Public Affairs

June 07, 1999

University Honors Four Who "Make Students Count"

June 7, 1999 NR 12-1999

Four University of Alaska staffers have won the first of the university's "Make Students Count" awards for their outstanding service to students.

University President Mark R. Hamilton announced the award winners Friday at the annual meeting of the Board of Regents on the UAF campus in Fairbanks.

The winners are:

Colleen Abrams, manager of student information systems in the statewide system office in Fairbanks, was cited because her work touches the academic life of every student in the UA system. When the information system was being converted to the Banner system, Abrams worked diligently to make the system work efficiently and effectively, and offered suggestions to improve the way campuses use the system.

"Colleen has gotten 'in the trenches' at registration at almost every campus," wrote UAF Registrar Ann Tremarello who supported Abrams' nomination for the award. "If we brought forth an idea for a system change, she would often improve the change to allow is to serve students better. She has a tremendous capacity for looking at the system use from a user standpoint."

Susan Barlow, administrative assistant in distance education at the UAS campus in Sitka, was honored for her friendly, personal assistance to students. Barlow is known by students and her fellow staffers alike for always being willing to go "above and beyond" her job description if a job needs to get done.

"Sue gives the distance students a whole package," wrote student Dottie Cornelius, who supported Barlow's nomination. "She is a friend, confidante, servant and professional all in one. She does so many things for us to make us feel valued as a student that we are getting the best value for our tuition."

Sue McHenry, a counselor in Rural Student Services at UAF, who joined the university in 1968 and was honored by the Alaska Federation of Natives two years ago when she received the Denali Award for her work with Native students.

McHenry's supervisor, JoAnn Ducharme, director of Rural Student Services, wrote in her nomination letter, "I would never have thought 24 years ago that someday I would be Sue's supervisor. It is through her that I learn much on a daily basis. After 25 years of serving students she still brings excitement and creativity with her in her role as academic advisor. Students really do come first for Sue. That has never been questioned by any student or anyone who has worked at Rural Student Services."

Michael Smith, student information office coordinator for the College of Business and Public Policy at UAA, was honored for his dedication to serving students and being willing to go the extra mile to help them achieve their goals.

"Mike's hard work and dedication to students shows up in everything he does," wrote Professor Robert Maloney, who supported Smith's nomination for the award. "He is constantly looking for ways to improve the operation of his office. He has made several proposals for changes to policies, procedures, or forms which would eliminate inconsistencies, and improve service to students. All of us in the College benefit from the excellent job that Mike does."

Each winner of the "Make Students Count" award received a cash award of $1,000 and two tickets to anywhere Alaska Airlines flies in the U. S.

Hamilton started the awards to recognize staff who have provided outstanding service to students from anywhere in the UA system. The UA Staff Alliance gathers nominations for the awards and makes recommendations to President Hamilton.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Bob Miller, 907-474-7272

Michael Smith

Michael Smith

Colleen Abrams

Susan Barlow

Susan Barlow

Sue McHenry

Sue McHenry
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