KU announces January-March Employees of the Month

Fri, 05/11/2018

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has announced several spring 2018 Employees of the Month, including Leslie O'Neil, who was honored earlier this week as one of KU's Employee of the Year along with September Employee of the Month Ola Faucher



Name: John Clune
Title: IT coordinator for the departments of Physics and Chemistry as well as the Center for STEM Learning

What that means: Clune is responsible for setting up and maintaining the public computing labs, faculty workstations and staff computers. He repairs or replaces computers when they break, installs IT-provided software, maintains department servers and ensures the departments have network access throughout. Clune also helps with lab instrument setup by installing instrument specific software and hardware, ensuring connectivity between the instruments and computers, and troubleshooting very detailed problems.

Notable: Clune’s dedication to his work is outstanding. He will arrive early or come in on weekends to fix problems to ensure minimal errors. Clune is adept at delving into researching what is best for the department; he will install instrument software and ensure instruments are communicating and working properly. An employee within the department described this work, stating, “I cannot emphasize enough how truly amazing his support is in this regard.”

Clune is fiercely loyal to the departments he supports. Those he supports attest that Clune always offers solutions, never overpromises and always delivers. An employee within a department that Clune supports said, “To have such a dedicated IT employee and staff member is tremendously valuable and extremely important when conducting research where everything is computerized and operated in a digital world.” 

Clune’s overwhelming priority is that the lab’s research proceeds without any hindrance due to technology. According to his supervisors, he routinely works around the complex schedules of individuals and labs on campus to be as nondisruptive as possible.

Clune is described as dedicated to the users in the department that he supports and has tied his personal success to those of others in his department. He cares about the well-being of those who he works with, and now that he is a coordinator for his team, he works hard to ensure everyone is getting the high level of service he has set as a standard.

Name: Jeremy Willard

Title: IT support technician for 23 departments served by the Humanities, International & Interdisciplinary Studies support team

What that means: Willard and his two colleagues serve as the first point of contact for staff, faculty and student employees for troubleshooting hardware, software, network and printer issues.

Willard provides outstanding customer service in his job as an IT support technician. According to his customers, he is always helpful, patient, positive and professional, and he is always willing to go the extra mile to ensure that his customers get the prompt technical support that they need. His supervisor applauds his initiative, commitment to customer service, desire to increase his technical knowledge, willingness to ask for assistance if he doesn’t have a solution to an issue and readiness to be a resource for his colleagues, especially with the printer/scanners used by KU departments.

Notable: Willard’s service can best be described through quotes from those he serves:

  • “If we were to lose Jeremy, I would panic. I have grown accustomed to his incredible professionalism and poise. I feel spoiled having him as our IT support person. I cannot think of a single negative thing to say about Jeremy, and I can be quite critical.”
  • “Jeremy is truly a 'go-to' person for all things tech in our department. Jeremy approaches all tasks, big and small, with professionalism and friendliness. When he assists us with day-to-day troubleshooting, he avoids technical jargon and patiently guides us with instructions accessible to faculty in the humanities.”
  • “Jeremy has been the most responsive IT employee I have worked with since I arrived four years ago. He responds to my emails within minutes and has always been available to meet me in my office within a day. This, to me, is going above and beyond.”

Those who Jeremy supports are unanimous in saying that he provides consistent above and beyond service to the departments he serves.



Name: Talaine Coleman-Martin
Title: Assistant nursing supervisor, Watkins Health Services

What that means: Coleman-Martin juggles supervisory duties with patient care duties. She provides training and orientation to new staff members, ensures that skill competencies are maintained for existing staff members and serves as a daily clinical resource to both nursing staff and medical staff. 

Notable: This year, Coleman-Martin will have been a nurse at Watkins Health Services for 30 years. This is a testament to her reliability, her perseverance and her undeniable passion for serving the University of Kansas. She took on a role that gave her new responsibility and duties when she accepted the role of assistant nursing supervisor. She is a natural leader, mentor and advocate, and she has contributed greatly to the strength of the nursing department.

Over the years, Coleman-Martin has provided care to many students and has developed great insight into this experience. She understands the complicated dynamic that goes along with caring for students who are adults and making their own health care choices for the first time. She is conscientious of the ways in which parents of students can find that transition difficult. She is a strong advocate for the student, encouraging them and empowering them to act as an adult and take control of their health while still making healthy lifestyle choices.

As part of her job duties, Coleman-Martin plays a significant role in the orientation of new nursing staff employees. While there is a list of required tasks for this orientation, she always goes above and beyond those checklists and tasks by taking the time to learn about the new employee’s work experience and personalizing the training to their individual needs. She accounts for their strengths versus weaknesses and looks for ways to bring out the best in them.

