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University Women’s Commission honors employees, students

Three UT employees were recognized last week for their exceptional contributions to the campus community at the 25th annual Outstanding Women’s Award ceremony.

The University Women’s Commission honored, from left, Tammy Kneisley, Ginnie Gulch and Christine Keller.

The University Women’s Commission honored, from left, Tammy Kneisley, Ginnie Gulch and Christine Keller.

The University Women’s Commission sponsored the program, which was held in the Savage Arena Joe Grogan Room Wednesday.

Receiving Outstanding Women Awards were Ginnie Gulch, executive secretary in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs; Christine Keller, secretary 2 in Learning Ventures; and Tammy Kneisley, administrative assistant 2 in Athletics.

Gulch has worked at the University since 1999. She joined the staff as a secretary in the President’s Office and moved to Student Affairs in 2000.

“Having raised three children of her own, Ginnie knows how to help students with difficulties. She doesn’t just pass them along or suggest they call someone; she will pick up the phone and start making calls to find out how to help students resolve their problems,” one nominator wrote. “Ginnie’s positive attitude is admirable. In spite of some serious health issues this past year, she has come to work as often as possible and has been as pleasant as ever.”

“I’m very grateful for the nomination, and it is an honor to have been chosen for this award,” Gulch said.

Keller joined the UT staff in 1988. She has worked in the College of Business, Business Technology Department, the Center for Teaching Excellence, the Office of the Provost, and the Center for Teaching and Learning before joining Learning Ventures.

“I first met Chris in 2002, and I witnessed her exceptional contributions when she went out of her way to help me as I acclimated myself to the culture and opportunities at the University,” one nominator wrote. “I was impressed by her support of the women’s organizations on campus, especially the University Women’s Commission. She was one of the ‘faces’ at UT that I could recognize because she went out of her way to help faculty and staff.”

“I want to thank my nominator, Marie Janes, associate lecturer of health professions, and the University Women’s Commission Board. I have very much enjoyed the many people I have met and worked with over the years at UT,” Keller said. “And I want to dedicate this award to my mom, Dorothy Yager Best, who passed away three years ago. She gave birth to six daughters in 11 years then went to work nights as a head nurse at Mercy Hospital for 25 years. She was the truly outstanding woman in my life.”

Kneisley received a bachelor of education degree in 1981 from the University and started working at her alma mater in Athletics in 1985.

“Tammy is responsible for coordinating all NCAA, MAC and UT scholarship processing. This work effectively impacts all 15 sports and approximately 300 student-athletes. Her work requires a thorough understanding of NCAA policies, and Tammy has maintained the highest level of knowledge,” one nominator wrote. “The quality and quantity of Tammy’s work would not be achievable without the interpersonal skills she possesses. She has a very friendly and cooperative personality and always fulfills her duties in a professional manner.”

Receiving University Women’s Commission scholarships were Jacquelyn Kujawa, left, and Kaitlin Lawrence. Melissa Seedorf also received a scholarship but was unable to attend the program.

Receiving University Women’s Commission scholarships were Jacquelyn Kujawa, left, and Kaitlin Lawrence. Melissa Seedorf also received a scholarship but was unable to attend the program.

“It is such an honor to be chosen. I have had the privilege to work with many outstanding coaches and administrators over the years, but the highlight of my job is being a part of the student-athlete’s college experience,” Kneisley said. “I have worked with so many dedicated student-athletes from all walks of life and literally from all over the world who may not always receive the recognition due them, but they have certainly represented the University in the finest fashion. They’ve made me proud to be a Rocket!”

The University Women’s Commission also presented $1,000 scholarships to three students. Receiving awards based on academic achievement, support of women’s and gender issues, and campus and community involvement were:

• Jacquelyn Kujawa, a junior majoring in speech-language pathology;

• Kaitlin Lawrence, a junior majoring in speech-language pathology; and

• Melissa Seedorf, a senior majoring in chemical engineering.