Northwestern Employees Honored for Years of Service at Recognition Ceremonies | Enid Campus Celebrates 25 Years

November 22, 2021

Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s employees were honored during the annual Employee Service Recognition Ceremonies Nov. 17-18. Ceremonies took place in Alva and Enid to honor employees who work at Alva, Enid and Woodward campus locations. The Northwestern-Enid campus also celebrated 25 years of providing higher education opportunities in Enid.

Dr. Dean Scarbough receiving John Barton Distinguished Teaching and Service Award

(Right) Dr. Dean Scarbrough, agriculture department chair and professor of agriculture, was presented the John Barton Distinguished Teaching and Service Award from its namesake.

Dr. Dean Scarbrough, agriculture department chair and professor of agriculture, 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.

Kevin Fields, health and safety officer, was named the Thelma Crouch Staff Employee of the Year award. 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

Northwestern’s five-year service award recipients are (from left to right, back row) Tasha Diesselhorst, Tandy Keenan, Clayton Morris (front row) Dr. Amanda Clepper, Dr. Roxie James, Dalton Moser and Brenda Vazquez. Not pictured are Jordan Franz, Taylor Randolph, Dr. Patricia Thompson and Zachary Zook. 

  • Five-year service recognition: Dr. Amanda Clepper, assistant professor of nursing; Tasha Diesselhorst, head women’s basketball coach and instructor of health and sports science; Jordan Franz, men’s basketball associate head coach; Dr. Roxie James, assistant professor of English; Tandy Keenan, director of sponsored programs; Clayton Morris, maintenance; Dalton Moser, database analyst/programmer; Taylor Randolph, instructor of psychology at the Enid campus; Dr. Patricia Thompson, associate professor of nursing; Brenda Vazquez, academic records coordinator; and Zachary Zook, library office and technology assistant.

10 Year Service Award Recipients

Northwestern’s 10-year service award recipients are (from left to right, back row) Dana Roark, Dr. Bo Hannaford, (front row) Dr. Kathryn Lane, Alica Hall, Jeremy Judd and Matt McGuire. Not pictured are LesLee Bradt, Tara Miller and Dr. Wei Zhou. 

  • 10-year service recognition: LesLee Bradt; maintenance; Alica Hall, coordinator of printing services; Dr. Bo Hannaford, executive vice president; Jeremy Judd, database and research manager with the Foundation and Alumni Association; Dr. Kathryn Lane, chair to the English, Foreign Language and Humanities department and professor of English; Matt McGuire, maintenance; Tara Miller, database analyst; Dana Roark, instructor of business; and Dr. Wei Zhou, professor of business.

15 Year Service Award Recipients

Northwestern’s 15-year service award recipients are (from left to right) Mark Bagley, Dr. Aaron Mason and Markangela Kinnett.

  • 15-year service recognition: Mark Bagley, instructor of computer science; Markangela Kinnett, health and safety assistant and maintenance secretary; and Dr. Aaron Mason, professor of political science.

20 Year Service Award Recipient

(Right) Leeta Grimsley, Northwestern’s Information Technology assistant director and systems specialist, receives her 20-year service award from university president, Dr. Janet Cunningham.

  • 20-year service recognition: Leeta Grimsley, Information Technology assistant director and systems specialist.

25 Year Service Award Recipients

Northwestern’s 25-year service award recipients are (from left to right) Doug Chaffin and Craig Ricke.

  • 25-year service recognition: Doug Chaffin, director of plant operations; and Craig Ricke, Information Technology director.

30 Year Service Award Recipeints

Northwestern’s 30-year service award recipients are (from left to right) Debbie Skinner and Dr. David Pecha.

  • 30-year service recognition: Dr. David Pecha, vice president for administration; and Debbie Skinner, administrative assistant to the executive vice president.

