Human Resources

Wilson Hall, Room 401
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, MI 48309-4486
(location map)
(248) 370-3480

Office hours:
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
and by appointment

Employee Recognition

In recognition of the many outstanding accomplishments of Oakland University’s employees, the University is pleased to offer various employee recognition programs. Please see the tabs below for details on each recognition program and how to apply or nominate.

Years of Service Recognition

2020 AP Reward Recipients

of the

Do you know an employee who:
  • Shines by Their Attitude: Has a positive attitude and performance in serving the needs of the university staff from other department, students, visitors, faculty, etc.
  • Reaches Higher: Dedication and work ethic that is above and beyond that required.
  • Performs Exceptionally: Proven and demonstrated methods of improving the efficiency of the work place; exceptional performance in a project or task, which results in a savings of money/time, or increases revenues, productivity and/or morale.
  • Promotes Teamwork: Builds positive working relationships with individuals and with teams on cross-functional projects.
  • Rallies in Support of OU: Aligns their work in support of Institutional Priorities.
If so, please fill out the form below!

Nomination Form

February 2021 Employee of the Month

Christopher Goeth

Associate Registrar
Office of the Registrar
Length of Service: 11 years
Employee of the month for February 2021

Oakland University has been facing unprecedented challenges with a direct impact on the schedule of classes over the last two years. Initially, the emphasis was on planning for South Foundation Hall to come offline during a major renovation. In the middle of this planning, we suddenly had to shift gears and plan for a quick pivot to remote learning during the pandemic. This has impacted much of our current and future work on the schedule of classes. Fast forward to the present day, and we are now planning for a variety of scenarios that include the South Foundation Hall renovation beginning this fall as well as managing the schedule of classes during the pandemic. In order to accomplish this daunting task, many key stakeholders have been brought to the table to make the impossible happen. At the heart of this team, is Chris Goeth. Chris has always been one of the hardest working people at OU. Over the last two years, Chris has demonstrated an outstanding commitment during unprecedented times as demonstrated by the following:

- Chris analyzed data and created plans to determine the feasibility of displacing all 400 sections in an environment that is already space-constrained. He then participated in many meetings to engage faculty and staff on campus to get them on board with the plan. He tirelessly worked long hours, strategically working to develop and re-develop plans to adapt to the current conditions. He maintained accurate information, keeping everyone informed every step of the way.

- His mastery of Ad Astra Platinum Analytics combined with his knowledge of campus classroom space (both general access and departmental) have made the relocation of courses during this period of transition due to the project both feasible and doable without having to go to alternatives of modular classrooms or off-campus sites. He has been an outstanding teammate on this project.

- People show you who they really are during challenging times, and Chris has certainly faced some challenges moving all of the SFH classes into other rooms and other formats this year. During this challenging time, Chris was always professional, composed, and understanding. Over a single two-week period, the majority of department classes were moved to an alternative (fully online or one-day-a-week on campus hybrid) format, and this could not have been done without Chris' support, wisdom, and patience.

Congratulations to Chris on his selection as the February 2021 Employee of the Month!

January 2021 Employee of the Month

Ryan Ghedotte

Office Assistant III
School of Education & Human Services Dean's Office
Length of Service: 1.5 years
Employee of the month for January 2021

Ryan has been at OU just a little less than a year and a half. In that time, he has built positive staff relationships within the SEHS office, revived the energy of the Dean's Office, and worked over and above on a number of initiatives.

Ryan started the electronic SAF and SCO forms process with the Registrar's Office, Undergraduate and Graduate Offices, and coordinated it through going live.

Ryan thrives on being able to work on Facilities projects from start to finish, such as re-carpeting classrooms, reorganizing spaces, improving lighting, and more.

Ryan also started his degree program at OU this year in HRD because he wants to make a difference at the University beginning with the people.

Congratulations to Ryan on his selection as the January 2021 Employee of the Month!

December 2020 Employee of the Month

Christa Koerner

SMTD Costume Shop Supervisor
School of Music, Theatre & Dance
Length of Service: 8 years
Employee of the month for December 2020

Christa has been front line in providing OU area Theatre students & alums with the materials to make 400+ face masks for use by other OU staff employees. She has organized the drop off of supplies and of finished masks. This is on top of still fulfilling her duties as the teacher for a winter term course, advising student designers and beginning work on a “how” for next year's season that she is slated to design, attending department meetings (virtually) and continuing her planning process for the shop which supports not only the theatre program, but also the dance and opera areas. Even in normal circumstances Christa puts in WAY more hours than are required on paper to ensure a quality program!

Here are details on the two mask projects Christa worked on since March:

- The first was soon after the pandemic hit the metro Detroit area and masks were scarce in our community. The SMTD costume and theatre shops donated all the masks we owned to local hospitals, and then Christa started making more by hand. She made masks for the community care packages that were packed at the OC and she also made masks for OU essential workers when manufactured masks were not available.

- The second mask project Christa worked on was for Environmental Health & Safety. It was a full clear shield that she made for the hearing impaired employees on campus. She worked with Cora Hanson on this project.

Christa is a selfless employee and always puts others' needs before her own. Congratulations to Christa on her selection as the December 2020 Employee of the month!

November 2020 Employee of the Month

Kathy Dailey

Office Assistant II
Undergraduate Admissions
Length of Service: 2 years
Employee of the month for November 2020

If you could have anyone as the lead for the front desk in Undergraduate Admissions, you would want Kathy Daily. Kathy is often the face prospective students and their families see when arriving to campus for the first time. Each and every time they are greeted with a warm smile and willingness to help that is second to none. Her dedication and hard work is a true asset to not just Undergraduate Admissions but the entire campus community.

