In addition to the new faculty I introduced in my previous column, we also have more than two dozen staff members who have joined us in the past academic year or moved to new roles on campus. Although they’re not typically in the classroom, these individuals often have much direct contact with students, and regardless of their responsibilities, they contribute greatly to making a VCSU education what it is for our students and their families.
Joining the staff this summer in time for the start of the school year are the following 11 individuals who assume a variety of roles, from coaching to Enrollment Services to Facilities and more.
- Taylor Balkan, interim assistant volleyball coach
- Janell Burkhart, athletic trainer intern
- Jacob Frey, admissions specialist
- Christopher Glaser, building services
- Sarah Larsen, collaborative pianist (Music Department) and administrative assistant (Career Services)
- Barbara Mattson, associate head softball coach
- Mark Mattson, head softball coach
- P.J. Peterson, assistant football coach and graduate assistant
- Cassandra Preston, office coordinator (Facilities Services) and payroll specialist (Payroll)
- Kayla Sorby, graphic designer
- Dustin Yorek, building security
It should be noted that Taylor, Jacob, Sarah, P.J. and Cassandra are all VCSU alumni.
Other staff members recognized formally at Welcome Week include the following seven individuals who joined us during the last academic year. They also participated in our group orientation sessions this August. This group includes:
- Kelsie Carter, mental health counselor (formerly admissions specialist)
- Debra Dramstad, IT support specialist
- Erin Heide, admissions counselor
- Chasity Lovell, administrative assistant, Graduate Studies
- Darien Moore, assistant track and field throw coach
- Anthony Wendel, academic systems administrator
- Kelly Tabor, maintenance and grounds
- Meghan McCulloch, student records specialist, Registrar’s Office
Another member of this group is me, Al LaFave; I began my service to VCSU in mid-December. Note that in this group Debra, Anthony and Meghan are VCSU graduates, and Darien attended the university.
We also have six individuals who have moved to new roles; some of these folks began their work in their new positions during the last academic year; others have just begun their new jobs recently. These include:
- Kari Bodine, interim head golf coach and assistant sports information director/athletic marketing (formerly Career Services coordinator)
- Kerry Gregoryk, director for institutional effectiveness and planning (formerly interim director, Academic Assessment and Institutional Research)
- Carolyn Holen, web content specialist (formerly administrative assistant, Science Department)
- Kaleen Peterson, director, Student Academic Services (formerly assistant director, Enrollment Services)
- Oscar Suniga, admissions counselor (formerly administrative assistant, Enrollment Services)
- Betty Tykwinski, director for health and wellness (formerly interim director, Student Academic Services)
In this group, Oscar is the VCSU alumnus.
Not counting me, that’s 25 people in new staff roles here at VCSU. Each of them plays a key part in providing our students with the coaching, services, technology and facilities needed to succeed here in Valley City, and I’m proud to join them on the VCSU team.