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.