Cynthia Simpson (L) presents Caroline Schmitz (R) with her award. Jennifer Mercier not pictured.
Jennifer Mercier and Caroline Schmitz have been selected as the Staff Member of the Month for October and November, respectively, by the Staff Recognition Committee of the Lawrence Tech Staff Senate.
Mercier is the interim coordinator for the Office of Leadership Programs and First Year Experience. She was nominated by Associate Professor Andrew Gerhart, chair of the Leadership Curriculum Advisory committee, who explained that Mercier had to take over when Director Melissa Grunow left the University to take a new job just a few weeks after her assistant, Katie Hayes, departed for the same reason.
“The rather sudden departure of Leadership and First Year Programs Director Melissa Grunow sent a frightening shock wave through many at the university including students, faculty, staff, and administrators,” Gerhart said. “I had no idea what could be done with all of the leadership program activities and the students in the midst of their leadership curriculum without the two staff members that have led the program from the beginning.”
There were many weeks remaining in the spring semester. Students were enrolling in summer and fall courses, and all students are required to complete the leadership courses. Meanwhile, there were seminar speakers to arrange; service-learning projects to manage; and leadership assessments to complete.
“Fortunately, Jennifer Mercier was ready to hit the ground running and pick up the slack,” Gerhart said.
Schmitz is head of the Circulation Department at the Lawrence Tech Library. She was nominated by librarian Catherine Phillips.
“Caroline has exemplified excellent customer service skills for over 12 years at the Lawrence Tech Library. She is often the first friendly face students, staff or faculty see when they enter the library, or the patient voice they hear on the telephone,” Phillips said.
Schmitz has played a leading role in the MeLCAT shared lending system at LTU. “She doesn’t hesitate to put in extra time to process books arriving at the library late in the day,” Phillips said.Schmitz also designs exhibits for Banned Books Week and National Library Week and often purchases supplies herself for the displays as a donation to the library. She has served on the Staff Senate’s Legislative Committee.
She is also a loyal LTU hockey fan who attends nearly every home game to encourage the Blue Devils.