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Project Team Member Awards

Project Team Member Awards

"Doing the Right Projects Right"

The PMO manages 8-12 projects at any given time and their corresponding, cross-functional project teams. The individual contributions of all team members on each of these project teams is essential to the success of each project. Beginning with the start of fiscal year 2014, the PMO will recognize a team member each month that has made an outstanding contribution to the success of a PMO driven project. We give a special thank you to these individuals for their hard work and dedication.

December 2017

Casey Spencer, Senior CSC Technician

Blackboard SaaS

Early on it was determined that the migration to Blackboard SaaS was going to be a challenging project, not only for the Project Team, but for all of Davenport. Blackboard was going to be offline for 10-days from August 22 to September 1. Blackboard is the most critical student system requiring access 24/7 from around the world. Previous updates had been a maximum of two days. It was imperative that Davenport and Blackboard worked together to make sure the migration would go smoothly and stay on target to meet the necessary deadline of September 2.

Throughout the project Casey Spencer was willing to step into any role and assist with any task given to him, even on a minutes notice. Along with his primary role as Senior CSC Technician support, with support for the entire University, he found the time as Blackboard Admin Backup to support the project, oversee user testers, be a user tester, research information, and assist with developing necessary communication and support plans. He actively contributed time and effort to help fellow team members with tasks and issues to make sure the project stayed on target and on time. The Project Management Office would like to recognize Casey’s hard work, determination, and contributions towards the team’s ultimate success of the Blackboard SaaS migration project and achieving go-live two days early on August 30.

Congratulations Casey on an amazing job and for achieving the PMO’s Project Team Member Award!

June 2017

Josh Isaak, Director of Web & Media Services

DU Homepage Redesign Project

With the DU Homepage Redesign Project there was a tight timeline, but thanks to the hard work and drive, Josh Isaak was able to help see the project through. The PMO would like to recognize the efforts Josh put into this project. His focus and attention to detail allowed Josh to provide an end result that all could appreciate! 

This project had many challenges the first being a quick deadline. The goal here was to launch the homepage redesign at the start of prospective student traffic. The improved navigation and making it more mobile friendly will help prospective students find the information they need on the programs Davenport can offer them! The other major challenge was doing it with very limited resources and being able to accomplish everything with fewer resources than when the project started. 

For your hard work and dedication, the Project Management Office would like to recognize Josh Isaak as the recipient of the PMO’s Project Team Member Award! 

May 2017

Advising: Linda Sievert, Amy Ostrow, Sarah Murphy, Leah Tennant, Michelle Sall, and Registrar: Nancy Titmus, Jenni Krueger, Jessica Powers

Degree Works – SEP

We all know that teamwork is the key to success in most areas of life and business. Through teamwork we can combine different perspectives to identify and grasp opportunities, grow in understanding, overcome obstacles and achieve something bigger and better.

The PMO would like to recognize the great teamwork in the Degree Works – SEP(Student Educational Planner) project team who have come together from both the Registrar Office – Nancy TitmusJenni Krueger, and Jessica Powers and the Advising Office – Linda SievertAmy OstrowSarah MurphyLeah Tennant, and Michelle Sall to make this project a success. This high-performing team has done an amazing job of coming together for the past 18-months to overcome several obstacles with research, training, as well as understanding the best business processes and implementation needs for Davenport. They have handled all these challenges with a high respect for each other, collaborative insight and a synergy that has positively impacted the activities and goal of the project to this point. With a year left, the project team is now working in several pilot phases which includes all Advisors participating and providing feedback. The goal is to continue to work together through teamwork for a successful Spring/Summer 2018 go-live launch.

The Project Management Office would like to recognize each of you for the PMO’s Project Team Member Award! Thank you, Linda Sievert, Amy Ostrow, Sarah Murphy, Leah Tennant, Michelle Sall, Nancy Titmus, Jenni Krueger and Jessica Powers for your hard work, dedication and teamwork.

