Staff Council

Past Star Employees


Keondra Mitchell

Congratulations to Keondra Mitchell, Star Employee

“Keondra has been with UNCP in the School of Business as the Executive-in-Residence for Student Success since July 2013.  In this short period of time, Mrs. Mitchell has done an outstanding job!”

When the Dean asked if she would take on all the numerous duties of her predecessor, “being the team player kind hearted, loving, passionate soul she is, Mrs. Mitchell agreed.”  In addition to these responsibilities, Keondra had four classes of her own she was teaching.  Mrs. Mitchell handled every responsibility, task and other issues like a champ, never one time complaining.  This would be hard for anyone but especially for someone brand-new to the university.  

The School of Business held our annual awards banquet back in April and every year, the students nominate and choose 1 "Outstanding" faculty that has gone above and beyond to assist the students and help out whenever needed.  This year, that award went to Mrs. Keondra Mitchell.   

Group photo of Staff Council EOC and Star Employee

Congratulations to Alesia Cummings, Star Employee

(Pictured from left: Lori Carter, Aku Opata, Teresa Bryant, Natasha Kinto, Cummings, Dr. Alfred Bryant, Dr. Mary Ann Jacobs and Von Breeden.)

She has worked for the university since April 2006 in the Department of American Indian Studies. Ms. Alesia enjoys her work here at UNCP and explains, “I am fortunate to have supervisors, faculty and co-workers who appreciate my hard work and dedication to UNCP.” She is obviously a hard worker and well thought of, as described in the following comments:

“Alesia Cummings is the glue that holds the American Indian Studies Department together. She is consistently available to help support the faculty and students of American Indian Studies in a wide range of projects that ensure the efficient, productive functioning of our department. She accomplishes all this with warmth, professionalism, and good humor. She takes care of travel arrangements not only for AIS faculty, but for the visitors who come through the Native American Speakers Series and the annual Southeast Indian Studies Conference, and she is a primary organizer of the annual Honoring Native Foodways fall event. On a daily basis, Alesia fields calls and in-person requests from the campus and local community, students, and faculty, who often require immediate attention, whether this is about a student scheduling issue or a community question regarding American Indian issues. She is always professional and accommodating on the front line, and presents a warm and welcoming face to the front office of our department, which increases office morale... Despite Alesia's ever-increasing workload -- especially with the addition this year of a director of the Southeast American Indian Studies Program, for whom Alesia also works -- Alesia continues to be a dedicated and positive staff member who puts the needs of others before her own.”

This past year, Cummings has taken on the additional administrative work of the new SAIS. Her expertise, professionalism, and commitment are essential to the successful development of this program. Although it isn’t directly related to her job description, it is worth noting that during the past year, Cummings maintained her excellent performance while carrying a heavy burden – her beloved only son Christian was deployed to Afghanistan. A lesser person would have been distracted and let some things slip. Not Cummings. Although she clearly was worried for her son, she continued to put other people’s sons and daughters first while she was at work. This award would mean a great deal to her, and she is extremely deserving of it.”


Group photo of Staff Council EOC and Star Employee

Congratulations to Cindy Campbell, Star Employee

(Pictured from left: Teresa Bryant,  Lori Carter, Campbell, Timothy Altman, Natasha Kinto, Cris Scott and Von Breeden.)

She was nominated by faculty and other staff members from the university for her hard work within her department and the campus community. She was selected as the Star Employee by the Employee Recognition Committee (ERC) and will automatically be nominated for UNCP’s Employee of the Year. Here are a few of the comments that her co-workers submitted:

“The department simply could not run without Cindy in the office. She is thorough, efficient, and is always on top of everything. She is proactive...anticipates every new job that comes to her. She loves the students...and students love her. She keeps our extensive website up to date. She is courteous to everyone, no matter how busy she is...and she's always busy. Since she's a musician herself, she identifies with everyone in the department at some level. Best of all, she is humble.”

“Ms. Campbell is responsible for keeping one of the most complex scholastic departments on cam-pus up and running. Besides her duties working with the faculty and department chair she is also responsible for scheduling of Moore Hall for events used by ALL departments on campus. This while also working with students to take care of their registration needs and more. She is truly doing the work that in many other offices would be done by more than one person. She is truly the Star employee of UNCP!”

