Nominated by their colleagues, Staff Spotlights shine a light of appreciation on the amazing people working within the Division of Student Affairs. Staff are nominated for accomplishments such as presenting at conferences, winning awards, excellence in supporting students, and exhibiting behaviors or character worth mentioning.
Please join us in celebrating this month's Staff Spotlights!
Sean Brinkley, Jr.
Sean is extremely dedicated to his students and to KSU. He is an alumni who has a strong passion for helping students along their journey to find their true selves. Sean goes above and beyond leading his student groups, he learned how to host a virtual conference for students in leadership. He is always pushing his limits to learn and grow as a professional and personally. I have seen Sean create new and exciting ways to connect with students, including using Play-Doh! Sean doesn't stop at the end of the work day, he stops when the job is done. He inspires his students, and staff around him to go that extra mile for KSU.
Alan Hall maintains the highest level of commitment to the Department of Sports and Recreation. He always maintains a positive attitude and disposition, while working to meet and exceed expectations. In addition to quickly responding to the needs of the patrons, Alan makes it a priority to allot time to work alongside student assistants to support them in completing their daily duties and assigned projects. He takes initiative to support his colleagues in ways that are not his direct responsibility. For instance, he happily hangs items in their offices, picks up trash and water bottles on the tennis courts, and even lends a hand with moving equipment between facilities. Alan's selfless persona, strong work ethic and desire to support the department and division makes him a pleasure to work and a significant asset to Kennesaw State University.
Aaron is a hardworking and dedicated Student Affairs professional. In the relatively short amount of time that he has worked with us he has produced tremendous growth in the fitness programs, including the staff. When the Sports and Recreation facilities closed in March of 2020, Aaron and his fitness team had to work quickly to find creative ways to serve the patrons. They developed a “Workout with OwlFit at Home” series and he quickly modified existing programs to continue to serve patrons such as virtual small group coaching and personal training. He and his team are regular contributors to the Division of Student Affairs Health and Wellbeing Newsletter and they continually innovate new programs such as the Wake-Up Workout Challenge. He is well respected and liked by his peers and subordinates. Aaron shows a genuine passion for personal and student learning. He is a wonderful strategic planner and flexible in an ever-changing environment. He continues to seek ways to improve his program areas through thoughtful, intentional priorities and goal setting.
Simeon Stoyanov takes care and time with each client he serves. He is kind, supportive
and a strong collaborator. Simeon provides incredible IT support to the DSA and has
done so for years. He is selfless, committed and highly knowledgeable. Simeon responds
to each request he receives quickly, efficiently and as if it is the only request
he has that day. Simeon's ability to problem solve, think critically and make thoughtful
decisions are key characteristics of his management style. Simeon is a strong project
manager who balances the needs of the individual with the overarching needs of the
division. His work ethic is outstanding and his sense of humor is greatly appreciated.
Past Staff Spotlights
Jessica has evolved into being one of the very most vital members of our division. Having started at KSU as a student, Jessica manifests her passions into successful traditions and practices that make us all better! She has pivoted seamlessly from overseeing advocacy services for GLBTIQ students (a program that she built to its current momentum), to an assessment savant! She is able to manage and manipulate Owl Life software to develop meaningful and useful assessment tools for the division, which is appreciated. Jessica's contribution to the division have opened up the ways in which many of us can understand data collection and put it to good use for making informed decisions for our departments.
Tonya Baker McPherson
Dr. McPherson provides strong leadership, direction, and guidance for the department of Student Activities and the individual staff members within it. In addition to her job responsibilities, Dr. McPherson is also leading the efforts to engage students on campus through Homecoming, Weeks of Welcome, and 2,000+ programs in the spring semester. Dr. McPherson gives space for the staff to get creative with the tasks at hand to encourage us to take ownership and try out new opportunities to get students connected on campus. The success of the department's fall and spring programming wouldn't have been possible without Dr. McPherson, from the planning to the execution. She leads by example constantly, showing that no task is too big or too small. From picking up trash after an event to moving boxes to storage, Dr. McPherson is always with her staff. She has an impressive ability to check in with the staff and allow them to express their thoughts and feelings in an open and constructive manner.
Jenna goes above and beyond to help students and student organizations with space reservations on campus. Jenna demonstrates excellent customer service and always provides solutions to students' questions and challenges. Jenna's strong interpersonal skills, especially when working with campus partners to coordinate student organization events, including Event and Venue Management, Facilities, Sports and Recreation, and Environmental Health and Safety are impressive. Even while working temporarily with the KSU Contact Tracing team in the fall semester and now once per week in the spring semester, Jenna still assists the Department of Student Activities and communicates with clients. Jenna does all this with a positive, upbeat attitude that is contagious in our office!
Melissa is committed to her students, position, and Kennesaw State University. As an alumni of KSU, Melissa shows deep pride for her alma mater in everything she does as a full-time professional. Even with all of her previous experience as a student leader, Melissa centers the experiences and growth of her students on the Kennesaw Activities Board (KAB). Melissa is always an advocate for students' needs and wants within our department and the division. Melissa is often the last person to leave work because of her evening programs to accommodate student schedules. Melissa is truly a student-centered professional who her students and colleagues adore and respect.