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Awards / Honors

Orientation and Transition Programs honored with inaugural Ram Pride Service Award

February 6, 2013

New award honors service above self, commitment to professionalism, and honest desire to help other people.

Ram Pride showing: CSU President Tony Frank, center, presented the inaugural Ram Pride Service Award to the Orientation and Transition Programs team: Program Coordinators Keith Lopez, Paul Giberson, and  Zach Mercurio, graduate students Dani Dummermuth, Daniel Haddad, and Chelsie Taresh-Ciscell, and Program Director Kerry Wenzler.To honor the people, programs and units that exemplify a service-above-self credo and putting the best foot forward on behalf of Colorado State University, President Tony Frank this fall created the Ram Pride Service Award.

“Service is one of our most cherished values as a public institution,” Frank said as he presented the inaugural award to CSU’s Orientation and Transition Programs team at a December meeting of the Board of Governors of Colorado State University System. “It’s a commitment that is modeled, for better or worse, in every interaction we have with students, alumni, parents and the public – which means the quality of service we provide depends entirely on the commitment and professionalism of our faculty and staff.

“This award is designed to recognize those who ensure that the value we place on service is more than just rhetoric; those who treat service as one of the highest callings of a public university.”

OTP generates positive feedback

The selection of CSU’s Orientation and Transition Programs for the inaugural Ram Pride Service Award was an easy one, according to Frank. OTP may well generate more positive feedback from students and parents than any other campus program, he said.

“We want to recognize and thank this team for their coordinated efforts to get CSU students off to an outstanding start through Preview, Ram Welcome and Transfer Student Orientation,” Frank said. “These programs generate remarkable goodwill among parents and students, and they have had a significant impact on the connection that incoming students feel with the university.”

The award was presented to Kerry Wenzler, program director, and program coordinators Keith Lopez, Paul Giberson and Zach Mercucio. Also on hand for the presentation were Gayle DiGregorio, executive director for the Center for Advising and Student Achievement; Blanche Hughes, vice president for Student Affairs; and Alan Lamborn, vice provost for Undergraduate Affairs.

 “I think that we do a great job in taking a fairly large group and creating experiences at a small-group level so that each student has the chance to interact with other new students and with students that are already on campus,” said DeGregorio.

Staff makes the difference

The CSU staff working at OTP makes the difference, said Jody Donovan, dean of students at CSU.

“I can’t say enough great things about Kerry Wenzler and her leadership of the department, and Zach Mecurio, Keith Lopez and Paul Giberson as a unit, plus all the additional student staff,” Donovan said.

“It’s such an honor to be the first recipient of Dr. Frank’s Ram Pride Service Award,” Wenzler said.  “Because we get to serve new students through University-wide campus collaborative programs, this award is really a reflection of the incredible professionals on campus who join us in welcoming our new students and their families.  We know it’s a tremendous responsibility to design and implement programs that create the culture for new students, so we place great value in connecting them with our institution’s inspiring land-grant legacy of access, service and education to the state of Colorado and global community. 

“This award reaffirms Orientation and Transition Program’s commitment to CSU’s mission, history and legacy, and we strive to engage our new students in a culture that preserves the past, engages in the present and creates the future,” she added.