March 2017

Tracy Socia, Payroll Manager

eTime Upgrade Project

The PMO feels the spotlight needs to be pointed at Tracy Sociafor her hard work on the eTime Upgrade Project. Upgrading old software is not always as easy as it sounds, but thanks to Tracy and her hard work testing the new version she made sure there was no impact on payroll. This was made possible by her hard work and training with the vendor on the new version software. It was this training that she was then able to help the team with creating the user training materials for Davenport University.

For your hard work and dedication, the Project Management Office would like to recognize Tracy Socia as the recipient of the PMO’s Project Team Member Award!

March 2016

John Niedzielski, Director of Learning Design & Strategy, and Rebecca Hartel, Associate Director of Staff Learning

Virtual Service Delivery Project

It may be long overdue, but the PMO would like to recognize the efforts of these two individuals for their hard work and effort on the Virtual Service Delivery Project. This wasn't a typical project, in that, it involved nearly all front facing departments across the University. One of the first challenges of this project was to create the process for which customers will be able to virtually connect with Davenport Faculty and Staff. An even greater challenge was then to train and inform Faculty & Staff on how to become experts within this newly created process. Both John Niedzielski and Rebecca Hartel worked diligently together to provide the training videos, flowcharts, and other materials that allowed these individuals to become experts with the Virtual Service Delivery platform. 

For your hard work and dedication, the Project Management Office would like to recognize John Niedzielski & Rebecca Hartel as recipients of March’s Project Team Member of the Month!

February 2016

Shawn Raymond, Joe Bliss, Mark Fay, and Kristen Hoeve, ITS

Degree Works Upgrade

As the Degree Works – ITS Project Team was working hard on upgrading the Degree Works software to 4.1.4, the team had an “aha! moment”, which created an innovative solution of how to make a seamless switch from version 4.1.0 to 4.1.4 go-live for staff and students. Shawn Raymond, Database Admin, Joe Bliss, Virtual Infrastructure Admin, Mark Fay, Director of Web & Media Services, and Kristen Hoeve, Web Developer, worked diligently together to implement this inspired solution, which allowed the team to switch from the old version to the new version in a second without having to take down the program for any length of time. Originally DegreePlan would have been scheduled to be down for several hours during maintenance.

The solution involved making sure that the server, database, and application were configured with a single point of entry that was controlled from a single server. This allowed for the seamless switch from one environment to another without any service interruption. Since this new process was so successful for the Degree Works upgrade, it will be considered for future projects that can utilize this process!

For your group collaboration of inspiration to innovation, the Project Management Office would like to recognize Shawn Raymond, Joe Bliss, Mark Fay, and Kristen Hoeve as recipients of February's Project Team Members of the Month!

September 2015

Jon Lehner, CSC Technician

Printer Reduction Effort

With Davenport’s new Vision 2020 and its sustainability initiative, the Printer Reduction Effort Project represented a step towards change for Davenport University. One that not only showed the project team’s commitment but the University as a whole supporting this project. As President Pappas and many others spoke of at this year’s Davenfest, “It’s going to take courage”, and that is exactly what everyone demonstrated on this project.  

At the heart of this project, Jon Lehner provided the insight regarding the effects of the printer removal on the printer configuration tool and database. All while helping come up with steps to prevent an increase in call volume with our Customer Support Center. It’s because of his effort and courage towards this project and Vision 2020 that the Project Management Office would like to congratulate Jon on being our September recipient of Team Member of the Month!

August 2015

Laura Baillod, Data Warehouse ETL Developer

ERM Implementation

While closing out a the ERM Implementation Project, it was realized that quite a few items needed to be finalized, post-launch. These items weighed heavily on an integration with our Student Information System (SIS), Banner, and the work of our Enterprise Application Team. Having worked with Laura Baillod in the past during the ERM Implementation Project, it was requested that she continue to assist with these post-launch items.

Laura has worked diligently and tirelessly to ensure that Banner data was properly migrated over to our new CRM, Salesforce and vice versa (Salesforce to Banner). Additionally, Laura provided fruitful insight and recommendations to ensure time and effort is not wasted on endless endeavors. What made this unique and helpful, was Laura provided all the above while maintaining her primary role as a Data Warehouse ETL Developer.

