Past STAR Employees

Star Employee of the Quarter (January - March, 2017), Gary Locklear

Star Employee of the Quarter (January - March, 2017), Gary Locklear

“Gary L. Locklear has been with the university for about 18 years working with the grounds department. Gary is the employee you see every day keeping our campus clean by collecting the trash.

Gary is so dedicated to his job duties that he can tell you how many cans are on campus, how many bags he collects daily and weekly, how much weight in trash he collects daily.  He also has enough pride in his

job that he keeps those cans washed and sprayed withdisinfectant, also carries a leaf blower with him to help keep areas around cans neat and clean. 

Gary is a great employee, hard worker, team player, caring friend to work with and will tell anyone to NEVER BE EMBARASSED of your job!  This is why Gary is worthy to be Brave Nations’ January-March 2017 Employee of the Quarter!"

Cheryl Rogers

Star Employee of the Quarter (October - December, 2016), Cheryl Rogers

“Cheryl is an amazing person who not only is outstanding at her job, but cares deeply for the Pembroke community -- she embodies UNCP's values.  Well before the last quarter,she kept everything together at the Incubator, during a period of organizational upheaval with the loss of three key leaders. In the last quarter, she has worked tirelessly to help me come up to speed in my new position as Executive Director.  She not only has immense capacity for many tasks, but is not afraid to speak up regarding rules and regulations we all should learn and follow, and what she thinks is the right thing to do.  During the past quarter, she managed 5 clients housed in the Incubator,close to10 more in the community, over 30 events with over 1,500 participants. She is always thinking of ways to build the Incubator, for example, recommended several 
ways to connect to the Lumberton business community, a key initiative for us.  Importantly, during this quarter she kept us all together after the Incubator was flooded out, moving rapidly in to a temporary space in the Business School, monitoring the renovation of the Incubator and then moving us back in with little disruption to our mission.  Cheryl is also a very good person with an enormous heart.  I know during the weekends she cooks for local shelters, and has increased that activity to serve the many folks still suffering from Hurricane Matthew.  She organized a toy drive which netted over 30 Christmas toys, and organized collection for the Empty Stocking fund which netted $671 for that charity; It was a huge success.  In my mind, Cheryl works well beyond her job description, and I deeply believe this Incubator would not be able to help those businesses in the area that need it, without her dedication, smarts, and caring.  She truly is an amazing person, and I strongly recommend her for Employee of the Quarter."

Tracy Dial

Star Employee of the Quarter (July-Sept 2016), Tracy Dial   

Tracy Dial is one of the most dedicated employees on our campus. She has over 28 years of experience with the Admissions Office. She is always willing to help other departments and is tasked with a heavy load. Her job can be burdensome, because of the volume and urgency of getting student applications processed and all data based information manually keyed and entered into two systems. Tracy often works 10 hours days and on the weekends. She certainly demonstrates accountability and goes out of her way to make sure reports are complete and accurate. Tracy will also stop what she is doing without complaint and help someone. She makes sacrifices to help the entire enrollment team and does so many things outside of her normal job description to make sure processes run smoothly. Tracy is irreplaceable in terms of her knowledge and ability. She rarely gets recognized for her accomplishments and all that she contributes."

Lee hammonds

Star Employee of the Quarter (April-June 2016), Lee Hammonds

"Mr. Lee Hammonds is simply AMAZING!!! He goes above and beyond to assist veteran students as well as other students who may have financial aid questions. He is always professional, pleasant, & prepared to do everything that his job requires and more. To me, he demonstrates what it means to be an employee with top-notch customer skills. The greatest attributes that an employee can bring to UNCP is service and respect and that is what Lee does. He has developed many positive relationships with the various university departments, as well as within the community. Lee Hammonds is an intelligent, hardworking, and shining representative of the Financial Aid Department. He is an invaluable asset to UNCP, who I deem is worthy of being recognized/honored as the Employee of the Quarter.”

Keat Ellis

Star Employee of the Quarter (Jan-March 2016), Keats Ellis

 “Keats is a long time employee of the University who is always willing to go above and beyond the call of duty.  He never hesitates when asked to accept additional responsibilities and is always willing to stay late or come in early if needed.  He knows everyone on campus by name and is quick to learn newcomers and make them feel welcome.  Not only does he do his share for the Bookstore but he shares his talent of piano playing with various other departments by donating his time for various fundraising events on campus.  I believe that his customer service skills along with his dedication and team spirit qualify him to be Employee of the Quarter!”

Patricia Fields

Star Employee of the Quarter, Patricia Fields

Patricia has an infectious personality and showcases her loyalty to UNCP in everything that she does. Her interests in providing the entire campus community with access to our state of the art facility while providing world class entertainment is impeccable. She attempts to accommodate every request from all facets of campus through complimentary tickets for campus functions (both internal and external), her service on campus committees, and her willingness to engage in constructive conversations related to enhancing GPAC programming is commendable. She is always professional and exudes outstanding customer service to all GPAC patrons. Patricia is a leader, a true Brave, and demonstrates a level of commitment that all staff should admire. Patricia leads and motivates a great team that's small in number but great in the number of performances and events they host in the facility. By nature of her position, her hours are extensive and she never skips a beat. Givens Performing Arts Center was rated as one of the top facilities on a college campus in the nation last year, a nationally recognized achievement. I'm honored to have the opportunity to work with and supervise Patricia.

Dinna Edgell

Congratulations to Dinna Edgell, Star Employee

Dinna goes above and beyond to help everyone in our office to do our jobs. She has been with our department longer than anyone else and is literally the glue that holds us all together. Dinna could probably step up and do any of our jobs - that is how knowledgeable she is about all of our programs and services. She is also wonderful with the students, always willing to assist them with a smile on her face. Dinna is ALWAYS pleasant and willing to help. If she doesn't know an answer, she will find someone who can help. She is very warm and personable as well as professional.

Lisa bullard

Congratulations to Lisa Gonzalez Bullard, Star Employee

UNCP is a better place to work, because of people like Lisa Bullard. When the ERC created the Employee of the Quarter award, they must have had Lisa Bullard in mind. For over 12 years, she has exhibited unselfish devotion to duty far and above the normal requirements, outlined in her position description. Her nickname is Service with a Smile!

The greatest attributes that any employee can bring to UNCP are service and respect to our students and employees. In the 12 years that Mrs. Lisa Gonzalez Bullard has been a star team member of ODI, she has captured the hearts of everyone that has come in contact with her. She has developed so many positive relationships with the various university departments and offices, as well as the Pembroke community. In my 20 years with UNCP, I have never been more privileged and honored to have such an individual team member. In an office of 2 full time staff members, Lisa has become my right hand, a 2nd mother to many of our students, and a great resource to so many UNC Pembroke employees. UNCP is fortunate to have Lisa as part of the UNCP family, but particularly Student Affairs. She is supportive, dedicated, tenacious, giving, caring, compassionate, and the list could go on and on. Furthermore, she represents UNCP’s slogan/motto “Catch the Spirit" by having such a warm, welcoming, and inclusive spirit. 

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.

Alesia Cummings

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.”

Cindy Campbell

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.”

Mary Baynes

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.

Natasha Kinto

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.”

Janet Gentes

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.”

Rip Turner

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!

Beatrice Williams

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."


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."

Ann Jacobs

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.