Lawrence University honored staff members for significant service milestones and exemplary work during a staff awards reception held Nov. 30 in Warch Campus Center.

President Laurie A. Carter called those being honored examples of the “talent and commitment to brilliance that makes this university so remarkable.”

Forty-two employees were honored for service milestones ranging from five to 50 years.

The annual staff awards included two Presidential Awards of Excellence—one for a team and one for an individual—as well as a Kindness Award, a First-Year Impact Award, and a Diversity Champion Award.

    From left: Juan Arguello, Steph Knoppa, President Laurie Carter, and Kristi Koshuta. (Photos by Danny Damiani)
    From left: Juan Arguello, Steph Knoppa, President Laurie Carter, and Kristi Koshuta.

    President’s Award of Excellence - Team

    The team award was presented by Carter to the New Student Orientation Team, led by Kristi Koshuta, first-year dean, Juan Arguello, second-year dean, and Steph Knoppa, director of residential education and housing.

    That group, working with partners across campus, reimagined Welcome Week for incoming students, putting a focus on building connections.

    “They played games, they made things, they learned things, they visited the downtown, and they had fun, all while getting to know the campus and the community they now call home,” Carter said. “When it came time to walk through the Arch on their way to the President’s Welcome, the students found the sidewalks lined with faculty, staff, family, and friends greeting them with enthusiasm. The message was clear: We are excited you are here, and we are here to support you on your Lawrence journey. What a beautiful sight that was to see.”

    In addition to Welcome Week, the New Student Orientation Team implemented a platform for parent involvement and communications; facilitated an open forum for incoming students and their supporters; held a series of orientation webinars and other communications to help ease the transition; and created a nighttime program for incoming students to socialize and become more comfortable with campus.

    “Thank you, Kristi, Juan, Steph, and all the Lawrentians you partnered with to make this such an outstanding welcome for our newest students,” Carter said. “You have raised the bar.”

      Head shot of Jacklyn John Fischer
      Jacklyn Fischer

      President’s Award of Excellence - Individual

      Jacklyn Fischer, director of academic advising, received the individual award from Carter. Fischer transitioned into her current role a little more than a year ago and has helped to transform academic advising across campus.

      “She has brought a fresh perspective and best practices into every aspect of the work—from rethinking when new students register for classes, to revising how summer advising works, to developing more robust training for our faculty advisors,” Carter said. “She has thought holistically to improve the advising experience for both students and faculty.”

      Fischer has worked with partners across campus to create a more unified, coordinated, and effective pathway through academic advising. Her position requires her to be a connector, working with a broad range of staff and faculty. She has demonstrated leadership that drives innovation and provides support necessary to bring about effective change.

      “She listens, she contributes thoughtfully, and she asks good questions,” Carter said. “And Jacklyn always puts the student experience front and center.”

      Fischer was unable to attend the reception.

        Alan Jahnke poses for photo with President Laurie Carter.
        Alan Jahnke and President Laurie Carter.

        Kindness Award

        The 2023 Kindness Award was presented to Alan Jahnke, technology specialist. He was selected for his positive attitude and ability to get work done across campus while treating colleagues with kindness and respect.

        “Whether solving technology issues, providing training, or installing new equipment in offices across campus, Alan always does it with patience, a smile, and words of encouragement,” Diana Hernandez, human resources manager, said in presenting the award.

          Sara Holtzman poses for a photo with President Laurie Carter.
          Sara Holtzman and President Laurie Carter.

          First-Year Impact Award

          The First-Year Impact Award was given to Sara Holtzman, director of equity and Title IX coordinator. She has brought insight, compassion, and empathy to this vital role on campus.

          “She has made a difference in a very short amount of time, gaining the trust of the Lawrence community, providing important education on issues related to equity and Title IX, and providing insightful leadership,” Hernandez said.

            Noemi Delgado poses for a photo with President Laurie Carter.
            Noemi Delgado and President Laurie Carter.

            Diversity Champion Award

            The Diversity Champion Award was presented to Noemi Delgado, director of Accessibility Services. She has helped make the Accessibility Services office an integral part of the I.D.E.A.S. Division, and she serves as Lawrence’s Americans with Disabilities (ADA) coordinator. She has worked to unify responsibilities that were previously split among numerous offices, making it much easier for a student’s accommodation needs to be quickly and effectively addressed.

            “This award recognizes Noemi’s leadership in diversity-related work through advocating for change while working in partnership with others to create a community that embraces all aspects of diversity,” Hernandez said. “She meets challenges with professionalism, grace, and compassion, all while creating greater accountability in the accommodations process.”

            Service Awards

            Service milestone honorees included:

            50 years

            • Michael Ratsch, teacher of percussion

            35 years

            • Scott Lefeber, general maintenance assistant
            • Carrie Gray, teacher of chamber music and music theory
            • Joseph Hollenback, senior custodian

            30 years

            • Mary Van De Loo, director of Lawrence Community Music School
            • Kin Chau, teacher of viola and violin

            25 years

            • Michael Rivers, teacher of piano
            • John Barnabo, senior custodian

            20 years

            • Colette Lunday Brautigam, digital collections librarian and assistant professor
            • Jennifer Ann Hada, manager of Lawrence Youth String Orchestra
            • Roza Borisova, teacher of cello

            15 years

            • Andrew Fleek, head men's and women's swimming and diving coach and director of aquatics
            • Benjamin Campbell, director of alumni engagement and giving
            • Benjamin Willard, senior systems analyst 
            • Brian Pertl, dean of the Conservatory of Music
            • David Van Ark, custodian
            • Erin Chudacoff, executive director of donor engagement
            • Helen Boyd Kramer, affinity group coordinator and instructor of First-Year Studies
            • Monita Mohammadian Gray, dean of Academic Success
            • Nathan Froehlich, network technician
            • Nori Kalman, teacher of violin
            • Rosie Cannizzo, director of Conservatory Operations
            • Tim Jack, general maintenance mechanic

            10 years

            • Amy Kester, associate vice president of Leadership and Institutional Giving
            • Bartholomew Boge, lead campus safety officer
            • Anthony Skolaski, plumber
            • Trevor O’Brien, assistant director of Facilities Operations-Custodial Services
            • Jessica Hart, assistant director of budget and planning
            • Jacklyn Hittner, artistic director, Girl Choir program
            • Joseph King, assistant vice president of Facilities Operations
            • Tim Bolz, custodian

            5 years

            • Alex Baldschun, assistant director of prospect research
            • Angi Long, registrar
            • Chris Kubs, lead custodian
            • Jedidiah Rex, instructional designer and technologist 
            • Joe Sagar, head women's soccer coach
            • Jose Lozano, Film Studies program support coordinator
            • Shelby Rae, Human Resources coordinator
            • Shelly Krueger, senior systems analyst
            • Terra Winston-Sage, Julie Esch Hurvis Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life and university chaplain