Dec. 18, 2008
Pictured, from left, are Stacie Hays, Brenda Crawford, Duane Benson, Steve Nimmo, Jeanie Dolphin, Casey Jacobsen and Kathy Olson
Morningside College has presented its 2008 Thomas S. Thompson Staff Excellence Awards to Duane Benson, bookstore director; Brenda Crawford, personal counselor; Jeanie Dolphin, manager of development services; Stacie Hays, career counselor; Casey Jacobsen, athletic equipment manager and assistant football coach; Steve Nimmo, associate dean for academic affairs; and Kathy Olson, campus chaplain and director of church relations. Crawford also was named staff employee of the year.
Morningside President John Reynders presented the awards at the annual holiday and recognition banquet held Wednesday, December 17, in the Olsen Student Center on Morningside’s campus. Award recipients will each receive a $4,000 bonus. As employee of the year, Crawford will receive $5,000.
Recipients were selected based upon their demonstration of outstanding dedication, service and commitment to Morningside and its students during the 2007-2008 academic year.
Funding for the annual awards comes from an endowment established by Margaret Thompson, wife of the late Thomas S. Thompson, who served as president of Morningside from 1969 to 1978. He died in 1999.
Benson joined Morningside in 2005. As director of the bookstore, he has instituted features on the bookstore’s Web site that allow Morningside students to use the Internet to find textbooks for their classes and to check pricing. Benson also serves on several campus committees and is active in community organizations such as the Breakfast Sertoma Club and the Community Action Agency of Siouxland.
Crawford has served as personal counselor since joining Morningside in 2005. She was recognized for her efforts to assist students with their unique personal circumstances and to help them succeed academically. Crawford also was cited for her consistent work with other Morningside departments, such as residence life and student health services, to provide programs that benefit students physically and emotionally.
Dolphin came to work for Morningside in 1988. Her work overseeing alumni and donor databases for the college’s institutional advancement office was called a “tremendous asset” for Morningside. Her expertise with the college’s data management system has resulted in Dolphin being asked to make presentations at annual conferences sponsored by one of the providers of Morningside’s database software.
Hays, who came to work at Morningside in 2005 as a career counselor, was credited with bolstering programs, services and opportunities for Morningside students looking for internships, first jobs after graduation or help with graduate school preparation. She also was recognized for her efforts in organizing on-campus activities that help inform students about their options for academic majors and potential careers.
Jacobsen started working at Morningside in 2004 as a part-time assistant football coach. He soon became the full-time athletic equipment manager and continued with his duties as an assistant football coach. Jacobsen was cited for his work in creating an inventory system for tracking all athletic equipment at Morningside. He also was credited for his willingness to take time to help students in their personal and athletic development.
Nimmo started his career at Morningside in 1988 as an assistant professor in the mathematical sciences department. He also served as associate professor, professor and chair of the department. In 2002, he was appointed associate dean for academic affairs and continued to teach part-time. He became full-time associate dean for academic affairs in 2007. Nimmo was cited for his work with students and with Morningside’s study abroad program.
Olson, who joined Morningside in 2005 as chaplain and director of church relations, was commended for expanding the number of campus ministry events and opportunities for Morningside students. She also was praised for her efforts to organize several mission trips that have provided clean-up assistance to Gulf Coast areas hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and to flood-damaged Cedar Rapids, Iowa.