March 22, 2021
New Spartans Will Award joins staff honors for exceptional service
A new award was presented in the Michigan State University College of Engineering this spring to honor the “extraordinary impact” of staff members who show “exceptional attitude, reliability and dependability.”
The inaugural Spartans Will Award joins the longstanding Gloria Stragier Award for Dedicated and Creative Service as recognition for exemplary contributions of selected staff members. The honors were announced virtually this year due to the novel coronavirus.
The 2021 staff 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.
Kim McClung, research administrator in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, has spent more than 30 years at MSU. She is described as a “caring and highly dedicated individual, who works hard to provide excellent customer service to everyone she comes in contact with.” She provides a wide range of accounting services to 30+ faculty members, from startup funding to complex, multi-year research projects. She is known for her problem solving skills and taking multi-tasking to another level. Her nominator said she “brings positivity and dedication to her role every day … characteristics that the Gloria Stragier Award stands for.”
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.
• Heather Bentley, the college’s human resources administrator in the Engineering Dean's office, embodies the criteria of the award by consistently making a positive impact on the college community, one nominator said.
“Her contributions to the college started immediately and her impact has been felt across the college, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Heather has been THE staff person physically in the building since March of 2020. I can’t express how fortunate the college has been to have her in this position during this time.
“The entire college has been able to rely on her every single day, without fail. This has meant that she has taken on a number of tasks that wouldn’t normally fall under the human resources realm, including building walk-throughs, triaging all deliveries, handling mail, etc. She has taken on these tasks without hesitation and while maintaining her joyful spirit. She has also been leading the charge in hosting webinars for faculty, staff and students during this time to assist in our ever-changing work environments.”
Heather doesn’t just listen, a nominator added, “she provides resources, brainstorms solutions and continues to check in. Her ability to connect with our colleagues throughout the college has earned her the respect needed to be successful. The college is very fortunate to have Heather as a part of our team. Recognizing her with the Spartans Will Award is a deserving honor.”
• Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department Technician Nisachon Chaiwang is “exceptional in her efforts to serve the needs of those in BME and the Institute of Quantitative Health Science and Engineering (IQ). Her tremendous contributions assist the organization from administration to research,” a nominator said.
“Nisa is truly an outstanding member of our community, and her contributions have been essential to emerging programs. She contributes to the operations of the institute and department through support of a broad range of technical areas from hardware to software, from electronics to optics, and across the fields of biology and engineering.
“She is selfless in contributing her time and expertise to faculty, staff, trainees and visitors. She provides exemplary service, is considered a key member of the administrative team and is respected as a colleague among the scientists and engineers.”
Added another: “Nisa goes above and beyond without ever expecting any thanks or recognition for it - in fact, I’m sure just finding out that she was nominated for this award would mean the world to her, let alone actually receiving it. What embodies Spartans Will better?”
Join the celebration! Read more on the 2021 MSU Engineering Awards that also honored Diversity, Leadership and Service, Distinguished Scholars and Teaching Excellence.