2016 Outstanding Employee Awards

By Stephanie New-Johnson
Posted May 11, 2016

At the Employee Awards event on April 14, awards were given for several categories of outstanding service. Recipients were nominated by their colleagues based on their accomplishments and efforts in their departments. See below for photos and details about each winner.



Julie Bauch, sign language interpreter, Disability Services, received the Amabassador Award, given to employees who perform an outstanding job of treating students and community members with respect and solves problems while staying well informed and demonstrating follow through and good humor.

Bauch can always be counted on to reach out and connect with students. Students coming to the Disability Services Office are sometimes timid and are not always sure what they need—other than help. Bauch is a warm, welcoming and kind presence for these students and she takes the time to explain all of the resources they can use. In addition, Bauch’s interpreting skills are a welcome presence in classrooms, the library, the Center for Academic Excellence, commencement and university events.



Dina Inderlee, 2016

Dina Inderlee, office manager, College of Management (COM), received the Behind the Scenes Award, presented to employees who perform an outstanding job of treating faculty and staff with respect and solves problems while staying well informed and demonstrating follow through and good humor.

In her role as the office manager, Inderlee manages a staff of seven employees and oversees a budget of over eight million dollars. She coordinates workloads, IFO travel funds and associated matters for 35 resident faculty and approximately 270 community faculty. Recently, Inderlee aided in the COM departmentalization, the budget process redesign team and the faculty management module implementation.

She consistently treats her fellow employees with dignity and respect and takes the time out of her already overflowing work duties to answer each of their individual questions as they arise.



Rich Oswald, senior network administrator, Information Technology Services, is one of the main reasons why the Student Center, Science Education Center and parking ramp came online with very few issues. Oswald orchestrated the technological aspects of these projects, including cameras, card readers, building acess and digital signage. He worked countless hours, rushed schedules, attended last minute meetings, worked with vendors and was an overall team player.

For his outstanding work on these projects, Oswald received the Behind the Scenes Award, presented to employees who perform an outstanding job of treating faculty and staff with respect and solves problems while staying well informed and demonstrating follow through and good humor.



Andrew Cseter, director, TRIO Programs, received the Innovator Award, presented for an idea or project that benefits more than one unit or division by saving time or money or making a task easier, more interesting or rewarding.

Last year, as the TRIO-SSS grant was ending its five-year grant cycle, Cseter worked meticulously to write and secure our current TRIO-SSS grant so students can continue to receive student support services across the campuses. Not only was he able to secure that grant, he was also awarded a TRIO Care grant enabling the TRIO program to serve more students with disabilities. Cseter also piloted the first freshman learning community in 2014-2015 and worked to receive the Tuition Match grant to help Metropolitan State students save money and pay for college.



Donna Colburn, Office Manager, College of Health, Community and Professional Studies (CHCPS), received the Metromorphosis Award for flexibility, creativity, patience, perseverance and good humor in the midst of change.

Colburn has remained consistent as the CHCPS has gone through six different deans, the addition and subtraction of many faculty, staff and support positions and the configuration of several different departments under the roof of St. John’s Hall. She has been the one constant through all of these changes and has advised each and every CHCPS community member at some time or another. Her professional role has changed with each passing year and she has had to be flexible as her duties have ebbed and flowed. She endures with dignity and grace while always looking out for the people she works with.

OPEN CATEGORY: The “Mc” of All Trades Award


Andrew McAvaney, credentials evaluator, Registrar’s Office, is truly a “Jack of All Trades.” A Renaissance man around the office, he freely and generously utilizes his varied talents and skills to the benefit of others on a daily basis. McAvaney works quickly, yet thoughtfully, to complete anything tasked of him, ever with ease and a sense of humor. This, combined with his ability to readily understand and apply new concepts and technologies, often through self guided learning, has resulted in him being called upon often to fill roles in multiple and varied projects and programs. In addition, he keeps the office tidy, helps colleagues with car repairs, provides parenting advice and listens to and encourages fellow team members.

For his outstanding and unusal service, McAvaney received a unique award created just for him, The “Mc” of All Trades Award.

OPEN CATEGORY: The How Does He Do IT All Award


Bill Baldus, director, Career Center, is a tremendous resource for students at Metropolitan State. He regularly holds open resume workshops, meets with students in individual counseling sessions, visits classes and hosts Think Tanks and discussions with his team to help staff and faculty better understand the employment landscape for students. Baldus has implemented online tools like Handshake, developed and taught a credit-bearing course for job seekers and works closely with the library to help acquire high-quality resources on employment and businesses. The Career Center also plays a vital role in recruiting new students, as he helps students dream, then accomplish those dreams

For his hard work going above and beyond, Baldus received an award all his own, The How Does He Do It All Award. 



Bukari Hirad, work study, COM, exemplifies the criteria for the Student Worker Supreme Award. Hirad came to the COM advising center in July 2015 and has been an invaluable asset ever since. He is exceptionally self-motivated and hard working with a positive attitude. Hirad juggles multiple responsibilities and manages deadlines like a pro, yet he is always receptive to feedback and takes every opportunity to make things better.

He’s a first-generation immigrant who recently passed his U.S. citizenship test. If his work with COM advising is any indication, he is sure to be successful wherever his career takes him. Hirad is truly deserving of the Student Worker Supreme Award.



Wan-Ju Chen, Taskin Haque and Laura Villegas make up the current Center for Online Learning graduate student worker team. They are the recipients of the 2016 Graduate Student Worker Supreme Team Award. Collectively, these individuals provide support to over 1,000 courses any given semester which in turn supports over 8,000 students and over 700 faculty each term. Their comprehensive support services include direct support to faculty in their course development and online course maintenance, direct user support, special projects (coding, assessment, design, etc.) and audio/visual support.

Wan-Ju Chen is the first to volunteer to help, take on a project, or complete a task without hesitation. She has been fundamental in the center’s effort to incorporate closed captioning and ADA compliance with video online learning objects.

Taskin Haque shows a genuine investment in the university by being involved in community activities and has been known to engage as a student advocate when faced with an opportunity that could improve online experiences for her fellow peers.

Laura Villegas is the most senior of the team and supports some of the largest programs and their online requirements. She is passionate with regard to the service she provides and is committed to providing excellence.

Individually, they are amazing, but working as a team, they are a force to be reckoned with. They are pioneers, role models and examples of Metropolitan State’s commitment to offsetting the gender-gap in the field of information technology and systems and computer science.