Congratulations Employees of the 3rd Quarter

Congratulations Employees of the 3rd Quarter
University Relations

In a testament to their dedication to the mission of the U of A, the U of A Staff Senate is delighted to announce and celebrate five outstanding employees as the Employees of the 3rd Quarter for the 2023-2024 academic year. These staff members embody our core values and significantly contribute to their unit and our campus.

Winners of the 3rd Quarter are:

Category I - Professional/Non-Faculty - Academic
Kayla Crenshaw, director of administration and communication for the School of Art. Crenshaw has played a pivotal role, while serving as a role model and mentor, during the transition of the Art Department to the School of Art. Crenshaw's supervisor, Christopher Schulte, states, "Kayla works tirelessly to create a workplace culture that is positive, collaborative, supportive, and where people feel valued for their contributions. Simply put, Kayla's service to the School of Art is exemplary. Moreover, the effectiveness of the School of Art's daily operations is due in large part to Kayla's steady presence and extensive contributions. The School of Art would not be where it is today without Kayla Crenshaw."

Category I - Professional/Non-Faculty - Administrative
Debbie Ritter, employee relations coordinator in the Office of Career Connections. Ritter's nomination package states that recruiters are often thanking her for going the extra mile and making recruiting U of A students a fun and inviting experience. Ritter's supervisor, KayLee Simmons, reiterates that she frequently goes above and beyond the call of duty, has a positive attitude and provides stellar customer service. Simmons adds, "So much of what Debbie does could go unnoticed because she is so efficient at what she does and rarely, if ever, needs help. Debbie personally vets hundreds of posted jobs and employers weekly and is the sole approver for 95% of jobs posted and employer approvals at the University of Arkansas on Handshake."

Category II - Secretarial/Clerical
Amy Ullrich, purchasing/travel coordinator in the Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology Department. Ullrich is described as a selfless, servant leader. Her nominators state that she is dedicated to her work and always available to help. Her colleagues comment, "Amy doesn't just answer questions, she works with you, and most importantly, she makes sure you get what you need to be successful!"

Category III - Technical/Paraprofessional
Luan Ho, computer support manager in the Industrial Engineering Department. The Industrial Engineering Department head, Chase Rainwater, states, "Luan has introduced several innovative solutions that have improved the efficiency and security of our IT infrastructure. His creative thinking and proactive approach have helped us stay at the forefront of technology. Other departments in the college often look to our tech team for guidance, and Luan's knowledge is one of the reasons for this. Luan has exceptional work ethic and is a true team player. He shows up early and is always ready to tackle the day. He excels in technical skills but also with communication skills. He has the ability to explain complex IT concepts in an understandable manner."

Category IV - Skilled Crafts/Service/Maintenance
Jeff Maples, skilled tradesman and vice chair of the FAMA Employee Safety Committee. As vice chair, Maples tracked down a lighting issue in a campus building and found a possible solution, despite having no training in electrical work. He worked with various sources and was able to correct the issue quickly. Maples' nominator states that he has changed the culture of the committee so that people are able to be more engaged and work as a team.

Staff Senate commends these individuals for their exceptional performance and positive influence on the U of A community. Each awardee will receive a monetary award and will be recognized at the next Staff Celebration.

Nominees who are not selected in the quarter for which they are originally nominated will remain on the ballot for consideration through the fourth quarter of 2023-2024. The deadline to nominate a staff member for Employee of the 4th Quarter is July 15, 2024. For more information about the Employee of the Quarter program, please visit Employees of the Quarter and Year.

About Staff Senate: Created in 1976 by Board of Trustees Policy 810.1, Staff Senate and its elected senators have the responsibility of making recommendations to university leadership on any matter of staff concern, including quality of work life, the efficiency of operations and staff service to the campus community. Staff Senate advocates in the areas of compensation, working conditions, health and wellness, fringe benefits, safety, parking and other workplace issues. In addition, Staff Senate works to celebrate, recognize and give back to staff through programs such as Employees of the Quarter & Year, awards for Staff Team and Part-Time Employee of the Year, Staff Appreciation Week, the annual Staff Appreciation Picnic, Staff Senate Scholarships and RazorGifts.

Monthly meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month from 3-4:30 p.m. and are open to the public both in-person and virtually.  Meeting details, lists of sitting senators and additional information can be found at the Staff Senate website.


Ashley Reeves, chair
Employee of the Quarter/Year Committee


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