Pleasant, informative, helpful, professional and understanding, Kathy has all these qualities and more. Kathy attends to prospective students in the office (pre-COVID), by phone and by email. In addition to answering a student’s questions Kathy will guide them along the path to becoming an Oakland University student. By being on the front lines (literally,) Kathy is able to evaluate the needs of incoming students.

During this time of declining enrollment Kathy’s ideas are extremely valuable. Here are ideas that Kathy has initiated:
- Development of an FAQ for incoming students to direct them on how to obtain transcripts and test scores.
- Identification of alternate names for high schools and colleges which streamlines the application process, particularly with regard to matching transcripts with students.
- Expansion of the “submit your application” communication campaign to include two additional populations of students, 1) students who created an application account but did not yet submit an application and, 2) students who completed their application but never actually submitted it.

Kathy is an outstanding and stellar performer for Oakland University!

Congratulations to Kathy on her selection as the November 2020 Employee of the Month!

October 2020 Employee of the Month

Mailon RobinsonProfessional head shot of Mailon Robinson

Custodian III/Facilities
Campus Cleaning
Length of Service: 21 years
Employee of the month for October 2020

Mailon is very conscientious and keeps his building clean! He always looks out for his co-workers. In addition, Mailon goes out of his way to make things right and has a good rapport with students, faculty and staff.

It is clear that Mailon takes pride in his job. His bathrooms are clean & fresh. The classroom labs, hallways, & cadaver lab floors are so shiny that you can see your reflection! The men's & women's locker rooms, where the students change & shower, are meticulously well kept too. Mailon does good work!

Congratulations to Mailon on his selection as the October 2020 Employee of the Month!

September 2020 Employee of the Month

Adrian (“Addie”) BenedictProfessional head shot of Adrian Benedict

Assistant Director of Annual Giving
Annual Giving
Length of Service: 1.5 years
Employee of the month for September 2020

Addie has been an amazing employee since she arrived on OU's campus just over a year ago. Although she's new, she has done tremendous work, namely on the OU vs. UDM Giving Challenge. The Challenge was our most successful in its 5-year history, raising $173,475 from 1758 donors in addition to two challenge matches totaling $100,000 more - a total of $273K raised in just five days. It was an incredible campus wide initiative that included many campus partners including UCM, Rec Center, Advancement, Chartwells, Barnes and Noble and several academic units. This year's giving challenge raised nearly 4 times more than the 2019 Giving Challenge.

Addie did a great job aligning all of these pieces, in addition to coordinating with on-campus partners and creating incentives and working on the entire plan and communications schedule. This is a stressful project, as it's competitive and there's the entire school's pride on the line, but you wouldn't know it by the smile that remained on Addie's face.

Additionally, she put in a ton of actual legwork to connect with campus partners daily, literally logging way beyond 10,000 steps, despite being eight months pregnant. Addie's creativity and positive spirit was really something extraordinary. This is just one example of Addie's exceptional work.

Addie also came up with exciting new ideas for the Student Philanthropy Committee which she manages, including a student org (and AP!) scavenger hunt in February, picking a fund to raise money for (they raised over $1,400 for the Cody Petzold Rainbow Scholarship to date), and serving as a mentor to current and past members. The Young Alumni Chapter reached 100% board participation for the first time under her guidance, setting an example for all the other boards on campus.

Congratulations to Addie on her selection as the September 2020 Employee of the Month!

August 2020 Employee of the Month

Kerri HubbardProfessional head shot of Kerri Hubbard

Office Assistant II
Writing and Rhetoric
Length of Service: 1 year
Employee of the month for August 2020

Since arriving at OU in the summer 2019, Kerri Hubbard has proven herself to be unfailingly kind and generous with her time, remarkably quick on her feet, and always ready to learn new things. Kerri is an inveterate problem solver, a superb communicator, and a virtuoso with technology.

Even before COVID-19 cut short face-to-face instruction this year, Kerri went above and beyond the call of duty to tackle a number of crises in our department. For instance, when the anticipated remodeling of South Foundation Hall suddenly made classroom space unavailable for our courses (including numerous sections of WRT 1060: Composition II, the single largest course in the entire university), she worked deftly with our chairperson to rearrange our entire department schedule for AY 2020–21, to plan the transition to partially online instruction, and to communicate changes to our faculty. Her quiet diligence and expert problem solving helped save our department from a scheduling catastrophe.

Of course, this turned out to be just a warmup for Kerri. As it became clear that face-to-face instruction was going to be cancelled for the spring and summer terms, Kerri was proactive in planning for every possible contingency. As she worked out each step of how to move the entire work of our department off-campus and online, she made planning for the single most disruptive event of our professional lives look effortless.

Kerri has demonstrated an uncanny knack for working with technology, and we regularly depend on her graphic design talents for producing printed material for department outreach and events. Whether written or verbal, her communication with faculty and students is always cordial, clear, and utterly professional. On top of all this, Kerri stands out for her decency and humor, and is the kind of person that colleagues go out of their way to talk to every day.

Kerri Hubbard has been an irreplaceable lynch pin to our department and the Meadow Brook Writing Camps. She has consistently gone above and beyond to make certain that the camps run smoothly and all communication, payroll and orders go off without a hitch. She has improved several longstanding formats and protocols that were antiquated and difficult to use. She has an unfailingly positive can-do attitude and is consistently creative in her problem solving and customer service. With all of the hats she wears you might think she would shy away from additional responsibilities, but she handles each challenge with a smile and superior competency. She represents the pinnacle of Golden Grizzly accomplishment.

It has been less than a year that Kerri Hubbard has been with us, but in that short time she has shown herself to be utterly essential to the life of our department. We are fortunate to have her at Oakland University and in the department of writing and rhetoric!

Congratulations to Kerri on her selection as the August 2020 Employee of the Month!

