Michael Kroth: Outstanding Supervisor Award Winner 2021

Michael Kroth smilingFew supervisors are able to perform their roles and fill in for their colleagues when needed. However, Michael Kroth, professor of bassoon and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies at the Michigan State University College of Music has done just that.

Michael is known to be dedicated to his job. One employee stated, “Before leaving for maternity leave he listened to me, learned from me, asked questions so that he felt comfortable filling in, but also he wanted to reassure me that when I got back things would be in decent shape. He was taking on my responsibilities while maintaining his role as professor of a full studio of undergraduate and graduate students along with his duties as Associate Dean. He wanted me to enjoy my first child because he remembered having his first child.”

Kroth also makes it a point to check in on his employees, and listen to their feelings and concerns. “One of the things that stood out to me was the way he checked on me during the time of the Black Lives Matter Protests. Michael, who has supervised a relatively diverse group, just simply asked me how I was doing. He let me talk and be honest, he created a safe space, he did not try to be a ‘white savior’ and he did not dismiss me.”Michael Kroth with his celebration cake

Another employee experiencing a huge life change said, “Michael has been supportive to me over the years, as I went through some stressful personal family issues. He would regularly check with me with regard to how I was doing and what he could do to help at work. Knowing that he was there when needed helped me through that difficult time. The second matter, I ended up missing a week of work, during a critical construction phase of the new music pavilion. Even with his heavy workload, he had been keeping up on the progress of the project from week to week. This was very important, as he handled several key decisions and worked directly with the contractor to keep things on schedule while I was with my family.”

Kroth is also commended on his compassionate understanding, leadership style, and commitment to equity. “Michael’s responsibilities in the college of music are vast. He is not only Professor of Bassoon with a full teaching studio, but his duties as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Operations have him involved in a myriad of different administrative tasks necessary in keeping the college of music running smoothly. With all of his diverse responsibilities, Michael is able to be equitable in all things and to everyone he serves and supervises. He is sensitive to individual needs specific to a person and for specific situations.”

“There was a sad moment in our college, those involved in figuring out next steps had a brief meeting. Michael asked me to stay after the others left, and then calmly asked me, ‘How are you doing?’ I immediately broke down into tears and he had a box of tissues by my side in a second! It was so helpful to talk to him during that emotional time.”

By putting employees’ personal needs over their work duties, Kroth shows that he truly cares about those he supervises. Despite his great responsibilities, he never fails to show his support. Kroth’s willingness to go above and beyond demonstrates his true capacity of being an outstanding leader.

Michael Kroth with staff at the celebration