TAHLEQUAH — Acknowledging the service of staff at Northeastern State University, the NSU Staff Council presented its annual STAR Awards and the first Dr. Steve Turner Staff Council Award to Joyce Deckard, Brittany Kjonegaard and Joyce Matlock, respectively.
Deckard was given the STAR Award, Kjonegaard was named Rising STAR and Matlock received the Turner Staff Council Award. The presentations were made in the University Center Sen. Herb Rozell Ballroom during the Employee Appreciation Reception on May 2.
"We designate the staff awards as 'STAR' because these employees possess the traits of service, teamwork, attitude and reliability," said Staff Council representative Amanda Chappelle in a media release. "The selection process is always difficult, but exciting."
Those employed at NSU for at least two years may be nominated for the STAR award. Nominees for the Rising STAR award must be in their first two years of employment. Nominations are submitted by faculty and staff.
Deckard, a custodian with the Physical Plant whose duties include building maintenance, was hired by NSU in 2007. She said "it was a shocker" when she was named the recipient of the STAR Award.
"I'm not sure who nominated me or why," she said in a media release. "I do know that I love working for NSU and being around the people here. Everyone here is very nice and I appreciate the award. I thank the whole NSU family."
Kjonegaard was hired in November 2012 as an international student recruitment and retention specialist for the Office of International Programs. She works to increase NSU's international enrollment by attending recruitment fairs overseas and supplying information to potential students and their parents. She also oversees the application process for international students. She holds bachelor's degrees in Spanish and international studies from NSU.
"I take my job very seriously and put my whole heart into what I do, and it is exciting to be recognized for that," Kjonegaard said in a media release. "I work with a wonderful group of people who also love what they do. The administration cares about us and the students. It is nice to know you have the support of the whole system."
Matlock serves as custodial manager and has worked for NSU since 2008. She oversees the university's custodial staff. As winner of the Turner Staff Council Award, she will receive funds to enroll members of her staff in training and development programs in September.
"I was only told that Deckard had won her award, and I had to fib a little bit to make sure she was in the audience when they called her name," Matlock said in a media release. "Later they called mine and I was shocked. I am very grateful to the Staff Council members for choosing our department to win this award. The additional training will be very helpful."
The NSU Staff Council was formed in 2010 as the representative body of NSU's full-time, non-faculty employees. Members are elected to serve two-year terms and may not be elected to more than two terms in succession.