July 2020 Employee of the Month

Greg MeehanProfessional head shot of Greg Meehan

Mastery Level VII - Carpentry
Structural Maintenance
Length of Service: 11 years
Employee of the month for July 2020

Greg Meehan is an integral member of the Structural Maintenance team. To increase the safety and security of academic campus buildings, Facilities Management was tasked by the Chief Operating Officer and the Chief of Police, with the installation of thumb turn locks on all interior classroom doors. Patricia Engle, AVP of Facilities Management spoke with Greg to discuss the project, which was set to be contracted out. Greg advised that he would like to spearhead the project himself, which would utilize his experience and knowledge of the campus.

Greg coordinated logistics, ordered materials, and tracked all aspects of the project, while providing updates to the AVP, to be shared with the President and her cabinet. In addition, Greg, along with Bob Hanson, installed each new lock. In many instances, this required additional drilling in existing doors. While installing each lock, Greg also addressed doors that needed to be replaced and made sure that this work was included and completed in the project.

Due to the urgency of this project, Greg and Bob completed the work during the holiday break and outside normal working hours, so as not to disrupt campus life. As a result, the campus community were able to return to the campus with a heightened measure of security.

Once all academic campus building locks were installed, a second phase of the project to install thumb turn locks on all learning lab doors was completed.

With Greg’s initiative, the university saved significant time and costs to provide a safe and secure campus.

Congratulations to Greg on his selection as the July 2020 Employee of the Month!

June 2020 Employee of the Month

Professional head shot of NingNing ZhengNingNing Zheng

Technical Support Coordinator
School of Nursing
Length of Service: 14 years
Employee of the month for June 2020

NingNing comes to work every day with the most positive attitude! She is always
looking for ways to save the University funds and also works very efficiently.
Since joining this team, she has shown great amounts of team work and inclusiveness. She is always looking for ways to improve the SON.

NingNing is always available to help and explain IT matters. Her knowledge is in depth and expansive. She always has a smile on her face and she is very willing to explore issues and come up with the best solution. She thinks out of the box!

NingNing is extremely devoted to the SON and is well organized with all the responsibilities she carries. She has devoted much time to the simulation issues/needs. She has brought many fresh and new ideas into sim. She has helped us think of different ways to get things done in a cost effective manner (phone wiring, tracking student hours, developing a program for scheduling, etc.). NingNing is a true team player.

Everyone on the team is important to her. She listens intently to everyone's ideas. She has been instrumental in facilitating vendors and other OU departments with our lab needs. She keeps in line with the mission/vision of OU and the SON. She is devoted to the SON and to each of us as well. Her core values focus on teamwork, trust, and positive morale. She is a most caring supervisor. A true bond is formed, which makes it a positive experience as we work to complete tasks and achieve goals. NingNing is a pleasure to work with and it’s great to be part of her team.

Congratulations to NingNing on her selection as the June 2020 Employee of the Month!

May 2020 Employee of the Month

Susan “Katie” LoodeenProfessional head shot of Katie Loodeen

Administrative Secretary
School of Engineering & Computer Science
Length of Service: 3 years
Employee of the month for May 2020

Katie works in the SECS as an Administrative Secretary. The department receives feedback from students, faculty and staff, saying many good things about Katie - her professionalism, her dedication, her kindness, and her willingness to serve people. Here are examples of these comments:

- Katie is eager to learn new things and is willing to take on challenging tasks. She is always on top of the tasks and produces high quality work on time. No matter the task – she can be relied on to complete it successfully.
- In addition, Katie is extremely organized. She has initiated several projects to better organize student records, monitor student progress, and collect survey results, etc. She is always willing to walk extra miles to serve others. Whenever there is a need, she volunteers to help.
- Katie works closely with the PhD students. She is very patient and has a caring heart. When dealing with student issues, she always keeps the students’ benefit in mind and tries her best to assist them.
- Katie is always helpful and kind to faculty, staff, and students that come into the Dean's office. She is eager to be helpful and is always seeking ways to increase her OU knowledge base and her skill level. She delivers all services of her position with a smile.

In summary, Katie is an excellent and dedicated team player for SECS. She is one of the most helpful and positive people in the Dean's office. She is the go-to person for anything and everything that the staff and faculty need help with. Katie is the glue that holds the Dean's office together. She is an excellent example to her peers and she is as great a coworker as she is a person.

Congratulations to Katie on her selection as the May 2020 Employee of the Month!

April 2020 Employee of the Month

Mike GrzechProfessional head shot of Michael Grzech

Custodian III/Facilities
Campus Cleaning
Length of Service: 6 years
Employee of the month for April 2020

Mike Grzech is one of the most dedicated, professional, and kind custodians you will meet on campus! He is unbelievably thorough and hard-working in all that he does in North Foundation Hall. Mike ensures that each student service office is spotless to offer the best first impression for future and current students and families that come through the building.

Mike is always smiling and laughing. He courteously and graciously greets everyone he comes across. He works around the busy schedules of building offices to ensure that he is not a disruption. Mike proactively looks for ways to improve the cleanliness of the building and offices.

Mike is a leader. While incredibly humble, he quietly leads through his organizational, time management, detail-oriented, and customer service skills. He takes initiative in all that he does while going above and beyond his call of duty. Mike scrubs the floor baseboards on his hands and knees in the vestibule, ensuring that they shine. He meticulously vacuums, notices carpet stains and cleans them, preemptively empties garbage during office gatherings/events, and cleans office space during furniture moves or staff transitions – all without being asked!

Mike is truly an outstanding employee that has an upbeat, can-do attitude, strives for excellence in all that he does, and consistently performs above and beyond the call of duty. North Foundation Hall offices are grateful to have such a star custodian to take care of the building that houses offices that serve our students and ensure their success. Mike’s service contributes towards this success, and he is most deserving of the employee of the month honor!

