NSF grant for computational thinking research

SOU team gets NSF grant to work on “computational thinking” curriculum

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University has been awarded a three-year grant totaling nearly $1 million from the National Science Foundation to help K-5 teachers develop  “computational thinking” skills in the Ashland and Phoenix-Talent school districts. The work will build upon a $299,000 grant SOU was awarded in September 2019 to launch the collaborative research project – which was a success despite the abrupt shift to an online format during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both grants are part of the NSF’s Computer Science for All program, which is intended to extend computer science and computational thinking (CT) opportunities to all K-12 students in the U.S. Computational thinking refers to a set of thought processes traditionally used in computer science to identify and define problems and their solutions. The CT curriculum developed by local teachers, in partnership with SOU researchers, will address barriers associated with implementing computing curriculum in early grades because it will be incorporated into core subjects and introduced in an “unplugged” manner – without computers or technology.

Maggie Vanderberg, an associate professor of computer science at SOU and the leader of the research team for the NSF project, said the grant is dream come true.

“We need to find equitable ways to broaden participation in computer science to increase diversity in the traditionally white male-dominated field,” she said. “And this idea of integrating computational thinking into core subjects will ensure all students have the opportunity to build CT skills during their regular school day – which will also serve them in many other aspects of their lives.

“By building off of what we learned in the previous project, and creating new partnerships across Oregon, we have the ability to make a significant impact across the state.”

The project will include 20 local elementary teachers from the Phoenix-Talent School District’s Orchard Hill, Phoenix and Talent elementary schools, and the Ashland School District’s Bellview, John Muir, Helman, Walker and Willow Wind elementary schools. As co-researchers, the teachers will construct a computational thinking curriculum by embedding the thought processes into existing lessons and then test and refine the effectiveness of those lessons. The goal is to empower all students with the skills necessary for success in middle and high school computing curriculum, and eventually in technologically-rich careers .

“We are excited to continue our partnerships with the Ashland and Phoenix-Talent School Districts,“ said project team researcher Eva Skuratowicz, director of the Southern Oregon University Research Center (SOURCE). “This is a unique opportunity for K-5 and higher education in the Rogue Valley to work together and create a curriculum that can be used nationwide.

Ashland Superintendent Samuel Bogdanove explained the benefits for his district.

“The NSF grant has provided a great opportunity for teachers to delve into strategies that support early computational thinking skills development,” he said. “The project supports the work of the regular classroom teacher in an accessible way by offering tools and strategies that fold easily into classroom learning.

“I look forward to the expansion of the work provided by the grant, and the passion it will spark in the minds of students.”

Phoenix-Talent Superintendent Brent Barry shares in the excitement of continuing work on the project. “Our teachers benefit from top-notch professional development and training, which in turn will benefit all of our students as they continue their education,” he said. “This grant provides the opportunity to expand what we have learned to more teachers and students. Phoenix-Talent is grateful for the partnership with SOU and Ashland School District.”

The program will grow over the next three years to include collaborations with researchers at the College of William & Mary in Virginia and Oregon State University’s Cascades Campus in Bend, and teachers in Lincoln County School District and Redmond School District, The ultimate goal is to develop the beginning of a K-12 computing curriculum pipeline in the state of Oregon. The three-year NSF grant totals $999,806 and will fund the team’s work beginning in October and running through September of 2025.

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SOU ceremony in Guanajuato to honor Faffie Siekman and Juan Carlos Romero Hicks

SOU leaders to honor alumnus and friends of the university in Guanajuato ceremony

(Ashland, Ore.) — A contingent from Southern Oregon University will visit sister institution Universidad de Guanajuato in the coming days to present SOU’s highest service award to prominent Mexican politician and SOU alumnus Juan Carlos Romero Hicks and his wife, Frances “Faffie” Siekman Romero.

“Juan Carlos and Faffie are true and longstanding friends of SOU and our entire community,” said SOU President Rick Bailey, who will present the couple with the SOU President’s Medal in a ceremony on Monday, Aug. 8. “They have honored their ties to SOU and the city of Ashland throughout their remarkable careers, and have gone to great lengths to strengthen the social and academic cross-cultural partnerships that we all enjoy.”

