Distinguished Staff Award ($5000)

    Not only is David Tatu is one of the most respected staff leaders in the College of the Arts, his respect within the industry has built many positive relationships outside the University. These valuable contacts have helped him create numerous internships and professional opportunities for our students in prestigious professional dance companies. David's students are sought after by professional companies immediately upon graduation! Not surprisingly, David has been recognized in graduate surveys every year since his arrival as "Making a difference in the life of a graduate."