Four staff members who have provided outstanding volunteer service to their campus, the university, and the community were honored with 2012 Service Excellence Awards during the University of Colorado Staff Council‘s annual conference March 13.
The service award winners, one from each campus and system administration, are:
Gregg Lundgren, Housing and Dining Services, Boulder
Lundgren is responsible for the technical aspects of the Buff OneCard office. He is in charge of hardware placement, the maintenance of sales and laundry equipment, and is involved with Housing and Dining Services security. He has served on the Boulder Staff Council for more than six years, including as an officer, and on the University of Colorado Staff Council. In addition, he has served on the Boulder Campus CERT (Citizen Emergency Response Team), the Chancellor’s Executive Committee, and the Boulder Campus Planning Commission. He helped co-author the Boulder Staff Council’s tuition benefit resolution in 2009.
He has been involved with the Boy Scouts of America for more than 15 years, and is currently a Unit Commissioner with the Valley District in the Denver Area Council of the Boy Scouts. He also supports youth groups through his church and the community and is an Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Communications Specialist for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served on the planning committee for an Emergency Preparedness Fair for Broomfield.
Lundgren sends money to, and serves on, projects devoted to helping people in the Philippines – where he hopes to retire – to provide health care, shelter and sustainable crops.
“He has always been selfless and he has always been willing to stop what he is doing to help others on our campus and in his community,” said presenter Larry Drees, assistant director of Information Technology, Housing & Dining Services.
“I learned a long time ago the importance of service from my grandfather,” Lundgren said. “As a small child, I remember seeing him stop and pick up a hitchhiker, take him to the barber shop, pay for a haircut, take him to a hotel to clean up, then take him to an employment office to try to help him find a job. He instilled in all of us that we’re not in this life to live our lives for ourselves, but we’re here . . . to do what we can for others.”
Benek Altayli, director of the Counseling Center, Colorado Springs
Altayli generally works 60 to 70 hours each week. In addition to managing the center’s small staff and budget, she sees clients daily, performs numerous crisis interventions each week, runs group therapy sessions, coordinates outreach and participates on several committees, including the THINK committee for alcohol awareness.
She teaches undergraduate- and graduate-level courses for the university and diverts her pay to the Counseling Center’s general fund so that she can expand programs. She meets with student athletes one night a week and participates in “The Doctor Is In” program. She supports numerous outreach programs, including one on suicide prevention, and another that educates the community about violence against women.
Altayli was instrumental in collaborating with the Colorado Springs Fire Department to offer counseling to firefighters dealing with work-related traumas. She also volunteers to see clients at the CU Aging Center.
“The doctor is indeed in, definitely all the time from what we have seen here, and Benek has provided great service to our university community and she is richly deserving of this honor,” said presenter Homer Wesley, vice chancellor for Student Success and Enrollment Management at UCCS.
“I will safe-keep this award in my office, but I am accepting it for the wonderful, incredible team that I get to work with day in and day out,” Altayli said. “No success is a stand-alone success. I am able to achieve this because of the people that carry me on their shoulders and provide me support and friendship.”
Terry Biddinger, director of external affairs, College of Nursing (CON), Denver
The past six years, Biddinger has secured more than $6 million in contributions to support CON and has developed many lasting donor, business and community relationships. She initiated the Touched by a Nurse Endowment Fund through the CU Foundation, which supports doctoral education to address the nursing faculty shortage in the country, and created and serves on the CON Advisory Board.
Biddinger has served, or is serving now, on a variety of advisory boards and committees and has chaired numerous fundraising events to support the CU School of Medicine and the CU Denver Business School. In addition, she has served in several leadership roles with entities including the Cherry Creek School District, Denver Lyric Opera Guild, the Denver Art Museum, and the Humanities Institute at the University of Denver. While serving with the Institute of International Education, she received an award from the U.S. State Department for hosting more than 200 foreign visitors in her home the past several years.
She currently is a board member for the Institute for Children’s Mental Disorders, St. Joseph Hospital Foundation, and the Colorado Symphony.
“You look at Terry and you hear her message and you say, ‘I’m on board. What do you need? Take my shirt.’ She’s that kind of a person,” said Leeann Fields, who nominated Biddinger for the award. “She’s such a positive reflection” of the university.
“What an honor and a privilege to receive this award. It’s been a privilege to work with the university. It’s an amazing thing to be able to serve others,” Biddinger said. “My father always said ‘You’re only as good as your last good deed,’ and I try to remember that.”
Judy Anderson, special assistant to Dan Wilkerson, vice president, University Council and Secretary of the Board of Regents, system administration
Anderson, a paralegal, is responsible for a variety of support services for Wilkerson, office budgeting and human resource transactions, and a variety of other administrative support services.
She has served as a CU System Staff Council representative since 2009, helped organize the Brown Bag Lunch Series and other building events, and organized the 2011 Toy Drive for Military Families. She also is a homeowners association board member, is active in her church, assists the elderly with computer and other tasks, and, because of her passion for animals, offers a pet-sitting service. She is a member of the 2012 University Perspective Program, the Faculty Council Committee on Women, the CU Advocates, and a volunteer for the 2012 CU Women Succeeding Symposium.
“Judy has probably the hardest job at the University of Colorado. I challenge any of you to make sure that I am on time, prepared and doing what I’m supposed to do at any given time,” quipped Wilkerson, who presented the award. “When I look at the criteria for the award . . . Judy, like the rest of you, is one of the rare triple threats. You meet all the criteria by going above and beyond.”
“I’m the youngest of six, so you had to pitch in because that’s the way it was,” Anderson said. “That’s what I try to do around the office; I try to pitch in whenever anybody needs anything.”
The winners each received a plaque as well as a $1,000 cash prize.
Also during the all-day event at the Garden of the Gods Trading Post in Manitou Springs, Kyle Hybl, chair of the University of Colorado Board of Regents, sought attendee comments about the state of the university. He said he intends to convey concerns to fellow regents, who met Wednesday and today to discuss issues including tuition increases and a salary pool.
The conference wrapped up with a presentation by Aden Hogan, city manager of Evans, Colo., who was assistant to the city manager of Oklahoma City and served as one of the directors of the city’s Multi-Agency Coordination Team following the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Tim Stoecklein, associate director of UCCS Recreation Center, and Steve Linhart, director or the Office of Emergency Management at UCCS, discussed university emergency preparedness.