STAR Award brought to UND for third time

Designer Sharley Kurtz the latest UND faculty member to receive award

College of Nursing instructional designer Shirley Kurtz holds the award in her office. Photo by Shae Bonifacio/The Dakota Student.

In the last year, three UND staff members have been recognized by the Council of State Employees for the quarterly Service, Teamwork, Achievement and Respect (STAR) award.

Susie Kroetsch, an accountant for the College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines received an award during the first quarter in 2013 and Director of the Children & Family Training Service Center. Peter Tunseth was selected as an honoree in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Instructional Designer for the College of Nursing and Professional Discipline, Sharley Kurtz, was the most recent recipient of this award, receiving it in the first quarter of 2014.

Kurtz has been working in the nursing department since 2008 and has also won Staff Senator of the Year award in 2013 and the U-Shine award.

“I didn’t know about the STAR award until I actually nominated Susie Kroetsch for it,” Kurtz said.

Kurtz discovered she had received the award at the staff senate meeting just a few weeks ago.

“They stood up and announced it at the meeting,” Kurtz said. “I was having a bad day, so it was one of those things that made me happy knowing that someone thinks that highly of me.”

Kurtz’s service was announced for what she’s done at the college of nursing, particularly a bootcamp that she’d done for the DNP program were highlighted. However, Kurtz’s nominator was an anonymous co-worker.

“They highlighted that I’m always collaborating to create a team environment and some of the other achievements and things that I’ve done,” Kurtz said. “The respect part, that got me a little bit teary-eyed.”

Kurtz’s nominator felt she treats everyone with respect.

“I don’t do it just for work. I believe that everybody should be treated equally no matter their status on campus,” Kurtz said. “At the end of the day, I want to be known (not as) an instructional designer; I want to be known as a person.”

Kroetsch has been working at UND for just over two years. The STAR award was her first state award, but she has won a few achievement awards in the past.

Kroetsch actually received the STAR in May 2013, nominated by Kurtz.

Kroetsch was very surprised at the bestowal of the award but was also greatly appreciative.

“I do these types of things every day,” Kroetsch said. “I just try to help my coworkers and make the work environment as positive as it can be and am always willing to lend a hand.

“It just goes to show the whole treat people the way you want to be treated, and it’s a nice bonus to be noticed for that but it’s not something I was expecting. I’m hoping to set a good example for others in our college.”

Tunseth has worked at UND for almost 25 years and has been the Director of the Children & Family Training Service Center since 2002.

Tunseth has won other awards, but views awards as peculiar things. Tunseth’s nominator also remains anonymous.

“I don’t know much about it, they never contacted me and I just kind of heard through the grapevine about it,” Tunseth said. “I don’t even know when I got the honor award, but I first heard about it in the beginning of March. I’ve never been notified officially.”

Tunseth doesn’t let that bother him though.

“I always feel a little bit funny about awards,” Tunseth said. “I think it’s really nice to be recognized, but I’m just doing my job and I don’t really think about it. I work at building relationships and creating a good work environment all of the time.”

Adele Kieger is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].