The theme for employee affirmation in 2018-19 is “Work Happy with Hamlet.” We want to focus attention on the everyday grind that means so much in the long run — in other words, to remember that we all work too hard not to have some fun along the way.
Hamlet will be passed along from one team member to another this year, with the Marketing Office to serve as his publicist and booking agent. Here’s how it will work:
Each Friday, Hamlet arrives at his stop, at 9 a.m., in the office of someone who has worked especially hard, and been nominated by a coworker. Marketing will tag along to document the hand-off, and send out a news release to spread the word.
Like most visitors, team members and students on campus, Hamlet started his year at the welcome desk, where he met receptionist and phone operator Barbara Feese. Marketing and PR appreciates Barb’s calm and pleasant demeanor, both in person and on the phone, where she serves as the first point of contact for the rest of the world. It makes a difference how callers and visits feel when they reach out or set foot on campus, and we are in good hands with Barb as the First Ambassador of the Saints family! She also keeps an eagle eye on the many items of mail that travel in and out, something our students rely on when their phones need to be replace, new shoes are on the way, or they receive a care package from home.
There’s no telling where you might have met Steve, whose regular desk is in the budgeting/accounts payable nook in the business office. That’s because Steve is willing to fill in at the public-payment business counter, the reception desk, the scheduling station — and pretty much anywhere he is asked. In nominating him to receive “Hammy,” coworker Barbara Feese said, “He’s just awesome. He’s a team player, willing to be the cashier, the receptionist, whatever we need.“ We also hear he makes a phenomenal strawberry angel food cake.
When Steve Wiens chose to pass Hamlet along to Teresa Wehmeier, he made the decision based on his coworker’s steadfast work ethic. “She does so much work that is kind of behind the scenes, and it’s really important work,” he said. “We kind of forget about how she is involved in nearly everything,” he said. “But when people need answers, Teresa is the one they call. I want to let her know we appreciate it.”
“She does a whole lot for everyone,” said Teresa Wehmeier when she announced Hamlet’s next destination: the desk of humanities division secretary Terri Barnes. Terri does her job as division secretary but that’s not all, Teresa pointed out: She takes care of the ticket process for all concerts and performances on campus, showing up to tend the door and keep careful records. Terri works to promote these events in advance on the division Facebook page and through posters and mailings. She keeps calm even when the holidays arrive, with the crush of concerts and recitals.
Newly-named division chair Darin Workman, “is doing a great job!” said Terri Barnes as she passed Hamlet, the symbol of workplace happiness, to Workman. “Since taking on the responsibility of division chair, he’s been stepping up and making sure things get done.” That’s a tall order for Workman, who also serves as instructor of instrumental music and chair of the music department. That includes coordinating guest appearances by area high school bands to provide pep band music during Saints basketball games. As far as Hamlet was concerned, the week with Darin was a hoot. The two have known one another since Hamlet was a piglet growing up in the back yard of VP of Student Services Celeste Donovan. He has fond memories of pool parties and good times with the entire Workman family, so a visit over the Labor Day weekend was appropriate!
Hamlet is on the move! After a couple of weeks in Humanities, he heads to the world of athletics! Hamlet had a great week with Darin Workman, but now it’s time to hang out with Mike Davidson, athletic director and head baseball coach. “Mike is a great guy, and he’s always ready to do what the job requires,” said Workman. “Like a lot of us, he’s stepped in to perform double-duty this year, and you never have the feeling that he minds.” Workman would know: he has worked alongside Davidson for many years and counts him as a friend and fellow community builder. “We’re lucky that our families know each other, both our wives work in education, we’re part of Liberal,” said Workman. “That isn’t easy to find.”
Hamlet moves on, but not far! He’s heading down the hallway from Mike Davidson’s office to one of SCCC’s newcomers, Ryan Wondrasek, head softball coach. Ryan joined the SCCC team over the summer, after stints at Omaha, Neb., and Shawnee and Norman, Okla. He set to work building the softball team with a mixture of returners and new recruits, and finding a new assistant coach. All that is a tall order when summer has already started, but Ryan didn’t mind. “He’s been a hard worker since he’s gotten here,” said Davidson. “I really appreciate his effort to better the softball program.” It’s good timing, as the French Family Field opened with new press box and refurbished dugouts this year. Ryan’s positive influence has touched more than softball, Davidson pointed out. “He’s willing to help out with other sports and anything else that we need in at the college and in the community. He has a positive work ethic and it rubs off on the people around him.”
