Top staff honors to Laura Post and Paula Palmiter

Feb. 1, 2022

Staff members honored with Spartans Will and Gloria Stragier 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 2022 Engineering Awards banquet on Monday, March 21, at the University Club.

The Spartans Will Award, now in its second year, 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 2022 winners are:

Gloria Stragier Award for Dedicated and Creative Service

Laura Post
Laura Post

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.

Eleven letters of recommendation praised the skills, commitment and kindnesses of Laura Post, who has provided a range of services during her seven+ years in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, including her leadership as graduate secretary. She is well known for her ability to help faculty and students through many required forms, processes and procedures – and for offering thoughtful feedback and clear explanations while fielding many questions. One nominator called her an “invaluable resource.”

Her positive attitude helped the department work through challenging situations, most notably the transition to fully remote operations in the spring of 2020. She fosters a department environment that is collegial and encourages diversity, equity, and inclusion, which are key missions at all levels of the university.

Post has been praised for her extensive knowledge of the Graduate Handbook, as well as department, college, and university procedures related to graduate programs. That includes the application process, funding opportunities, and other aspects that are critical to effectively running the CEE graduate program.

She is also known for her skills in building social connections and a sense of belonging with perspective students and current students in need of support. Nominators used words like “selfless attitude, “technical expertise,” and treating students “with kindness and professionalism.”

As one nominator said: “She is quick to identify potential problems, creative in helping to explore potential solutions, and diligent in following through on the often-complex processes and paperwork required to resolve difficult situations.” In short, she is “an exceptional friend and an exceptional employee.”

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.

Paula Palmiter
Paula Palmiter

In many ways, the Spartans Will Award describes Paula Palmiter’s work life. As facility coordinator for a number of MSU’s interdisciplinary campus research buildings, she was instrumental in turning the new bioengineering facility into the home of the Institute for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering (IQ) and the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME). She ensures that facilities are maintained and equipped to support the research needs of multiple departments and colleges. She also serves as the department liaison with the IQ administrative team and its campus partners.

As one nominator wrote: “She embraced transition to open, occupy and operate new buildings, and she continues to support their evolution.” Those exacting skills have made her “a trusted, reliable, and dependable key partner working closely with many units and people.”

That praise was especially true during the pandemic through her efforts to support the set-up of the COVID testing team, support the safe return of research, facilitated space and improvement efforts for a new research team, and supported the planning and installation of shared research facilities.

“It’s her attitude that sets her apart,” another nominator wrote. “You see that she genuinely cares about and is invested in her job.” “She has made a difference at our university, exemplified the mission of the university and positively influenced the MSU community. Her skills, willingness to help others and dedication to the Spartan Way make Paula an excellent nominee for this award.”

Join the celebration! Read more on the 2022 MSU Engineering Awards that also honored Diversity and Service AwardsDistinguished Scholar Awards, and Teaching Excellence Awards.