SPOT Award Archive
Nominator: Shirley Schermer
I would like to nominate Lynn Alex for this quarter’s SPOT award. Lynn’s activities through the Education and Outreach Program consistently meet the goals in the OSA Strategic Plan. I will just present some highlights. Her organization and “shepherding” papers on the Meskwaki for an upcoming Wisconsin Archaeologist journal volume and her co- organization of and presentation at a symposium at the 2008 WAC meeting addresses Goal 1.1. Many of the strategies and tactics under Goals 2-4 are routinely addressed by her activities or activities she gently, but successfully, involves other OSA staff--preparing and presenting media spots and educational materials, strengthening liaison with K-12 educators, developing curriculum, partnering with public and private agencies and organizations, providing job shadowing opportunities for numerous students, and co-editing the Iowa Archeological Society newsletter.
Nominator: Mike Perry
I nominate Mark Anderson. Mark’s work with Iowa Academy of Science, his leadership in reorganizing the comparative chert collection and making it available online, and the numerous public presentations he has given enhance the public perception of OSA, support our mission, and contribute to Strategic Planning Goals 1 (Strategy 1, Tactic 4; Strategy 5, Tactic 16), 3 (Strategy 2, Tactic 56,; Strategy 3, Tactic 58), and 5 (Strategy 1, Tactic 78).
Michael J. Perry
Nominator: Linda Langenberg
I would like to nominate Eleisha Barnett for a SPOT Award. Eleisha has been a very reliable employee, through rain, sleet or snow, since October of 2006. Eleisha first started as a Work-Study student, but has since graduated to Bi-Weekly status. Eleisha has willingly undertaken any project that has been asked of her, and we all know that’s asking a lot! If you want to know anything about scanning, Eleisha is the “queen”. Keep up the good work!
Nominator: Mary De La Garza
I would like to nominate Tricia Bender for a Spot award. Tricia has been working with me on the OSA website and various computer tasks for several years now and is such a valuable addition to my program. I shudder to think of ever having to work without her. She is amazingly talented, hard working and over-all the person I trust the most to get the job of Systems Administration done. In addition to her hard work, she is also an amazing researcher and troubleshooter. Whenever I give her a task she is always quick to find the necessary information and gets the job done with or without my guidance. With little direction from me she does her job well and is a pleasure to work with.
Tricia is an awesome addition to my team and I am very proud to have her at my side web managing and system administrating. Thank you for your consideration in this matter and remember, I admire Tricia’s work ethic above all and I think she is deserving of a spot award.
Nominator: Kevin Verhulst
I would like to nominate Carrie Christman for the SPOT award for her tenacity and dedication for the past 8 months of hard work at 13PK966 the Palace site in Des Moines. She has shown fantastic dedication for archaeology while dealing with -20 degree wind chills in January and February, keeping us going through the potential flood of an ice dam break in March, and now in April and May through 2 tornado warnings and multiple sever thunderstorms. Without Carrie there to give us mental support and to boost morale everyday while we shovel-skimmed through expanding clay cm by little cm, I don't know how we could have made it through the past half of a year. Carrie has successfully guided and helped the people working out at the Palace site through her kindness and selflessness resulting in some great archaeological finds. Thanks to her efforts we have all worked through some trying times but have succeeded in furthering our knowledge of the archaic life ways of Iowa.
Nominator: John Hall
I would like to nominate Angela Collins for the OSA SPOT award. Over the past three years, Angela’s contributions to OSA’s RAGBRAI outreach have gone well beyond her primary duties as a Project Archaeologist. The information booklets that are produced for the outreach were a success from that very first year, and have gained in popularity each year since, and Angela’s graphic design skills are the reason for that. She readily takes suggestions and collaborates well, while infusing and retaining her own creativity in the project. Along with the booklets, Angela has also helped create posters, banners, signs, and Team Archaeology’s, now iconic, cycling jerseys for our outreach; all of which display her creative talents. It’s safe to say that our RAGBRAI outreach efforts wouldn’t have been as successful without her.