The two have tirelessly supported connections between the two universities – and the communities of Ashland and Guanajuato – since Romero Hicks enrolled at SOU for the first time in 1978. He earned master’s degrees from SOU in business administration and social sciences and has since served as rector (president) of the Universidad de Guanajuato, governor of the state of Guanajuato, a federal senator and currently as minority leader for the National Action Party (PAN) in the lower chamber of Mexico’s legislative branch. He has announced his 2024 presidential candidacy.

Faffie Siekman has focused on humanitarianism and philanthropy, supporting causes such as adequate eye care for the people of Mexico, building materials for families in need and animal welfare – including a burro rescue program near Guanajuato. She has matched donations to the Ashland Amigo Club’s Endowed Scholarship Fund – managed by the SOU Foundation – since the fund was established in 2017; it has resulted in 10 scholarships to date for students to study in either Ashland or Guanajuato.

The couple’s first child was born in Ashland, the day before Romero Hicks began classes at SOU. He has often said that his life was changed by the Amistad Program, which enables student exchanges between SOU and UG.

“When I became president of the University of Guanajuato, I said none of that would have happened if it weren’t for my experiences with the exchange program,” Romero Hicks said. “It gave me the education and the global perspective that shaped who I am.”

The SOU President’s Medal, established in 1984, is the university’s highest tribute and is awarded as often as once per year to a community member who is distinguished by her or his actions and contributions. It has previously been presented to 57 individuals and organizations, most recently in August 2019 to Confederated Tribes of the Siletz elder Agnes “Grandma Aggie” Pilgrim.

Recipients of the medal are recognized for their exemplary service to the university and community, and for demonstrating compassion, integrity, generosity, leadership and courage. The SOU president determines when and to whom the award is presented.

President Bailey, SOU Board of Trustees Chair Daniel Santos and Janet Fratella, SOU’s vice president for university advancement and executive director of the SOU Foundation, will represent the university in Guanajuato.

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SOU rugby club at national tournament

SOU women’s rugby club team makes most of trip to nationals

Southern Oregon University’s women’s rugby club team, which mounted a fast and furious fund-raising effort this spring just to participate in the Collegiate Rugby Championship tournament in New Orleans, came away from the experience over Memorial Day Weekend having accomplished part of its ultimate goal – winning the final two games of the tournament.

Rugby club at tournamentLosses in the first two rounds eliminated the SOU team, first from the 16-team championship bracket and then the eight-team consolation bracket. But SOU found its footing in the four-team Challenge Bowl Bracket – which team members jokingly referred to as the “Loser Bowl” – and came away from the tournament with a trophy, following its 19-12 victory over Clemson University in the Challenge Bowl Bracket’s championship game.

“Their scrappy and physical play embodies the tenacity of this group of women,” said Mike Fredericks, who traveled to New Orleans to watch his daughter Izabella and her SOU teammates. “SOU should be proud of the way they represented the university and state of Oregon.”

The women’s rugby club, like all of SOU’s sport clubs, is led by student-officers who play on the team. The student-officers handle logistical details that range from financial planning to fund-raising to coaching to safety to inclusion. The 2021-22 academic year began at SOU with no rugby team, coach or schedule, but with five women – seniors Na’Ai Solomon-Lewis (the player-coach), Elizabeth Rose , Emma Kinler and Hannah Kramer, and sophomore Izabella Fredericks – who were determined to resurrect the club that had been put on hold by two years of the pandemic. They practiced together through the winter, then in the spring began recruiting other players and eventually cobbled together a brief home and road schedule with other club teams from the Pacific Northwest. The team earned its invitation to the Collegiate Rugby Championship tournament by winning a regional qualifying tournament in Boise.

The low-budget club model under which the SOU rugby team operates is common at many universities and colleges, but the national tournament in New Orleans featured teams with very different backgrounds – including some with multiple, full-time coaches, six-figure budgets and double the number of players. Some institutions fielded full varsity teams backed by their athletic departments.

The SOU team raised $20,000 to accept its invitation to the national tournament – more than $10,000 of it in the final month. The team lost, 21 to 10, to No. 2 seed Grand Canyon University in its first-round game, and then lost, 33 to 12, in its consolation-round game to the University of Iowa. SOU then defeated Southern Nazarene University, 29 to 10, in its first round of the Challenger Bowl Bracket, and beat Clemson University, 19 to 12, in that bracket’s championship game.