The PMO greatly appreciates Laura’s contributions towards the ultimate success of the ERM Implementation Project, Post-Launch.

For a truly outstanding job and tireless effort, Laura has been selected by the PMO as August’s Project Team Member of the Month!

April 2015

Jacob Vachon and Caren Brown, Students

Texting for Student Retention

The Texting for Student Retention Project (DU Text U) was a perfect opportunity to find two students who would be willing to join the Project Team and represent the Davenport University Student Stakeholders. Jacob Vachon and Caren Brown were willing to take on this role and didn’t hold back.

Data suggests that students would prefer fewer emails and texting would be a more targeted, timely and succinct method of communication. By using Blackboard Connect SMS service to communicate regularly via text messaging, Davenport can keep connected to students and help them feel connected to DU and the campus community. The Project Team’s objective was to develop a standard practice and procedure for Outreach text messages to students. Student and Advising Services would be the first piloted department to use DU Text U.

Caren and Jake’s insight and perspective was invaluable to the team to understand and learn what students would prefer regarding receiving Outreach text messages. Their candid feedback helped make decisions on message content, format, frequency, and timing. As well as application concerns and user experience. Their teamwork and dedication throughout the project helped make it a success. Thank you Caren and Jake!

For their outstanding contributions to the Texting for Student Retention Project, Jacob Vachon and Caren Brown have been selected by the PMO as co-recipients of April’s Project Team Member of the Month!

March 2015

Patrick Czerew, Lead Manager

ERM Implementation

The ERM Implementation was a complicated and challenging project. Davenport University Admissions Department heavily relies on the utilization of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to assist in monitoring and guiding potential students through the funnel. This project aimed to take offline the old CRM, Hobsons Connect, and develop and bring online a new product in Salesforce. Over the course of this project, Patrick Czerew remained diligent and worked tirelessly to ensure we stayed on time and the end result provided business as usual for the department he serves.

Throughout the project, one of Patrick’s roles was to engage admissions, keeping business as usual with the old product, as well as, develop, build, strategize, train, and implement a new product entirely short-handed (two people primarily responsible). Because the previous CRM needed support, Patrick and the team were requested to work long nights and on weekends. From the middle of December through the first of March, Patrick and the team averaged 70 hour work weeks. Patrick’s constant support and positive attitude remained a staple in allowing the team to finalize and implement on-time and without hiccups.

The PMO greatly appreciates Patrick’s contributions towards the ultimate success of the ERM Implementation Project.

For a truly outstanding job and tireless effort, Patrick has been selected by the PMO as March's Project Team Member of the Month!

January 2015

Nancy Titmus, Director of Records Technology

Attendance Application Expansion

Nancy Titmus may work at the Lansing Davenport campus, but has been an integral part of the Attendance Application Expansion Project. She doesn’t let the distance stop her from what needs to be done. She will pop-up in person or virtually if you need her.

Nancy’s teamwork, dedication and reliability on this project has been invaluable. The expansion of the Attendance Application will now include attendance for undergraduate and graduate students starting Winter Session 2. During the course of this project she has not only diligently worked to keep her part on track, but without hesitation has willingly filled in when needed, or collaborated with other team members when asked. She also brings a sense of humor to make sure we all keep things in perspective. It has been a real pleasure having her on the team. Nancy’s professionalism and team commitment, even from afar, are key factors to help ensure this project will reach success.

For an outstanding job, Nancy has been selected by the PMO as January’s Project Team Member of the Month!

December 2014

Lyndsie Post, Director of Communications

Attendance Application Expansion

Lyndsie Post hit the ground running with the necessary communications needed for the Attendance Application Expansion Project and hasn’t stopped yet. The expansion of the Attendance Application will now include attendance for undergraduate and graduate students starting Winter Session 2. Before the Planning Phase began Lyndsie was working hard on the important communication announcements needed for student, staff and faculty for December and January. Even through the holidays Lyndsie made sure communications were either sent or under review to be ready for the next step of the project for the New Year. She has been a vital part of our Project Team and willing to assist with anyone’s communication needs if needed. The PMO greatly appreciates Lyndsie’s expertise in making sure communications for Attendance Application Expansion is successful.

