Congratulations to DELTA’s Pride of the Wolfpack Winners


DELTA honored four new recipients of the Pride of the Wolfpack Award at the DELTA staff meeting on Thursday, August 5. The award is given to NC State employees to recognize their unique contribution to their unit, college, or the university. Emily Brooks, a new DELTA employee in Distance Education, also received a Pride of the Wolfpack Award for her contribution to Registration and Records.

Read the nominations below to learn more about these four outstanding DELTA employees.

Drew Davidson – Educational Technology Services

Drew has worked with us on many cross unit projects.  One in particular he helped to streamline the course detail information collection process.  Previously we had sent instructors a form that they had to manually complete each semester and return to our office, then we would transcribe the information into an online system to be posted to the web site.  Instructors did not like this method as they had to complete the same information every semester and there was considerable amount of data entry for our office staff.  With Drew’s help we now have an online system that carries forward information from previous semesters.  The instructor can log in, view previous information, update only what has changed and submit that information to our office for final review.  Now instead of transcribing the same information every semester, our staff only has to review the information and approve it for posting to the web.  We are continuing to work with Drew to improve the process with further automation. It seems that no matter what I ask, Drew is always willing to give it a try and he most often can come up with a solution or a suggestion to make the process work more efficient. With Drew’s expertise we not only are able to make our instructors happy, but also the administrative staff with a more streamlined, efficient process.

Lynda Hambourger – Distance Education

A primary function of DELTA’s distance education services is to provide timely, supportive academic advising. This is a crucial resource for prospective and continuing non-degree students who pursue studies in preparation for admission to a degree program, for career enhancement, or for a new career.  It was with great confidence that Dr. Lynda Hambourger was selected to serve as DELTA’s new Distance Education Academic Adviser beginning in January 2007. Her lengthy advising experience at NC State, now exceeding 25 years, made her uniquely qualified to help students from a variety of backgrounds achieve their educational and career goals. Lynda’s many student interactions affirm the vital need for readily available, expert advising and mentoring services. During the 2008-2009 academic year Lynda assisted over 1200 students, logging more than 1,800 student e-mail, telephone and in-person contacts. She regularly assists students with transcript evaluations and working with DELTA’s DE Administrative Services staff to ensure enrollment in course sections with prerequisite restrictions. Her student interactions provide feedback on their concerns and issues, allowing us to modify services as needed. Her review and suggested revisions of DELTA’s Distance Education and UNC Online’s web content, application and enrollment forms, and other materials resulted in improved student communications and our responsiveness to student needs.

Lynda excels in providing personalized academic advising to prospective and current distance education students, helping students define and develop realistic academic and career goals.   Her commitment to positive yet realistic academic advising has proven to be a successful step towards minimizing repetitive, negative academic performance. Lynda’s sincere interest in helping students achieve positive outcomes is readily noted in the “Thank You’s” and positive feedback she regularly receives. In many instances Lynda works with non-degree students towards successful admission into a degree program at NC State. Students regularly share the good news of their acceptance with Lynda. It is with a great sense of pride and accomplishment that all of us in DELTA can share in congratulating these students. The overall positive impact of her academic advising will lead over time to increased student success rates and improved student-faculty relationships.

In addition to student advising services Lynda serves as ombudsman for distance learner advisees, interacting with university administrators, faculty and staff in support of students’ academic and personal development needs. She works closely with other campus partners in efforts to optimize student services, seeking opportunities to recognize and address concerns and issues unique to distance learners. Lynda also makes every effort to facilitate distance learners’ connection to NC State, fostering a strong sense of community.

David Howard – Instructional Support Services

David brings so much to DELTA – a certain energy, the ability to look at issues from a high level and say “let’s define the problem” before we begin a solution, caring and compassion for his supervisees, who know that they can go to David at any time for anything, and a listening ear for his colleagues, who respect both his subject matter expertise knowledge as well as his people skills. As his supervisor, I find him to be an extremely hard working, effective employee who does a fantastic job of managing his staff, and a voice of reason that I can count on when I, too, need a sounding board.