Coleman-Martin is described as assertive and fearless. She cares about people on a deep level and has an uncanny ability to read people and how they are feeling. Her sense of humor is infectious and endearing. All of these qualities have helped her bring the nursing staff together and have contributed to a stronger, more cohesive nursing team.

Name: Connie Shaw
Title: Information booth attendant, KU Parking

What that means: Shaw works in the parking booths located at various entry points on KU’s campus. She is friendly, thorough and helpful. Shaw really enjoys meeting new people and brightening up their day, and it shows. She is well-known across campus by employees and visitors because she greets all who go through her booth with a kind smile and wave. One employee said, “She made me feel as if she’d known me for years.” Visitors to the campus also receive a warm welcome from Shaw. She makes sure each visitor coming through her booth is assisted and knows where to go.

Notable: Shaw tries to help everyone she meets. She strives to give the best customer service to all she encounters. Parking employees all work during football and basketball games, and Shaw is one who volunteers to stay late for every game. While women’s basketball games are not mandatory for parking employees to work, she frequently volunteers because she enjoys talking with all the attendees she has met who come to the games over the years. Shaw loves being a part of the KU community.

What Shaw contributes to KU is vital to the university’s success. She is the face of KU for every visitor, and her infectious happiness helps create a welcoming environment for each person entering Jayhawk Boulevard.

MARCH 2018

Name: Tim Miller
Title: IT support technician in the School of Engineering

What that means: Miller is the first point of contact for most walk-in support in the main IT office within the engineering school. He assists office faculty, staff and students with workstation support, printer support and computer lab support. Miller is reliable and always follows through with everything he is assigned or asked to do. Every morning before 7 a.m., he checks each classroom in the engineering complex for readiness. 

To provide some examples of Miller going above and beyond, in one instance, he came in during the weekend before classes started to help get electrical engineering and computer science machines reimaged to make sure everything was up and running when classes began. 

As another example, he took the initiative to arrange tests with Garmin because of numerous connection issues at the start of the semester. This prevented troubleshooting during a class situation, which is stressful on both sides. The testing arrangement provided a smoother learning experience with Garmin, which can only improve its partnership with KU.

Yet another example of Miller’s initiative includes his assistance to the Shared Service Center (SSC). While his work as a technician is primarily focused on desktop PC support, he created an external workflow tool for the HR team in the SSC. The tool helped semi-automate steps that HR team members need to send out notifications. It has been a tremendous help to the SSCs and is being adopted by all other SSCs on campus.  

Miller’s nomination was supported by many faculty and staff within the School of Engineering who have received support from him, describing him as wonderful and exceptional. He always makes each person feel like their problem is his top priority. 

Miller is always willing to learn more and wants to be as helpful as can be. Everyone he works with cannot say enough good things about him. 

Name: Leslie O’Neil
Title: Administrative associate senior, KU Bands department

What that means: O’Neil is the manager of all things in the band department — finances, travel and budgets for the bands. She supervises and staffs the student office to ensure coverage of the front reception desk, handles locker checkouts for Murphy Hall, takes care of music, equipment, instruments and building maintenance. In addition to her job duties, O'Neil is the unofficial nurse, mom, recruiter, counselor, helper and solver of problems. 

Notable: Recently named one of KU's two Employees of the Year, O’Neil does whatever it takes to get the job done on a daily basis. She is knowledgeable about all things band, music, housing, parking and more. One of O'Neil's strongest attributes is her initiative. She quickly figures out what the office needs and does it. On most projects needed from her, she hands the completed project to the band director 10 minutes before she’s even asked to start it. 

O'Neil seems to manage it all for the band. She provides administrative support, serves as the office manager, a budget director and event coordinator. The KU Marching Band performs more than 60 times a year in athletic and concert performances. No matter the venue, the equipment or the logistics needed, O'Neil has thought of all aspects for those working and attending.  

While O'Neil provides consistent and thorough support to current students, staff and faculty, she also meets hundreds of prospective students and their parents year-round. She will spend 20-30 minutes on an almost daily basis talking with prospective students and families. She gives an overview of the band activities to prospective students regardless of their major and will answer questions endlessly and patiently. She is a major part of the recruiting success for the band department.  

O'Neil is an employee who is integral to the band department. With hundreds of twitchy performers and needy conductors in tow, she always finds a way to keep the band office warm and friendly and to get the job done. There is never a “no” from O'Neil. She always finds a way.

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