Northwestern Honors Employees During 2023 Recognition Ceremony

November 17, 2023

Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s employees were honored during the annual Employee Service Recognition Ceremonies Nov. 14-15. Ceremonies took place in Alva and Enid to honor employees who work at Alva, Enid and Woodward campus locations.

Dr. Aaron Mason, executive director for the Institute of Citizenship Studies and professor of political science, received the John Barton Distinguished Teaching and Service Award.

“John Barton’s examples of service, distinguished teaching and administrative leadership are the criteria emulated by the recipient of this prestigious award,” Dr. James Bell, Northwestern's vice president for academic affairs, said. “The purpose of this award is to honor distinguished teaching as well as service to the university, local, state and national organizations.”

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.

John Barton Award: Dr. Aaron Mason (right) was presented with this year’s John Barton Distinguished Teaching and Service Award from the award’s namesake, John Barton. 

Jake Boedecker, director of online services, received the Thelma Crouch Staff Employee of the Year Award.

“(Boedecker) is tucked away in an office that does not see a lot of student or employee traffic, but serves a critical role with helping to deliver technology to our students,” Dr. David Pecha, Northwestern executive vice president said. “Working at NWOSU for 18 years, our recipient has spent countless hours developing online course content, posting schedules, and keeping content current on our web page. He also helps troubleshoot Blackboard challenges for faculty and staff.”

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.

Thelma Crouch Award: Jake Boedecker (left) was presented with this year’s Thelma Crouch Staff Employee of the Year Award from the award’s namesake, Thelma Crouch.

Dr. Steven Maier, dean of faculty, presented the 2nd annual outstanding adjunct faculty member award to Mary Hamiliton.

“Mary has stepped in many times to teach courses without an instructor,” Maier said. “She has also faithfully served every semester as a university supervisor to student teachers, as well as serving as a teacher education candidate interview community committee member. She has contributed input to the division by serving as a voting member of the Teacher Education Committee.”                                                                                                                                              

Outstanding Adjunct Faculty: Mary Hamilton (left) is the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Adjunct Faculty member. Dr. Jennifer Oswald, Northwestern Division of Education Chair, presented the award.

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

  • Five-year service recognition: Dr. Tracy Beedy, associate professor of agriculture; Douglas Davidson, research and instructional services librarian and assistant professor of library science; Pam Hess, coordinator of the Charles Morton Share Trust Division of Nursing; Gretchen Jones, assistant director of athletics for compliance and student services; Dr. Garret Lahr, chair of division of business and assistant professor of business; Jill Lancaster, head women's track and field coach; Jon McAlpin, maintenance; Dr. Joseph Paul; professor of business; Eric Reames, assistant bursar; Huldah Sanders, maintenance; Marlene Swenn, program assistant at Bill Johnson Correctional Center; Nicholas VanLandingham, maintenance; Brandon Wallis, maintenance; Taylor Wilson, director of counseling and career services.

5-Year recipients (Back Row, Left to Right): Dr. Garret Lahr, Brandon Wallis, Gretchen Jones, Jon McAlpin

(Front Row, Left to Right) Pam Hess, Dr. Tracy Beedy, Jill Lancaster, Taylor Wilson, Douglas Davidson, and Nicholas VanLandingham.

Not Pictured: Eric Reames, Huldah Sanders, Marlene Swenn.

Dr. Joseph Paul receives his five-year service award from Northwestern President Dr. Bo Hannaford at the Northwestern-Enid ceremony.

  • 10-year service recognition: Darla Adams, project administrative assistant with Upward Bound Program; Dr. Roger Brown, associate professor of business; Keenan Meeker, instructor of mathematics; Dr. Mary Riegel, professor of mathematics; Dr. John Stockmyer, professor of business.

10-Year recipients (Back Row, Left to Right): Dr. John Stockmyer, Dr. Roger Brown. (Front Row, Left to Right) Darla Adams, Keenan Meeker, Dr. Mary Riegel.

  • 15-year service recognition: Jaunita Dotson, director of Upward Bound Program; Brad Franz, Athletic Director; Dr. Steven Mackie, professor of education; Sue Marker, financial aid assistant director; Calleb Mosburg, dean of student affairs and enrollment management; Kirk Rogers, lecturer of criminal justice; Dr. Jason Wickham, professor of chemistry.

15-Year recipients (Left to Right): Calleb Mosburg, Brad Franz, and Sue Marker. Not Pictured: Jaunita Dotson, Kirk Rogers, Dr. Jason Wickham.


Dr. Steven Mackie shakes hands with Northwestern President Dr. Bo Hannaford after receiving his 15-year service award.

  • 20-year service recognition: Dr. Christie Riley, associate professor of education.


20-Year recipient: The 20-year service award recipient is Dr. Christie Riley (Right) with Northwestern President Dr. Bo Hannaford

  • 25-year service recognition: Tamara Brown, chair of the communication department and assistant professor of speech; Dr. Jerry Gustafson, professor of business; Dr. Tim Maharry, chair of mathematics and computer science department and professor of mathematics; Dr. Jennifer Mahieu, associate professor of nursing; Dr. Steven Maier.

25-Year recipients (Left to Right): Dr. Steven Maier, Tamara Brown, Dr. Tim Maharry, and Dr. Jennifer Mahieu.

Dr. Jerry Gustafson is all smiles after receiving his 25-year service award from Northwestern President Dr. Bo Hannaford.

  • 30-year service recognition: Dr. Martie Young, professor of education.

