Outstanding Supervisor Awards 2022

Outstanding Supervisor Awards Honor Bosses that Go Above and Beyond

MSU recognizes that excellence at the university occurs beyond the classroom or laboratory and reaches every corner and role in the institution. Each year the MSU WorkLife Office offers employees the opportunity to nominate someone they feel is an outstanding supervisor. The criteria mirrors MSU’s aspirations for those in leadership roles. The Outstanding Supervisor Awards are awarded in October and individualized celebrations honor the winners.

For many winners, the Outstanding Supervisor Award is one of their most cherished professional accolades because it comes from their colleagues and team members. It is recognition that their intentional daily efforts to make MSU a great place to work are valued and appreciated.

The winners of the 2022 Outstanding Supervisor Awards demonstrate that great things can be accomplished in a distributed work environment among far flung teams. Beyond embracing flexible work schedules, promoting work/life balance, and caring for their team members, these supervisors cultivated excellence and enhanced diversity, equity and inclusion in their colleges and departments. Their colleagues and coworkers feel deep loyalty and gratitude for their efforts to foster supportive, creative, and caring work environments.

For Example:

During the pandemic, staff faced a number of stressors and obstacles including childcare issues to caring for elderly family members to internet connectivity problems. Our supervisor’s steadfast leadership and caring demeanor were critical to maintaining staff well-being and morale during the pandemic. She recognized that there was not a one-size-fits-all solution to working during the pandemic. She encouraged staff to take short breaks or to flex their work hours so they could care for themselves and for their families while still completing their work. Her constant reminders to staff to give themselves and others grace during the pandemic (and even afterward) were uplifting and morale-boosting during a time of uncertainty. Our supervisor continues to show understanding for each person’s life situations as they transition back to the offices or continue with their hybrid or remote work. She advocates for her staff and feels it is important to allow more flexibility than before the pandemic.

In the coming weeks, this year’s Outstanding Supervisor Award winners will be highlighted in a series of individual profiles. 

This year’s winners are: 

Bryan Beverly, PhD Director, Office of K-12 Outreach, College of Education

“Bryan has worked extremely hard to break down the silos that existed in our office to create a collaborative and cohesive work environment. The collaborative nature of our office is due to Bryan’s ability to empower his employees to make decisions, be involved in high-level conversations, and provide recommendations or suggestions on next steps. He has created such an enjoyable environment and a unified team with no hierarchy feel. It makes it such a joy to come to work.” Megan Papoi, CMP, Accountant II, Office of K-12 Outreach.

Wayne McCullough, Director, Master of Public Health Program and Interim Director, Division of Public Health

“Wayne has a transformational leadership style and uses his values and expectations to motivate and inspire others. With Wayne’s direction and knowing that we had his full confidence to do the job well, faculty and staff were empowered to follow through and successfully accomplish our goal.” Connie Currier, DrPH, MPH, Assistant Professor.

Rachel Isler, Academic Program Manager for the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Media and Information

“Rachel’s strength is that she deeply understands the new systems and was our guide through the transition to them. If she couldn’t figure out what was going wrong, she knew who to contact for help, and she immediately and actively did so. Rachel not only understands computer management of data, she also understands the idiosyncrasies of MSU human management. This, combined with her ingrained kindness and acceptance of others, allows her to navigate us through system change. This is crucial for our graduate students to thrive and have time for their intellectual work.” Esther Thorson, Professor of Media Economics and Entrepreneurism and Professor Emerita, School of Journalism

Karin Hanson, Director of Employer Relations and Communications, Career Services Network – Student Life and Engagement

“Karin not only leads our entire team to be proficient in our work she also creates a dynamic environment which also allows us the safety of truly bringing who we are to the office every day and allowing all voices to be heard! Karin leads us, inspires us, provides the opportunity for us to all excel and we look forward to working with her every day!” Randi Martinez, Career Consultant, College of Communication Arts and Sciences

Melanie Phillips, Service Manager III, MSU IT Office of the ACIO

“Melanie is a positive element in our teams. Melanie is the first to praise her teams and encourage us and empower us to bring issues to the table which we feel need addressing. She allows us to make suggestions to make processes or procedures better for the team, and always tells us to “Respect the past, and try to make the future better.” This ensures we are mindful of the work that others have created or contributed to, and then encourages us and empowers us to make things better for the team and our end users.” Susan Mireles, Access Management and Digital Strategies and Services

Cheryl Eschbach, Institute Director, MSU Extension Health and Nutrition (HNI)

“Her consistent tenacity, candor, and rigor represent how to be an outstanding supervisor. We conduct difficult work; we help people in crisis situations. Dr. Eschbach never fails to provide me with the insight and tools I need to accomplish our work goals. We are regularly in the proverbial trenches of the mental health field and there is no one better than Cheryl to have beside you in a foxhole.” Remington Rice, PhD, Health and Farm Stress Educator, MSU Extension Health and Nutrition Institute, Benzie County Extension Office

Deanna East, Interim Associate Director of Extension and Associate Director of the Health and Nutrition Institute for MSU Extension

“I have witnessed firsthand how eloquently Deanna answers a barrage of difficult questions during our monthly all staff webinars about new policies or procedures that staff did not agree with or for which they needed more guidance. Her patient and thoughtful answers are truly exemplary for anyone in a leadership position.” Marie Garcia, Executive Secretary II of the Health and Nutrition Institute

Kari Schueller Lopez, Director of Academic and Student Affairs, College of Communication Arts and Sciences

“Kari treats everyone with respect, and she cares deeply about her employees. She cares about the whole person. She takes the time to get to know us and our families. She works hard to make sure that our worklife balance is where it should be. Kari understands that life happens, and that we cannot always control when it happens. Kari realizes how important family is, and she makes sure that family is as much a priority as our jobs. She knows that “people first” and “family first” helps to create a good work environment.” Joyce F. Crandell, Office Manager for Academic and Student Affairs Office.

Outstanding Supervisor Award nominations are open from February through July each year.