Student Affairs Staff Recognized by Human Resources

The Division of Student Affairs is home to an incredible team of talented and dedicated student affairs professionals committed to the success of KSU students. In recognition of the enormous impact DSA staff has on the KSU community members of our team were selected for nomination to five awards presented by Human Resources. Of the nominations that were submitted, two were selected as recipients. We are extremely proud to share the list of recipients and nominees of the 2021 Human Resources Staff Awards.

Please join the Division of Student Affairs in celebrating our wonderful team! Thank you for all of your hard work, leadership, creativity, and commitment to student success! 

2021 Human Resources Staff Award Recipients

Positive Impact to the Community Award

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    Marcy Stidum

    Marcy's work with CARES has not only impacted KSU, but created a greater conversation on student assistance and retention at other institutions of higher education within the states of Georgia and Tennessee. Marcy has a spirit of services and has worked closely with many partners across the county to assist students, to the point where she has been appointed the Chairperson for the Marietta/Cobb HUD Continuum of Care committee. All of these efforts are in direct alignment of our university value of making an impact in the community. 

Outstanding Leadership Award

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    Shameka Wells

    Shameka has been a leader in terms of setting her department’s vision and structuring her staff’s responsibilities to reach those goals. Even though her staff numbers have not changed, she was able to reallocate responsibilities so that her team could work more effectively. Additionally, from the start of the pandemic crisis, Shameka stood out a leader as she managed her team remotely. The Cultural and Community Centers (CCC) staff team was one of the first to do things like have virtual coffee hours, utilize a Teams channel to substitute for their normal hallway conversations, and so forth. Their team was able to stay united to center students’ experiences even as our work life changed dramatically, and this was due to Shameka’s leadership and empathy with her team. 

2021 Human Resources Staff Award Nominees

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    Center for Young Adult Addiction & Recovery

    Nominated for the Student Success Impact Award

    The Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery contributes to student success by positively impacting students in recovery from addictive disorders. The CYAAR staff consistently provides emotional, academic, and social support to students above and beyond the expectations of their position by being available and present to students through the community space at the Center, hosting recovery meetings well beyond office hours and raising funds for student scholarships. The tangible impact is notable in that the average cohort GPA in Spring semester 2021 was 3.32, six students graduated this semester, all with straight A's, one Summa Cum Laude, one Magna Cum Laude, two Cum Laude, and two graduates honors.  

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    Esports Program

    Nominated for the Excellence in Innovation Award

    While spring 2020 presented many challenges to our world, including how we delivered student involvement opportunities, our team led by Mr. Andrew Harvill took on the opportunity and created a space for our students that is still very active. This past fall 2020 we continued the program and the momentum was sustained as we created some space for the program inside the Game Room at the Wilson Student Center. This literally impacted the traffic in the Game Room as we saw consistent number of students who would come to use the equipment. The work from this team has served as a great foundation to the future of E-sports at KSU and importantly it will place us as a competitor in the state and region. As we prepare to create a bigger space for E-sports on the Marietta campus, we know that we have created a niche for our students that transcends the activity into an opportunity for relevant research that will support the work of the Computer and Game Design academic program. 

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    Carrie Kuzontkoski

    Nominated for the Outstanding Owl Award

    As the Associate Director for Recreational Programs, Carrie Kuzontkoski is charged with leading the planning, development and facilitation of training and student development programs.  To accomplish this responsibility, she utilizes a variety of tools and methods to communicate the importance and impact with student staff working on campus and being the face of the Department of Sports and Recreation.  As part of the RecDev Conference, she developed educational and breakout sessions centered around developing student staff in competencies such as communication, critical thinking, teamwork, leadership and conflict resolution.  She utilized D2L as a platform to have students state their professional, academic and personal goals along with how their position would assist them in accomplishing them.  Carrie has observed seeking knowledge to enhance her expertise and skillset to develop student staff directly and indirectly.  In addition to her presenting at conferences, she has engaged in learning opportunities to discover and apply tools and other best practices to contribute to students’ success.  Through these efforts, she has made significant contributions to the department’s initiatives such as establishing a baseline for student staff with meeting certain competencies.  Utilizing the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) career readiness competencies, Carrie has developed a department student staff evaluation tool that links student’s job performance to their aspirational career readiness.  The key components of the tool include a student self-reflection, supervisor guided reflection discussion and goal setting.  Over time, this tool will help with showing the critical development that students receive from working in the Department of Sports and Recreation. Lastly, her efforts have garnered attention and praise from the Vice President of the Division of Student Affairs, and he has asked her to participate on a committee to assist in the development of a divisional model for student employee development. 

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    Bonna Lenyszyn

    Nominated for the Outstanding Owl Award

    In her role as Deaf and Hard of Hearing Manager, she exemplifies KSU's mission of 'students first.' Bonna provides tireless support and service to a student population with special needs, helping them to achieve their personal and academic goals. 

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    Melissa Lewis

    Nominated for the Outstanding Owl Award

    Melissa has served the staff and students of CPS for almost a decade, and she exemplifies what it means to be an Outstanding Owl. Every task and project she touches is made better by her creativity and attention to detail. Melissa is one of the most organized individuals in the division, she is always willing to offer potential solutions, and she is very talented at thinking through the impact of solutions on students and the office. A frequent refrain in our office is, “what would we do without Melissa?” And this sentiment refers not only to the outstanding job she does in executing her role, but also refers to the warmth and positivity she contributes to the office culture.

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    Jenna Rehm

    Nominated for the Outstanding Owl Award

    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!

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    Melissa Sleet

    Nominated for the Outstanding Owl Award

    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.

Do you know of another DSA staff member that should receive some recognition? 

If so, please consider nominating them for the Division of Student Affairs monthly Staff Spotlight. Please visit our Staff Spotlight page to learn more!