30-Year recipient: Dr. Martie Young is the lone 30-year service award this year and received her gift from University President Dr. Bo Hannaford during a ceremony at the Northwestern-Enid campus.

Bell presented service learning awards on behalf of the Service Learning/Civic Engagement committee. Those being honored include:
  • Greatest Student Involvement Award: Dr. KeEra Byrd, assistant professor of nursing, and Heidi Ritchie, instructor of nursing, “Point of Dispense Training” -- given to employees who had the greatest student involvement in a project. Students and faculty completed Point of Dispense Training, practiced scenarios, and gave flu shots. This event lasted four hours. Students and faculty also attended a Caring Across Culture Conference for four hours in the morning before Point of Dispense Training.
  • Greatest Community Impact Award: Summer Foster, instructor of education, “Family Literacy Night/Little Explorers”-- 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 visited Alva Public Library and provided theme-based literacy activities and a story for preschool-aged children and their parents. Students at Longfellow Elementary were provided family-friendly literacy activities that could engage parents and their children at home that coincided with a book they read.
  • Distinguished Service Award: Dr. Karsten Longhurst, assistant professor of music, “Masterworks Concert” -- 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. The NWOSU Concert Choir presented a Masterworks Concert featuring works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Gabriel Faure, and many other contemporary black male and female composers of note. Some of the music performed dealt with the mental health aspect of losing a loved one, losing the ability to hear, and learning about the composers of different cultures who didn't have as many rights as some now enjoy.
  • Most Inventive Project: Dr. Martie Young, “Teacher Appreciation Day”-- given to a faculty or staff member who had a unique, creative project. Student Teachers substituted in all classrooms at Longfellow Elementary to allow teachers to join together with fellowship.
  • Applaud Award: Northwestern women’s basketball, “Reading with the Lady Rangers” -- given to a club/organization that shows the greatest overall effort, participation and hard work. The Lady Rangers visited numerous elementary schools including Washington Elementary in Alva, Medford Elementary, Pond Creek Elementary, Timberlake Elementary, Burlington Elementary, Cherokee Elementary, and Lincoln Elementary in Alva. The Lady Ranger basketball players are assigned a child for mentoring and positive interaction.
  • Most Expressive Award: Social Workers Association of Tomorrow, “Primp for Prom”- given to a club/organization that had a unique project/event. Nearly 250 dresses were given away to students from 18 high schools in three states during the 9th annual Primp for Prom event held in March at the Woodward High School Practice Gym. This year more than 400 dresses and 100 pairs of shoes were donated to the Northwestern Department of Social Work that co-sponsors the event with Woodward High School. “Primp for Prom is an event that promotes human and community well-being and highlights the generous spirit of others,” said Dr. Kylene Rehder, department of social work chair and professor of social work. “This event is something that Woodward High School looks forward to helping with each year.”
  • perSERVEring Ranger Award: Northwestern women’s track and field-- given to an organization for its extraordinary service and serving in multiple community service projects throughout the year. The Lady Rangers track and field team volunteered for numerous community service projects including volunteering at the Thank-A-Thon, Homecoming Parade, Red Riot Rally, Campus Beautification, and visiting with residents at Beadles Nursing Home.

Dr. Roger Brown also presented Diversity Initiative recognitions to: Dr. Courtney Ballina, director for the Wisdom Family Foundation Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in the Charles Morton Share Trust Division of Nursing; Angelia Case, academic projects assistant/media specialist; Valarie Case, assistant director of university relations; Yesenia Buckhaults, instructor of education; Lindsey Cherry, instructor of English;, professor of business; Shawna Gilbert, access services librarian and assistant professor of library science; Codi Harding, assistant professor of social work and director of field experience; Dr. Roxie James, chair of English, Foreign Language and Humanities Department and associate professor of English; Mickey Jordan, director of technical theatre and Herod Hall facilities manager; Mistie Kline, lecturer of psychology; Dr. Matthew Lambert, assistant professor of English; Shannon Leaper, Library Services Director; Peyton Lucas, Library Services Assistant; Tosh Miller, TRIO-SSS director; Natalie Nichols, international student adviser; Dr. David Vaughan, assistant professor of English; Dr. Robert Vest, assistant professor of Spanish; Olivia Yandel, director of the J.R. Holder Wellness Center and Student Government Association co-sponsor; Beedy, Davidson, Foster and Gustafson.

Maier also presented Retention and Enrollment awards to: Dr. Leslie Collins, chair of Charles Morton Share Trust Division of Nursing and associate professor of nursing; Sarah Fry, instructor of criminal justice/sociology; Shane Hansen, chair of the health and sports science department and instructor of health and sports science education; Dr. Jen Oswald, chair of the division of education and associate professor of education; Dana Roark, instructor of business; Dr. Piper Robida, assistant professor of biology; Dr. Dean Scarbrough, chair of the agriculture department and professor of agriculture; Dr. Taylor Randolph, chair of the psychology department and assistant professor of psychology; Brown, Gilbert, James, Jordan, Longhurst, Rehder and Riegel.

Tandy Keenan, director of sponsored programs, announced Northwestern received 22 grants, totaling over $2 million, 12 of which Northwestern employees applied for outside of normal job duties.

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.

Northwestern-Enid employees recognized this year are: (Left to Right) Dr. Joseph Paul, Dr. Steven Mackie, Dr. Jerry Gustafson and Dr. Martie Young.

Images from the ceremonies may be found online



Sean J. Doherty, University Relations Specialist, 580-327-8480

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Phone: (580) 327-1700

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