Nominator: Sarah Horgen
I would like to nominate Jim Collins for the OSA Spot award. Jim has worked for the Highway Archaeology Program here at the OSA for 21 years. During this time Jim has actively participated in the discovery, research, and dissemination of archaeological information by producing numerous technical reports, professional papers, and peer-reviewed publications on a variety of archaeological related topics. Jim’s recent research on annular-stamped pottery, Native American circle symbolism, and gendered ritual space at the Dolomite Ridge site helped increase the formal links with the Museum of Natural History during their Biosphere hub opening with a special exhibit and public presentation. Jim also has promoted OSA’s current contributions to the public by his research associated with the Folkert Mound Group in Hardin County. The quality and insight Jim puts forth on his projects and research activities is second to none. Jim has been a mentor to many during his tenure here, and his character and work ethic encourages people around him to strive to do the best job that they can. Jim is always willing to help colleagues with problems, give a helping hand, or just listen no matter what the circumstance. Jim’s efforts and contributions help enhance the OSA’s mission and strategic plan and his dedication and passion to the profession is why he deserves to be recognized with the spot award.
Nominator: Steve Lensink
I nominate John Cordell for an OSA Spot Award. When this summers flood waters of the Iowa River threatened our facility, John became a pivotal figure in the rescue efforts to save the archaeological collections curated in the basement of the Clinton Street Building. This was an extra-meritorious contribution that far exceeded John’s responsibilities as the manager of the collections constituting the Iowa Archaeological Repository. John’s long and conscientious hours painstakingly organizing the effort to first move the collections to “higher ground” and then equally methodically returning every specimen to its correct location was both an inspiration to those who assisted as well and a lasting contribution to the archaeological legacy represented by the collections. John’s efforts will help OSA to realize one of its major strategic goal—Goal 1: “To advance research and scholarly enterprise related to Iowa and mid-continent archaeology” by maintaining the integrity of the one of OSA’s most important research assets and allowing OSA to realize its objective of maintaining “the OSA repository and archives to foster interdisciplinary and international research.”
Nominator: Kayla Resnick
I would like to nominate Matt Cretzmeyer for this quarter’s SPOT award. While recently scanning through the Past Winner’s Archives, I was surprised to see he hadn’t yet been recognized. Matt is widely known around the office for his great attitude, and his willingness to take on any and every task. Working in the field with him, even under less than ideal conditions, is always a pleasure.
Matt has become a valuable resourceful for helping the OSA reach multiple goals outlined in the Strategic Plan. His outreach work on RABGRAI and willingness to train new undergraduate volunteers in the lab are excellent examples of Goals 1 and 3. For these and many other reasons, Matt is most certainly deserving of this award.
|Mary De La Garza|
Nominator: Kayla Resnick
I nominate Mary De La Garza as a candidate for this quarter's SPOT award. Mary consistently goes above and beyond in her duties as Systems Administrator and general IT goddess. Basic computer trouble-shooting, server maintenance, and managing office security issues are all part of a day's work (which can often go late into the evening) for Mary. The Office of the State Archaeologist employs a diverse group of individuals working on a whole variety of daily tasks, but none of them could function successfully without proper It support. In this way, Mary is linked to nearly all parts of the OSA's Mission and Strategic Plan.
Nominator: Mary De La Garza
I would like to nominate John Doershuk for an OSA Spot award. I have worked with John for 10 years, and through those years, have come to rely on his calm, rational interpretation of events beyond my control. He has become a great mentor for me and to this day I seek his advice on a broad spectrum of issues. As John’s responsibilities evolved and progressed over the years, I believe this calm, rational approach was what the OSA needed to get the office back on top. He has been a hard working advocate for the OSA, especially through university budget cuts and legal matters. And even though he juggles a busy schedule, he always keeps his door open for anyone needing guidance.
Outreach is another issue John has tremendous energy for, and throughout his tenure as State Archaeologist, the OSA has been in a positive spotlight, again and again. Because of that spotlight, John was able to ask for and receive funding for a new OSA outreach tent that the office and outreach teams benefit from, giving us a higher profile at every event, and within the university community.
Office Brown Bags are another great example of his outreach push. When John was awarded the State Archaeologist position, he asked for the funding of the office media room, in which we host countless presentation and classes.
In addition, as an instructor John has pointed many amazing students to the OSA and continued to support them in their education. Many of them have gone on to great careers and/or been motivated to pursue higher education goals. He acts as a liaison between the OSA and UI Anthropology department in an effort to build and strengthen both programs, as well as taking on the role of field school instructor for both the UI and Cornell College every other summer.
