Aerial view of the Dowagiac campus

Katie Hannah named SMC Staffer of Year

05/15/2019 - 8am
President Mathews, Katie Hannah

Southwestern Michigan College revealed Katie Hannah, Office of First Year Experience manager, as Staff Member of the Year at SMC’s sixth annual Retirement and Recognition Program in Mathews Conference Center East on the Dowagiac campus.

Finalists included Human Resources Generalist Becky Craft, Director of Building and Grounds John Eberhart, First Year Advisor Kris Lefor and Student Activity Center Assistant Manager Branden Pompey.

Hannah, also nominated in 2018, leads the new area within Student Services, pouring considerable energy into the first Welcome Week last summer.

“She wanted this experience to be one the student would remember and want to attend next year,” Hannah’s nominator wrote. “She wanted to make sure everybody had fun and felt welcomed by SMC. ‘Excellence with a personal touch’ was delivered because many students commented on how much they enjoyed their first experience on campus.”

Craft “is always pleasant and seems happy to answer our many questions about SMC benefits. She either knows the answer or will find it quickly,” her nominator wrote. “I imagine that working in human resources can sometimes be challenging. Becky does a great job of being welcoming.”

Dr. Mary Young-Marcks, Trustee Becky Moore

Pompey “absolutely supports SMC’s core value, knowledge for all,” his nomination stated. “He believes we should engage every student and help them achieve his or her goal. He exemplifies this through everything he does, but especially acting as a mentor to his student workers. His commitment to his position and desire to expand it to include areas he is passionate about, such as civic engagement, is unmatched. He is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Branden takes the line in his job description, ‘Other duties as assigned,’ as a challenge!”

Eberhart, whose Maintenance Department won Team of the Year, “is always looking to provide the best service and products he can. He works well with our vendors to make sure they, too, bring quality to our campus. Throughout the entire Nursing and Health Education Building project, he was our ‘eagle eye’ on the contractors, always making sure work they did met his standards. He often asked for things to be redone and held them to the quality he always demands.”

Service Awards

35 years: Dr. Mary Young-Marcks, sociology instructor.

25 years: Jeanne Luthjohan, senior information system analyst.

15 years: Tony Walker, Building and Grounds; Michelle Gibson, Testing Center assistant; and Melissa Eblin, switchboard operator.

10 years: Brent Brewer, chief of staff; Lori Collins, financial aid coordinator; Dr. Jeffrey Dennis, history instructor; Kathie Gries, Career Planning Center manager; Cathy Luthringer, School of Business and Advanced Technology administrative assistant; Stephanie Lyons, senior staff accountant; Michelle Orlaske, marketing manager; Yolanda Roche, nursing instructor; and Jason Smith, Niles Campus executive director.

Five years: Tom Atkinson, chief of staff; John Eby, senior writer and media relations coordinator; Michele Harlow, group fitness instructor; Dr. Donald Ludman, psychology instructor; Mark Pelfrey, mathematics instructor; Breanna Rees, staff accountant; Jeff Robson, automotive instructor; and Julie Zabriskie, health information instructor.