I am remiss for not nominating David for this award already, but to emphasize why I am doing this now, let me just talk about, at a very high level, a few selective things that David has done over the past year that I have been especially proud of, and that I feel has moved DELTA forward in very positive ways. In terms of this award, I would especially like to note David’s leadership on the job and his effectiveness at building relationships and collaborate with others.

(1) David has pulled together a high-performing Instructional Design team, and has provided ongoing leadership, structure, feedback and guidance for this team – which has taken a lot of his time over the past year. We’ve had turnover on this team in the past on the ID, due to several employees’ personal circumstances outside of our control – including one particularly difficult circumstance that would have been trying for any manager. However, David has persevered (and basically at one point kept the ID function running single-handedly), and he has built an extremely strong team that is responsive to our clients – from creating courses through IDEA grants to working with Rebecca to ensure that time is allocated for important initiatives, such as the upcoming MBA program. Speaking of IDEA grants, David has built and encouraged a very collaborative review process, so that multiple voices are heard. David’s leadership has been essential in all of this.

(2) David has actively contributed to increasing DELTA morale this past year through his work with the Activities committee and beyond. He was very involved in all aspects of the committee, including taking a major leadership role in organizing the 2009 DELTA holiday party. He also helped co-host a pig-pickin’ last summer on the weekend on his own time with Mike Cuales, where everyone in DELTA was invited. And he helped start the “dessert Monday” concept – mostly to continue to build relationships between the ID and MMS staff – but this bringing and sharing of food on Monday’s in the VII breakroom could certainly expand; and folks outside the ID and MMS production teams have indeed stopped by for dessert.

(3) David provides collaborative leadership and builds relationships not only within DELTA and NC State, but externally, too. When NC State hosted the Tri-IT conference a year ago, it was David who organized/led that initiative, which was a success. When last year’s TLT conference took place, David helped coordinate the Instructional Design Interest Group session so that the NC State ID community could attend some of the virtual sessions together, and then have a forum for discussion afterwards. Over the past year and as recent as the past month, David has been working with UNC General Administration on quality standards for online courses, and has represented our campus well in these collaborations. I am never hesitant to assign David to any project with an external client because I know that we are in excellent hands, and that he will make us proud and represent DELTA and NC State well.

(4) David has really helped influence the LMS discussion. Even though this particular project was not specifically assigned to him, he has taken an interest and really helped us think through some of the bigger picture issues, and he has attended committee meetings. I simply use this as an example of David’s willingness to assert leadership and be involved in areas outside of his regularly assigned duties, and his useful contributions to these areas. He is simply someone who enjoys being involved, and even better, always contributes positively!

David is an outstanding employee and I think he needs to be recognized for his leadership, his people skills, and his commitment to DELTA. Again, I have simply given you a few examples above of what I view as excellent leadership and collaboration skills in an employee that we absolutely want to keep. His accomplishments over time, and especially his work in the past year, truly are deserving of recognition.

Alexis Simison – Finance and Business

Since joining DELTA just over a year ago, Alexis has accomplished the following:  Increased moral during a tough budget year:  Alexis created the “Shout Out” program internal to DELTA that requires no monetary cost, but is rather a feel-good program.  This program allows fellow coworkers/staff/supervisors the ability to recognize someone for a job well done, nice deed, etc.  This program has boosted moral and has really taken off in DELTA.  We have a cork board in the break-room that displays all of the Shout Outs and we will soon have it on line for everyone to view.  Customer Service:  Alexis has strengthened and established relationships within DELTA by providing excellent customer service as DELTA’s personnel representative.  Alexis is always willing to take the time to work through any personnel issue or questions that may arise.  Alexis’ door is always open and inviting (and she always has some good candy). Innovative Ideas:  Alexis has wonderful innovative ideas and processes that she has incorporated into the personnel side of the business office.  Alexis is in the early stages of creating a DELTA ToolKit, which will allow DELTA employees a more intuitive way of finding out “how to……..?” pertaining to personnel questions. All around, Alexis Simison, has been a wonderful asset to the business office, as well as to DELTA.