According to the KSU mission statement, the university strives to create “a supportive campus climate, necessary services and leadership development opportunities, all to educate the whole person and meet the needs of students, faculty and staff.” One of the ways the university accomplishes these goals is through recognizing individual examples of excellence.
Students, faculty and staff have the ability to nominate and recognize KSU staff members who have gone out of their way to help others. Once a month, the Staff Awards and Recognition Committee, comprised of Staff Senate members, evaluate the nominations for Staff Employee of the Month and choose the award recipient.
This award recognizes individuals who consistently demonstrate a high degree of excellence, professionalism and integrity, and who also go above and beyond their job description to help others in the KSU community. The person nominated must be a full-time KSU staff employee who has worked for the university for at least one year.
Paula Bechtler, administrative associate II of Academic Affairs at the Paulding KSU campus, was nominated and awarded March Staff Employee of the Month. As part of the award, Bechtler received a bonus in her paycheck – awarded by the KSU Foundation, a gift card from the KSU Bookstore, a voucher for a free meal at the Commons, a certificate signed by President Papp, a poster, a parking spot of her choice for one month and automatic nomination for Staff Employee of the Year.
“It is truly an honor to be named the KSU Staff Employee of the Month,” said Bechtler. “I’m grateful to my supervisor, Dr. Anita VanBrackle, for nominating me and to the Staff Senate for selecting me.”
Bechtler was born and raised in Chantilly, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with an emphasis on Journalism from Carson Newman University in Tennessee.
KSU hired Bechtler for the position of administrative associate in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and University Ombuds in May 2009, and she was promoted to her current position in October 2011. One aspect of Bechtler’s job is to coordinate the marketing efforts for the Paulding site through the avenues of social media and community engagement activities.
“In the past 13 months, our office has conducted 29 community engagement activities through the Paulding County Schools,” Bechtler said. “ I particularly enjoy this aspect of my job, as it allows me to serve as a KSU ambassador to the community.”
Some of the qualifications for the Staff Employee of the Month nomination are demonstrating outstanding dedication; establishing the spirit of KSU in overall attitude and interaction with co-workers, faculty, students and visitors; excelling in the performance of their duties; and making a major impact on the university through their work.
“[Bechtler] hit the ground running and quickly organized our office while deftly handling any and every request that we threw at her,” said Dr. Anita VanBrackle, Paulding site director, faculty in residence and professor of Elementary and Special Education. “She answers every request in a positive manner and is always accessible to students, faculty and the rest of our staff. She never complains about the difficult challenges that we lay before her, and she is always excited to learn new skills.”