For an outstanding job, Lyndsie has been selected by the PMO as December’s Project Team Member of the Month!

October 2014

Josh Isaak, Senior Internet Systems Architect

Admissions Application Enhancement

Over the course of the Admissions Application Enhancement Project, Josh Isaak worked tirelessly to ensure the project remained on task and within scope.

Throughout this project, team members were pulled in many different directions to assist with other endeavors, but Josh was the constant that kept the wheels turning and the project moving forward. On top of assisting to push the project forward, Josh became the go-to expert for our new Salesforce product. While Salesforce can be easy to learn and manage, there was a lot of back-end work that required detailed expertise provided by Josh.  This helped to ensure Davenport University is set-up to manage and produce results using Salesforce going forward.

 This has been a lengthy project with many challenges, but Josh has persevered.  The PMO greatly appreciates Josh’s contributions towards the ultimate success of the enhancement of the Admissions Online Application.

For a truly outstanding job, Josh has been selected by the PMO as October’s Project Team Member of the Month!

September 2014

Julie Gotch, Director of Library Systems, and Jon Lehner, CSC Technician

Wireless Printing Deployment for Students – Phase 2

Jon Lehner from CSC and Julie Gotch from Libraries are truly Team Players on the Wireless Printing Deployment for Students – Phase 2 Project.  When completed, this project will allow students wireless printing from laptops and mobile devices on designated printers at any of the 9 Davenport libraries and at Battle Creek and Ottawa campuses. It is a large expansion of our pilot program known as Paw Prints.

Even before the Initiation Phase was completed these two were working hard collecting the printer information needed for the next phase, Planning – Research and Documentation. They worked together organizing, understanding and condensing all the data that was pulled, providing the project team with a spreadsheet of detailed printer information.  This will help the team to make sound decisions regarding the potential printers to be reviewed for this project. Julie and Jon both went the extra mile, even staying late to complete one night because, in the words of Project Manager, Katherine Fay;  "They were on a roll". We are fortunate to have such motivated, dedicated and supportive team members on this project. Thank you Jon and Julie! With your professionalism, this project is well on the road to achieve success with Wireless Printing for Students.

For their outstanding contributions to the Wireless Printing Deployment for Students – Phase 2 project, Jon and Julie have been selected by the PMO as September’s Project Team Members of the Month!

July 2014

Elanor Riley, Senior Internet System Architect

Payment Process Improvement

Working with the process improvement team, the Bursar’s Office determined there was a need to improve the course payment process. A new payment process will assist in creating a proactive culture, allowing students and staff to have set deadlines to abide by, creating a structured communication plan, and holds process prior to the start of the semester.

Elanor Riley took over for Mark Fay midway through the project and instantly hit the ground running. During the first technical meeting we briefly described and provided an overview of the project scope and deliverables and expected a few additional meetings to bring it all together. Fortunately for us, all it took was the one meeting. Elanor immediately saw our vision and mocked up a desired webpage which she presented at the next meeting. Since then, she has provided us with a vast amount of technical expertise and vision. A vital component of this project was keeping a close eye on the communication exchanges within Basecamp which Elanor exceeded expectations, assisted in dialogue and provided great feedback. Overall, she is a huge asset to us at Davenport and we have had the pleasure of working with her on the Payment Process Improvement project. The PMO looks forward to working with her again on other projects in the future.

For her outstanding contributions to the Payment Process Improvement Project, Elanor has been selected by the PMO as July’s Project Team Member of the Month.