Congratulations to Mike on his selection as the April 2020 Employee of the Month!

March 2020 Employee of the Month

Kelly SmithProfessional head shot of Kelly Smith

Assistant Director of Marketing
University Communications & Marketing
Length of Service: 16 years
Employee of the month for March 2020

Kelly has quickly turned-around and completed a multitude of projects for Graduate School recently. She Shines by Her Attitude, Performs Exceptionally, Promotes Teamwork, and Rallies in Support of OU. She has helped take Graduate Recruiting promotional and marketing materials to the next level to display professionalism, project strong branding, tell intriguing student stories, and capture prospective students' attention.

In addition, she has a team of UCM people working on graphics, web, content, creative, etc. which she has expertly pulled together to produce key marketing materials. Namely, our new table top banners, graduate Career Cards, brochure folder, graphics for our Virtual Graduate Open Houses and Information Sessions, promotional materials, and stories among other projects are exceptional.

We credit Kelly's friendly and professional attitude, marketing expertise and prowess, and vision to develop effective branding for the Graduate School. All of these will positively contribute to the institutional priorities of growing graduate enrollment, increasing graduate research involvement, and outreach within the community. We appreciate Kelly's (and her team's) hard work, commitment to excellence, response time, friendliness, and professionalism. Thanks for many jobs well done.

Kelly leads by example and inspires the rest of the department to improve their work. She is always pushing the limit of what’s possible through her writing and campaign management. Her work is a constant source of pride for UCM as a whole and continues to improve with each campaign. Her ability to work with a wide variety of creative personalities within the department makes us feel included, heard, recognized and appreciated, and serves to promote strong team work and collaboration. Since day one at the University, Kelly has served as an amazing colleague, mentor and professional role model, and she deserves this recognition and much more.

Congratulations to Kelly on her selection as the March 2020 Employee of the Month!

Employee of the Month Archive


2020 Employees of the Month

December - Christa Koerner
November - Kathy Dailey
October - Mailon Robinson
September - Adrian “Addie” Benedict
August - Kerri Hubbard
July - Greg Meehan
June - NingNing Zheng
May - Susan “Katie” Lodeen
April - Mike Grzech
March - Kelly Smith
February - Amy Pelkey
January - Willie Tuggle

2019 Employees of the Month

December - John Arseneau
November - Linda Schwartz
October - Clarisse Mikami
September - Marlene McKean
August - Joshua Dunn
July - Katherine Stotts
June - David Ziehm
May - Mary Miramonti
April - Wayne Carl
March - Elizabeth Adams
February - Michael Cox
January - Yeanina Hines

2018 Employees of the Month

December - Joe Carranza
November - Cheryl Rhodey
October - Shanna Dawson
September - Ted Prisbe
August - Taurienne Lauderdale
July - Miguel Ramos
June - Charlene Waldorf
May - Kathleen Zeile
April - Judette Haddad
March - Michael McClain
February - Demetrius Murchison
January - Penny Stillwell

2017 Employees of the Month

December - Sarah Wood
November - Christine Talbert
October - Jenny Cloutier
September - Kelly Smith
August - Mark Mathiak
July - Christina Radowick
June - Brian December
May - Melissa Mondro
April - Kendra Agee
March - Allison Radell
February - Tracey Kosaski
January - Nick Flores

2016 Employees of the Month

December - Maggie Phelps
November - Heidi Donnelly
October - Amanda Fylan
September - Krista Malley
August - Stephanie Willis
July - Jennifer De La O
June - Lou Kondek
May - Christine Earl
April - David Ollie Ray
March - Rosezine Payne
February - Evan Dermidoff
January - James Silvestri

2015 Employees of the Month 

December - Monica Haines
November - Andrea Mill
October - Emily Stepanian-Bennett
September - Carolyn Moss Hogan
August - Bill Johnson
July - Robert Perreault
June - Grace Wojcik
May - Renee Dembeck
April - Sarah Erskine
March - Amy Tuckfield
February - Joshua Stotts
January - Angelita Ramos

2014 Employees of the Month 

December - Roz Winchester-McCray
November - Maureen Greco
October - Heather Haughey
September - Marie Vanbuskirk
August - Anthony Smith
July - Kim Crawford
June - Loretta Presti
May - Brittani Hobbs
April - Susan Phelps
March - Jason Willis
February - Annie Ivery
January - Virginia May

2013 Employees of the Month

December – Shannon Stribling
November – Siraj Khan
October – Beth Deverna
September – Wendy Allen
August – Anthony Gallina
July – Mary Zook
June – Janet Chandler
May – Jenifer Watson
April – Renee Jacques
March – Dawn Deitsch
February – James Zentmeyer
January – Joan Wancour

2012 Employees of the Month

December – Beth Ann Sutton
November – Juan Cantu
October – Sara Webb
September – Robert Hanson
August - Nicole Lucio
July – Mark Johnson
June – Michelle Serafino
May – Karen Pipitone
April – Xander Buckingham
March – Irene Fox
February – Corey Brittingham
January – Carmen Archer

2011 Employees of the Month

December – Michelle Gruca
November – Don Ritenburgh
October – Marcee Daly
September – Christina Riley
August – Micheline Walter
July – Peggy Cooke
June – Linda Sisson
May – Domenico Luongo
April - Matt Bruer
March – Patti Bowman
February – Leo Debiaggi
January – Bridget Green

2010 Employees of the Month

December – Andrew Keyosky
November – Marsha Packer
October – Robert Vaughn
September – Lateacha Carr
August – Dan Kirkland
July – Monica Milczarski
June – Luke Fleer
May – Cora Hanson
April – Sandra Sala
March – Joan A. Love
February – Cynthia Ferrera
January – James Leidel

