Four staff members honored for exemplary service

Devotion to duty, service to faculty, staff and students, and having the initiative to improve the workplace are attributes of the 2011 Appalachian State University's Staff Award winners.

They are Michelle Boisclair from the Walker College of Business, Marty McCormick from the Office of International Education and Development, James Shook from Technology Support Services and Janice Voss from the Cratis D. Williams Graduate School.

The annual award recognizes individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to campus life, for innovation that improves campus operations, or for dedication and service to the university. The recipients were honored during Convocation this fall.

Michelle Boisclair

Michelle Boisclair, currently director of Career Services in the Walker College of Business, was associate director of the college's Brantley Risk and Insurance Center at the time of her nomination.

She was praised by students and coworkers alike for her dedication to students, her management of the department's career fair and her efforts to create the college's Building Insurance Talent program that recruits and mentors minority students in the risk management and insurance degree program.

"Michelle is the perfect example of someone who has shown dedication and service through unselfish duty far and above the normal requirements of her job description," wrote a nominator. "I can honestly say that I have never seen Michelle refuse to help any student who came into her office. She simply made time for everyone and brightened everyone's day."

Another nominator wrote of Boisclair's success in increasing student involvement with the insurance industry, and assisting with student internships and career placements for graduates of the program. "Michelle's dedication to our students commonly goes well above and beyond what would normally be expected," wrote one colleague. "She genuinely loves working with the students and making sure they have the tools necessary to succeed in their chosen field of study."

Marty McCormick

Few people particularly enjoy dealing with paperwork or maintaining financial records, but that's an area of expertise in which Marty McCormick excels. McCormick is the business officer in the Office of International Education and Development (OIED). She oversees not only the office's annual budget, but also was responsible for managing more than $2.6 million in federal funds awarded to the office in support of faculty overseas travel and programs that brought foreign scholars to campus for educational programs and outreach during the 2010-11 academic year.

She was praised for her work that simplified tracking financial transactions, coordinating recordkeeping and payments, overseeing grants and contract budgets, as well as monitoring all financial reports generated in the office.

Her work has "empowered departmental directors in the Office of International Education and Development to (better) understand their budgets," McCormick's nominator wrote. As a result, department directors in OIED are able to operate their programs more efficiently, the nominator added.

Fiscal accountability is a key area of McCormick's focus. "Ms. McCormick has developed a system of disbursing funds, as well as accountability procedures that seek to enforce university policies and procedures," a nominator wrote. "She also has developed a checklist that ensures that at all times grant monies are spent appropriately and in compliance with applicable federal, state and university policies and procedures."

James Shook

Service to Appalachian's faculty, staff and students is a focus of James Shook, an information technology manager for a "walk-in center" that's part of the university's Technology Support Services (TSS). Under Shook's leadership, the center's six full-time employees and 30 student employees resolved more than 6,000 computer support requests in the 2010-11 academic year.

"The computer support center has become one of the most important resources on campus for the students that are away from home and employees who would have to (spend) at least a couple hundred dollars for each repair instance," one nominator wrote. The center works on an average of 150 computers a week.

Shook was also praised for his mentoring of his student employees. "I have seen James dedicate himself to finding student employees at TSS full-time positions after graduating by contacting business and personal contacts. I could never have anticipated that my boss at TSS would be so involved and helpful to his employees," a nominator wrote.

Another person wrote that, "I came to ASU not knowing anyone and leaving my family six hours behind. My coworkers quickly became my family. That is a direct result of James Shook. He is fully committed to the support center and each and every student and staff member that works there."

Janice Voss

Janice Voss is the executive assistant to the dean in the graduate school and someone who is called "the glue who holds the team together." In addition to her duties in the graduate school, Voss was praised for her role on the search committee for the provost and executive vice chancellor.

"The success and smoothness of the entire (search) process can be credited to Janice who provided staff support to the search committee over and above her full-time duties in the graduate school and research and sponsored programs," a nominator wrote. "Given that the provost and executive vice chancellor is second in line to the chancellor at Appalachian and is the chief academic officer of the university, Janice Voss's service to the search committee for this very important position must be considered a public service."

Voss coordinated committee meetings, secured meeting space, made travel arrangements for the candidates who were interviewed and was responsible for taking committee minutes and worked with the consulting firm that assisted with the search, in addition to other activities.

"The fact that the search was completed successfully and in record time and without problems speaks to the quality of the assistance that the committee received from this exemplary staff member," the nominator wrote. "Throughout her dealings with provost candidates, Janice Voss represented the best of the university, exemplifying the can-do attitude and professionalism of the Appalachian Family."