May 2014

Marylee van den Heuvel, Senior Data Warehouse Administrator

Employment Tracking and PeopleAdmin 7 Upgrade

Marylee has been a vital member of the Employment Tracking and PeopleAdmin 7 Upgrade Projects.  She has demonstrated a level of dedication, teamwork and willingness to balance the critical needs of two highly visible HR initiatives.  Marylee’s technical expertise and attention to detail has assisted the project team with making important process and technical decisions in order to meet the expectations of both project sponsors.  From designing the behind scenes calculations for the reporting tool to steering the data structure schema to allow for a clean upgrade, Marylee’s fingerprint is on every aspect of these projects.  Marylee’s strong level of professionalism and technical expertise will help insure that both projects continue on the road to a successful rollout.    

For her outstanding contributions to both the Employment Tracking and the PeopleAdmin 7 Upgrade project teams, Marylee has been selected by the PMO as May's Project Team Member of the Month!


April 2014

Clara Johnson, Bursar, and Amy Kline, Advisor

Payment Process Improvement

Both Amy Kline and Clara Johnson have played a huge role in the implementation of the Payment Process Improvement Project. They have expert knowledge of the student and staff roles within the payment process and have shared this experience and insight with the project team, contributing greatly to the progress and preliminary success of the effort. In addition, they have accepted responsibilities extending beyond their original roles as they have become both enthusiastic advocates for the proposed process change and a knowledge source for co-workers and leadership. By being great supporters of continuous improvement and by assisting their individual departments and leadership, Amy and Clara have demonstrated they are excellent team players who readily share a wealth of experience.  Both traits that will help ensure the continued success of this project moving forward.

For their outstanding contributions to the Payment Process Improvement Project, Amy Kline and Clara Johnson have been selected by the PMO as co-receipients of  April’s Project Team Member of the Month!

February 2014

Janet Maschke, Director of Academic Information Systems


Janet is an integral part of the project team for WEAVE, she has brought her expert knowledge of the academic assessment process and academic technical needs to ensure the success of this project.  Her responsibilities extend beyond the project team with a role as a WEAVE administrator and her willingness to train and help users as we work through re-configuring the system.  Taking on the additional responsibility of the new annual entity tree update process will ensure academics has a method to submit, approve and implement yearly updates coordinated by Janet.  Being a great supporter of continuous improvement and assisting academics with the means to provide excellent reporting out of WEAVE, Janet is an excellent team player with a wealth of experience that will insure the success of this project.

For her outstanding contributions to the WEAVE project team, Janet has been selected by the PMO as February's Project Team Member of the Month!

January 2014

Jessica Dunn, Application Developer / Analyst

Financial Aid Banner Workflow

Jessica's teamwork, dedication, and relatability on the Financial Aid Banner Workflow Project has been instrumental in establishing key points of focus, as well as, driving all technical aspects of the project. Jessica has been the go-to expert in identifying relationships between Banner and Workflow, script writing, and testing for the four different workflows Financial Aid wanted to implement (Test Score and Transcript Workflow, Admission of a Transfer Student Workflow, Add/Drop Workflow, and Curriculum Change Workflow. Additionally, Jessica worked hand-in-hand with Melissa Horning (PMO's Team Member of the Month for October, 2013) in documenting both technical and functional aspects of this project. 

For the absolutely outstanding job, Jessica has been selected by the PMO as January's Project Team Member of the Month!

November 2013

Josh Isaak, Senior Internet System Architect

Akademos Online Bookstore

Josh’s teamwork and dedication on the Akademos Online Bookstore Project has been instrumental in the successful launch of the new online bookstore for Winter 2014.  He has been the go-to expert for requirements gathering, design and testing of the overall Davenport voucher management system.  This system is used to track bookstore transactions from the MBS point of sale in the Lettinga bookstore as well as the new online bookstore.   As the lead developer for the project, Josh worked closely with the Akademos technical team on every aspect of the new system to provide the best user experience for Davenport students.  He also developed tools for our internal staff for trouble shooting voucher issues.  This has been a yearlong project and Josh’s contributions and dedication have been a huge factor in the successful rollout of this new system.

For the truly outstanding job Josh has done on this project team, he has been selected by the PMO as November's Project Team Member of the Month!

