The 2019-20 Upper Iowa University Outstanding Staff and Faculty Service awards have been presented to associate registrar Shon Bruns and professor of chemistry Jeff Butikofer. Bruns has served UIU for nearly 21 years, while Butikofer has served nearly 15 years. All potential award recipients were nominated by their peers.
In nominating Bruns, director of academic success Amy Tucker stated:
Shon Bruns would be an excellent choice as the recipient of the Staff Outstanding Service Award. Shon has demonstrated her loyalty to UIU with her many years of service. She is the go-to person for many University questions for students, staff, and faculty members.
I owe a lot of my knowledge in my role to Shon and her willingness to help me understand the intricacies of everything from degree plans to how to make the stubborn printers work during the OAR advising sessions. Even though we are in different departments, she trained me on more aspects of my role at UIU than anyone else.
-Integrity- When it comes to integrity, I know that Shon is always doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. In fact, Shon goes above and beyond daily to ensure UIU is in compliance, following policies, and just doing what is right.
-Excellence- Shon’s attention to detail and high sense of responsibility make her a role model for others. She does not settle for mediocre work with errors and is always trying to improve processes to make sure things are done correctly. At the same time, she does not approach things in an off-putting way; rather, she is much like a servant leader who leads by example.
-Accessibility- Shon Bruns is probably one of the busiest people on campus. I can’t imagine the number of emails and call she gets each week, but I have always appreciated that she takes time for me. There are days where Shon and I have conversed on the phone multiple times a day. She drops what she is doing to help me out or explain a process. We are not in the same department, by I know I can always rely on her to help me with an issue.
-Respect- Shon is one of my most frequent collaborators. I respond the vast amount of knowledge, yet she never has made me feel silly for asking a question over again. She is honest and willing to try new ideas. I think a lot of people respect Shon for all of the hard work she puts in to help anyone who needs it.
-Stewardship- Shon has been employed at UIU for over 20 years. She is a wealth of knowledge of how and why processes exist, but she also understands the need to push forward to meet the demands of a changing higher education role. She works hard and many extra hours to help UIU be successful. Shon truly deserves a ‘kudos’ for all the work she does to make UIU a better place.
In nominating Butikofer, associate professor of biology Dr. Jennifer Stoffel noted:
Dr. Jeff Butikofer has gone above and beyond volunteering to serve in faculty leadership. During Jeff’s first terms of service he and his vice chair were called into an extended term of service as the faculty adjusted our governance structure to a Senate model. Both he and Shelby Kaura agreed to the extra length of service. During this time he worked to help get the Faculty Senate up and running.
Then, after only one year break from his term of service on the board, Jeff volunteered to have his name put forward to run again as faculty vice-chair to help ensure that all faculty voices were being represented. Jeff was elected vice-chair by a majority vote of the faculty with the eventual transition to faculty chair.
During the 2019-2020 year, Jeff has done his best to represent all faculty voices and viewpoints, patiently worked to collaborate with others across the University, and address challenging questions. All of these discussions were very challenging discussions but important to have, and despite his own views on any of these topics he helped have these discussions. During all of these discussions Jeff displayed a tremendous amount of integrity while maintaining respect for the position of others. During the 2019-2020 year, Jeff Butikofer continued to provide continuity to the Policy committee. As a faculty representative on the committee he sought input on as many topics as he was able, collaborated, and communicated many stakeholder groups.
Jeff Butikofer demonstrates excellence and stewardship in all of his interactions with students. Jeff supports academic excellence in his students while challenging them to grow as learners. He cultivates this desire to learn in every student he meets with during his countless campus visits.
Jeff is always looking out for the best interest of the larger group. As a co-worker in the same building he works in, I can attest that he makes sure to communicate and work toward any building challenges that may be occurring large or small. From trying to save samples from a broken -80°C freezer, noting alarms on refrigerator repairs, or pitching in with roof leak mitigation (from past years) he is a true team player.
As recipients of the 2019-20 Upper Iowa University Outstanding Staff and Faculty Service awards, Bruns and Butikofer embody Upper Iowa University’s unwavering commitment to accessible higher education and lifelong learning, further ensuring that current and future UIU students are provided with the skills they need to be successful in the classroom, career and life.