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May 2021 Employee of the Month – Kathleen Mukengezi

From Owen McDougal, chair, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry:

The purpose of the employee of the month program is to recognize employees who have served the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Boise State University in an exceptional manner by embracing a team spirit of cooperation and respect for all.  Nominations are based on the four criteria of (1) attitude and commitment, (2) interpersonal skills, (3) work performance, and (4) personal traits. Please help me congratulate our May 2021 employee of the month, Ms. Kathleen Mukengezi.

Kathleen has almost been in her role as Student Support Manager for a year now, watching her grow and develop into her new role has been inspirational. Kathleen has made the transition seamlessly, no less during a pandemic where all lab caps had to be decreased to half capacity. She worked effectively with the Office of the Provost to ensure instructional spaces met instructor requirements, and she accommodated all chemistry classes to ensure students could get the classes they needed to stay on track to graduation. Kathleen is the point of contact for students and serves as a resource to the Chair in all matters involving student issues and dispute resolution with instructors. She has seamlessly integrated into Karen’s role as essential student advocate and crisis mitigation champion. For most of the past year, Kathleen juggled her new job as Student Support Manager, while still retaining many of her duties as the former Lab Manager. Kathleen was instrumental in the search and hiring of Christina, as well as her on-boarding. Kathleen has spearheaded the 5-year periodic ACS report, while still doing all her advising duties, managing scheduling and class enrollments. Kathleen also worked to complete the comprehensive course workload audit model for chemistry courses required by the Dean’s office. After four rounds of audit from March thru May with Assoc. Dean Bullock, model creation, justification, and negotiation, Kathleen was able to secure investment from the Office of the Dean to cover instructional costs from this past year and set staffing shortages for the coming year to justify hiring. Kathleen is also on the Website rebuild committee and serves on the culture committee. These are just a few of the many things Kathleen does. She does all this with a positive attitude and willingness to take on whatever needs to be completed. She is a delight to work with! Thank you Kathleen for all that you do for our students and for the department! You are an amazing team member!

Kathleen has been instrumental in my transition to the Lab Manager. She is on top of getting all improperly forwarded emails sent to the right place, she has answered countless questions from myself and from the rest of the department, she has given me so much of her time for mentoring, and, on top of all of that, she has scheduled the summer classes and labs and helped us get the lab kits sent out. Most of the work she has done in the last month has been above and beyond her job description. She has chosen to help me feel comfortable, but, more than that, she has chosen to embody the culture goal of our vision by making herself available for collaboration and choosing patience and kindness before frustration or anger. I am excited to follow in her footsteps and try to embody the work attitude Kathleen has set for me. – Christina Mottishaw

Kathleen is a tremendous resource for students, employees and especially the Chair.  Her work to embrace the instructional modeling requested by the Office of the Dean has put chemistry on solid ground to secure the investment required to run the program.  Her leadership to tackle the ACS 5-year review report has been no small task.  Kathleen has tirelessly responded to students in distress and deescalated their crises to find resolution in ways that have kept many students from dropping out of college.  She is not shy about doing the right thing regardless of the added work in doing so.  It my pleasure to congratulate Ms. Kathleen Mukengezi as our May employee of the month.