Sharnice Burton, Stephen Chen and Paula Prouhet receive UMSL Hero Awards – UMSL Daily

This month’s UMSL Hero winners are (left to right) Sharnice Burton, Custodian; Stephen Chen, Registrar Specialist; and Paula Prouhet, Assistant Professor of Nursing and Director of the BSN Accelerated Program. (Photos by August Jennewein)

University of Missouri – St. Chancellor Louis Kristin Sobolik and her cabinet continue to recognize the exemplary efforts of staff and faculty across campus by awarding the UMSL Hero Award to up to three individuals each month.

This month’s recipients are Sharnice Burton, goaltender; Stephen Chen, Registrar Specialist; and Paula Prouhet, Assistant Professor of Nursing and Director of the BSN Accelerated Program.

Sharnice burton

Sharnice Burton found out that she had won a UMSL Hero Award as people started to come and congratulate her.

“It shocked me,” she said. “I said, ‘Thank you,’ then I said, ‘Well, let me ask you a few questions about what’s going on. Well, my hard work is paying off; someone recognizes it. I appreciate that.

Burton, who has been a custodian at UMSL for 15 years, has more than a few people who appreciate his hard work and good nature. Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Andy Kersten and Professor and Chairman of the Department of Philosophy Jon McGinnis nominated Burton for the Hero Award.

Kerston noted Burton’s precision, kindness, dedication to work, her efforts to get to know the people she works with and that she is an “exceptional colleague”.

“She loves UMSL,” McGinnis wrote in her appointment. “She always takes the time to chat with me, and I’ve heard she does the same with others in the building. What I remember most clearly is that in one of those conversations she said she just wanted to make sure Lucas is a place where students, staff and faculty feel at home. comfortable and appreciated. She ended up saying, “This is my little way of transforming lives. He is a person who embodies all that is best in the UMSL philosophy.

Getting to know those around him is one of the favorite parts of Burton’s job. She especially enjoys meeting students and often finds herself helping out in unexpected ways.

This could mean helping to carry books or talk to students about their struggles with school or life.

“I love people,” Burton said. “If I can say something to uplift you, to bring you a different energy, that’s what I want to do. You might not even know that you have an impact on someone’s life when you really are until later and then they come to thank you. I see it like it’s not that bad, but they see it in a different light, and I’m okay with that.

Burton got into cleaning because of her mother’s tradition of “General Cleaning Sunday”. This is something she passed on to her four children, one of whom is currently a student at UMSL.

“I have four of the best kids in the world,” she said. “They love their mother and their mother loves them. They know I only want the best for them, and I will sacrifice everything to make sure my kids are okay.

Stephen chen

As a Registrar Specialist, Stephen Chen assists with the many different behind-the-scenes processes that must occur with student records, and an important aspect of his role is to have a working knowledge of the various functions performed by the Office of Le clerk.

“I always compare it to being a utility on a baseball team,” he said. “I just play every position, wherever I am needed.”

Chen’s willingness to help anywhere in the Registrar’s office is one of the many reasons that Senior Project Coordinator Betsy Sampson nominated Chen for a UMSL Hero Award. She also highlighted her dedication to process improvement and exceptional customer service.

In addition to updating the system that allows professors to identify students who are missing classes and get them back on track, Chen has worked extensively with his colleagues to configure and improve the chat and Zoom communication system for the registration desk.

“All of this has really optimized the way we can help our students,” he said. “Our mission is to transform lives, and giving students more ways to connect with us so that we can help them has really helped us move towards this goal. “

Communication is an important thing for Chen, and he continually strives to improve his skills in this area by taking online courses. One technique he uses is to put yourself in the students’ shoes and think about their problems from the perspective of the student experience.

It’s no surprise that Chen goes above and beyond to better communicate and interact with students, as that’s his favorite part of his job. This is what made him want to work in higher education in the first place.

“I always enjoy working with students and providing help,” he said. “I know there are a lot of challenges that students face besides their academics. I was a first generation student myself, so I know that doing things like financial aid, getting loans, and going during office hours – all of that extra stuff – is tough, especially for first generation students. . I knew right away that I wanted to be in a career where I would work directly with students to help them with whatever they needed. Removing the barriers to a satisfying educational experience is very important to me.

Finding out that he had won the Hero Award for these efforts was really good.

“I’ve been here for almost five years now, and it’s great to be recognized as a hero of UMSL,” he said. “Even though this is an individual honor, I think my whole office, everyone at registration, we all deserve this honor, just because we work as a team and we wouldn’t have so much of success without the other. “

Paula Prouhet

As a child, Paula Prouhet wanted to be a teacher. She had put her dolls in a wicker basket, pretending to be a school bus, led them into the living room and set up an imaginary classroom.

But in college, she met friends in the nursing program and realized that she had another calling, so she changed her specialization and found her passion in the neonatal intensive care unit. .

“Coming to UMSL really combines the best of both worlds,” said Prouhet. “I love teaching patients at the bedside. I like having students with me in the unit. Empowering people with this education has always been my passion. If you are educated, you have the power. Knowledge is power. This has always been my driving force and my driving philosophy.

Since joining UMSL in 2012, Prouhet has worked in the Accelerated BSN program. She enjoys working with accelerated students, who often already have a bachelor’s degree or are in the process of changing careers.

“They are very motivated to become nurses,” she says. “It may be an exciting new career for them. It’s just a little different challenge with them and a little different mindset.

In her Prouhet appointment, Associate Professor Alicia Hutchings wrote about this devotion to her students.

“Paula is one of the best educators I have come across and her efforts are often underestimated,” Hutchings wrote. “Paula has always structured her course with the student experience in mind. She creates well-structured and organized courses, but in a way that students can relate to. She is compassionate and understands that students should be guided with grace. She sets high expectations while providing support and instruction to help them achieve those expectations.

Hutchings also noted Prouhet’s efforts to create effective online courses during COVID. This is something Prouhet found difficult but valuable, especially in the way it created flexibility for the students. She plans to use these techniques in the future as the BSN Accelerated Program examines the possibility of creating a hybrid program.

Prouhet is grateful to have won a Hero Award but admits she was surprised when she found out.

“I’m always a little embarrassed when faced with rewards,” she said. “What have I done to deserve it?” I’m just doing my job.

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