TTU's 2003 Outstanding Staff Awards honor four

Four Tennessee Tech University employees — Barbara Glasscock, Betty Niederklopfer, Frances Riley and Sue Smith — recently received recognition for their skills, attitude and dedication to the university.

As the recipients of the 2003 Outstanding Staff Awards, each received praise from colleagues, supervisors and students.

The Outstanding Staff Awards program was established in 1989 to show appreciation to TTU’s most outstanding clerical and support staff. Awards are based on job performance, attitude toward work and the university, attendance and perseverance, professional development and suggestions for improvement.

Barbara Glasscock
As the sole clerical employee of TTU’s MBA Studies office for 20 years, Barbara Glasscock knows the business of helping make the program a success.

She has seen the number of students enrolled in the program grow from only a handful to more than 125, and a new Distance MBA Studies program added last year has increased the total number of students even further.

“I can easily say that the inception of this new program has more than tripled the workload in this office, and we haven’t given Barbara any additional help — but she is thriving with the new responsibility,” said Virginia Moore, associate dean and director of MBA Studies.

Glasscock’s duties include supervising graduate assistants and student workers, reconciling departmental expenditure budgets, coordinating awards and assignments of scholarships and assistanceships for the College of Business Administration, promoting the MBA and DMBA programs to current and prospective students, helping students with the registration process, serving as assistant coordinator for the annual Rural Economic Development Conference, coordinating an annual MBA retreat and more.

“She is an integral part of our MBA program,” said Richard Rand, director of TTU’s Distance MBA Studies. “Though her duties don’t directly pertain to the classroom, it’s her positive attitude, helpful nature, vast technical knowledge and consistent willingness to serve that make our jobs as teachers and administrators more productive.”

In addition to winning the 2003 Outstanding Staff Award, Glasscock received the College of Business Administration’s first-ever Outstanding Professional Staff Award last year.

“Barbara Glasscock is a valued stakeholder in the success of the university,” said Gary Pickett, chairperson of the Decision Sciences and Management Department. “She cares about the success of this university in all respects. That’s reflected in her actions and attitude, and her extraordinary drive and initiative inspire faculty and students around her.”

“She handles one of the most demanding roles in the college as secretary of the MBA office,” said Robert Niebuhr, Dean of the College of Business Administration. “Her ‘people’ skills are really what makes the office function so effectively with respect to students and faculty alike.”

Betty Niederklopfer
As the lead food services worker at TTU’s Taco Bell, Betty Niederklopfer serves up more than just the items on the menu — she also provides a helping of personal attention to customers and colleagues.

She has worked to improve the quality and presentation of menu items, increase the staff proficiency and increase the speed of service in order to increase the rate of return customers to the Taco Bell location. Her other responsibilities include training and supervising student workers, taking and filling orders and cooking and stocking all necessary ingredients.

“She works really hard to make Taco Bell the best it can be,” said Mary Fields, food services worker. “Betty keeps everything really clean and very well stocked, taking a lot of the workload off the student workers. How the food looks is even important to her. It’s more than just a job to her.”

She’s worked for TTU’s Food Services Department for three years. Prior to becoming the lead worker at Taco Bell, she was a lead worker at Blimpie’s for two years.

“Betty has done an outstanding job in both areas,” said Brenda Brooks, former manager of TTU’s Swoops grill.

“Everyday, she invests something to do the job faster and better,” said Albina Kapshtica, a freshman business major.

“One thing I love about Ms. Betty is her smile,” said Paula Carter, who works two nights a week at TTU’s Taco Bell. “Anyone who comes to Taco Bell when she’s working will get a smile and a ‘Hello, Honey!’ or ‘Thank you, Honey!’”

Frances Riley
Being a custodian who is responsible for set-up and clean up before and after basketball games, graduations and other special events at TTU’s Hooper Eblen Center is a dirty job, but it’s one Frances Riley performs with a “friendly, pleasant and professional demeanor,” say her colleagues.

She has worked as a custodian at TTU for about 10 years, in both housing and academic buildings. For three years, in addition to assisting with special events at the Hooper Eblen Center, she has been assigned to West Tucker Stadium, where she cleans and sets up for ROTC events and football games.

“From day one, she came into the office as a true professional, introducing herself and asking what she could do to get our office in top-notch shape,” said Peggy Rittenberry, secretary of Military Science. “No job is too big, too small or too dirty for Fran.”

Rittenberry said Riley pays meticulous attention to the details of her daily responsibilities. “She comes to the office at least twice a day just to see if there’s anything that she’s missed or anything that we need done.”

Assistant Athletics Director Randy Smith says her skill is so professional that he’s requested her to be assigned indefinitely to every home football game and basketball game. “She’s a great ambassador for TTU,” he said.

Sue Smith
Sue Smith’s 19-year career as executive aid in TTU’s Office of Research and Graduate Studies “exemplifies the true spirit of Tennessee Tech University,” says William Bonner, professor emeritus.

Among her responsibilities, Smith serves as a primary contact person for Geier Fellowship appointments, which has helped the university increase its number of minority students enrolled in graduate studies. Because of that significant increase, TTU won the first-ever “Spirit of Geier” award from the Tennessee Board of Regents.

“Because of her efforts, the Graduate Studies Office awarded fellowships to 59 minority students for the 2002-03 academic year, and for the 2003-04 academic year, we enrolled 93 minority students for these fellowships,” said Terri Watson, administrative assistant in the President’s Office.

Smith is also the contact for the graduate level of the TBR Online Degree Program and is responsible for handling inquiries regarding admission and degree requirements within that program.

“She is a super ambassador for the graduate program, as she interfaces with students from their admission through graduation,” said Shelia Kendrick, transcript analyst.

“Without a doubt, she is a pillar of strength for the office,” said Francis Otuonye, associate vice president for Research and Graduate Studies. “Based on my experience from holding three administrative positions prior to my employment at TTU, it is not common to find an employee with Sue’s excellent qualities and skills. She is the epitome of an outstanding staff member.”