In case you weren't able to make the conference, we wanted to brag on our members.  The following individuals were honored earlier this month:

KACE16 Award Winners

Back Row (L to R):

David Gaston: Larry Hannah Career Services Director Award 

David is deserving of this award for his constant desire to help his staff learn and grow. He truly cares about each person and wants his staff members to reach their full potential and follow and reach their career aspirations, and he is more than willing to serve as a strong support person along the way to help in any way he can. David has a strong ability to identify strengths within his staff and tailor staff members' roles and responsibilities to capitalize on those strengths, which provides a huge benefit not only to the staff members, but to the office and University as a whole and most importantly to the students of KU.

I truly appreciate his open door policy and ability to help work through any situation no matter how big or small. David also thinks big and is always coming up with new, creative ideas to enhance our services and help our students and expects the same of his staff. I have been given so many amazing opportunities thanks to him, and I am so grateful. I love being able to discuss new ideas with him and see them come to fruition. David is an outstanding director who is definitely deserving of this award, and I am proud to be a member of his team.

Erin Wolfram: Chairperson of the Year

It's hard to begin to put into words the ways that Erin has gone above and beyond. She developed organizational systems, kept the team in line and on board, and ultimately pulled off an awesome conference. She was instrumental in increasing the number of breakout sessions and in coordinating not one but two great keynotes. I personally confided in Erin for feedback/assistance with program selection and coordination. At times, Erin made tough decisions even when they weren't the easy decision. She kept the meetings on track and made it look easy to make constant positive progress. For these reasons and so many more, she is definitely worthy of the Chairperson of the Year.

Gary Handy: Career Services Member of the Year

Gary is extremely deserving of the CSMOY award. From his involvement in various committees including the Conference planning committee, the membership development committee, and serves as the chairperson for the bylaws committee. From his contributions on these committees, to volunteering his garage to make conference table decorations, Gary goes above and beyond, always with a smile on his face.

Dana Nordyke: Outstanding Committee Member

Immediately following the 2015 conference after signing up for the conference committee, Dana emailed me and asked if she could lead the program/speaker sub-committee out of her own interest to get more involved in KACE, a job that is not easy! As the leader of that sub-committee, she played an integral role in securing our Thursday keynote speaker, Joyce Layman, soon after our first meeting. Additionally, she continued to provide great ideas and insight regarding additional keynote options, which helped us secure our Friday speaker as well, which proved to be a challenge! Dana also did a great job brainstorming potential breakout session speakers, agreed to serve as a presenter herself, and organized the schedule of rooms for all speakers.

She served on the conference booklet sub-committee and volunteered to create the event PowerPoint. I could always count on Dana to volunteer to help with any task that needed to be done. She also had the fantastic idea of using Trello to assist the committee and all of the sub-committees in staying organized and help us communicate effectively despite having members all across Kansas and Missouri. This proved to be a huge help throughout the entire planning process.

Dana was an amazing support person for me and was always more than willing to assist me with any issues that arose, brainstorm new ideas, keep me sane, and provide helpful insight whenever needed. Her dedication to KACE is outstanding, and she is definitely deserving of this award. I am so grateful to have met Dana through KACE and am proud to call her a colleague and friend.

Front Row (L to R):

Brandi Wriedt: Technology Award

Brandi has done a phenomenal job of leading the technology team for KACE this year. She kept us on track as a committee during the busiest parts of the semester. I relate this to herding cats. She always has the most positive attitude in motivating us and keeping us on the same page. Also, I have learned a lot about how to run a good, efficient meeting from the way Brandi leads our team. While I know she is running in a lot of directions in her own career services role, she made KACE a priority in so many ways and for this reason she deserves the Technology Award!

Celeste Gruhin: Employer Member of the Year

Celeste brings her positivity and energy to everything she does! She has been an enthusiastic member of KACE, serving as the Employer Relations representative to the board since 2015. Celeste is a great representative for her own employer, UPS, and is also proactive in trying to promote KACE to Kansas City area businesses and to bring additional employers into the organization.

Ashley Kruger: Brad Barackman Bridge Award 

Ashley is deserving of the Brad Barackman Bridge Award for the mentorship program she has developed in Business Career Services. The School of Business Mentorship Program is designed to bring together students and professionals that share common professional interests. This mentoring relationship will enable business students to be better supported as they explore varied career opportunities and assist them as they navigate those early years of professional life. Ashley works hard to recruit students and employers and helps facilitate connections between them through this program. Her mentorship program is a strong example of a program that creates a bridge between employers and career services and provides a great opportunity for KU students to engage in meaningful career development activities.

Rhiannon Racy: Rookie of the Year

Over the past year, Rhiannon has played integral roles in the both the membership development and conference planning committees. This past summer, when another KACE member moved to a new position outside of career services, without hesitation Rhiannon jumped in and took on the leadership role of chair of the membership development committee. Since then she has done a fabulous job communicating and coordinating with several other members to ensure the membership committee is on top of all of their tasks and as effective as possible in providing a welcoming environment for our members.

Additionally, as part of the conference planning committee Rhiannon has led the decorations sub-committee and took on the time consuming and challenging task of creating the conference booklet, all while navigating a position transition at the University Career Center. Rhiannon has been an extremely valuable asset to both of the committees she is on and to KACE as whole in her first year as a professional member, and she is definitely deserving of this award. I truly appreciate all of her commitment and effort, and it does not go without notice!