KU announces August employees of the month

Mon, 09/23/2013

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has announced employees of the month for August 2013:

University Unclassified Staff Employee of the Month

Name: Kevin Lee

Start date: 2008

Current title: Academic adviser, William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications

What that means: Lee’s primary responsibility is to provide accurate and personalized academic advice to prospective and current undergraduate journalism students. In addition to meeting with hundreds of students each semester, Lee assists in maintaining comprehensive and accurate academic records for the students. He also assists with enrollment-related functions, coordinates the probation and dismissal communication for undergraduate journalism students, and assists with admission, orientation and graduation functions and processes.

Notable: An exemplary adviser, Lee advocates for the students while consistently encouraging them to work toward their personal goals. He gets to know students and challenges them to think critically about their academic career and life after graduation. Lee stays up-to-date on regional and national trends in the advising field and is well-read in theory and current best practices. He collaborated with the Career Development Coordinator to create and implement an online employment survey of recent journalism graduates. During a staff turnover in the summer of 2012 he single-handedly processed all of the work previously split among three staff, and he remains an invaluable resource to the people who were subsequently brought into those positions.

University Support Staff Employee of the Month

Name: Robert Mills

Start date: 2010

Current title: Boiler operator senior, Facilities Services

What that means: Mills works in the main power plant, keeping the boilers at the center of the University of Kansas heating system in optimum working order. Prior to that he was responsible for conducting maintenance in that power plant and in the Multidisciplinary Research Building’s power plant; this meant making 90 percent of repairs and maintenance inspections in the power plant and supervising all repairs at the MRB.

Notable: A dedicated, energetic employee, Mills goes out of his way to help out in any way, including stepping in to fill shifts where needed. A retired Navy veteran, he has brought what he learned and accomplished in the service out to the civilian sector. He has written basic operating procedures for the MRB plant, so not only do the operators know how to react to specific problems, but also how to handle everyday situations. Mills took it on himself to research, disassemble and reassemble the stagers of the water softener, then get it back online and working within a 48-hour period. Another time, he assisted with researching the proper mechanical seal for a brand new $25,000 feed pump to fix a problem that even the company that supplied it could not figure out, get it installed, and back to working condition. He has helped fire all four boilers on fuel oil. As one of only three staff that can do this task, he has written procedures on how to accomplish it.

"Hot diggety dog!" These were the words of KU alumnus Ronald Evans as he became the first Jayhawk in space. Evans served as the command module pilot of Apollo 17 in 1972, which was NASA's last mission to the Moon. Tags: KU Aerospace Engineering #KUtbt #KUleaders NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Inside KU: Protein research, biodiesel fuel, and KU's Bioscience & Technology Business Center "Inside KU" takes a look at how the expanded Bioscience & Technology Business Center (http://bit.ly/1zzPvrw) brings a number of beneficial services to small start-ups, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between. Also: A KU startup at the BTBC, KanPro, is producing proteins for research in medicine, biotechnology, and life sciences (See http://bit.ly/1DSY3s9). KU Innovation and Collaboration focuses on turning the university’s research into industry (See http://bit.ly/ZTOKZF). The "Feedstock to Tailpipe Initiative" grows algae to provide a sustainable source for biodiesel fuel (See http://bit.ly/1oPRovz). Undergraduate Research Awards allow students to explore their fields deeper (See http://bit.ly/KUcugr). **The Time Warner Cable Sports Network's "Inside KU" is hosted by Jeannie Hodes.**

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
1 of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
$260.5 million in externally funded research expenditures
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times