So in conclusion, it is with pleasure that I nominate him. Thank you for your time and consideration. Also I formally recuse myself from voting for John’s award as I am a member of the Spot committee.
Nominator: Cindy Peterson
I nominate Colleen Eck for a SPOT award. Her job performance is consistently outstanding, particularly with regard to her organizational prowess, her exceptional level of customer satisfaction, and her great, everyday kindness. Colleen is always willing to help colleagues, solving problems relating to site forms that are older than her, and computer mapping programs younger than Ambrose (her son). Colleen’s efforts directly contribute to achieving OSA’s Strategic Plan goals 1 and 2, respectively, by smoothly transferring archaeological information to those who need it and by providing this information to many, many public constituencies.
- Cindy Peterson
Nominator: Angela Collins
I would like to recommend Liz Fox for a SPOT award. She is highly skillful in the laboratory especially with keeping artifacts and technicians appropriately organized. Her energy appears boundless even when performing tedious tasks. Recent, she has taken volunteers and University of Iowa students under her wing to help wash and process materials from Lake Darling and other GPS projects. In this effort, Liz is contributing to OSA Strategic goal #1 of the 2010-2016 draft version which seeks to "create a learning experience about the human past that enriches the lives of undergraduates and helps them to become well-informed indivudals, lifelong learners, engaged citizens, and productive employees and employers."
Nominator: Lynn Alex
I nominate John Hall for OSA’s first hourly employee SPOT Award. John, along with OSA staff employee, Cindy Nagel, has displayed an exceptional performance going beyond the scope of his current job description and duties by suggesting a major outreach and engagement activity connected with the 2008 RAGBRAI event. John has already contributed hours of effort to the planning and organization of the project which promises to reach thousands of Iowans. This idea is innovative and has energized much of the OSA. This effort strikes at the heart of OSA’s Strategic Plan Goal 2 but also dovetails with Goals 4 and 5 that aspire to translate archaeological research into public programs that involve broad-based community participation and foster interoffice communication and collaboration.
- Lynn Alex
Nominator: Mary De La Garza
With regard to the SPOT award, I would like to nominate Alan Hawkins. In addition to Alan’s Hawkins appointment as a Research Archaeologist Alan has served as the IAS Treasurer since 2007 and as the Membership Secretary since 2005. He has been with the OSA since 1998. His dedication to service at the OSA is evident in his willingness to go above and beyond his duties as an archaeologist and is detailed below.
Extra Office Duties:
In October of 2007 I was stricken with a very serious back condition. In which I could not come into work for 3 months. Alan volunteered to be my hands and back while I was out. He took instruction from me and followed through with me even when at times I was hard to understand because of the medication I was on. He was always ready to help and was positive and supportive of my situation.
He actively participates in the office Information Technology program promoting good practices within the Department. He has over the last few years volunteered to help me with numerous projects and was instrumental in the rollout and completion of Identity finder software for his Department. With out his help I would still be running scans.
He actively participates in the IAS as the Treasurer and as the Membership Secretary.
If further information is required for this nomination, please feel free to contact me. I sincerely hope that you will support Alan’s nomination as he would be a worthy recipient deserves recognition for the tireless support he gave me while I was ill.
Mary De La Garza
Nominator: Dan Horgen
I would like the committee to consider John Hedden for the OSA SPOT Award. John has worked for the Highway Archaeology Program here at the OSA for 18 years. During this time, John has actively collaborated with colleagues within the office on several research topics, most recently an article on the historic Meskawaki fur trade era and a GIS model on the identification of historic farmstead sites. John has recently held board positions for both the Association of Iowa Archaeologists and the Plains Anthropological Society, which strengthens the department's strategic plan. John routinely gives research papers at professional meetings and participates in public outreach events above and beyond his job description. John's participation during the Iowa Archaeology RAGBRAI event was first rate and his actions reflect positively on the department and strengthen public awareness about Iowa archaeology. John is always available to consult with colleagues and his good humor and hard work ethic help enhance the OSA's mission. These are just a few examples of why John deserves to be recognized with the SPOT Award.
