OSU Institute of Technology has selected three exemplary employees for the 2020 League Excellence Awards, formerly the John and Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards.
Anna Dinsmore-Hearn, grant writer for Workforce and Economic Development and the Industrial & Aviation Technologies Training Center, is the recipient in the staff member category, James Weygandt, Truck Technician instructor, is the recipient in the faculty member category and Steven "Bo" Hudson, director of Residential Life, is the recipient in the Administrator category.
"Being nominated for this award is a great honor," said Dr. Path. "These employees are well-deserving to be recognized for their continued efforts to move OSUIT forward into the future. I'm proud to have such dedicated employees at our institution."
Established in 1968, the League for Innovation in the Community College is dedicated to informing, inspiring and celebrating innovations in learning, teaching, staff development and student success. In 2012, and as part of this tradition of excellence in community colleges, the League Excellence established these awards to recognize outstanding faculty and staff leaders in higher education.
Dinsmore-Hearn has been instrumental in securing more than $700,000 in grant funds for the institution in the past year and writing 13 grant proposals.
Each grant proposal can range from 70 to 100 hours of work. Dinsmore-Hearn has been responsible for collecting data and statistics for each grant, drafting the proposal, budget, obtaining letters of support, submitting each proposal and all post-award duties when a grant is funded.
"I am very proud and grateful for receiving this award," said Dinsmore-Hearn. "Winning an award is never my only goal. I'm always striving for self-improvement and continued professional growth. The outcome of receiving this award provides a great sense of achievement."
In addition to her duties at OSUIT, she is also pursuing a master's in Workforce and Adult Education through OSU-Tulsa.
"I know there are a lot of deserving and hard-working individuals at OSUIT, so to be selected gives me even more motivation to continue to move forward with my career goals," she said. "I am fortunate that I work with a great team.
Weygandt has helped to transform the Truck Technician program since he started at OSUIT two years ago. Within the past year, he has led thousands of dollars to fall directly within the Truck Technician program. His involvement in securing donations equaling more than $200,000, participating in virtual program tours and interviews, increasing student enrollment, and being heavily involved in the program and department's budget has helped stabilize the Truck Technician program.
"I am on the front line fighting and achieving these accomplishments, and I am very proud of this, he said. "Achieving this while driving up the outcome of our students' potential is exciting."
Weygandt believes that continuous improvement is essential not only in his professional career but also in his personal life.
"Continuous learning is one of my key internal drivers," he said. "We must always be bettering ourselves; in return, we deliver more to our company. My internal standards should always be higher than the company standards; in return, the employee and employer develop and long-lasting relationship, which we have done."
He said this award had been a goal of his, and it's truly an honor to be recognized, but his real joy comes from the students he teaches. He said some moments are hard to replace, such as hearing from current or past students and learning of their accomplishments or receiving a thank you for helping them.
"Whether we want to believe it or not, a pat on the back feels good," he said. "As faculty, we go above and beyond daily and sometimes get so caught up in the day-to-day that we forget to sit back and enjoy it."
Hudson's role in developing the new student conduct system over the past year has been instrumental to Student Services.
The system was a collaborative development effort among several Residential Life, Student Conduct and Title IX employees with Campus Kaizen. Hudson's role was to assist from conception to implementation of the new system. He is currently in the process of launching the system for the OSUIT campus.
This isn't the first enhancement to systems on campus that Hudson has been a part of. He also was responsible for implementing and overseeing Residential Life's Housing Director software. This allowed the institution to move to a more paperless system, which had not been done before and to more efficiently keep track of students through mobile access to student information in an emergency.
"My personal goal is always to help create a safe and enjoyable resident experience," said Hudson. "Beyond that, I also try to do my best to be open to change and possible improvements in all I do. I believe that in all things that we do, it is important to keep an eye out for those things so that when we are presented with the opportunity, then we can try to seize upon it."