In addition to its five original players, SOU’s national tournament team was made up of Beyoncé Garcia, Maeve Moore, Emily Preston, Hailey Conner and Sonya Goddess.

“I got to witness and experience the very essence of why I am in this field, or why I get-up every morning with such enthusiasm to do what we call a job,” said Hugues Lecomte, SOU’s director campus recreation. “Every one of our 10 student-players displayed such fantastic values with a can-do attitude from the get-go.

“The team itself played in their own style, self-proclaimed the outcast of the tournament, with one of their own players fulfilling the coach responsibilities,” Lecomte said. “They connected and engaged with many other teams and players during the weekend and they were seen (and heard!) cheering other teams from the bleachers, hugging other players after games, and displaying the best sportsmanship ethics.”

Rating system give SOU gold

SOU achieves “Gold” in prestigious sustainability rating

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University has jumped from a “Silver” to a “Gold” rating for campus-wide sustainability achievements, as measured by an evaluation system developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and used to grade colleges and universities worldwide.

Gold rating from AASHE“It is an honor for SOU to be recognized for its contributions to heal and preserve our environment,” SOU President Rick Bailey said. “Achieving the ‘Gold’ level is a huge accomplishment that reflects our commitment to sustainability.

“We still have several projects in the works or in development that I am convinced will make our university even more of a national model – and will lift us to this rating system’s very highest level,” Bailey said. “We are very grateful to Becs Walker and all of the staff members and students who lead us in these important efforts.”

Participants in AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) can be recognized simply for reporting their sustainability achievements, or for rating at the organization’s bronze, silver, gold and platinum levels. STARS is used by more than 900 participating institutions in 40 countries, rating their sustainability efforts in five categories: academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership.

SOU first achieved the system’s silver level in 2017, and that rating was reaffirmed in 2019. The new gold rating takes into account the university’s ongoing efforts to attain its sustainability goals. STARS assesses environmental factors, along with social and economic considerations. SOU has demonstrated progress in many areas related to sustainability in achieving the gold rating, including governance of sustainability, health and wellbeing, protecting the environment, equity, social justice and community engagement.

SOU has completed eight new green building projects over the past three years, for instance, with four of them including new solar arrays. Three buildings on campus currently fall under the “net-zero” category, meaning they create more energy than they spend. President Bailey and the SOU team are also working to secure funding for solar projects that would eventually enable SOU to produce all of its own electricity, and potentially to sell excess power production.

“SOU’s gold STARS rating demonstrates leadership in sustainability across the SOU community,” said Becs Walker, SOU’s sustainability and recycling manager. “Sustainability is not just about doing something that has a positive impact – or negates an adverse impact – on the environment. It is about system change for the economy, society and the environment. We are continuing to challenge ourselves in building a better way of doing things here at SOU.”

The upgraded STARS rating from AASHE is the latest of many recognitions of the university’s sustainability efforts in recent years. The American Association of State Colleges and Universities recognized SOU in 2019 as the organization’s Excellence and Innovation Award recipient for comprehensive sustainability and sustainable development. The university also received an honorable mention that year at the Presidential Climate Leadership Summit.

SOU was the nation’s first certified Bee Campus USA and has maintained that certification, has been named a Tree Campus USA for five consecutive years and has been recognized for the ninth year in a row as one of the nation’s top 30, “Best of the Best” LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities by Campus Pride – a nonprofit that supports and improves campus life for LGBTQ people on campuses nationwide.

AASHE is a nonprofit organization that helps colleges and universities work together to create and lead the way to a sustainable future. Its STARS program is the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance.

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Outstanding Staff Award nominations are open

Nominations open for SOU’s Outstanding Staff Award

Have you noticed commendable work by an SOU classified or unclassified staff member? You can nominate them through the end of March for the university’s Outstanding Staff Award, which honors two people each year for their achievements, service, leadership and dedication to the university.

Nominees will be considered by a campus-wide selection committee, and the 2022 recipients of SOU’s top award for staff members will be recognized at the university’s annual, end-of-year celebration breakfast in June. Each will receive a $750 honorarium and glass trophy, and the winners’ names will be added to a perpetual plaque in the first-floor hallway of Churchill Hall.

