Staff Awards Honor Exceptional Work


Celebrating dedication, service, and exceptional work, this year’s College of Arts & Letters Staff Appreciation Ceremony was held at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center on June 8. The highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of the group and individual awards.

Jennifer Nelson, Secretary III in the Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages, was recognized for her 20 years of service to the University.    

The following awards also were presented:

Rising Star Award

Jennifer Tetreau, Human Resources Administrator for the Department of Romance and Classical Studies, received this year’s Rising Star Award, which recognizes non-academic support staff members who have shown promise early in their College of Arts & Letters careers with a potential for growth and advancement.

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Dean Christopher P. Long and Jennifer Tetreau


The award honors staff members who have exhibited exemplary dedication to the mission of the College and Michigan State University while consistently demonstrating outstanding performance in fulfillment of their job responsibilities.

“One aspect of Jennifer’s character I particularly appreciate is her sense of ethics and concern for the human side of our work,” said Jason Merrill, Chair of the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages. “She is very much the definition of hard-working. Frankly, I would not be able to do my job as Chair without her.”

As the winner of the Rising Star Award, Tetreau received a $500 award and was recognized with a plaque.

Exceptional Service Award

Amy Klapko, Accountant I for the College of Arts & Letters, is the recipient of this year’s Exceptional Service Award, which recognizes non-academic support staff members who have worked for the College for at least three years and have consistently demonstrated outstanding performance and a commitment to delivering exceptional service.

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Dean Christopher P. Long and Amy Klapko


Award recipients anticipate the needs of the College and are proactive and forward thinking in addressing those needs. They also promote productive relationships across the College and University while demonstrating diplomacy and responsiveness.

“Amy has consistently impressed me with her enthusiasm and energy, both of which surface in her willingness to learn new processes and systems and to take on ambitious projects,” said Associate Dean Bill Hart-Davidson. “I truly appreciate the way she models the culture of care we are striving to create across the University in all of the aspects of her work.”

As the winner of the Exceptional Service Award, Klapko received a $750 award and was recognized with a plaque.

Diversity, Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Support Staff Award

Tanner Schudlich, Secretary III for the Department of Romance and Classical Studies, received the Diversity, Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Support Staff Award, which was established this year to recognize a member of the support staff who demonstrates adept skills in engaging across differences among the communities in which they work.

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Dean Christopher P. Long and Tanner Schudlich


The award honors efforts to actively work to make Michigan State University a more accessible and welcoming place by understanding the complex, intersectional nature of identity, and employing such knowledge to improve the student, faculty, academic staff, and support staff experience.

“It is a mission for this individual to not only educate others about how to build their own foundation of acceptance and inclusion, but also to give a voice to those who are marginalized or oppressed,” said Melissa Staub, Project Manager for the College of Arts & Letters.

As the recipient of this award, Schudlich received a $750 and was recognized with a citation and an award plaque.

Outstanding Leadership Award

Melissa Staub, Project Manager for the College of Arts & Letters, received the Outstanding Leadership Award, which was established this year to recognize a member of the support staff (CT, APA, APSA) who embodies exceptional leadership by building community, nurturing a culture of care and support, exhibiting strong stewardship of institutional resources (time, talent, financial, etc.), and developing a shared vision of institutional excellence.

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Dean Christopher P. Long and Melissa Staub


“Melissa is very committed to her work and is always willing to go out of her way to provide what is needed in any given situation,” said David Prestel, Co-director of the Center for Language Teaching Advancement. “Her friendliness, compassion and ability to empathize with others made her one of the most approachable and effective support staff members I have encountered in more than 20 years in administration and 35 years as a faculty member in the College.”

As the recipient of this award, Staub received $750 was recognized with an award plaque.

Jo-Ann Vanden Bergh Award

Michele Burton, Administrative Assistant III for the Department of Linguistics, Germanic, Slavic, Asian, African Languages, is the recipient of this year’s Jo-Ann Vanden Bergh Award, which is named in honor of Jo-Ann Vanden Bergh, who served the College of Arts & Letters for more than 25 years in various staff positions and who was the award’s first recipient.

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Dean Christopher P. Long, Michele Burton, and Jo-Ann Vanden Bergh


The award recognizes a creative staff leader who is dedicated to problem solving and fostering high-quality work with impeccable evidence of superior work performance.

“Michele represents the best qualities of the staff personnel at MSU, those who fashion careers of professionalism and high-quality service, and who do it with a personal and individual touch that connects them to everybody with whom they come in contact,” said Douglas Noverr, Interim Chair of the Department of Romance and Classical Studies.

As the recipient of this award, Burton received $1,000 and will be recognized with a citation.

Golden Staff Award

Established in 2015, the College of Arts & Letters Golden Staff Award recognizes a department, program, or group in the College that demonstrates exemplary service or for being a good model for the rest of the College.

This year, under the leadership of Suzanne Manuel Reed, Administrative Assistant III, the Golden Staff Award was awarded to the Department of Art, Art History, and Design for modeling teamwork, collaboration, and buoyancy during the flooding of the Red Cedar River this past spring.