Nominator: John Hedden
I would like to nominate Dan Horgen for the OSA Spot Award. Dan has worked at the OSA for a number of years and has gone above and beyond the call of duty in service to the OSA on a number of occasions. Not only has Dan been an outstanding fieldworker for the HAP and the GCP he has recently worked on a number of projects which enhance the Office's strategic goals. Dan has worked to expand and strengthen the Office of the State Archaeologist outreach efforts as a past volunteer at the Iowa State Fair and as one of the support personnel for OSA RAGBRAI Archaeology week. Dan has also played a role in the recent efforts in promoting the stewardship of the archaeological record by working on the digitization of Highway Archaeology Program Project Completion Reports. I think Dan would be a deserving recipient of this award as an appreciation for all of his efforts at making the OSA a better place to work.
Nominator: John Hall
I nominate Dan Horgen for the SPOT award. Dan, along with Sarah Horgen and Linda Langenberg, were the support crew for Team Archaeology. Dan went well beyond the scope of his normal duties at the OSA as a member of Team Archaeology, and was an integral part of our outreach efforts on RAGBRAI in July. Each day Dan would be up in the morning, at the same time as the riders, packing up tents, and packing the vans for our trek to the next town. While the riders were out on the road, Dan would leap-frog to the next town with the vehicles, to scope out our new campsite. He and his crew would then set up everyone’s tents, including the riders, ice down the water and Gatorade, and set up camp chairs and a shade tent for when the riders got in. Once that was completed, he would then make contact with our sponsor for that overnight town and proceed to set up our table and all of the display materials for our presentations. Not an easy task when there’s 15,000-20,000 people on bikes and in vehicles, creating traffic problems in the small towns. Once the presentations were finished for the evening, Dan broke down the displays and packed them back into the van. He did all of these tasks, each day of RAGBRAI. It would be a mistake to overlook Dan’s contributions to our outreach as it would not have been as successful had he not been along.
Nominator: Carl Merry
I nominate Julie Hoyer for an OSA Spot Award. The OSA’s archives are a valuable asset for interdisciplinary research, and few take more pride in its excellence than Julie does. She is well regarded by staff and visitors for her comprehensive knowledge of library systems and procedures. Julie can be counted on to give helpful advice and solutions no matter how common or obscure the request for materials might be. More than simply organizing and finding materials, she’ll gladly point researchers to additional holdings of the archives, on the shelves or through electronic resources, that contain useful research materials. She is especially knowledgeable with documents relating to the long history of the office, and the sometimes multiple locations in which they are cross-referenced and housed. She cares deeply about her work, which readily translates into customer satisfaction. Julie’s work helps OSA to realize its strategic plan goals, including Goal 2, enabling student and professional participation in OSA research through “access to OSA’s extensive document and material collection.”
Nominator: Maria Schroeder
I would like to nominate Marlin Ingalls for the SPOT Award. Marlin recently finished a rather substantial report entitled "Iowa's Historic Automobile Roads: A National Register Study of Pre-1948 Arterial Highways". This report has been very well received by the Iowa Department of Transportation and Many of our research peers. Marlin did an outstanding job in harvesting research from archived resources and integrating it with data collected in the field.
While working on this nearly seven year project, he completed other projects as assigned. And he still made his expertise in historic research available in a very approachable manner. Like I like to say, "Can't figure out what something is? Go ask Marlin."
Nominator: Melody Pope
On behalf of GCP, in recognition of his hard work, dedication and a job well done, we are proud to nominate Bryan Kendall for a SPOT award for his involvement with the Lost Canyon and Whitewater Canyon archaeological survey initiative in partnership with the Conservation Boards of Jones and Dubuque counties. Bryan directed investigations working with AmeriCorps volunteers, OSA staff, and Wapsi Valley in a collaborative and truly community archaeology project that identified 28 historic properties, 18 of which were recommended as potentially eligible for NRHP listing. Bryan documented a diverse array of archaeological properties including rock shelters, caves, and open air prehistoric sites, an historic Boy Scout cabin and a CCC dam. Over the course of the nearly three year project, Bryan also gave several public presentations and met with local avocational archaeologists, which in one case led to a donation to the OSA repository. Bryan has gone the distance and beyond, in contributing to OSA’s mission of developing, disseminating and preserving knowledge about Iowa’s distant past.