2009 Employees of the Month

December – Sheryl Hugger
November – Todd Welscott
October – John Coughlin
September – Joann Denby
August – Dennis Bolton
July – Elisabeth Putnam
June – Julie Dermidoff
May – Ronda Ferguson
April – Deanna Wohlfeil
March – Greg Jordan
February – Claire Cooper
January – Jocelyn Baldwin

2008 Employees of the Month

December – Kellie Klinck
November – Kathleen Lesich
October – Sue MacDonell
September – Nancy Schmitz
August – Scott Allison
July – Kevin McDougall
June – Peggy Chiu
May – Manjit Gill
April – Mariann Hodge
March – Paul Battle
February – Kim Schultz
January – Ann Marie Besaw

AP of the
To recognize the contributions of the Administrative Professional (AP) community, the AP Assembly established an annual Outstanding AP Award, commonly called the AP of the Year. This accolade has been given since 1984. Each year, a selection committee (selection committees are appointed by upper administration representing all divisions, a faculty representative, and a clerical representative) selects one AP who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in their professional role. Oakland University AP Assembly provides a $1500 stipend that accompanies this honor.

This distinct honor is awarded to an individual that has been at Oakland University for more than six years, and has demonstrated achievement through extraordinary effort in support of the university mission and strategic plan, spirit of cooperation, and community and university service.

The AP Assembly invites all members of the Oakland University community to submit nominations for this distinction. Please submit your nominations per the information below. The nomination period begins Monday, Feb. 1 and continues through Monday, March 15.

Those with questions should contact 2021 Committee Chair Meaghan Cole at

This year's winner will be announced in April and honored during an employee recognition event in June.

2021 Outstanding AP Nomination form

2020 Outstanding AP of the Year: Sara Webb

Oakland University’s Outstanding Administrative Professional of the Year Award maintains a relatively succinct expectation of potential honorees – simply that they demonstrate outstanding achievement in their professional role.

As the Senior Director of First Year Success, Sara Webb is focused on the university’s goal of student success. Having a positive impact on student success demands strong collaboration with other departments and individuals working toward the same goal. Sara continues to grow partnerships with many offices in these efforts. Over the years, she has worked closely with the Office for Undergraduate Admissions, Financial Aid, Office of the Registrar and others in support of programming for incoming students through New Student Orientation events. Efforts to increase success for current students has resulted in Sara’s partnering with the Office for Student Success, University Housing, the Center for Multicultural Initiatives and the Office of Institutional Research on projects, like Faculty Feedback, that help identify at risk students, coordinate outreach efforts to those students and measure the impact of these efforts. Through partnerships like this, Sara has been at the center of several initiatives that have contributed to increases in first year retention as well as increases in 4,5 and 6 year graduation rates.

One quality that Sara has that enables her to be effective is her ability to quickly understand a challenge or opportunity. More so because she is able to grasp how something big can affect the minutia and, likewise, how the minutia can impact the big picture. This quality combined with her willingness to leverage the talents of her staff and available supporting technologies allows her to constantly innovate in initiatives that serve the university’s goals of student success.

Sara is passionate and energetic. Once she determines the proper course of action, she marshals resources and goes to that end point in a straight line. Besides her leadership in the FYAC, she has and continues to serve on numerous campus-wide committees. She always comes prepared and informed, listens and then gives her advice. I find her to be a great asset to OU leadership.

Sara has made the FYAC what it is today - a great addition to Oakland University that has helped increase student retention. That alone is worthy of recognition. But in addition, Sara over her entire tenure at OU has actively participated in numerous committees across this campus and continues to make a lasting mark on the entire OU community.

Past Recipients
Rebecca (Becky) Lewis, 2019
Krista Malley, 2018
Laura Schartman, 2017
Nancy Schmitz, 2016
Angie Schmucker, 2015
Greg Jordan, 2014
Peggy Cooke, 2013
Eleanor Reynolds, 2012
Steve Shablin, 2011
Samuel Lucido, 2010
Jennifer Gilroy, 2009
Mila Padgett, 2008
Tricia Westergaard, 2007
Melvin Gilroy, 2006
George Preisinger, 2005
Sheryl Klemanski, 2004
Gerald Compton, 2003
Leonard Brown, 2002
Vicki Larabell, 2001
Dawn Aubry, 2000
Glenn McIntosh, 1999
Felecia Bumpus, 1998
Katie Kazarian, 1997
Lynn Hockenberger, 1996
David Herman, 1995
Virginia Allen, 1994
Ron Kevern, 1993
Elizabeth Millwood, 1992
Thomas Kirchner, 1991
Arthur Griggs, 1990
Jean Ann Miller, 1989
Clair McVety, 1988
Elaine Chapman Moore, 1987
Joan Stinson, 1986
Patrick Nicosia, 1985
Rosalind Andreas, 1984
AP Award

To recognize the contributions of the Administrative Professional (AP) community, the AP Assembly established an annual Rising AP Award. This accolade has been given since 2018. Oakland University AP Assembly provides a $1,000 stipend that accompanies this honor.

The recipient of the Rising AP Award is an individual who has worked for the university more than three (3) years, and has demonstrated leadership and exceptional work in their professional role in the following areas:

  1. Achievement beyond the call of the individual’s daily tasks and responsibilities that have created a positive impact on the university community (such as participating with AP Assembly/Association, committee work, and/or employee interest group work).
  2. Consistently demonstrates exceptional work in their current position.
  3. Displays leadership qualities within their department in addition to other university groups.

The AP Assembly invites all members of the Oakland University community to submit nominations for this award. Please submit your nominations per the information below. The nomination period begins Monday, Feb. 1 and continues through Monday, March 15.

