Northwestern Employees Honored for Years of Service at 2022 Recognition Ceremonies

November 14, 2022

John Barton Award 2022, Dr. Jen Oswald
(Right) Dr. Jen Oswald, Division of Education chair, was presented the John Barton Distinguished Teaching and Service Award from its namesake.

Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s employees were honored during the annual Employee Service Recognition Ceremonies Nov. 8-9. Ceremonies took place in Alva and Enid to honor employees who work at Alva, Enid and Woodward campus locations.

Dr. Jennifer Oswald, division of education chair, was awarded the John Barton Distinguished Teaching and Service Award during the annual ceremony. Nominations for the award are made by faculty, staff and students then the recipient is determined by a selection committee. To be selected, the recipient must be a full-time faculty member at Northwestern and exemplify distinguished teaching and administrative leadership.

Thelma Crouch Award, Jodie Randels
(Left) Jodie Randels, administrative assistant to the president, is presented with the Thelma Crouch Staff Employee of the Year award from its namesake.

Jodie Randels, administrative assistant to the president, was named the Thelma Crouch Staff Employee of the Year. This award was established to recognize exceptional performance and/or service by a member of the Northwestern staff. The recipient of this award shows dedication to Northwestern and its students. The Student Government Association accepts nominations for this award and then determines the recipient.

Employees who were honored for their years of service are listed by name and job title:

5 Year Award Recipients 2022
Northwestern’s five-year service award recipients are (from left to right, back row) Ryan Bowen, Lynn Nickel, David Hawkins (front row) Glenn Gagnon and Jodie Randels. Not pictured are Dr. Courtney Ballina, Sharon Batchelder, Ken Gordon and Heidi Ritchie. 

  • Five-year service recognition: Dr. Courtney Ballina, Doctor of Nursing Practice director; Sharon Batchelder, Enid campus police officer; Ryan Bowen, baseball head coach; Glenn Gagnon, maintenance; Ken Gordon, assistant head football coach, defensive coordinator and instructor of health and sports science; David Hawkins, maintenance; Lynn Nickel, groundskeeper with maintenance; Heidi Ritchie, instructor of nursing; and Randels

10 Year Service Awards, 2022
Northwestern’s 10-year service award recipients are (from left to right, back row) Stockton Graves, Dr. James Bell (middle row) Dr. Jennifer Oswald, Lisa Cline, Paige Fischer (front row) Dr. Shelly Wells and Shannon Leaper. Not pictured are Tim Lauderdale and Trent Spade. 

  • 10-year service recognition: Dr. James Bell; vice president for academic affairs; Lisa Cline, Title III/LASSO Project director; Paige Fischer, bursar; Stockton Graves, head rodeo coach; Tim Lauderdale, associate director of athletics for internal operations and golf coach; Shannon Leaper, library services director and assistant professor of library and information science; Trent Spade, Bill Johnson Correctional Center treatment director; Dr. Shelly Wells, professor of nursing; and Oswald

15 Year Service Awards, 2022

Northwestern’s 15-year service award recipients are (from left to right) Matt Adair and Deborah Anderson.

  • 15-year service recognition: Matt Adair, director of housing and assistant dean of student affairs and recruitment; and Deborah Anderson, custodial supervisor

20 Year Service Awards, 2022
Northwestern’s 20-year service award recipients are (from left to right) Darcie Obermeier, Dr. Dena Walker, Dr. Dean Scarbrough and Kimberly Weast. 

  • 20-year service recognition: Darcie Obermeier, maintenance; Dr. Dean Scarbrough, agriculture department chair and professor of agriculture; Dr. Dena Walker, associate professor of mathematics; Kimberly Weast, department of fine arts chair and professor of theatre arts

25 Year Service Award, 2022
(Left) Dr. Wayne McMillin, Northwestern’s Enid campus dean, receives his 25-year service award from Dr. James Bell, vice president for academic affairs.

  • 25-year service recognition: Dr. Wayne McMillin, Enid campus dean

30 Year Award, 2022
Northwestern’s 30-year service award recipients are (from left to right) Natalie Miller, Kenneth Knabe and Sheri Lahr.

  • 30-year service recognition: Kenneth Knabe, HVAC technician; Sheri Lahr, registrar; and Natalie Miller, assistant certification officer with the Division of Education

35 Year Award 2022
(Left) Diane Penner, UDS/Records Coordinator, receives her 35-year service award from Dr. James Bell, vice president for academic affairs.