The Outstanding Staff Award has been presented each year since 2018. All current staff members who have worked at least three continuous years at SOU in a regular, non-faculty position are eligible. Previous winners are not eligible.

The selection committee will determine this year’s winners by considering to what extent each of the nominees meet the award criteria: goes above and beyond to build relationships and enthusiastically assists colleagues and/or customers; is dedicated and loyal to the university; demonstrates expertise in their job; exhibits creativity, resourcefulness and initiative; and consistently demonstrates one or more of SOU’s values.

Nominations for the Outstanding Staff Award may be made online through 5 p.m. on March 31.

Faculty members are ineligible for the staff award, but can instead be recognized through SOU’s Distinguished Teaching, Distinguished Service and Distinguished Scholarship awards.

Distinguished Alumni Award winner Fred Mossler and three others to be honored

SOU Distinguished Alumni Award recipients to be recognized

An entrepreneur and former Zappos executive, a chemist working toward a cure for Duchene muscular dystrophy, a conservation and youth program leader, and the architect of an award-winning band program will be honored Thursday during a Homecoming Weekend luncheon to recognize Southern Oregon University’s annual Distinguished Alumni Award winners.

Fred Mossler, who earned his bachelor’s degree from SOU in 1990 and helped lead upstart online retailer Zappos to prominence, will receive this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award and Susan Ramos-Hunter, Ph.D., who earned her SOU bachelor’s degree in 2010, will receive the Distinguished Young Alumni Award.

This year’s Stan Smith Alumni Service Award will go to Greg Wolley, who received his master’s degree in environmental education at SOU in 1981 before embarking on a career in conservation management with a focus on opportunities for youth and people of color. The Excellence in Education award will be presented to Scott Kneff, who earned his bachelor’s degree in music performance at SOU in 1999; he has nearly tripled band participation in the Southern California community of Santa Paula since 2008 and built the program into a consistent award-winner.

The four award recipients will be honored Thursday at an 11:30 a.m. luncheon at the Ashland Springs Hotel that launches this year’s Homecoming Weekend. The award luncheon is by invitation-only, due to COVID-19 protocols.

Mossler worked his way through SOU at a local shoe store and as a resident advisor in the dorms. He went to work for Nordstrom after graduation, first in Seattle and then San Francisco – which is where he was recruited in 1999 by Nick Swinmurn to lead customer service and day-to-day operations at a newly-launched online shoe retailer – which became Zappos.com. The company had more than $1 billion in sales when it was acquired 10 years later by Amazon. Mossler left the company in 2016 to focus on other entrepreneurial and philanthropic ventures – from revitalizing downtown Las Vegas to launching après ski-inspired shoe brand Ross & Snow and Vegas-based restaurant chain Nacho Daddy, which donates a portion of every purchase to children in need.

Ramos-Hunter, originally from northern California, transferred to SOU from Rogue Community College to study psychology and was mentored by faculty member Mark Krause – who recommended the Ronald E. McNair Achievement Program for potential graduate students. She graduated as a McNair Scholar, majoring in psychology with a chemistry minor, then earned her master’s degree and doctorate in chemistry from Vanderbilt University. She is now a senior scientist at Entrada Therapeutics in Boston, and part of a team synthesizing cutting edge bio-therapeutics and working toward a cure for Duchene Muscular Dystrophy.

Wolley came to SOU to earn his master’s degree in environmental education after receiving his undergraduate degree from University of California, Berkeley. The local beauty combined with energetic, thoughtful teaching helped him lay the personal and academic foundation for a career that would include management roles with the Nature Conservancy, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Mt. Hood National Forest, the city of Portland and TriMet. His volunteer service includes co-founding the African American Outdoor Association and membership on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Kneff visited SOU as a senior in high school and fell in love with the university and the Ashland community. He attended community college in California for two years, then found his way back to SOU to complete his bachelor’s degree in the music program, participating in the university’s jazz band, symphonic band, saxophone quartet and the Raider Band. He then returned to Southern California to earn a bachelor’s degree in history, his teaching credentials and an eventual master’s degree. His teaching career began with stints in Los Angeles and Bakersfield, California, before he returned to Ventura County, where he grew up. Isbell School in Santa Paula had just 57 band students spread through three classes when he began in 2007; within 12 years the program had 175 students reached consistent “superior” ratings in regional band and orchestra competitions.