“Cindy Campbell is AMAZING!!!! She totally deserved recognition for her work in the Music Department. She runs the department in every way. She understands all of the policies on campus and knows exactly where to go to find any answers that she doesn't know herself. She cares about every faculty member in the department and every student as well. She never misses a day and never wastes a bit of time. She works really hard and needs to be appreciated!!!”

“In addition to her pleasant and professional demeanor, Ms. Campbell has consistently exhibited outstanding work ethic, efficiency, and quality of work. She enables each professor to be able to do his or her job more effectively and goes out of her way to make sure the students have all of the assistance they need. She has been doing this for several years now with constancy, and is an indispensable member or our team. Simply put, she makes me a better professor.”


Group photo of Staff Council EOC and Star Employee

Congratulations to Mary Baynes, Star Employee

(Pictured from left: Lori Carter, Dr. Barbara Synowiez, Baynes, Cris Scott, Terry Locklear and Von Breeden.)

Baynes joined the university in 2005 and is an administrative assistant in the Nursing Department. “She is there for the faculty and for the students,” said Dr. Barbara Synowiez, department chair. “She is the backbone of the department. Organized and dependable are two words that describe her.”

Baynes received a plaque and free parking for two months at the Health Sciences Building.


Group photo of Staff Council EOC and Star Employee

Congratulations to Natasha Kinto, Star Employee

(Pictured from left: Von Breeden, Cris Scott, Kinto, Lori Carter and Terry Locklear.)

Take a look at some of the kind words her co-workers shared about her:

"Ms. Kinto works diligently with our students to ensure their success. She also ensures that the department runs smoothly and efficiently.  She is a valued member to the department."

"Ms. Kinto is a gifted, kind and hard-working colleague.   Everyone connected with our department can depend on her for accurate information, ready assistance, and a kind word and a gentle smile on a hard day.  She is extremely professional -well- organized highly disciplined and very effective.    She is beloved by our students for her ability to help them navigate processes they find confusing and challenging and because they can depend on her to do what she says that she will do.   I share their experience of her. Ms. Kinto is an active member of the UNCP community.  I see her on campus at many different UNCP events, including our department celebrations and professional development offerings, GPAC shows, campus lectures and sporting events.  She is an excellent representative of this institution, both as alumnae and as an employee.   Thank you for considering my nomination of Ms. Kinto for this honor that she so richly deserves."

"Natasha is a star. She is always bright, optimistic and a shining representative of the Department of Social Work. Her title does not encompass what she does for the Department and the University. I have worked with her for 4 years and she is consistently friendly, positive and willing to drop what she is doing to help students, employees and visitors. Whenever I greet her she is smiling and engaging. I admire her attitude, the way she carries herself and her organizational skills; her follow-through is on point! I know I will hear back from her and she will know what to do! She helps keep us going. She is a star for the UNC-Pembroke community.”


Group photo of Staff Council EOC and Star Employee

Congratulations to Janet Gentes, Star Employee

(Pictured from left: Dr. Robert W. Brown, Lori Carter, Gentes, Von Breeden, Cris Scott and Terry Locklear.)

Janet began her tenure at UNCP in May 2003 in the History Department where she remains today. Supervised by Dr. Robert Brown, she is also a student at UNCP working toward earning a Studio Arts Degree. Ms. Gentes received several raving reviews from her colleagues and here are just a few:
"While interacting with students and faculty, Gentes is always helpful and informative. Students know her to be someone who knows what she is doing and is willing to go above and beyond for them, and many times, I have overheard students explaining problems to her that have nothing to do with the History Department and they just know Gentes as someone who will know what to do. She totally deserves this award!”
"She takes the same approach with students and faculty who come to our office for help; if their problem is one she cannot solve, she does not simply direct them to another location. Instead, she calls that office and ensures that somebody there can help the student, and makes sure he or she has all the necessary information to complete the task on arrival. Students, as well as faculty from other departments, thus often come to her for help because we know she will not send anyone on a blind scavenger hunt, but instead do her best to find the necessary information."
“It is perhaps cliché to say that an academic department cannot function without its administrative assistant, but it is very accurate in this case to say that the History Department could not continue to perform at our current level of academic excellence and community engagement without Janet's persistence and attention to detail.”


