NDSCS honors employee efforts with 2017 LIFE and Steeple awards

North Dakota State College of Science honored two employee teams with the College’s annual LIFE and Steeple awards on October 25, 2017. This year’s LIFE award was presented to the HVAC-R Trane Lab, while the Steeple award was presented to the Building Success at Science Initiative.

This year’s LIFE award recognized the HVAC-R Trane Lab. The recipients included Jeff Kukert, Mark Wood, Leslie Shirek, Tana Erbes, Barbara Bang, Dallas Fossum, Darrell Schreiber, David Cooper, Mark Eklund and Jodi Ost. The LIFE Award stands for “Bringing LIFE to NDSCS” and recognizes collaborative efforts that support the LIFE values of the College. The award is presented to an individual, employee group or committee for developing and implementing an action plan for Strategic Planning or Academic Quality Improvement Project goals.

In June 2016 NDSCS obtained a partnership with the Trane company. This partnership included funding for state-of-the art commercial air conditioning equipment for the lab, advanced digital building control systems and software as well as the Variable Air Volume boxes to control airflow with the controllers. In October 2016 grant funding was awarded to renovate the existing lab and classroom. Additional funding was donated by industry and alumni. These funding sources converted the two spaces in the Mechanical Systems building into a state-of-the-art commercial controls and equipment learning center. Students will receive training and certification, which is only available in a few select colleges in the country. NDSCS can now host NC3 certifications for the existing workforce in the region as well. A secondary impact of the partnership announcement as well as the renovation is an increase in first-year student enrollment. Fall 2017 brought the department beyond its capacity and some students were placed on a waiting list.

This year’s Steeple award was presented to the Building Success at Science Initiative. The recipients included Clinton Gilbertson, Barbara Spaeth-Baum, Kyle Armitage, Justin Grams, Kari Hasbargen, Maria Kaduc, Joe Schreiner, Dr. William Shay and Randy Stach. The Steeple award stands for “Climbing New Heights” and is presented to an individual, employee group or committee for new and innovative methods to accomplish their role on campus. Criteria for the award include taking a risk, thinking outside the box, just-in-time delivery and how that addresses immediate needs, shared innovation, impact on student learning and development, and documented results.

To enhance student success, the College plans to work together to build an effective academic and non-academic program review process entitled “Building Success @ Science.” This action project encompasses the first phase of the process, establishing the leadership and communication channels to provide input and explain the initiative. The team that was nominated by their peers and undertook this project was exemplary.  They went above and beyond the task at hand and made a much larger impact by developing a transparent and open communication process that could be used for all College initiatives. The communication process that was the product of this group is now fully implemented and is positively impacting the transparency and communication of the College community. The NDSCS Management Team adopted this process and it is now an expectation of all major College initiatives. This group exemplified each aspect of the NDSCS Quality Standards – especially customer experience, communication and teamwork.

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