Nominators: Shirley Schermer and Mike Perry
I would like to nominate Linda Langenberg for an OSA SPOT award. She tirelessly helped make last fall's MAC a success. She worked on a multitude of tasks from pre-conference details, putting together packets, registration, clean-up, and anything else that needed to be done. While she was not the only person that worked on these tasks, I know that she put in a large number of hours toward their completion. This is just one example of her cheerful and determined efforts to help support the mission of OSA.
For her efforts with the 2009 MAC conference, I nominate Linda Langenberg for a SPOT award. Linda ran the registration table and assisted John with other important arrangements, like the refreshment table, organizing registration packets, and supervising volunteers. All this was on top of her regular assigned duties heading up our front office which she has handled with grace and skill for over 20 years.
Steve Lensink has tirelessly expressed his commitment to the Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA). His commitment has been proven many times over through his participation on boards, membership in various professional and amateur societies, and authoring or co-authoring many grant proposals. His work not only reflects the University of Iowa’s mission and service goals but also the OSA.
Steve has been a member of the Iowa Archeological Society (IAS) since I can remember. He also has served on the board, once again since I can remember. He has put in many long hours to create and promote a greater public interest in the prehistoric cultures of Iowa. This is most evident in the newsletter he has co-edited over the last two years. His contributions to the IAS encourage all to become researchers through discovery, marking, preservation and recording of the monuments and remains of ancient people as an integral part of the history of Iowa. Steve also serves on the University of Iowa Collections Coalition, the Guidelines Committee for the Association of Iowa Archaeologists, and the advisory committee for the Plum Grove Historical Site, which is managed by the State Historical Society of Iowa.
As you can see from the above he is very comfortable working with outside research entities and “reaching across the aisle”. Through his grant proposals which he has been the primary author or principal investigator, he has included private and other university based research groups. His Transportation Enhancement Grant for the Loess Hills study not only included the General Contracts Program but also Tall Grass Historians. And with the new economic stimulus package just accepted by our own governor Culver, I am sure Steve’s next “shovel ready” Transportation Enhancement Grant project, work on Glenwood culture with Joe Tiffany of the Mississippi Valley Archaeological Center, will be accepted at the next round of awards.
Steve’s desire to share and develop archaeological research across the Midwest is also evident through his help in securing the University of Iowa as the host for the Midwest Archaeological Conference this fall
And finally, Steve’s dedication to digitizing our archives and making sure it is done in a way that makes them researchable and of top quality has been very appreciated by all archives users.
Nominator: John Doershuk
It is with great pleasure and heartfelt gratitude that I nominate Robin Lillie for an OSA SPOT Award in recognition of her now completed tenure as OSA Human Resources Representative. The duties of HR Rep were thrust upon Robin with no regard for her already busy schedule and numerous other commitments but she graciously accepted the role. Robin conscientiously “geared up” by attending a series of training courses and talking through details with various staff members at central HR. Her good-natured persistence and helpful attitude assisted many OSA employees through a variety of complicated HR forms such as everyone’s favorite, the Workers Comp First Report of Injury. Robin helped organize the all-OSA staff Sexual Harassment training session last fall and the UI Wellness session for the staff this past spring. I’m happy to say it was easy to spot Robin doing a great job as our HR Rep!
Nominator: Blane Nansel
I would like to nominate Carl Merry for a SPOT award. During his many years of service to the OSA, first as a Project Archaeologist, and, since 1987 as Program Director for the Highway Archaeology Program, Carl has served as an exemplar of professionalism and commitment to OSA’s mission and to the cultural heritage of the State of Iowa. During his time as Program Director, Carl has worked closely with the Iowa Department of Transportation in developing appropriate plans to meet the Department’s needs for transportation improvements across the state while maintaining a highly ethical and professional commitment to seeing that cultural resources potentially impacted by proposed projects are given their due consideration and treatments. His fair dealings and good relations with the Department of Transportation have resulted in their renewing their multi-million dollar contract with the OSA every year since he has been Program Director. In dealing with HAP staff, Carl has always acted in a fair minded, levelheaded way with an even temperament. He has twice served on the State National Register of Historic Places Review Committee, as well as on the Historical Resource Development Program Grant Review Panel, The Certified Local Government Panel, and the Country School Grant Review Panels at the State Historical Society of Iowa. In all of his activities, Carl has shown to be a thoughtful, caring, and extremely positive representative for the HAP and for the OSA.
