Eastern Recognizes Employee Appreciation Day

In honor of Employee Appreciation Day, which is the first Friday in March, Eastern would like to express much gratitude to its employees for their ongoing effort and commitment after almost a year of navigating remote work and coping with mental and physical stress and times of uncertainty due to the pandemic. Eastern would like to thank its employees for everything they do for the College. Their continued support and dedication enables Eastern to fulfill its mission in providing quality higher education to individuals throughout our six-county service area and beyond.

We asked our employees to express their appreciation for their fellow colleagues and recognize another staff member with a short paragraph describing how this person has exceeded expectations and why their accomplishments or talents make a difference to them, their department, and/or the College. Those individuals who were recognized were acknowledged during an All-College meeting on March 4th.

Here are a few of the recognitions submitted by Eastern employees:

Kristen Colebank. “Kristen is an essential part of this college. She goes out of her way to create learning tools for the instructors to navigate through Blackboard. She also has started an art club connecting students and instructors with a no-stress outlet for creativity. She has always made herself available for one on one instruction. I could not have managed to create interactive assignments and the online tests and quizzes without her.” – From Donna Davy

“I would like to recognize Kristen Colebank for her tireless effort, dedication to both our students and to us, the faculty, as well as her amazing ability to wear about fifteen different hats. Kristen is always looking for ways to improve our teaching technology, train faculty, and create programs, videos, and resources to make all of our jobs easier. I’m amazed at her ability to quickly respond to an email question or call for help, and to immediately act to solve whatever the problem or issue is. Kristen Colebank goes above and beyond and for that, she deserves to be recognized by her peers and by the college.” – From Joe McGee

“Since joining Eastern, Kristen has been the definition of diligence. She works tirelessly in a number of areas within the college and brings a thoroughly professional approach to everything she does: delivering staff professional development (at an institutional level and personalized for individual staff); reviewing and assessing online courses (and designing the rubrics and procedures to make it happen); addressing and monitoring consistency in Blackboard shells; being a boundless resource during our transition to online classes; running the Curriculum Committee; contributing to Eagle’s Nest…the list goes on and on. Her impact on the college since joining it has been considerable and she is an invaluable member of the team. Go Kristen!” – From Dominic Phillips

“I would like to recognize Kristin Colebank as an employee who exceeds in her duties as the IT Faculty & Instructional Technology Specialist. She goes above and beyond on a minute’s notice. From day one of my employment, she has been there to walk me through programs I was totally unfamiliar with and helped me exceed my own expectations. She has saved me from minor computer glitches that I got myself into! Ha!, coached me through the ins and outs of Blackboard to build my own courses, and the ability to create an approved assessment of a course I had only taught once. She truly is my go-to person, but also an awesome human being.” – From Debi Layton

“Kristen Colebank consistently goes above and beyond expectations, whether it be a simple task or a large project. I appreciate her problem-solving skills and determination to find a solution. She is not afraid to work long hours, including evenings and weekends until she discovers a viable solution. Kristen encountered numerous challenges when our student’s lives went virtual. Her general Blackboard Trainings turned into one-to-one sessions; she comes across new issues, like problems running Blackboard on county school purchased MacBooks, and provided student follow-up check-ins to ensure systems were working correctly. Kristen is always willing to lend a hand. She created needed MyEastern Registration Training Videos when Student Services had a need. Her YouTube videos are helpful and professional. Kristen has helped nurture the college’s creative brains by facilitating the Virtual Sketch Club. Through the club, she provided personal growth and entertaining outlet for students and staff who found themselves with limited places to go and things to do. She encourages each member, regardless of their skill level. Kristen Colebank is truly an asset to Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College.” – From Charles Bolyard

Michael O’Leary. “I would like to recognize Michael O’Leary, President’s Office Administrator. I consider Michael an important asset to the President’s Office and I respect his experience, loyalty, ethics, and excellent customer service to internal and external stakeholders. Michael contributed to the HLC Progress Report and supported details for an important follow-up visit. He is also providing valuable support to the Board of Governors during the Presidential Search. He is highly respected by all the members of Eastern’s Board of Governors. It is a joy to work with Michael. The pandemic disrupted our daily interactions and I miss his humor and seeking his advice on college issues.” – From Dr. Charles Terrell

Monica Wilson. “Monica has been working for the college for over 20 years. She is organized and she cares about students. She works hard and does a good job as a dean.” – From Seyed Mirkhani 

Jill Landis. “A year ago, our worlds changed, and I was so thankful for the “nurses” that surround us. Jill has made the transition from in the classroom and hands on to virtual for this Nursing Cohort. Her classroom is now Zoom classes. She planned the “driveby – pick up Spring Semester books” so the students did not enter our campus. She’s always making sure that the students and our campus stays safe. She has shown that life can continue whatever the crisis that’s thrown at us. Jill has a calmness about her. I’m so glad I am part of the Nursing Department team (family).” – From Barbara See

Trina Branson. “I would like to recognize Trina Branson. Trina has been on campus throughout this “Covid Experience” and is always accessible for answering questions or providing direction. Even before Covid, Trina has always been a source of information and helps to keep the Business Office in tune. I appreciate her attention to detail and don’t mind it if I get an “instruction post-it”. She is very “Auditor Savvy” and has been a great help to me and an asset to the college. Go Trina.” – From Diana Duling

Jaennae Snyder. “Jaennae has established an outstanding rapport with Eastern WV Community and Technical College’s staff and students. Her ability to complete her job duties are outstanding. Jaennae is organized, efficient, and respectful to all co-workers. She takes the initiative to complete a job well done but also she is willing to try new avenues to make projects, procedures, and processes better. At a moment’s notice, she will volunteer to help in any situation. She will process a request for the college at a moment’s notice.”

“I nominate Jaennae. She went above and beyond to give us all Covid tests and to offer vaccines to people. With all the changes to the work schedules and regulations I’m not sure how she keeps up.” – From Kristen Reyes

William Baldwin. “I would like to recognize Bill Baldwin. Bill’s return and transition to Manager of Technology Services has been seamless, which has made Geoff’s departure more manageable. He works hard to ensure our IT problems are resolved and the college’s on-campus technology needs are met. Additionally, Bill spent over 10 hours on campus last Saturday with WVNET changing switches to enhance the network. Bill’s a valued member of the Eastern family, and I look forward to working with him in the future.”

Megan Webb. “I would like to recognize Dr. Megan Webb for all her help getting me started. She has been very understanding and helpful since I first began. With her precise planning, the Agriculture division is bound to be in a good direction. She has taught me a lot about the professionalism involved in this duty and is helping me in every way to carve a direct path to success.” – From John Riggs

Curtis Hakala and Dominic Phillips. “There are so many valuable and dedicated Eastern employees that it is very difficult to select only one, therefore I nominate Curtis and Dominic because they are true leaders that lead with compassion and respect. I believe that both are not only management but educators who instruct and guide their staff to excellence. I have been quite fortunate to work closely with both and this has made me a better employee and person.” – From Ann Degnan