The UNK Staff Senate is pleased to recognize Michelle Hamaker as the May
2010 Employee Achievement Award winner. Michelle’s achievements throughout
her career at UNK, particularly the last few months, have demonstrated the
highest commitment to her profession, as well as the safety and security of
every UNK student, faculty, and staff member.
Michelle has worked at UNK since April 1997 and became Director of Police
and Parking Services (then called Public Safety) in February 2002. Since
becoming Director, Michelle has increased officer safety by enhancing the
Department’s equipment by installing cameras in the front and protective
cages in the rear of their patrol cars and mandating that each officer
complete regular trainings of at least 30 hours per year per officer,
including upgrades defensive tactics certification. She has increased her
staff by one officer and added deliberate crime prevention programming
(coordinated by a Crime Prevention Officer). She wrote and implemented her
Department’s first ever Policy Manual and has received multiple grant
awards, including funding for extra officers on the street for alcohol
enforcement during peak times.
In 2008, Michelle’s grant writing expertise paid off when she received a
$28,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security to host a
full-functional, regional, disaster preparedness drill at UNK on April 15,
2010. From the time she received the money to the time the drill occurred,
Michelle supervised the coordination of nearly 30 community agencies and
over a dozen smaller drills, exercises, and workshops in preparation for
the April drill.
As final preparations were being organized for the disaster drill, UNK
received a letter from the Department of Education informing us that we
were being audited for Clery Act compliance. The Clery Act requires all
colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid
programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their
campuses. Failure to comply with Clery Act regulations could result in a
significant fine and/or loss of Federal student aid funding.
As her office is a key player in the “keeper of the record” for Clery Act
compliance, Michelle then had to split her focus between preparations for
the drill and responding to the request for information from the auditors
(a pile of information that was over 6-inches thick), and then prepare for
a Clery Act compliance site visit just 4 days after the drill. At the exit
interview, the Federal auditors praised UNK, Michelle in particular, for
the high quality of work, and the care she takes, in tracking all the
For all of her efforts to maintain and increase the safety and security of
the UNK community, Michelle Hamaker is a worthy recipient of the May 2010
UNK Employee Achievement Award.