Kelli Baker, Administrative Secretary – Senior in the Department of Language and Literature, was named the 2010 Classified Employee of the Year for Fairmont State University during the annual Classified Staff Luncheon on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010.
Other nominees for the award were Cinda Ewing of the Purchasing Office, Diane Holley of the Physical Plant, Rosetta Kolar of the College of Science and Technology, Marvin Miller of the Physical Plant, Lori Postlethwait of the Office of Institutional Advancement, Colleen Roberts of the Office of Human Resources and Kitty Shugars of the Office of Enrollment Services. FSU President Tom Krepel presented remarks and praised classified staff members for their hard work and dedication to serving students.
Baker began her career as a casual employee for Fairmont State in 1991 and became a full-time employee in the Department of Language and Literature in 1993. In this department, she works with 30 faculty members and many students. During her time in this role, she has worked for four department chairpersons.
Baker’s communication skills are an asset to her department. Once a faculty member brought a hearing impaired student into her office and asked if Baker could help the man, who began writing a note asking for information. The man was quite surprised and relieved when Baker began using sign language to communicate with him. From 1996 until the Sign Language Interpreter Program officially became a program of Pierpont Community & Technical College, she served as the secretary on the Sign Language Advisory Board.
Baker has helped to raise funds to support Fairmont State. She spearheaded a campaign to solicit donations, raising $10,000 within one year to establish endowed scholarship in honor and memory of Christiane Sweeney, a former faculty member who passed away. She also contributes handmade afghans to the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center’s Silent Auction, and this year her afghan raised $125 to help the restoration of the Folklife Center.
Baker said she enjoys the academic atmosphere at Fairmont State and getting to know the students on a first-name basis. She has traveled with the Honors program on trips to Washington, D.C., Boston and Philadelphia, and chaperoned students visiting the aquarium in Camden, N.J.
Also during the luncheon, the Office of Human Resources honored classified and non-classified employees for their years of service to FSU.
Honored for 35 years of service were Jane Delbrook, Executive Secretary, and Debby Rogers, Purchasing Assistant II. Honored for 30 years of service were Debra Bates, Program Specialist, and Harriett Snyder, Administrative Secretary – Senior. Honored for 20 years of service were David Fimple, Trades Specialist I, and John Piscitelli, Photographic Service Manager.
Honored for 15 years of service were William Bradley, Campus Police Officer Supervisor; Cathy Basagic, Program Coordinator; Sally Fry, Director of Student Development; Matt Jacques, Trades Specialist I; Lisa Knutti, Food Service Worker; Roy Lewis, Trades Specialist I; Jacqueline Moore, Campus Service Worker; Chris Morgan, Director Foundation Operations & Finance; Dale Rice, Campus Police Officer; and Janice Watts, Program Assistant II.
Honored for 10 years of service were Alexander Eggett, Program Assistant I; Juddy McMasters, Materials Handler Lead; Rebecca Miller, Office Administrator; Dennis Mitchell, Academic Lab Manager I; Teresa Palmer, Housekeeper; Patricia Price, Budget Specialist; Lori Schoonmaker, Interim Associate Director of Recruiting; and Cheri Varkonda, Program Coordinator – Senior.
Honored for five years of service were Brenda Johnson, Data Entry Operator; David Joseph, Student Info Specialist; Francine Jurosko, Program Assistant I; Marvin Miller, Trades Specialist Lead II; Andrea Pammer, Student Affairs Therapist; Debora Renick, Library Associate; Dan Singleton, IT User Support Specialist; and Erich Sorenson, Network/Phone Technician.
Pictured from left to right are Colleen Roberts, Rosetta Kolar, Cinda Ewing, Kelli Baker, Marvin Miller, Diane Holley and Lori Postlethwait.