Kaylyn Hansen, 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. Steven Palmer, professor of business -- given to an employee who had the greatest student involvement in a project. Students performed social responsibility audits of for-profit businesses and volunteered eight hours of service to non-profit organizations or government entities. 
  • Greatest Community Impact Award: Dr. Martie Young, professor of education -- given to the faculty or staff whose project impacted their community through beautification, culture, sustainability or other areas that put a community’s need first. Students hosted all classes from the Fowler Early Childhood Center for an afternoon of entertainment and learning. The teachers and staff got a much-deserved break for the afternoon.
  • Distinguished Service Award: Kirk Rogers, instructor of criminal justice -- 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 in the criminal justice internship course conducted 48 hours of job shadowing with law enforcement officers from the Woods County Sheriff’s Office in Alva and the Northwestern Police Departments.
  • Most Inventive Project: Dr. Mariann Braten-Hall, assistant professor of education-- given to a faculty or staff member who had a unique, creative project. Northwestern faculty and candidates worked with community schools to organize a Story Walk for young learners. The story walk this year was inside the Northwestern-Enid commons. Each candidate read and acted out one page of “From Head to Toe” by Eric Carle. 
  • Applaud Award: Northwestern Foundation and Alumni Association -- given to a club/organization that shows the greatest overall effort, participation and hard work. The Thank-A-Thon is an event where students write thank you cards and make phone calls to donors, thanking them for their generosity to Northwestern. 
  • Most Expressive Award: Olivia Yandel, J.R. Holder Wellness Center director, along with students in her Ranger Connection class -- given to a club/organization that had a unique project/event. Students held penny wars for one month around campus, then had a fundraiser where students on campus could pay $1 to egg a student in the class on the head. With the money raised, they went to Walmart to pick out presents for children. The class delivered them to Northwest Family Services and Toys for Tots.
  • perSERVEring Ranger Award: Dr. Steven Mackie, professor of education, along with the student organization Conserving Our Ranger Environment (C.O.R.E) -- given to an organization for its extraordinary service and serving in multiple community service projects throughout the year. The CORE organization volunteered for numerous community service projects including Recycling Enid, and Campus Beautification Day. 

Dr. Roger Brown, associate professor of business, presented Diversity Initiative recognitions to Dr. Courtney Ballina, assistant professor and director of the doctor of nursing practice program; Angelia Case, academic projects assistant/media specialist; Lindsey Cherry, instructor of English and English education program coordinator; Dr. Leslie Collins, associate professor of nursing and assistant chair of the Charles Morton Share Trust division of nursing; Douglas Davidson, research and instructional services librarian and assistant professor of library science; Juanita Dotson, director of Upward Bound; Dr. Jason Ferrell, assistant professor and chair of the psychology department; Shawna Gilbert, access services librarian and assistant professor of library science; Kyle Larson, associate professor of art; Jeff McAlpin, instructor of sociology/criminal justice and BJCC administrative director; Megan Patel, assistant director of athletics for compliance and student services; Dr. Joseph Paul, associate professor of business; Dr. Eric Schmaltz, professor of history and chair of the department of social sciences;  Dr. John Stockmyer, professor of business; Dr. Robert Vest, assistant professor of Spanish; and James.

Dr. James Bell, associate vice president for academics and dean of faculty, presented Retention and Enrollment awards to Dr. Luis Antunes, assistant professor of mass communication; Tamara Brown, communication department chair and assistant professor of speech; Sarah Fry, instructor of criminal justice and sociology; Shane Hansen, health and sports science department chair and instructor of health and sports science; Dr. Josh Hawkins, assistant professor of education; Mickey Jordan, director of technical theatre and Herod Hall facilities manager; Shannon Leaper, library services director and assistant professor of library and information science; Dr. Karsten Longhurst, director of choral studies and assistant professor of music; Dr. Steven Maier, natural science department chair and professor of physics; Allissa Miller, instructor of psychology; Dr. Kylene Rehder, social work department chair and professor of social work; Dr. Mary Riegel, associate professor of mathematics; Collins, James, Roark and Scarbrough.

Keenan presented highlights of happenings from her office for the past year including the fact that nearly $1.5 million in grants were funded this past year, down from the $2.9 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.  

Enid Campus Dean with Past Deans

(Left) Dr. Wayne McMillin, Enid campus dean, met with several special guests who were in attendance at the Enid 25th anniversary including two past deans of the campus, (center) Dr. Cheryl Evans and Dr. Stephen Hilterbran. 

At the Enid campus ceremony, employees were recognized for their service before also celebrating the 25th anniversary of having a campus location in Enid. Several special guests were in attendance including two past deans of the campus, Dr. Cheryl Evans and Dr. Stephen Hilterbran.

Endowed Chairs at the Enid campus also were recognized including R.S. Brud Baker, Janet Hart Cordell, Dan L. Dillingham, James Douglas Frantz, Harold G. Hamm, Edwin Long, Bert H. Mackie, John K. Martin, Citizens of Enid-Psychology and Citizens of Enid-Social Work. Ten bronze plaques have been hung on the wall of a first-floor hallway to honor those who provided endowment funds for Enid’s faculty chairs.

Enid Ceremony wide shot

Enid Mayor George Pankonin also presented a proclamation to Dr. Janet Cunningham, university president, declaring Nov. 18 as Northwestern Oklahoma State University Day.

Images from the ceremonies may be found online at


Erin Davis, University Relations Specialist, (580) 327-8480

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

709 Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, OK 73717
Phone: (580) 327-1700

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