Those with questions should contact 2021 Committee Chair Meaghan Cole at

This year's winner will be announced in April and honored during an employee recognition event in June.

2021 Rising AP Nomination form


Please describe in detail why the person you are nominating is deserving of this award. Please address the following criteria:

  1. Length of service at Oakland University (must be three years or more).
  2. Achievement beyond the call of the individual’s daily tasks and responsibilities that have created a positive impact on the university community.
  3. Demonstrates exceptional work in their current position.
  4. Displays leadership qualities, rising above the call of their day to day responsibilities.

Rising AP Award 2020: Lt. Nicole Thompson

Lieutenant Nicole Thompson has been employed with the Oakland University Police Department since 2005 and as an AP since July of 2014.

Nicole has always completed her daily tasks in an exemplary manner within the OUPD. However, the additional responsibilities she frequently assumes has had a tremendous positive impact on the university community as well as the reputation of Oakland University.

Recently, with COVID-19 pandemic concerns spreading quickly among medical providers and first responders, OU offered Hillcrest Hall as temporary housing for these individuals. Nicole wanted to ensure these individuals, most of whom were unfamiliar with OU, felt welcome when they arrived to OU. Nicole took it upon herself to create “welcome home” appreciation gift baskets for these individuals who temporarily called OU home. Nicole used her personal time to shop for personal toiletries, snacks, and other comfort items. She then created over 40 welcome home gift baskets, delivered them to Hillcrest Hall, and set them in each room to create an inviting atmosphere. This effort, along with other participants, captured the attention of local media which exhibited a very positive reflection of the University within the greater community.

During the Christmas season annually, many police agencies coordinate Shop with a Cop events that provide underprivileged children within a community an opportunity to get presents for their family members that they wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to obtain. Nicole, in partnership with Lake Orion Police Department, organizes and participates in this event each year for the OUPD. Through this effort, OU gets very positive media attention which promotes the activities of the University in our local communities.

Nicole has organized countless activities and events for charities as well. Every December she organizes a toy drive for Children’s Hospital in Detroit. She promotes this event on social media and literally takes a car full of presents donated by the OU community to the children who will spend Christmas day battling medical challenges. Again, OU gets a great deal of positive media attention because of her efforts.

Nicole has organized charity softball games where the OUPD challenges other departments on campus to a friendly game while raising money for other charities as well. All of this occurs on her personal time and outside her daily tasks.

Since 2005, there have been other events that Nicole has spearheaded as well that reflects why she should be recognized for her efforts that have resulted in a positive impact on Oakland University.

Past Recipients
Kathy Livelsberger, 2019
Christina Moore, 2018
AP Award

To recognize the contributions of the Administrative Professional (AP) community, the AP Assembly established an annual New Professional AP Award. This accolade has been given since 2018. Oakland University AP Assembly provides a $1000 stipend that accompanies this honor.

The recipient of the New Professional AP Award is an individual who has worked for the university for three (3) years or less, and has demonstrated achievement in their professional role in the following areas:

  1. Achievement beyond the call of the individual’s daily tasks and responsibilities that have created a positive impact on the university community (such as participating with AP Assembly/Association, committee work, and/or employee interest group work).
  2. Has shown great potential in their position through contribution of unique ideas, collaborative efforts, streamlining processes and overall positive attitude.
  3. Displays promising leadership qualities, in their day to day responsibilities either within their department or other university groups.

The AP Assembly invites all members of the Oakland University community to submit nominations for this award. Please submit your nominations per the information below. The nomination period begins Monday, Feb. 1 and continues through Monday, March 15.

Those with questions should contact 2021 Committee Chair Meaghan Cole at

This year's winner will be announced in April and honored during an employee recognition event in June.

2021 New Professional AP Nomination form

Please describe in detail why the person you are nominating is deserving of this award. Please address the following criteria:
  1. Length of service at Oakland University (must be three (3) years or less).
  2. Achievement beyond the call of the individual’s daily tasks and responsibilities that have created a positive impact on the university community.
  3. Has shown great potential in their position through contribution of unique ideas, collaborative efforts, streamlining processes, etc.
  4. Displays promising leadership qualities, rising above the call of their day to day responsibilities either within their department or other university groups.

New Professional AP Award 2020: Kelsey Zuchowicz

Kelsey has worked for Oakland University since 3/27/2017. Kelsey is the faculty development coordinator for the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. She serves Oakland University in many roles around campus and always delivers on serving each of these entities to the best of her ability. Kelsey has served in numerous roles for the Administrative Professionals (AP) Assembly, including Secretary, Chair of the Communication Committee, and is the current Presdient-elect. She is a member of the LGBTQIA Employee Resource Group, she is co-leader of the Emerging Leaders Group- OU Women Employee Resource Group, and co-chair of both the Oakland University Healthiest Campus Committee and William Davidson Medical Education Week Poster Committee.

Kelsey demonstrates leadership, professionalism and passion every day on the job at OUWB School of Medicine/Oakland University. The Center for Excellence in Medical Education is known as a model for professionalism and ease-of-use directly because of the new ideas Kelsey has implemented in her position as Faculty Development Coordinator. She is always implementing new ways to make our programming more inclusive and to streamline processes for our faculty.

Kelsey was the recipient of the Fall 2017 Grand Idea Award. Her grand idea was to improve the new employee on-boarding process, connect team members with departments, across campus and contribute to the University’s overarching mission, goals and strategic plan through a New Employees Campus Tours initiative. Kelsey’s passion for Oakland University is evident, and she is a deserving recipient of this award.

Past Recipients
Jesse Hurst, 2019
Ben Fielder, 2018
In recognition of the many outstanding accomplishments of Oakland University’s AP employees, the university is pleased to open nominations for the AP Reward program for calendar year 2021. The reward this year is $1,000.

