Sioux City, Iowa – Morningside University presented its 2022 Thomas S. Thompson Staff Excellence Awards to Jon Deaton, resident hall maintenance technician; Elizabeth Bohlmann, admissions counselor; Karrie Alvarez, academic affairs coordinator; Randee Small, marketing services director; Jen Braunschweig, administrative coordinator for the School of Business; and Melissa Nelson, ag and food studies externship coordinator. Nelson was also named the 2022 Employee of the Year.
“Our staff members are essential for providing a high level of service to our students and the campus community. The individuals honored this year reflect that standard and the strong sense of community found on our campus. I commend each of these individuals for their excellent service to Morningside,” said Dr. Albert Mosley, president of Morningside University.
Jon DeatonJon Deaton, a resident hall maintenance technician since 2017, is described as an organized, detail-oriented, outstanding communicator who puts the well-being of Morningside students above all else. Deaton has proven himself to be an excellent problem-solver amidst supply chain issues, finding solutions even when parts and materials required are not available, outdated, or even obsolete. His nominator described him as a truly invaluable member of the facilities team who goes above and beyond to make students feel welcome and safe at Morningside.
Elizabeth BohlmanElizabeth Bohlmann has been a counselor on the Morningside admissions team since 2019. Her nominator describes her as hardworking, organized, and extremely dedicated. Bohlmann is known for her reliability and sharp skills, making her a logical choice to mentor new counselors who join the team. Per her nominator, Bohlmann is a hand raiser who never hesitates to jump in when work needs to be accomplished, and her efforts to ensure students and families have what they need help set the gold standard the admissions team has in supporting Morningside students.
Karrie AlvarezKarrie Alvarez has worked at Morningside since 2015, currently serving as the academic affairs coordinator. In her role, Alvarez spends countless hours planning and preparing work related to the academic affairs division, including being the point person for Morningside’s commencement exercises. Her nominator notes that despite the tremendous workload she takes on, Alvarez is rarely in the spotlight as she works quickly and efficiently behind the scenes. She is a confidant, a source of kindness, and someone who never complains while always offering a superior level of customer service.
Randee SmallRandee Small ’88 has been an employee at Morningside since 1993, most recently serving as marketing services director. Small is described as the kind of Morningsider who truly bleeds maroon, always supporting Morningside students and events as part of her job and as an alumna. Small’s nominator shared that her love for Morningside runs deep, reflected in her willingness to take on tasks outside of her job, her efficient work, and her willingness to take on new responsibilities and adapt to the needs of students. While Small is often an unsung hero, she is almost always the first sharing Morningside news and showing her support with even her license plate reflecting her love for Morningside, reading Mside Proud.
Jen BraunschweigHired in 2019, School of Business Administrative Coordinator Jen Braunschweig has quickly established herself as someone who everyone from students to faculty to staff rely upon for guidance, resources, and support. She is considered by many students to be a “parent away from home” who is always ready to offer a quick word of encouragement or to help out however she can. Braunschweig’s nominators shared that she has been a vital asset in a time of immense change and transition. They say without her, students would not have been served nearly as well because she is “the glue that holds the School of Business together.”
Melissa NelsonMelissa Nelson has served as the ag and food studies externship coordinator at Morningside since 2018. Named both a 2022 Thomas S. Thompson Award winner and the Employee of the Year, Nelson is noted for not only demonstrating exceptional service within the campus community, but for being a star who shines brightly in many places outside of it. She is credited with building strong relationships with community and business partners, offering critical support to students, and organizing and executing exceptional events that provide great opportunities for the Regina Roth Applied Agricultural and Food Studies department. Her nominator shared that in addition to setting up programming and teaching classes, Nelson is also active in her church, her community, is a small business owner, is a wife, and is a mother of two with a third child on the way – all of which she connects back to benefit Morningside and its students.
All Thomas S. Thompson Award recipients receive a cash bonus. Recipients are selected annually based on their demonstration of outstanding dedication, service, and commitment to Morningside and its students. The Thompson Staff Awards are funded by an endowment established in memory of Thomas S. Thompson who served as president of Morningside from 1969 to 1978.