Group photo of Staff Council EOC and Star Employee

Congratulations to Rip Turner, Star Employee

(Pictured from left: Lori Carter, Cris Scott, Von Breeden, Turner, Lela Clark and Terry Locklear.)

Here are just a few of the comments that Mr. Turner's co-workers made in regards to his character and professionalism:

"Since his location is in the lobby of Lumbee Hall he is the first "face of the university" for many visitors. Rip's customer service skills are outstanding and he has made a number of suggestions for other offices that have improved the service they offer, thus positively enhancing the experience for callers. I can't think of any other employee whose impact has been as far-reaching to internal and external constituents as Rip's has been."

"Rip possesses the qualities of a star employee. He always remains composed and positive no matter the situation at hand. Rip does an awesome job of assisting our students."

"Rip is a dedicated employee who is always pleasant to be around and shows great abilities toward his job."

"Rip is amazing. He is great at answering the phones, multitasking and assisting families in getting around campus."

And there were lots more!

Congratulations Mr. Turner and keep up the awesome work!


Group photo of Staff Council EOC and Star Employee

Congratulations to Beatrice Williams, Star Employee

(Pictured from left: Terry Locklear, Robert Hughes, Cris Scott, Marvin Miller, Williams, Von Breeden and Lori Carter.) Beatrice had this to say:

"I ’ve been employed with UNCP for 10 years. I started out as an administrative assistant in the Controller’s Office working for the brilliant Ila Killian for five years. I am so grateful to her for taking a chance on me. Her training and expertise in state guidelines & policies has helped me tremendously. I’ve been in the Financial Planning and Budget Office for five years handling travel for the University (faculty, staff, students, and visitors). Roger Killian, who is now retired, has also been a remarkable supervisor. What I like most about my job is it motivates me to do exceptional work. I thoroughly enjoy working with everyone and being of assistance. I am just so honored that people thought enough to nominate me for my efforts in trying to provide excellent service. I try, and that’s what I’m here for. I just want to say thank you and I truly appreciate this wonderful recognition. I’m truly blessed to be a part of UNCP."
Colleagues had this to say about Beatrice: "Beatrice is very efficient & hardworking."

"She always go over and beyond to make sure Travel needs are handled in a timely manner for UNCP faculty, staff, & students." 

"I feel that Beatrice goes beyond her call of duty to make sure that all travel vouchers are paid in a timely manner."

"She has a great personality and is always willing to help."


Group photo of Staff Council EOC and Star Employee

Congratulations to Cynthia Oxendine, Star Employee

(Pictured from left: Cris Scott, Oxendine, Lori Carter and Terry Locklear.)

Cynthia had this to say:

"Today marks my 30th anniversary as an employee at UNCP!…it’s been a ride!! Started out as a Clerk Typist making about $811 a month…wow…lol…thanks to Galvin Floyd who hired me fresh out of college. Bought my first car that same year…an electric red Cutlass Supreme…financed it for two years….took half my pay check to make the payments…thank God for Mama and Daddy!! They put gas in the tank, paid my insurance, and put food in my mouth. I worked it off by cashiering in our small country store on Red Banks…wouldn’t trade that experience (started working there in 6th grade) for anything…it’s where I got my work ethic…there and in grandma’s cucumber and Paul Harris’ ‘bacca fields! Thanks also to Dr. Diane Jones who believed in me and gave me my first and last promotion…worked for her almost my entire career at UNCP. Love my alma mater and employer UNCP…you’ve been good to me and my family…looking forward to another couple at least…smile. But most of all thanks to God for allowing me this amazing journey."


Group photo of Staff Council EOC and Star Employee

Congratulations to Ann Jacobs, Star Employee

(Pictured from left: Cris Scott, Jacobs, Lori Carter and Terry Locklear.)

Ann Jacobs (Business Services), who works in the Post Office, is the Staff Council’s Star Employee for December and January. Jacobs is a 26-year employee and has spent her entire career with the campus post office. She was awarded a certificate, gift mug and will have reserved parking through January.The office has changed locations four times during her tenure. Her fondest memories are of great personal interactions between faculty, staff and students. She said that she was shocked when she learned that she had won the award. The nominations were very warm and highlighted the character that she dedicated to working everyday.