The AP Reward fund, established specifically for this recognition, honors exemplary service and exceptional contributions made by individual AP employees.

Supervisors, peers or co-workers may nominate colleagues or employees may self-nominate using the AP Reward Nomination Form.

The nomination form should state the basis for the nomination, focusing on how the employee excelled as well as the contributions above and beyond his or her job responsibilities. Contributions should be explained within the context of AP Reward meritorious performance criteria.

Nominations may include additional comments from the next level supervisor. To be eligible for the reward, AP employees must have been hired before January 1, 2020. Any employee who received a "Needs Improvement" rating during their last annual performance appraisal is not eligible to receive this reward.  

There are no restrictions placed on the frequency an employee can receive a reward. However, consideration will be made to ensure that all employees are given the chance to be recognized for their initiative to go above and beyond their daily responsibilities.

Nominations will be accepted between Thursday, April 1, 2021, and Monday May 10, 2021. AP Rewards will be distributed in June 2021 paychecks.

The list of AP Reward recipients for 2020 can be seen by clicking here.
The previous year's AP Reward recipients can be seen by clicking here.

Any employee with questions regarding this reward program should call Eric Herppich at ext. 4166 or send an e-mail to
The Sharon Wilhelm Excellence Award is given annually to a university Clerical/Technical employee who exemplifies the positive, “can-do” spirit of Sharon L. Wilhelm who spent her 45-year career delivering exceptional service and support to OU staff, faculty and students.

Mrs. Wilhelm began her career in 1962 when the University was still an extension of Michigan State University and its enrollment was less that 1,000 students. When she died in October of 2007, enrollment was more than 18,000 students.
Throughout the years, Mrs. Wilhelm’s devotion to outstanding service grew proportionately with the University’s enrollment.

Mrs. Wilhelm is remembered and celebrated for her extraordinary work ethic and supportive can-do attitude, which assisted faculty, staff and administrators in serving their most important constituency – University students.

The award will recognize eligible employees who provide high-level, administrative support and mirror Mrs. Wilhelm’s exemplary work standards.

The Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost provides a stipend that accompanies this award. All members of the Oakland University community are invited to submit nominations.

Selection Criteria
To reward a full or part-time Oakland University clerical employee who:
  1. consistently demonstrates exemplary service to the University community;
  2. builds positive working relationships with supervisors, peers and students;
  3. serves the needs of the University with a positive attitude and work ethic;
  4. displays dedication by going above and beyond by participating in University activities outside of work responsibilities;
  5. exhibits sustained and proven methods of improving the efficiency of the work place; and exceptional performance in a project or task that results in a savings of money or time, or increases revenues, productivity and/or employee morale.

All OUPSA and excluded clerical staff with at least five years of service.

Nominations are accepted by clicking here and completing the nomination form. All 2020 nominations must be received by Monday, March 15, 2021.

2019 Sharon Wilhelm Excellence Award: Shanna Dawson

Shanna Dawson, Office Assistant II in Alumni Engagement, is being celebrated on campus as recipient of the 2019 Sharon Wilhelm Excellence Award recipient. To learn more about Shanna's contributions to Oakland University, click here.

Past Recipients
Shanna Dawson, 2019
Irene Cobb, 2018
Jill Lawson, 2017
Vicki Gossett, 2016
Eileen Arseneau, 2015
Ellen Keaton, 2014
Kimberly McWain, 2013
David Ollie Ray, 2013
Virginia Cloutier, 2012
Dorothy Farrior, 2012
Roxanne Knudson, 2011
Vernita Parker, 2011

The Grizzly Engagement, Action and Thoughtfulness (GrEAT) Recognition program is a University of Choice initiative in which all employees can applaud and reward colleagues for performing community service.

OU Community Service

Thanks to generous support from the Oakland University Credit Union, OU employees can acknowledge colleagues with $5 gift cards up to six times each year, or once every two months. They can do so using the CARROT app, which the University already uses to promote health and wellness among faculty and staff members.

Along with enhancing OU’s already strong campus community, another important goal of this initiative is to encourage all employees to offer greater contributions of time, knowledge and resources to their local communities.

Learn about and download the CARROT app

Instructions for sending gift cards

If you have not yet downloaded the CARROT app, do so using the link above.

  1. With the app downloaded and linked to the OU wellness program, select “OU” from the top menu of the app’s homepage.

  2. Select the OU Community Service Program icon at the top of the app’s OU page.

  3. Select the Oakland University – Celebrate Community Service icon at the top of the OU Community Service Program page.

  4. Select a Recipient and Community Service Category from the app’s dropdown menus.

  5. Include any thoughts to be shared with the recipient in the “My Comments” field.

  6. Select “Submit” at the bottom of the page.


Q: What is the Grizzly Engagement, Action and Thoughtfulness (GrEAT) Recognition Award?
A: The GrEAT Award is a new program that celebrates the significant community service efforts of Oakland University employees. The award program is being run through the “CARROT Wellness” mobile app.

Q: What is “CARROT Wellness”?
A: Developed here in Southeast Michigan by an OU graduate, CARROT Wellness is a mobile application that rewards users for walking and meeting personalized activity goals. Oakland University utilizes CARROT to encourage all faculty and staff members to be more physically active.

Q: Is there a cost for the program?
A: Downloading and using the CARROT app is free. In addition, participating in the CARROT Health & Wellness program is free for all OU benefits-eligible staff members. Participants can utilize it to earn gift cards and other rewards for maintaining healthy lifestyles.

Q: How do I nominate a co-worker for this award?
A: Open the CARROT app, select the "OU" option from the top menu and tap on the “OU Community Service Award” image. On the screen that appears, begin to enter the coworker's name and then select the employee's name from the dropdown list that appears. Next, identify the reason you are recognizing this person from the list of options, or use the "other" option to describe the employee's community service work. Finally, enter comments regarding the reason the employee is deserving of community service recognition and submit the information.  