SOU named Tree Campus USA

SOU recognized as Tree Campus USA

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University was recognized this month as a Tree Campus USA for the seventh consecutive year.

Tree Campus USA, an Arbor Day Foundation program started in 2008, honors higher education institutions and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. SOU is one of 392 U.S. colleges and universities to receive the most recent recognition and one of seven in Oregon.

“Over the past year, many have been reminded of the importance of nature to our physical and mental health,” Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation, wrote in a letter to SOU President Linda Schott.

“Your campus trees provide spaces of refuge and reflection to students, staff, faculty and the community,” Lambe said.

SOU earned the Tree Campus designation by fulfilling the program’s five core standards for effective campus forest management: a regular observance of Arbor Day, sponsorship of student service-learning projects and establishment of a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan and dedicated annual expenditures for the campus tree program.

The Tree Campus program for higher education institutions has spawned two similar programs – Tree Campus K-12 and Tree Campus Healthcare – and the Arbor Day Foundation president called upon recognized colleges and universities to lead by example in their areas.

“We hope your example inspires collaboration,” Lambe said.

SOU’s Arbor Day observance is run by the Landscape Services Department, which organized volunteers to plant 137 large trees and 24,000 plants around campus between 2014 and 2016,.

All trees planted at SOU’s Arbor Day celebrations are donated by Plant Oregon, a Talent nursery. SOU offers free t-shirts and lunches to its Arbor Day volunteers. Arbor Day is celebrated each year on the last Friday of April.

The Arbor Day Foundation is a million-member, nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission of inspiring people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. Tree Campus USA’s colleges donate money to support the Arbor Day Foundation’s Time for Trees initiative, which strives to plant 100 million trees in forests and communities by 2022.

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SOU gets perfect score from Campus Pride

SOU scores a perfect 5 with Campus Pride

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University has been recognized for the ninth year in a row as one of the nation’s top 30, “Best of the Best” LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities by Campus Pride, a nonprofit that supports and improves campus life for LGBTQ people on campuses nationwide.

SOU earned five out of five stars overall on the Campus Pride Index, which ranks universities in each of eight categories: policy inclusion, support and institutional commitment, academic life, student life, housing and residence life, campus safety, counseling and health, and recruitment and retention efforts. SOU drew five-star rankings in six of the categories and four-and-a-half stars in the other two.

The Campus Pride recognition is meaningful for prospective and current LGBTQ students, particularly during a period of political polarization and pandemic-related isolation.

“In order to be in the ‘Best of the Best’ listing, an institution had to score the highest percentages in the LGBTQ-friendly benchmarks for policies, programs and practices,” Campus Pride said on the list’s website.

SOU was also ranked 21st among the 50 best colleges for LGBTQ students for the second year in a row by the online publication College Choice, which released its 2021 rankings in July.

The Campus Pride “Best of the Best” list of the top 30 LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities in the U.S. included six in the West region and just two in Oregon – SOU and the University of Oregon.

SOU addresses sexual orientation and gender identity in the university’s non-discrimination policy and offers LGBTQ-themed housing. Advocacy for gender and sexuality justice is available via the Social Justice and Equity Center, and the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program provides LGBTQ-related academic offerings. SOU also participates in LGBTQ-specific college fairs and its counseling and health staff provide queer- and trans-oriented services.

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SOU's Chelsea Rose on National Geographic series

SOU archaeologist returns to TV for National Geographic series

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University research archaeologist Chelsea Rose – who was on the cast of a 2013-14 archaeology series on Oregon Public Broadcasting and featured in a 2017 book intended to pique girls’ interest in archaeology – returned to TV screens this summer as host of a show about Wild West history for the National Geographic Channel.

Rose appears on an episode in season four of the series “Drain The Oceans,” an Australian and British documentary series whose previous seasons have focused on underwater archaeology. The current season shifts to terrestrial archaeology, with an emphasis on the West.

Rose’s episode – whose U.S. premiere was Aug. 2 on the National Geographic Channel – features segments on the ghost town of Bodie, California, 19th century steamboat wrecks and the Little Bighorn battleground.

“This show has a good reputation for portraying archaeology in an accurate manner, so when colleagues who had been on previous seasons suggested me as an expert contributor for the Wild West episodes, I was happy to comply,” Rose said. “Plus, Bodie has been on my bucket list since I was a kid!”

