LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas recognized its Employees of the Year and presented the 2013-2014 Team Award on May 7 in the Kansas Union. Chancellor Bernadette Gray Little and Jeffrey S. Vitter, provost and executive vice chancellor and Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor, were present at the luncheon to honor employees.
The winners are as follows:
Unclassified Professional Staff Employee of the Year
The Unclassified Professional Staff Employee of the Year is someone who has a “can do” attitude, is always adaptive and creative, and who can juggle many balls at once, all the while demonstrating grace under fire. Andrew Hause has a capacity to listen, build trust, and enhance the reputation of the university among a wide range of entities, both within the United States and abroad.
Hause started working at KU in 1996, and the expression…”the show must go on” is absolutely the case for this individual. He leads crews of students and professional stagehands in all aspects of running the technical systems for shows and events at the Lied Center. He also maintains the technical systems and makes sure all backstage areas are clean, safe and organized, no small feat considering the number of moving, deadline driven parts required to pull off a successful production. He provides a vital service that makes it possible for the Lied Center both to operate and to offer a rich and diverse performing arts experience. He also works with a variety of artists, faculty and staff, and he is also the primary person who works with the annual Rock Chalk Revue show.
Few people have the combination of physical endurance, work ethic, people skills and technical expertise needed to perform such a demanding position. For some productions, Hause’s workday may last up to 18-19 hours.
Hause is known by his colleagues as a doer and a teacher. Part of his job requires working with untrained student crews, and in this aspect of his work he is also exceptional.
University Support Staff Employee of the Year Winner
The University Support Staff Employee of the Year is technically skilled, yet gifted at explaining complex concepts in clear, simple language. Jim Hartzell is consistent, customer-focused and knows students are the real beneficiaries of committed behind-the-scenes staff who work to keep them secure and successful. Particularly known for an easygoing manner and strong problem-solving skills, Hartzell understands when it’s important to advocate for change and when it’s time to compromise.
Hartzell began more than 25 years ago with KU Facilities Operations and rose through the trades with a number of promotions. Campuswide projects were a specialty where his thorough and insightful review of technical designs and plans were central to the success of the overall assignment. In 2006, Hartzell left his senior position and transferred to Student Housing, where the depth and breadth of his experience was put to excellent use in helping plan major renovations, improvements and innovations designed to benefit current and future generations of KU students.
The facilities staff merger of 2012 required a proven leader with broad experience, a calming demeanor and a commitment to treating others with dignity and respect. Hartzell “traded his tools for an iPad” and established his new operations liaison role as an essential part of the Student Housing leadership team. He’s gifted at thorough and timely responses to high-priority and preventative maintenance issues in Student Housing and is still developing and expanding his role, working toward still more effective means and methods to increase the level and quality of service to on-campus residents.
As emergencies arise, Hartzell helps others understand that residents pay the bills and deserve the best efforts KU can give. And in those crisis times, he’s uniquely able to listen to – and truly hear – the needs of everyone involved so he can clearly communicate those needs to the technicians who will complete repairs.
2013-2014 Team Award
Ekdahl Dining Commons
The winning team was treated to lunch with the provost, a treat and a nice change for a group whose daily mission is to see to the nutritional needs of others. Ekdahl Dining Commons, or Mrs. E’s, is typically responsible for serving more than 3,500 students per day, which is around 1 million meals annually. Team members are as follows:
- Nona Golledge, director of Campus Dining
- Sheryl Kidwell, assistant director for Residential Dining
- Mark Maranell, general manager, Ekdahl Dining Commons
- Sergio Banos, assistant manager, Ekdahl Dining Commons
The magnitude of this project went beyond just a facility renovation. It had a tight deadline to meet in order to be up and running. For special events and the start of classes, it also included range of new dining concepts and menus that address special needs. The scope of changes was so significant that all staff and student employees had to be trained before service could resume. All this was done in keeping with an ongoing commitment to provide customers with exceptional cuisine in a progressive and inviting environment.