Becky Jensen: Outstanding Supervisor Award Winner 2023
Building Excellence from the Start
Rebecca (Becky) Jensen began her role at the College of Social Sciences as team of one. Crafting strategic relationships and producing high quality work set the stage for an environment of growth and opportunity for her colleagues and the university. Jensen creates a caring culture that nurtures work-life fit and supports her team through good times and bad.
Relationships are foundational to success.
“Becky joined the College of Social Science as the sole communicator and singlehandedly built relationships and helped people experience the value of communications work, paving the way for hiring a team of communicators and raising the awareness of vital research, programs and student stories. For the first time ever, communications were part of the college’s strategic plan, and Becky and her team met and exceeded their media mentions goal in the first year of the five-year plan…Media mentions are important to spreading the important research of MSU and elevating our presence across the community, state and country,” shares Katie Frey, Communication Manager, for the College of Social Sciences.
Respect and care for coworkers are important building blocks for Jensen.
“Becky’s leadership style is characterized by positivity and empowerment. She inspires and motivates her team to reach their full potential by providing guidance, while also respecting that her team members are smart, capable professionals. Since working for Becky, I’ve grown dramatically in my confidence and knowledge of my abilities to do my job well. I also know that Becky is always available if I need her support. Knowing that she is in my corner is a great feeling as an employee,” shares Shelly DeJong, Communications Manager, in the College of Social Science.
“I appreciate Becky’s interest in checking in personally with her team members to understand not only our professional needs but also our work-life balance needs. This is always done with the utmost respect, dignity, and confidentiality. I’ve never once felt nervous or ashamed about requesting some flexibility in my work activities when life has thrown me a bit of a curveball now and again. Becky is always understanding, helpful, and accommodating in helping me develop flexible solutions to meet my personal and professional needs. And she does an outstanding job of demonstrating the same grace and understanding with others and with herself,” says Diane Huhn, Communication Manager, College of Social Sciences.
Jensen leads through adversity.
“Becky’s ability to strategize and execute amid adversity is a testament to her leadership qualities. It was during the early stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic when the world completely stopped, Becky walked forward. Her empathy and understanding of the marginalized communities within MSU, that were at higher risk of financial and housing complications, prompted her to spur a new fundraising campaign. This campaign was for the FAME Program at MSU – a program that works with students who have been in foster care, kinship care, or homelessness. This fundraiser was put together within a matter of two weeks, was highly polished despite the time crunch, and proved to be effective at mitigating the compounded financial struggles these students faced during those trying times, mounting over $30,000 in donations to the Student Emergency Fund,” explains Brandon Drain, Communications Manager for the School of Social Work.
Shelly DeJong describes Jensen’s leadership around tragic events. “Becky’s ability to respond well to stressful circumstances and extreme work-life situations is truly remarkable. Throughout the February 13th events, which directly impacted Becky and many members of her team that were based in Berkey Hall, I saw Becky support her team—being empathetic, sharing resources, providing clear direction on our job priorities, and being available even when she herself was struggling,” shares DeJong.
For Jensen, diversity, equity and inclusion are guiding principles.
“Becky’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is seen every day through our work as a communications and marketing team. She is always thinking of the most inclusive way to handle daily problems and is persistent in ensuring our team is telling stories about our college from all backgrounds including our team’s work to amplify college thematic areas, such as the “MSU Youth Equity Project,” the MSU Consortium for Sexual and Gender Minority Health, and Minority Politics. Also amplifying community and alumni engagement events like the MSU Women’s Leadership Institute and Gov. Jim Blanchard Public Service Forum that brings different ideas, people, and backgrounds together. Becky also works closely in collaboration with our college DEI office to ensure we are using best practices to reach a diverse and inclusive audience and constantly refreshing her knowledge on the most equitable ways we in communications can meet our faculty, staff, students, and alumni on our website, via email, at events, and on social media,” explains Jalen Smith, Social Media Manager, College of Social Sciences.
Jensen’s team feels grateful and valued. “Working on Becky’s team has been a great joy. I appreciate how much Becky values and respects me and my fellow co-workers as employees,” concludes Smith.
View the other Outstanding Supervisor Award Winners for 2023.