Name: Amea Chandler
Title: Academic adviser, Undergraduate Advising Center
What that means: Amea Chandler works with more than 200 assigned students each semester to discuss academic planning and goal setting, and she sees hundreds more students each semester who drop in to the office. Chandler is also the coordinator of Orientation Planning and Support. She works closely with the Office of First Year Experience to plan orientation events and ensuring that each orientation runs smoothly.
Notable: This was the first year that Chandler faced a large role in the orientation process as the interim leader and coordinator, and she took on the additional responsibility without complaint. Many have said that orientation this year ran the smoothest it has ever run. Additionally, Chandler’s focus on customer service improved the experience for both students who attended and other departments involved.
Chandler put in long days during orientations. She could be found working in the hospitality room, the advising help room, working with students and their guests to resolve concerns, on the phone with professionals across campus solving problems, and introducing students to potential advisers and instructors. Chandler handled the unexpected creatively and efficiently, she delegated when needed, and she gave specific instructions to get as many students taken care of as possible. She has a talent for easing the fears of a nervous parent or calming an angry student. She is often a requested adviser within the office. Chandler always puts the student’s needs and questions first. The students Chandler works with often keep in touch throughout their career at the university.
Chandler leads the FUN committee in the Undergraduate Advising Center and coordinates yearly superlative awards that always makes coworkers laugh and leads the committee in planning gifts for employees who are leaving, graduating, or retiring. Despite all the things that Chandler does and the talent she displays in the work she does, she is modest and always the first to give someone credit when credit is due. She does everything she can to create a positive and fun environment for her coworkers and works hard in all tasks she is involved in without expectation of recognition, which makes this award all the more special.
Name: Kathy McCurley
Title: Administrative assistant senior
What that means: Kathy McCurley chiefly serves as the receptionist for the Chancellor’s Office. In that role, she answers the phone and directs guests who are meeting with the chancellor and others in the Chancellor’s suite. McCurley has a very welcoming and positive attitude, and she makes a great first impression as the initial point of contact for the Chancellor’s Office.
McCurley has several responsibilities within the Chancellor’s Office. She maintains the holiday card mailing list and sends out printed as well as electronic cards. McCurley updates and maintains the mailing list for city officials, Chamber of Commerce board, school board, county commissioners, university presidents and more. She arranges for alumni representatives to attend university presidential inauguration events throughout the United States when Chancellor Gray-Little is unable to attend. McCurley assists with all of the necessary tasks to keep the Chancellor’s Office running smoothly and professionally.
Notable: McCurley realized early on in her career at the Chancellor’s Office that it was beneficial to check the police report and Lawrence Journal World each morning in case there are issues or events that may prompt calls to the office. She does all she can to keep up on events so that she is knowledgeable and helpful in answering and responding to inquiries.
One of the most important and skillful responsibilities McCurley has is being the first point of contact for all people who visit or call the Chancellor’s Office. At times, when people call the Chancellor’s Office, or walk into the Chancellor’s suite, they are there because they have tried without success to resolve issues with other departments on campus. McCurley is a professional at calming the situation and helping all visitors and callers get their issue resolved. At times, people demand to speak with the chancellor and McCurley makes sure that they get their answer, and get the answer from the right person, even if it’s not from the chancellor. Her ability as well to handle callers and visitors herself rather than passing them on is invaluable to the efficiency of the Chancellor’s Office.
McCurley is an impressive troubleshooter, nd a skilled problem solver. Every day people bring varied and complicated problems and concerns into the Chancellor’s Office, and McCurley handles every situation with tact and grace.