Columbia State Holds Employee Honors And Awards Convocation

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – June 29, 2016) - - - Columbia State Community College recently held its 19th annual Employees’ Honors and Awards Convocation, recognizing those who have excelled in their service to the school, reached service milestones, as well as those who are retiring.

Michael Sztapka, enrollment services recruiter, emceed the event and Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president, presented the awards.

The 2016 Distinguished Faculty Award went to Emilie Shelly Ganter, associate professor of English. Ganter received her bachelor’s degree in history from Cornell University before earning her master’s degree in creative writing from Syracuse University and has been employed with Columbia State since 1993.

The 2016 Outstanding Professional Staff Award was presented to Brent Fleming, coordinator of administrative computing and database administration in information technology. Fleming earned his associate degree in computer information systems from Columbia State and began his employment in 2004.

The recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Support Staff Award was Lauren Maxwell, an account clerk and lead cashier in business services since 2003. In announcing the award, Jackie Crawford, member of the support staff council, stressed the value of Maxwell’s attitude, her warmth and friendliness.

The final award of the event was the President’s Medal, the highest honor bestowed upon a Columbia State employee, which was presented by Smith to Sharon Bowen, records department director. Bowen, who received her bachelor’s degree in office management from Middle Tennessee State University and a master’s degree in administration and supervision from Trevecca Nazarene College, is an alumna of Columbia State and has served on the professional staff since 1981.

Announcing the award, Smith praised Bowen for her work on campus assisting both students and staff alike, as well as her involvement in the community with Leadership Maury and volunteering with the People’s Table.

In nominating Bowen for the award, her peers wrote, “Because of Sharon’s devotion to our students through her work, she enhances the individual college experience of so many students while they are at Columbia State, in ways they may not yet fully realize or appreciate… I have found Sharon to be unfailingly professional, helpful and collegial in her duties... Her experience, reliability and professionalism have been a key element in the success of our college in the crucial areas of student retention and degree completion.”

Service awards were also given to employees who have completed a specific number of years of employment, beginning with a 5-year designation. Among them, Bowen and Dr. Linda Brunton, professor of psychology, were recognized for 35 years of employment, and Elaine Curtis, associate vice president of business services, was honored for 40 years of service.

Among the retirees were Diane Robertson, associate professor of reading (joined the college in 1987); Marian Warren, program director and associate professor of early childhood development (2000); Cecelia Johnson, associate vice president of student services (1988); Charles Booker, custodial lead worker-Williamson Campus (1992); Mary Lou Baker, associate professor of mathematics (1993); Lillian Hayes, custodial lead worker-Lawrence Campus (1989); Ellen Meade, network systems analyst (1986);  Betty Bailey, testing assistant (2010); Ken Horner, vice president of financial and administrative services (1977); Elizabeth McDow, director-Lewisburg Campus (1987); and James Young, associate professor of nursing (1992).

African American woman holding plaque
Photo Caption: President’s Medal winner, Sharon Bowen, Columbia State director of records.

Employee Awards photo
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Emilie Shelly Ganter, associate professor of English was presented with the Distinguished Faculty Award.

Brent Fleming employee award
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Brent Fleming, coordinator of administrative computing and database administration in information technology, was presented the Outstanding Professional Staff Award.

Employee holds award
Photo Caption:
Lauren Maxwell, an account clerk and lead cashier in business services, was presented the Outstanding Support Staff Award.

Linda Boshers employee award
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Linda Boshers, administrative secretary of academic and student programs and services, and Chiquita Bullock, retention coordinator for the Humanities and Social Sciences division, were awarded the Volunteer Award for individuals who continually volunteer to help and support Columbia State activities and events in any capacity.

Employee award
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Chiquita Bullock, retention coordinator for the Humanities and Social Sciences division, was awarded the Spirit Award for showing her enthusiastic support for the college.

Wynn Gooch Award
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Wynn Gooch, disability services counselor, received the Shining Star Award for employees who have been with the college three years or less.

Two men and a women with award
Photo Caption:
Victoria Gay, dean of the Humanities and Social Sciences division, director of learning support and associate professor of English, was presented with the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve Award. Pictured, left to right: Joe Thomas, chair emeritus of ESGR; Gay: and Melanie Woody, adjunct faculty.

Elaine Curtis with service award
Photo Caption:
  Elaine Curtis, associate vice president of business services, was honored for 40 years of service to the college.

C-State employees with service awards
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Receiving 35-year service awards are (pictured, left to right): Dr. Linda Brunton, professor of psychology and Sharon Bowen, director of records.

30 year service award
Photo Caption:
Ellen Meade, network systems analyst, received a 30-year service award.

25-year service award
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Receiving a 25-year service award is Doris Brewer, payroll supervisor.

Employee Awards
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Eugenia Bobo, university center and RODP student support specialist received a 20-year service award. Not pictured: Margaret Anderson, library secretary; Cathy Hudnall, program director and associate professor of commercial entertainment; Karen Kendall-Fite, associate professor of biology and John Nolan, custodian.

Employee receives award
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Receiving a 15-year service award is Dr. Lacey Benns-Owens, associate professor of communications. Not pictured: Patricia Keeton, custodian and Tom Winters, network administrator.

10 year service awards
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Receiving 10-year service awards are (pictured, left to right): Emily Gaskill, associate professor of music; Crystal Keeton, learning center specialist-Lawrence Campus; Jackie Crawford, processing clerk-enrollment services; Marissa Dunkin, clinical coordinator and assistant professor of radiologic technology; and David Cooper, maintenance mechanic. Not pictured: Tom Cardin, maintenance mechanic; De’Marcus Jackson, associate professor of psychology; Debbie Long, analyst-human resources; and Holly Tkaczyk, library assistant.

Employee Service Awards
Photo Caption:
Receiving five-year service awards are (left to right) back row: Jolina St. Pierre, social media and special events coordinator-public relations and marketing; Ginny Massey-Holt, assistant professor of nursing; Teri Lacher, clinical laboratory technician-nursing and Greg Mewbourn, associate professor of history. Front row: Katrina Woody, secretary-Health Sciences division; Freda Pillow, career counselor-student services; Brittany Hall Seybert, assistant professor of English; Deepa Janakiraman, assistant professor of computer information systems and Andrew Wright, assistant professor of mathematics. Bottom right: Sherica Nelms, director TRiO student support services. Not pictured: Larry Bassham, custodian; Dr. Jan de la Mer, assistant professor of history; Stephen Denny, instructor of emergency medical technology; David Hall, director of maintenance-facility services and Eric McCullough, assistant professor of emergency medical technology. 

Several employee awards
Photo Caption:
Employees who retired during the 2015-2016 academic year were given a special gift in recognition of their years of service to the college. Pictured (left to right):  Ellen Meade, network systems analyst; Ken Horner, vice president of financial and administrative services; Lillian Hayes, custodial lead worker-Lawrence Campus; Betty Bailey, testing assistant; Cecilia Johnson, associate vice president of student services; Elizabeth McDow, director of Lewisburg Campus; and Mary Lou Baker, associate professor of mathematics. Not pictured: Charles Booker, custodial lead worker-Williamson Campus; Diane Robertson, associate professor of reading; Marian Warren, program director and assistant professor of early childhood education: and Dr. James Young, associate professor of nursing.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit www.ColumbiaState.edu.

Tennessee’s Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at tncommunitycolleges.org.

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