Two UNK Staff Members Honored for Service, Contributions

John Lakey
vice chancellor for Business & Finance, (w) 308.865.8205

Two staff members at the University of Nebraska at Kearney recently received TIAA-CREF Staff Awards for Excellence at the UNK Faculty/Staff Opening Convocation.

The two, Tim Danube, who is associate director of the Nebraskan Student Union, and Dee Ellingson, secretary for the Department of Psychology and the Institutional Review Board, were presented with the awards by TIAA-CREF consulting officer Courtney Eastlack. Both Danube and Ellingson have been with the university for 12 years, and each received $1,000 and a plaque.

Danube was assistant director of the UNK Nebraskan Student Union from 1993 to 1998. In 1998, he became associate director. Some of his responsibilities include planning of university activities and serving as an adviser to Student Government, Student Court and Leadership UNK.

Danube’s nomination was supported by students, faculty and staff. Jami Schaffnitt, coordinator of student activities, wrote in her recommendation that Danube demonstrated all of the qualities outlined in the award’s purpose, including vision, excellence and commitment. UNK senior Logan Stickney of Kearney also supported the nomination, stating that Danube is a valuable asset to UNK.

Dee Ellingson has also been an asset to the university. Over the years, her dual role as secretary for the Department of Psychology and the Institutional Review Board has been accompanied by campus service, service that earned her recognition as UNK Employee of the Month in 1997 and the University of Nebraska Regents KUDOS Award in 2000. She has held the offices of vice president and secretary of Staff Senate and held leadership positions on the Staff Senate Procedures Committee, Professional Development Committee and the Mentoring Committee.

Ellingson was instrumental in developing the UNK Mentor Advantage Program through Staff Senate. As the result of her leadership, she was an invited moderator on a panel on mentoring at the Women’s Voice Conference in Lincoln in 2001. The mentoring program also earned her the KUDOS Award.

The TIAA-CREF Staff Award for Excellence is a monetary recognition for consistent, outstanding service to students, to the institution and to education in general. Nominees must receive a maximum of three peer references for the award, but any individual or group may have a name placed in nomination. This is the first year the award has been underwritten by TIAA-CREF.