Softball coach Ryan Wondrasek wheeled Hamlet down to Liz Hill’s domain in the athletic division to pass the positivity forward. Having a single physical trainer on staff for seven teams of athletes is “kind of crazy,” Wondrasek said, “and it’s amazing how much Liz does for the students.” With just one student intern this year, the work has been especially intense, but Liz keeps at it with a calm demeanor and no-nonsense attitude. She dispenses therapy and medical care, but also reassures injured athletes that life will return to normal, and encourages them to stay optimistic. “She’s like a mom to them,” said Wondrasek. “We all really appreciate her.”
Hamlet enjoyed his time so much with Liz Hill, athletic trainer extraordinaire, that he stayed a couple of extra days. But alas, it was time for new journeys and he’s visiting with William Bryan, chemistry instructor and division chair of math and science, this week. William has picked up double duties as division chair along with his already full-slate of responsibilities!
Hamlet continues his science studies this week. After spending time with William Bryan, Hamlet heads down the hall to Ty Hughbanks, biology instructor and PTK sponsor. Ty will make Hamlet feel right at home just like he does his students, both in and out of the classroom!
Hamlet stays in the science department! After spending time with Ty Hughbanks, Hamlet gets to spend time with Myron Perry, microbiology instructor and sponsor to the K-State Bridges Research program. We expect to Hamlet to get lots of extra attention because Myron puts in a lot of extra time with his students.
Registrar’s Office — Alaina Rice, Krystal Zimmerman, Sharon Nickelson
After spending several weeks in the Science Department, Hamlet leaves Myron Perry, microbiology instructor, and heads down to the unsung Registrar’s Office. Headed by Alaina Rice, registrar, Krystal Zimmerman, assistant registrar, and Sharon Nickelson, student records assistant, they are the nerve center of campus! They wrangle syllabi and schedules, confirm graduation requirements, mastermind commencement, and that’s not all. From applications, transcript assessment, enrollment, and course changes to sending out the all-important transcript to the next college, this is the office of, as one student put it, “the lady who knows everything!” And there are three of those ladies. Instructors and advisors sure do appreciate them (and Hamlet, too!!!)
After enjoying a week with the Registrar’s, Hamlet heads to the TRiO office and gets to spend time with Alex Widener, TRiO director. Hamlet gets a chance to see the amazing energy that Alex has for the students in the program. Get ready, Hamlet! You’re going to find out that she is a whirlwind, always on the run, but still makes time for the students! Well-deserved, Alex!
TRiO Student Support Services — Lizette Avalos, Blanca Castro, Maria Fe Laguitan
Hamlet’s dreams are coming true, as he moves closer to his goal of earning a college degree! After a week with TRiO director Alex Widener, our happy pig has moved to the TRiO office to meet new friends. Alex gave Hamlet to her team, Lizette Avalos, Maria Fe Laguitan, and Blanca Castro, in recognition of “the awesome work they’ve been doing this semester, and their commitment to the TRiO vision and mission!” As Alex prepares to leave her position to relocate with her family, she said she knows TRiO is in good hands with a dedicated team filled with genuine love for students. Everyone got a little teary as they embarked on a group hug. Hamlet, meanwhile, is super-excited, ready to fill out his FAFSA and SCCC application. We’ll keep you posted on his progress!
Hamlet arrived in the office of Dean of Students Annette Hackbarth-Onson this morning, escorted by the TRiO team. They want Hamlet to experience the kindness, attention to detail, and stellar advising the dean provides. “She takes such good care of our TRiO students, and all the students,” they said. Hamlet has already added to his growing sticker collection, with a “Proud to be First” badge. He is, after all the first pig in his line to enroll in college.