Kristen Larsen, an adviser in the Office of Student Support Services, is the Employee of the Month for May.
One of Kristen's annual projects for the past two years has been Disability Awareness Week. Kristen has demonstrated a wonderful understanding of how important it is to blend details into arranging activities, publicity and putting the people involved first. She knows how to network her community contacts for important service to the UNK community.
In addition to her work organizing and carrying out Disability Awareness Week activities, she also recruits, trains, monitors, documents and encourages the Student Support Services student mentors who work with new students at UNK. On a daily basis, one of the most valuable contributions Kristen makes is keeping the staff informed about events and programming, as well as opportunities for being involved. She knows how to prioritize, confirm the priorities, and keeps the office up-to-date on how she is handling current challenges.
As one student noted: Her regular expressions of appreciation to student staff members "makes us want to work even harder." As one student wrote: "She delegates, but she does so in a way that makes you want to do a good job."
Being a strong advocate for children with special needs and focusing especially on those with autism, she has offered presentations to professionals, care providers, parents and students through UNK, ESU #10, Kearney Public Schools and Good Samaritan PAN (Parents Assistance Network). Kristen is currently working to support a group for parents of children with autism in the Kearney area. She has also worked extensively with The ARC (Association for Retarted Citizens of Buffalo County and currently serves on the Kearney Area Children's Museum Board of Directors.
As one nominator described her: "Kristen Larsen is a very outstanding individual who is always willing to help in any way that she can. Her spririt and enthusiasm are infections. Her schedule is daunting, yet she manages to accomplish everything that she sets her mind to."
Thank you to the sponsors of the Employee of the Month: Chartwells, Shear Madness, Athletic Department, Theatre Department, and the Antelope Bookstore.