  • 35-year service recognition: Diane Penner, UDS/records coordinator

Kaylyn Hansen, director of assessment and institutional effectiveness and academic support senior woman administrator who also serves as service learning coordinator, presented service learning awards on behalf of the SL/CE committee. Those being honored include:

  • Greatest Student Involvement Award: Dr. Karsten Longhurst, assistant professor of music and director of choral studies -- given to an employee who had the greatest student involvement in a project. Students provided a holiday concert with tree lighting and caroling. 
  • Greatest Community Impact Award: Mickey Jordan, director of technical theatre and Herod Hall facilities manager; and Weast -- given to the faculty or staff whose project impacted their community through beautification, culture, sustainability or other areas that put a community’s needs first. Students participated in three performances of Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man.” College students and community members came together to put on the production. Participants learned vocal skills, dance, history, production skills, and fostered a strong sense of community. 
  • Distinguished Service Award: Dr. Robert Vest, assistant professor of Spanish -- given to an employee whose commitment to service sets a high standard in Service Learning while promoting the meaning of Service Learning and Civic Engagement. Students designed, advertised, planned and gave English as a Second Language classes on campus to local immigrants. Students were responsible for learning the basics of language acquisition theories as well as designing communicative lessons that crossed cultural and linguistic barriers.
  • Most Inventive Project: Jana Brown, instructor of history -- given to a faculty or staff member who had a unique, creative project. Students performed Oral History interviews with veterans or others from the Northwestern community to preserve public history interests.  Some students volunteered at museums helping them prepare exhibits or helping with public events.
  • Applaud Award: Coach Bowen and Ranger Baseball Team-- given to a club/organization that shows the greatest overall effort, participation and hard work. The Ranger Baseball team helped set up and take down the Alva Car Show. They made sure the event was clean and ran smoothly.
  • Most Expressive Award: Austin Rankin, junior political science major from Waynoka, along with students in the collegiate 4-H club -- given to a club/organization that had a unique project/event. This project was hosted by multiple clubs to provide a fun Halloween experience for the campus and residents. Collegiate 4-H club members hosted the game and gave out candy to the winners.
  • perSERVEring Ranger Award: Coach Tasha Diesselhorst and the Lady Ranger Basketball team -- given to an organization for its extraordinary service and serving in multiple community service projects throughout the year. The Lady Ranger Basketball team volunteered for numerous community service projects including the Lincoln Elementary Mentoring Program, activities at the Homestead, Reading with the Rangers, helping at the Cross Country meet and Fall Festival, volunteering at the Thank-A-Thon, participating in Stamp Out Starvation and Campus Beautification.

Dr. Roger Brown, associate professor of business, presented Diversity Initiative recognitions to Mark Bagley, instructor of computer science; Dr. Michael Black, director of bands and assistant professor of music; Douglas Davidson, research and instructional services librarian and assistant professor of library science; Shawna Gilbert, access services librarian and assistant professor of library science; Dr. Tim Maharry, mathematics and computer science department chair and professor of mathematics; Dr. Aaron Mason, professor of political science; Dr. Kylene Rehder, social work department chair and professor of social work; Evan Vaverka, instructor of computer science; Dr. Martie Young, professor of education; Leaper, Oswald and Scarbrough.

Dr. Steven Maier, dean of faculty, presented Retention and Enrollment awards to Tamara Brown, communication department chair and assistant professor of speech; Leslie Collins, Charles Morton Share Trust Division of Nursing chair and associate professor of nursing; Jason Ferrell, psychology department chair and assistant professor of psychology; Sarah Fry, instructor of criminal justice and sociology; Shane Hansen, health and sports science department chair and instructor of health and sports science; Dr. Roxie James, English, Foreign Language and Humanities department chair and associate professor of English; Allissa Miller, instructor of psychology; Dr. Mary Riegel, associate professor of mathematics; Dana Roark, instructor of business; Piper Robida, assistant professor of biology; Jordan, Leaper, Longhurst, Oswald, Rehder and Scarbrough.

Ajunct Award 2022
(Left) Max Ridgway, adjunct instructor of music, is presented with the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Member of the Year award from Dr. Steven Maier, dean of faculty.

Maier also introduced a new award recognizing an outstanding adjunct faculty member. Max Ridgway, adjunct instructor of music, was honored for over 20 years of service offering humanities and music courses, developing new courses, making existing courses more accessible to students, actively engaging in departmental functions such as developing and hosting the annual guitar festival as well as assisting with co-curricular performance needs throughout the university. The award will be awarded each year to one adjunct faculty member, alternating between the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Professional Studies every other year.

Tandy Keenan, director of sponsored programs, presented highlights of happenings from her office for the past year including the fact that nearly $1.9 million in grants were funded this past year, up from the $1.5 million in grants awarded the previous year.

Several employees also were recognized during the ceremony for their service to the Faculty Senate, Staff Council and Professional Staff Council.  

At the Enid campus ceremony, employees were recognized for their service.

Images from the ceremonies may be found online at


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