Published: May 1, 2019

MSU employees to receive Jack Breslin Awards May 13

Contact(s): Bethany Balks Residence Education and Housing Services office: 517-884-1752

Six staff employees will receive the 42nd annual Jack Breslin Distinguished Staff Award on May 13, and one staff employee will receive the 2018-19 Ruth Jameyson "Above and Beyond" Award.

This year's reception is scheduled for 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center's Big Ten Rooms.

Jack Breslin Distinguished Staff Award Winners:
Margaret Barkman
Margaret “Marge” Barkman is the academic programs coordinator for the MSU Department of Communications. In her role, she administers three graduate programs, maintains the departmental alumni database, has lead responsibility for course scheduling for faculty and teaching assistants and works with the college and department graduate program coordinators on a wide variety of programmatic and curricular matters.

Barkman is described by her colleagues as the “heart and soul” of the department. She has been in the department for thirty-three years, valuing the well-being and success of students above all else. Her successful establishment and implementation of the alumni network database is representative of her efforts to know the story of every graduate. She sees students not as customers but as individuals whose quality of life matters.

The passion and energy with which Barkman approaches her role is infectious. Her colleagues and the students she meets are consistently in awe of her devotion to MSU and its community. She never gives up on a task or a student, inspiring students to push through difficult times and helping them work through problems with her unyielding positivity. She is the epitome of integrity and dedicates her time to giving back to others. Barkman’s Spartan Spirit and compassion for all is unmatched at MSU.

Kim Consavage
Kim Consavage is a utility worker and group leader for Infrastructure Planning and Facilities (IPF) Landscape Services. In this position, she works diligently to oversee the maintenance of MSU’s campus, ensuring it stays clean, safe and functional. Her contributions to the design and implementation of the MSU Wayfinding Initiative, her innovative approach to problem-solving and her creative and original signage ideas have made her an indispensable member of the IPF Landscaping team.

Consavage’s efficiency and creativity in her work is best exemplified by a green panel sign project on campus. A process that initially took between two to three hours to complete was reduced to only 30 minutes after Consavage reimagined the sign implementation process, allowing for the panels to be inserted in a much more cost-effective way that minimalized equipment needed.

In addition to her admirable work ethic, Consavage has an outstanding character that allows her to develop meaningful relationships with coworkers, partners and customers. She has recently worked directly with IPF Planning, Design and Construction and MSU Police to implement the Wayfinding Initiative, using her vast experience and excellent leadership skills to guide the project toward success. Consavage’s coworkers describe her as trustworthy, kind, hard-working, and dependable; her dedication to her position and her coworkers serve as an inspiration to those around her and make her one of the most respected employees in her division.

Karen Corley
Karen Corley is the senior associate director for Residence Education and Housing Services (REHS). She works as the supervisor to several roles within REHS and is responsible for overseeing a budget of $36 million and handling crisis management for more than 15,000 residential students on campus. Corley’s compassion, work ethic and attention to detail make her a well-respected and efficient member of the REHS team.

Corley is a persistent advocate for all students, faculty and staff and takes time out of her day to build upon her relationships with members of the MSU community. During her 38 years at MSU, Corley has dedicated a significant portion of her time and effort to diversity and inclusion initiatives. No matter who she is speaking with, Corley ensures they feel welcome, validated and valued while in her presence. She is also described by her colleagues as the “epitome of DOSE,” making sure to Deliver Outstanding Spartan Experiences to everyone she approaches. She was a catalyst for the merge of campus tours, a collaboration with the Alumni Office, Admissions and Athletics.

Corley has cultivated a positive and respected reputation in her role. She is admired by her colleagues and demonstrates a deep love and passion for her work and those around her. Her ability to balance negotiating budgets, staffing and managing student concerns while maintaining a truly empathetic and kind disposition makes her a treasured member of the REHS family.

Melissa Del Rio
Melissa Del Rio is an administrative associate in the MSU Graduate School. In her role, she oversees facilities, GradPlan and GradInfo, in addition to serving as the point of contact for all graduate program advisors. Her positivity, determination and excellent ability to problem-solve make her an excellent team member in the Graduate School community.

Del Rio is committed not only to the success of the Graduate School but also to its individual students that make up the diverse graduate programs. She frequently goes above and beyond her job description to embrace challenges and make students feel welcome at MSU. She never turns down a problem and is dedicated to satisfying the requests of all students and their families.

She also goes out of her way to support the staff she oversees. She encourages staff to prioritize their family lives and will adapt schedules whenever a personal emergency demands it. Del Rio encourages her staff to develop their professional knowledge so they can stay interested and engaged in the work they do. Her extensive experience and expertise in her role make her a phenomenal contributor to the Graduate School staff.

Tom Dunn
For the past 29 years, Tom Dunn has worked as a production cook for Holmes Dining Hall in Culinary Services. In this role, Dunn takes on a leadership position during breakfast and lunch services, assists with dinner preparation and trains other full-time, part-time and student staff members. His positive attitude, accountability and the sheer force of his Spartan spirit make him a beloved member of the Culinary Services team.

Dunn consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty, seeking out opportunities to grow and learn. He is constantly working to improve his own skillset while offering guidance to newer members of staff. His patience, kindness and encouragement of others makes everyone around him better at their jobs and contributes to a positive atmosphere in the kitchen. When he’s not on the job at MSU, he’s volunteering and giving back to his community.

Above all, Dunn emanates a love for Michigan State. He demonstrates a passion for the MSU staff, students and the greater Spartan family. His spirit is infections – students who have worked with him in the dining halls frequently keep in touch with him after they graduate and will come back to Holmes Hall just to say hello and receive a warm welcome full of positive Spartan energy. Dunn’s exemplary character is represented through decades of love and hard work for this university.

Dave Erickson
Dave Erickson is a senior industrial hygienist with the Environmental Health and Safety department. In this role, he manages and directs the local exhaust ventilation testing and certification program for all of MSU. His dedication and efficiency are essential to the continued health and safety of MSU students, faculty and staff, and he upholds an admirable work ethic respected by his colleagues.

Erickson is always ready to help other departments in addition to his responsibilities within Environmental Health and Safety. He developed a written program and online training for hazardous drugs and formaldehyde safety while working with IPF to establish labs that are both safe for research and demonstrate the best sustainability and energy practices.

Despite his extensive experience and knowledge that has been cultivated throughout the more than 30 years he’s been at MSU, Erickson never sees himself as being above the “dirty work.” He is always the first to address a problem, staying committed to the task until it is sufficiently solved. His work allows members of the MSU community to live on campus, conduct research in campus buildings and work on campus knowing they are cared for and safe.

Ruth Jameyson “Above and Beyond” Award Winner
Shelby Gombosi
Shelby Gombosi works as an administrative assistant in the College of Natural Science Dean’s Office. In this position, she implements the educational policies of the college and consistently excels at every challenge thrown her way. Her attention to detail, personal drive and work ethic make her both a fantastic employee and graduate student in the Rehabilitation Counseling MA program.

Gombosi is a mentor and instructor for many other administrative assistants in the College of Natural Science’s many departments. She offers guidance, advice and emotional support to undergraduate and graduate students with both patience and intention. Her compassion, thoughtfulness and empathy is greatly appreciated by all students who enter the office with academic or personal concerns, and her accurate, efficient and respectful advice is truly admirable.

Without exception, Gombosi is incredibly selfless in her position. She is devoted to her work while balancing a busy course load and maintains a level of organization that allows her to excel in everything she does. During her time at the College of Natural Science, she has become indispensable and serves as an example of the ideal employee.