Veronique Vlaun, clerical assistant, Honors Program, has been named the 2022 Kutztown University Employee of the Year. Vlaun was named the Employee of the Year during KU’s Faculty and Staff Convocation and Celebration held Friday, August 26. Vlaun, Employee of the Month for November 2021, was 1-of-12 finalists for the annual award.
Dr. Jennifer Schlegel, associate professor and director of the Honors Program, nominated Vlaun for Employee of the Month. See the nomination below. Vlaun has been with the university since 2006.
As Employee of the Year, Vlaun received a $300 monetary award sponsored by President Kenneth S. Hawkinson, an engraved glass and marble award and reserved parking for one year in their preferred parking spot.
Vlaun is the sixth KU Employee of the Year honoree, following Sharon Young from Information Technology in 2017, Tim Flannery from Intercollegiate Athletics in 2018, Marsha Cressman from Facilities in 2019, William Lendzinski from Clinical Services in 2020, and Louis Richuitti from Facilities in 2021.
“Now into her third year in this position, Vern has established herself as the heart and soul of the Honors Program. Vern is the only full-time employee in the program; she has a can-do attitude, a student-centered mindset and a caring constitution.
The end of a semester is a particularly busy time in Honors as we prepare to celebrate our graduates and review the progress of all the Honors students. I am thankful that Vern is there to answer emails from concerned students, questions from Honors faculty and requests from me, all with grace and humor. As Meg Gooding, one of our undergraduate student workers puts it, “Each and every day, Vern creates a welcoming and kind work environment. Her laugh is contagious and she is a pleasure to work with.”
It’s always an adventure in Honors and Vern is the one who sets the tone in Honors Hall. Students, workers and GAs all benefit from the positive climate Vern sets. Honors GA Bec Miller writes, “I don’t know what I would do without Vern! She makes every day brighter and her patience and kindness shine through no matter what’s going on. She’s smart, dependable, takes initiative and makes Honors feel like a home. If it wasn’t for Vern, well, I don’t want to know what would happen without her.”
Vern expertly handles questions about classes, scholarships, community service and program requirements. Her knowledge of the university and her positive relationships with others on campus allow her to quickly connect people to problem solve and troubleshoot, all with enthusiasm and a positive attitude. She is an unselfish team-player, making others around her better.
During the pandemic, Vern remained enthusiastic and student-focused, working from home in the early months and returning to campus in the summer of 2020. During a time of great uncertainty and fluidity, Vern was a calm and steady presence for students, parents and me. That presence has never wavered.
Vern’s commitment to students goes beyond those in the Honors program. Vern mentors students on her own time, providing a listening ear and wise counsel in helping students navigate their way in this institution. She stays in contact with some of the students who have left the Honors Program to let them know she remains a resource to them as needed.
Vern is a role model on campus for her professionalism, her commitment to the mission of the Honors Program and the university, her collegiality and her efforts to excel in all she does. I look forward to coming to work each day and learning and growing with Vern.”