Q: Is using the CARROT app the only way I can send a gift card to a colleague?
A: Yes. The app provides the University the most convenient and efficient means of managing the GrEAT program.

Q: Does the recipient of a gift card need to use the CARROT app to access it?
A: No. Regardless of whether the recipient has downloaded the app, he or she will receive an email from CARROT notifying them that they’ve received this honor, along with instructions on how they can select and receive the $5 gift card of their choice. Recipients who are using the app will also receive a notification from it if they have set their preferences to allow notifications.

Q: Can I recognize a colleague anonymously?
A: Yes. The CARROT app does not provide recipients with sender names. In this way, senders can choose whether to let recipients know who sent the acknowledgement.

Q: Can I recognize as many colleagues as I wish?
A: The program allows benefit-eligible employees to recognize up to 6 colleagues per year, or one every two months.

Q: Can I acknowledge my own community service through this initiative?
A: No. The GrEAT Recognition Program is designed to acknowledge and encourage the community service of others.

Q: Can I recognize a colleague that has sent me a gift card?
A: No. Reciprocal rewards are not allowed through this program.

Q: What kinds of gift cards are available?
A: Many options are available, including Amazon, AMC Theaters and Apple gift cards.

Q: Can an OU employee be recognized for community service more than once?
A: Yes. There is no limit to the number of acknowledgements and gift cards and employee can receive. Because employees can send only one acknowledgement per year, however, each acknowledgement that an employee receives would come from a different sender.

Q: Who can I contact if I have additional questions about this program?
A: Human Resources Assistant Emily Block at


Oakland University (OU) established a Team Award Program (TAP) to recognize a team of faculty and/or staff members for significant contributions supporting the University’s strategic plan initiatives or strengthening and improving the University’s effectiveness as a community/institution.

The individual team awardees shall receive a Team Award plaque and formal recognition at the annual Exemplary Employee event.

How the Team Award Program Works

  • On or before March 15, the nominator shall submit an online nomination form.
  • Online forms are automatically submitted to the TAP Committee. The TAP Committee will review each nomination based on the Team Award Program criteria.
  • By end of May, the TAP Committee will notify the nominators of the TAP Committee’s decision.

Nominators will notify the team member of the Team Award. Names of award recipients shall be announced in April.

Submit a team for nomination

  • All faculty and employee groups are eligible to receive a Team Award. A team must have a minimum of three employee group members with preference of more than one division. Standing committees and/or task forces are not eligible.

  • A Team Award shall be given for work or accomplishments that have significantly contributed to the University’s strategic plan initiatives or to its institutional strength and improvement. A Team Award shall be made for accomplishments during the one-year period preceding the March 15 deadline.

 Examples of accomplishments, work, or service that meet these criteria include: 

  • Successful completion of an action item related to the Strategic Plan or a significant contribution to the strategies and goals of the plan.
  • On-going engagement in efforts that have resulted in institutional strengthening and improvement measured against internal goals and/or external benchmarks.
  • Implementation of innovative leadership practices that have significantly strengthened an office, department, unit, or the University.
  • Implementation of financial planning and budget management processes or practices that demonstrate exceptional stewardship of University resources.
  • Effective and productive participation on special projects, institutional committees, or tasks forces that have advanced strategic initiatives or that have strengthened or improved the institution.
  • Team effort that results in substantial, measurable improvement to a required process, compliance regulation, business system, or direct service to students, employees, alumni, or other stakeholders.

Nomination Process
  • Nominator can be a team leader, a member of the team or a member of the OU community.
  • Nominator submits an online nominations for Team Award by March 15 deadline. Nominations are limited to a maximum of 500 words and should outline the team’s contribution to one or more strategic initiatives and/or to institutional strengthening or improvement.
  • Nominations for work, projects, or service that have clear end dates shall not be made until after the work or project has been completed. Nominations for on-going work that contributes to institutional excellence shall provide evidence of specific positive outcomes against institutional goals or external benchmarks.
  • The TAP Committee will review the nominations to determine the Team Award.
  • The Team Award will be announced to the campus community in April.

For questions please contact University Human Resources at (248) 370-3486.

Cost Savings

The Cost Savings Suggestion Program encourages OU faculty and staff members to submit ideas that create efficiencies, cut costs and/or reduce waste in university operations. Creative and innovative ideas are welcome from individuals or groups, and no cost savings is too small because every dollar saved can add up to make a measurable budgetary impact.

All idea submissions will be reviewed and evaluated based on their ease of implementation, potential cost savings and overall beneficial impact on the university. Each of these criteria will hold equal weight in the decision making process. Any university department potentially impacted by a suggestion will have an opportunity to review and provide feedback on it.

Two limitations on submitted ideas include the following: 

  • The university is not seeking job elimination suggestions. Instead, cost savings realized as a result of work efficiencies, reduced supply and service expenses, etc., are sought.
  • Suggested programs or practices should not involve new implementation costs.

Program winners will be recognized during the President’s Annual Holiday Reception each will have their choice of the following prizes:

  • A $100 Gift Card donated by Choice Community Credit Union (This amount is taxable.)
  • An extra day off to be taken before May of the coming fiscal year
  • OU spirit items

The top prize winner will have first choice from available prizes, the runner up second and the the third-place winner final choice. Team or group winners will be able to share their prize or prizes as they see fit. All honorees will as be recognized in the UHR Newsletter.

Those seeking additional information on this award program should contact Irene Spanos at

Submissions for the 2020 fiscal year are due by Friday, October 9, 2020.

Cost Savings Idea Submission Form