Heather Hazzard and Jessica Pung to receive top awards

March 15, 2023

Staff honored with Gloria Stragier and Spartans Will awards

Two staff members in the Michigan State University College of Engineering will be honored for their “extraordinary impact” and “dedicated and creative service” with the presentation of the Spartans Will Award and Gloria Stragier Award during the 2023 Engineering Awards banquet at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22, at the University Club.

The Spartans Will Award recognizes a staff member for exceptional attitude, reliability, and dependability. The longstanding Gloria Stragier Award for Dedicated and Creative Service celebrates exemplary leadership and other key contributions.

The 2023 winners are:

Gloria Stragier Award for Dedicated and Creative Service

This award is presented annually to a staff member in the College of Engineering to recognize exceptional and creative job performance and/or concerned and creative leadership.

Heather Hazzard
Heather Hazzard

Since 2017, Heather Hazzard, business manager for the Institute for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering (IQ) and the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), has served as a model for the growth and advancement of knowledge across disciplines. 

She designs and engineers connections across colleges, manages multi-unit finances connecting three colleges, supervises nine full-time staff members, including a team of research administrators who manage pre- and post-award, and supports faculty from seven colleges and 18 departments, creating a complex integrated interdisciplinary system. She is a great asset as Michigan State strives to increase its prominence in biomedical research. 

She exhibits exceptional, committed service, and leadership in advancing MSU’s core values of quality, inclusiveness, and connectivity within IQ and BME, and with multiple colleges at MSU. Her creative leadership has resulted in effective solutions, addressing the challenges with honesty and integrity. 

She creatively developed and implemented a “vision for change” that required fostering new partnerships and sharing of knowledge across multiple academic and administrative channels. Her efforts are advancing collegiality and social connectivity in IQ and BME. Her sense of fairness and equity has helped shape a culture of caring and dedication. 

Her nominators explained: she is the epitome of a thoughtful leader who can manage dynamic situations, forge strong alliances, and build strengths while considering the needs of individuals and the overall mission. She is a visionary leader who always seeks the best in others and enables their achievement through mentoring and leading by example. She has contributed to the infrastructures that support the development of tools, technologies and knowledge that will ensure a brighter and healthier future for all people. 

Spartans Will Award
This award is presented annually to a staff member who has worked in the College of Engineering for at least two years as a regular support staff employee, is viewed by their peers as a role model and who exceeds expectations.

Jessica Pung
Jessica Pung

Jessica Pung is said to be “welcoming” and has an “extraordinary impact” in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the College of Engineering. She is the academic program coordinator to the graduate program in Mechanical Engineering and has been working full time in the department since August 2019.

Her Spartans Will is represented by her exceptional motivation and work ethic. She is always anticipating the next step that students need to be successful. 

“I say this not only from the standpoint of the high quality, pro-active, efficient nature of her work, but that she clearly cares for the well-being of our graduate students,” a colleague said. 

Pung has become the “go to” person for the new MSU graduate software (SLATE). She is actively learning the software, uncovering problems with it, and notifying those in charge about these challenges. 

She also works a great deal with undergraduate students scheduling advising appointments for the ME undergraduate adviser. If she misses a student call and if they do not leave a message for scheduling an appointment, Pung will use her caller ID information and call every single number back to follow up. This is just another example of how she makes sure students are getting their needs taken care of. 

She consistently goes above and beyond her assignments, and in a timely manner. She is reliable, dependable and has a consistent positive attitude. Students know she will do her best to help solve their problems. 

One nominator added: “I support enthusiastically for Jessica to be the next winner of the Spartans Will Award. I cannot comprehend any other individual more deserving for intelligence, dedication, and enthusiasm.”

Join the celebration! See who else won a prestigious 2023 Engineering or Withrow Award.