Cameron University staff members selected to receive Pickaxe Awards

Cameron University staff members Kelli Peterson and Alan Purdie are the recipients of the Spring 2014 semester’s Pickaxe Awards, which recognize full-time Cameron employees whose performance is above and beyond expectations. Peterson is the records manager in the Office of the Registrar, and Purdie is the veterans certification specialist in the Office of Veteran Affairs.  Each received a $500 stipend and a commemorative award.

The Pickaxe Award is presented each semester to recognize full-time employees whose performance exceeds the expectations of their job descriptions. The award recipients have made a contribution and/or commitment that has resulted in a significant difference to Cameron students, visitors, or other employees, or whose commitment to their job responsibilities, department, or the university stands out as a clear example to all other employees. Award recipients must have been employed full-time at least one year at Cameron. Nominations were made by Cameron students, faculty and staff. Recipients were selected by the university’s Executive Council.

photo of Kelli Peterson Peterson was recognized for her commitment to students and her willingness to assist Cameron faculty and staff. Nominated by co-workers in the Office of the Registrar and by Cameron faculty, Peterson was referred to by one nominator as the “go-to” person whenever students, staff or faculty have questions or need assistance. “Students are her number one priority,” said the nominator. “She manages to juggle all these demands – from the intricacies of performing degree audits, processing mountains of substitution-waivers, solving Banner (software) issues, working to develop, launch and implement Degree Works, helping to create a Business Continuing Plan – these are just a few of the day-to-day responsibilities that Kelli handles with patience and a smile.” She was also described as a “mentor teaching with words and by example.”

Another nominator said, “She works tirelessly to help students know what they need to do to graduate and has made hundreds of necessary changes to Degree Works in the last two months. Every time I call her, she seems to drop whatever she was doing to give me her undivided attention.”  A third nominator called her an exemplary employee and a joy to work with.

photo of Alan PurdiePurdie, a Cameron graduate, was recognized for his dedication to ensuring that Cameron’s student veterans receive the maximum possible educational benefit from the Veterans Administration. Nominated by students and co-workers, he was referred to as “one of the quiet shining stars” by one nominator, who went on to detail Purdie’s commitment to veterans, military service personnel and their families. One example offered was the implementation of the Post 9/11 GI Bill in 2009, which doubled the number of students served and tripled the complexity of eligibility and reporting requirements. “Alan will help our students look at the multiple chapters of VA they may qualify to receive and help them understand the differences between the chapters and provide them with information so the student can understand what chapter of VA educational benefits is most financially beneficial to the student.”

Purdie’s knowledge of VA requirements was also cited, as one nominator wrote, “Mr. Purdie has given me more information about my education benefits than the VA has on their website and call center put together.”

Another nominator wrote,” He will make every effort available, including working on his time off and calling in on his vacation time to check on the progress of ‘his’ students. He has a true care for the students to succeed.”


May 19, 2014

PR# 14-115