MSUToday
Published: Jan. 28, 2015

2015 Distinguished Academic Staff Awards

Lisa Bottomley
Children and Youth Institute

MSU Extension 
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources  

Lisa Bottomley began her career with MSU Extension in 2000 as an extension educator in Ottawa County, Michigan, providing leadership for the 4-H Journey Youth Mentoring Program. She currently serves as a senior extension specialist with responsibilities for 4-H mentoring programs, providing training and support to mentoring professionals within MSU Extension and other partner organizations.

Bottomley’s effective leadership became evident at the beginning of her employment. In the 4-H Journey Youth Mentoring Program, which pairs troubled youth aged 8 to 17 with positive adult role models to reduce the frequency and severity of delinquent behavior, her work has become a model for mentoring programs serving court-involved youth. Under her leadership, the criminal recidivism rate among 85 percent of the participating youth decreased.

As a senior extension specialist, Bottomley assists 4-H program staff in program design, implementation and evaluation and partners with other statewide organizations to support youth mentoring. Her face-to-face and distance training opportunities are sought after by professionals across the state and nationally. Curriculum she has developed has been translated into Spanish for use with mentoring programs in Mexico. Additionally, she provides leadership to statewide mentoring evaluation efforts and served as the coordinator for the development of an evaluation tool being piloted by Mentor Michigan, a unit of the Michigan Community Service Commission.

To support her mentoring work, Bottomley has secured almost $1.1 million in grant funds. Her programming has been recognized as a 4-H Program of Distinction by the National 4-H Council and has received the Annie E. Casey Strengthening Families Award. Bottomley has been an invited speaker at more than 12 national and international mentoring and extension conferences and was the keynote speaker for the 2014 National 4-H Mentoring Conference and the Villahermosa, Mexico, Mentoring Conference.

Lucy Maillette
Eli Broad College of Business

Lucy Maillette has worked at the Eli Broad College of Business for 18 years. As the first director of the Weekend MBA Program, Maillette was charged with building a program that many faculty thought would outlive its usefulness and audience within five years. Instead, the program grew — in size and reputation, doubling its number of attendees in just two years. Every weekend since its inception, Maillette has met with students to understand their perspective on this academic structure. When she became director of the Executive MBA Program in Troy, she supported students and faculty, met with corporate executives and recruited students there.

As their careers flourished, many graduates did not forget the Weekend MBA and Executive MBA programs that assisted them, becoming loyal alumni supporters, advocates to prospective students, and maintaining contact with their former director. A graduate from the inaugural Weekend MBA class of 1996, stated, “I have observed Lucy’s dedication to her field and her willingness to do whatever is necessary to help her students, colleagues, and associates achieve their full potential.”

From 2008 to 2009, Maillette represented MSU as a Committee on Institutional Cooperation fellow, and from 2008 to 2011, she served on the board of the Executive MBA Council. In 2011, as the director of new academic initiatives, she became the first director of the MS in Business Analytics Program. Since that time, she has assisted in launching several new programs, including the first online degree at the Broad College and the MS in Management, Strategy and Leadership. In the wider MSU community, Maillette was an integral partner in developing an MSU Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Programs White Paper, based on a request from Provost June Pierce Youatt, which proposes a university minor in entrepreneurship in which all colleges can participate. She also is working with the College of Osteopathic Medicine on a joint MBA degree for their students and has been instrumental in the creation of several executive development programs.

Steven Poulios
Department of Chemistry
College of Natural Science

Steven Poulios has dedicated his life to the betterment of society through outstanding contributions to education. He has worked in the MSU Department of Chemistry since May 1997, when he received his doctorate, and has since been a supportive colleague, mentor and advisor to everyone he works with.

While Poulios’s resume illustrates his breadth of experience prior to joining the Department of Chemistry, it does not clearly express the depth of his commitment to MSU students and the university. His work with the general chemistry program spans from meeting and orienting students through the summer Academic Orientation Program to the management of class sections and labs. His responsibilities further include coordination and administration of exams, oversight of the staff involved with lab courses and curriculum development. To make delivery of exam and course grades more efficient, he has been a driving force behind the cemScores website, where chemistry students can access posted grades. Every year, his work touches thousands of undergraduates — fully one-third of every incoming class.

Poulios’s responsibilities, however, extend beyond the general chemistry program. He is the face of the undergraduate program to all chemistry majors, serving as their advisor, certifying graduation requirements for those in the College of Natural Science and Lyman Briggs College, and interacting with other university programs to ensure students are meeting their requirements — both for graduation and career development. He is also the point of contact for companies looking for summer interns or BS-level graduates for permanent positions and professional placements. Poulios’s centrality to the successful running of the department and the promotion of students cannot be overstated.

In the wider university community, Poulios has served on the College of Natural Science’s Council on Diversity and Community, contributing to projects that promote and support a campus for students from many different backgrounds. He has taught courses for the Center for Integrative Studies in Social Science and is actively involved in the organization and development of a freshman seminar on green chemistry. Additionally, he is involved in facilitating a new specialization in beverage making for undergraduate majors.

Pavel Sikorskii
Department of Mathematics
College of Natural Science 

Pavel Sikorskii is a senior academic specialist and the executive associate undergraduate director in the Department of Mathematics. He has served his department, the College of Natural Science, MSU and the East Lansing community with a sustained record of outreach and excellence since 1993.

As the associate undergraduate director, Sikorskii has contributed in countless ways to the program, including working with the Academic Orientation Programs, recruiting and supporting students in special programs, selecting and training teaching assistants and advising students.

Always concerned with the mastery of mathematics concepts among upcoming university students, Sikorskii has taught for many years in the Cooperative Highly Accelerated Math Program program, an MSU outreach initiative for advanced middle school math students in the area and has expanded the program into several other parts of the state. Additionally, he has worked with the Michigan Department of Education to revise the High School Content Expectations in Mathematics and with an NSF-funded program to align the K–12 mathematics curriculum with new national standards.

Sikorskii has contributed significantly to ensuring that anyone interested in learning college-level math, regardless of prior training, can do so. In particular, he has helped create and assess an online version of MTH 1825, a remedial math class, and developed supplementary online materials for other undergraduate courses. He has been an active project manager in the Industrial Mathematics Program, helped design the new undergraduate Advanced Track degree in the department, and worked with the Department of Teacher Education to design and implement a new major in elementary mathematics. He has also represented the university in numerous presentations at local and national education conferences.

Sikorskii has an exceptional funding record, acting as the PI on the National Science Foundation TUES (Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Grant, which focuses on improving the quality of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education for all undergraduate students through the widespread adoption of classroom practices that embody understanding how students learn most effectively. He is also one of the key personnel on the DOW Foundation MSU STEM Success Program Grant, which is designed to help students who did not receive the pre-college math and science training they needed to pursue degrees and, ultimately, careers in science-related fields.