Bodie, a 19th century gold-mining town, is now a California State Historic Park and well-known tourist attraction near the Nevada border. The “Drain The Oceans” producers worked with park staff and archaeologists to reveal the site’s hidden stories, including the role of women and the town’s Chinese residents.

“Since so much of the town is preserved, it is an amazing dataset that relates to many of the archaeological projects we work on at the SOU Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA),” Rose said.

“Being able to see the artifacts and buildings associated with 19th century gold mining, as part of a relatively complete landscape, helped me to better understand how these resources would have been experienced by Oregonians.”

Much of Rose’s archaeological work involves using artifacts to reconstruct the lives of Chinese immigrants in the Western gold-mining and railroad-building communities of the 1800s.

Rose’s first stint on an archaeology-based television series was for both seasons of the OPB national series “Time Team America,” which was produced in Oregon but shot on locations throughout the U.S. She was one of six scientists who teamed with the show’s host to uncover historical secrets that had been buried underground.

She was one of three U.S. archaeologists who were featured in the 2017 book, “Archaeology: Cool Women Who Dig,” by California author Anita Yasuda. The book, which is available to order on Amazon.com, was intended to give 9- to 12-year-old girls a peek at work and life in the field of archaeology.

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Trustees appointed to SOU board

Williams and Raco named 2021 Outstanding Staff

President Linda Schott announced today that the winners of SOU’s 2021 Outstanding Staff Awards are Robin Williams, student success coordinator in the Division of Business, Communication, and the Environment; and David Raco, operating systems/network analyst 2 (systems administrator) in Information Technology.

Robin Williams David Raco

Recipients of the top award for our university’s classified and unclassified staff each receive a $750 honorarium and glass trophy. The winners’ names are also added to a perpetual plaque in the first-floor hallway of Churchill Hall.

I thank the members of our campus selection committee for carrying out the unenviable task of paring down this year’s list of deserving nominees to just two recipients – and I commend their choices,” President Schott said in her announcement. “It is an honor just to be nominated for this award, and I would like to recognize each of the other 18 employees whose names were submitted by their peers:”

  • Max Brooks, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs – Office of Career Connections – career prep coordinator
  • Anita Caster, Academic Affairs – Education, Health and Leadership – Education – graduate administrative services coordinator
  • Anna D’Amato, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs – Student Health and Wellness Center – director
  • Edward Derr, Academic Affairs – Humanities and Culture – student success coordinator
  • Miaya Dombroski, Academic Affairs – Education, Health and Leadership – Education – placement coordinator
  • Helen Eckard, Academic Affairs – Oregon Center for the Arts – Theatre Arts – administrative program assistant
  • Cindy Garboden, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs – Student Health and Wellness Center – registered nurse 2
  • Brady Hogan, Finance and Administration – Information Technology – information technology consultant 3 (computing coordinator)
  • Kristy Johnson, Athletics – head athletic trainer
  • Terry Knowles, Academic Affairs – Social Sciences – office specialist 2 (division assistant)
  • Stephen Lanning, Finance and Administration – Information Technology – operating systems/network analyst 2 (systems administrator)
  • Josh Lovern, Finance and Administration – Budget and Planning – director
  • Lizzie Parkhurst, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs – Disability Resources – information technology consultant 2 (alternative format media and assistive technology specialist)
  • Josh Rolphing, Athletics – head volleyball coach/assistant athletic director for compliance
  • KC Sam, Academic Affairs – Education, Health, and Leadership – distance learning transfer specialist
  • Jill Smedstad, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs – Student Life – equity coordinator for sustainability and basic needs resourcing
  • Ulrich Somerauer, Finance and Administration – Information Technology – operating systems/network analyst 2 (lab and student computing coordinator)
  • Miranda Stiles, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs – Admissions – senior admissions counselor

Williams and Raco will be featured on the employee recognition webpage as this year’s winners of the Outstanding Staff Awards, and also will be honored during SOU’s end-of-year Virtual Recognition Ceremony. That event will be held remotely and via livestream (sou.edu/video) from 12:30 to about 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, June 9.

Visit the Human Resources Employee Recognition – Outstanding Staff Award website for more information about the award program or to see past years’ award recipients and nominees.