October 2013

Melissa Horning, Director of Financial Aid Systems

Financial Aid Banner Workflow

Melissa has been a key asset for the Financial Aid Banner Workflow Project. In the brief absence of our PM on this project, the team was able to effectively communicate and hit key milestones. Her exceptional work on preparing for the project by working with her financial aid team(s) and documenting their current business processes proved to be a great assist in fully grasping the changes that needed to be implemented. 

The PMO additionally would like to thank the Financial Aid Department with their assistance on this and all other projects. Their preparedness and professionalism have greatly pushed forward the tasks needed to accomplish a successful project. The PMO looks forward to working with Melissa and the Financial Aid Department on any future projects. 

For the awesome job Melissa has done, she has been selected by the PMO as October's Project Team Member of the Month!


September 2013

Jean Wolfe, Director of Staff Learning

Employee Performance Management (EPM)

Jean has been instrumental in the Employee Performance Management (EPM) Projectfor phase II.  She has been a calm voice in the midst of the discussions about the vision and strategy for staff and faculty performance evaluations.  Her exceptional work on the training plans along with her integration of DevelopU in the training delivery has been a great asset in allowing a seamless training methodology for all staff and faculty.  Jean also played a significant role in sculpting the training communication and aligning the overall message with the project scope.  

The PMO applauds her contributions, and that of the whole OPE team. Their exceptional skill and professionalism have helped greatly in making this phase of the project a success. The members of the PMO look forward to working with her on future projects, including the final phase of the Employee Performance Management Project in 2014.  

For the awesome job Jean has done, she has been selected by the PMO as September's Project Team Member of the Month! 

August 2013

Kathy Hayden, Data Analyst for Institutional Research

Blackboard Analytics

Since September, 2011, Kathy Hayden has been a prominent project team member for the Blackboard Analytics roll-out. With her expertise in both admissions and enrollment, Kathy has been working to help configure all of the elements within BbA to fit within her reporting needs.

Many departments, including Leadership, rely on Kathy to produce quality reports with correct analytical data. For many months, Kathy has been working to build out the new DU enrollment report, completely reliant on the Blackboard Analytics data she has been iteratively testing since March 2012.

Over the past few weeks, Kathy has been working with the Enterprise Applications Team to configure and test the final enrollment report components needed for a full roll-out to the University. In the picture above, I am holding the very 1st BbA enrollment report - released on 9/4/2013, the same day Kathy was presented her certificate!

Along with working diligently to provide great customer service and reports to her constituents, Kathy has been working to ensure those reports contain consistent and accurate data. Kathy has always paid attention to every detail when working with her cross-functional project team members. This attention to detail has helped lead the charge for the entire project team.

Besides the creation, configuration work and testing of the enrollment report, Kathy has worked to deliver other enrollment-related reports to her stakeholders. These Excel reports were crafted at a high standard and allows folks who are not pivot-table-enthusiasts to easily display the data they desire.

Kathy has always worked to provide better solutions to her stakeholders and was an easy choice for the PMO's Project Team Member of the Month!

July 2013

Merrick Richardson, ITS Microsoft Server Technology Coordinator

CBORD Upgrade

The PMO has selected Merrick Richardson as the July 2013 recipient of the Project Team Member of the Month.  Merrick is a project team member of the CBORD Upgrade Project.  In this project, CBORD was upgraded from version 5 to version 6.  The old version of CBORD was at End of Life (EOL).  Several systems of the University are integrated with CBORD.  These include door access, security cards, panther cards, dining or laundry services and print management.  This upgrade ensures that we maintain proper service levels for students, staff and faculty and continue to receive vendor support.

Merrick’s role on the project team, as the Microsoft Server Technology Coordinator, was to build the test and production server environments to support the CBORD upgrade.   Throughout the month of July, he provided late evening support for both the test and production environments.  He showed great patience in working with the CBORD technician and ensured that all milestones for infrastructure were met.  Without his technical expertise, especially in respect to our virtual servers, this project would have experienced serious setbacks as the CBORD team did not have a high degree of comfort in this area.  The project was completed successfully on time in large part due to Merrick’s commitment.  Thanks Merrick for going the extra mile!