During Appalachian State University’s opening meeting for faculty and staff for the fall semester on Friday, Aug. 26, four members of the university’s staff were recognized with awards recognizing their exemplary service, commitment, collegiality and leadership to the university community.
Director of Human Resources Mark Bachmeier presented the 2016 Staff Excellence Awards to Livelle Leon Rodriguez, Barry Sauls, Lori Townsend and Tom Van Gilder, who were chosen by a review committee from a pool of 59 nominations.
Townsend, senior associate director in Student Financial Aid, has worked at Appalachian for 14 years. She was described in her nomination as a dedicated employee and creative problem solver who “constantly works to set aside long-held assumptions and think differently regarding our processes and services for students.” Her leadership in implementing two highly successful initiatives, one to improve process and timely completion of financial aid processes for incoming new students and one focusing on early completion of financial aid packages for returning students, resulted in an increase in the number of students completing financial aid applications, which led to more aid being awarded earlier. This improvement has made critical differences in the lives of the 70 percent of Appalachian students who rely on some form of financial aid.
The Staff Excellence Awards are presented annually to up to four members of Appalachian’s staff for outstanding service to the university and the state of North Carolina. Speaking on behalf of the selection committee, Bachmeier said, “It is incredibly challenging to select only four from among the many deserving nominees.”
For more information about Appalachian’s Staff Excellence Awards, contact Janice Jackson in the Office of Human Resources at 828-262-3187 or firstname.lastname@example.org.