Nominator: Lynn Alex
“I nominate Cindy Nagel for OSA’s first SPOT Award. She, along with hourly employee John Hall, has displayed an exceptional performance going beyond the scope of her current job description and duties by suggesting a major outreach and engagement activity connected with the 2008 RAGBRAI event. She has contributed hours of effort to the planning and organization of the project which promises to reach thousands of Iowans. This idea is innovative and has energized much of the OSA. This effort strikes at the heart of OSA’s Strategic Plan Goal 2 but also dovetails with Goals 4 and 5 that aspire to translate archaeological research into public programs that involve broad-based community participation and foster interoffice communication and collaboration.” – Lynn Alex
Nominator: Angela Collins
I would like to nominate Adam Newman for a SPOT award based on his excellent work throughout the last two years on the REX project. He started as a crew chief during the Phase I and expanded his duties considerably during the Phase II site investigations to coordinate up to 30 technicians and three crew chiefs in order to complete 42 sites. His commitment to GCP and the project must have been strong, because he stayed on and took the role of Field Director for one of the two crews at the mitigation of site 23PI294. Most impressive is that he has demonstrated a fantastic ability to deal with the stresses brought on by REX. Overall, he has performed excellently and I believe he deserves recognition for a job well done. I can whole-heartedly say that the GCP would not be in such a good standing without his dedicated work.
Nominator: Robin Lillie
“I would like to nominate Michael Perry for the Spot Award. His recent and ongoing work with the Ellison Orr papers and his service to the Iowa Archeological Society as director and now as editor of the JIAS are just two of Mike’s many accomplishments and contributions to the OSA. Mike has been on board for nearly 28 years. He assisted me this past fall for several days on the Dubuque Third Street Cemetery project and his exacting field methods proved essential to finding material that may otherwise have been missed by a less qualified individual. I highly recommend that Mike be recognized for his many years and continuing service to the OSA.” - Robin Lillie
Nominator: Joe Artz
“I nominate Mike Perry. He's been with HAP since Creation, and has consistently done quality work for the DOT. In addition, he founded OSAs chert comparative collection. His work in recent years with the Keyes site has been significant, and has involved using aerial photographs and map sources to determine more precise locations of sites and excavations recorded in Keyes' (and others') often cryptic notes. He's been an example and mentor to many of us.” - Joe Alan Artz
Nominator: Lynn M. Alex
I nominate Cindy Peterson for an OSA Spot Award. Cindy is one of the most capable archaeologists I know. Her research initiatives are exceptional from start to finish. She identifies and secures grant funding, directs major, complex projects with large crews, takes a hands-on approach to analysis while cheerfully encouraging those assisting her, and writes remarkably interesting reports—an art in itself. Her individual research is detailed and comprehensive, and no aspect from the most rudimentary to the highly technical seems to challenge her capabilities. She is confident and proficient while at the same time courteous and cheerful to those who contribute to her projects, especially volunteers. Such thoughtfulness extends to landowners, collectors, and native descendants.
Cindy’s service on the State Preserves Advisory Board and her recent, highly commendable National Register nominations have directly resulted in the preservation of both archaeological and natural resources. These professional initiatives and her own personal demeanor and integrity have certainly advanced OSA’s mission to develop, disseminate, and preserve knowledge of Iowa’s human past and furthered OSA’s strategic plan goals 3-5.
Lynn M. Alex
Nominator: Mark Anderson
I am pleased to nominate Dr. Melody Pope for a 2011 SPOT Award.
Good mentors are folks who tell us that “extra stuff” as we learn and develop in our chosen field. Great Mentors are those folks who actually get us “hands-on” experience in career learning and development. Melody has a background full of lithic experimentation and learning that has been transferred to her students. After all, educational research shows that 85% of us are kinesthetic learners: we learn best when actively involved in “doing” whatever it is we are trying to grasp. Starting with lithic technology demos in her class, Melody has offered students the opportunity to continue learning with such projects as fish spearing and butchering experiments, and cattail harvesting and processing experiments. Both of these projects also included the application of high-powered microscopes for use-wear identification. These student-guided experiments have been accomplished through successful undergraduate research funding affording the learner exposure to the financial side of research as well. Future student mentoring is planned by Melody, and based on the success of past opportunities, more students will benefit from her expert tutoring.
Nominator: Colleen Eck
I would like to nominate Amy Pegump for the SPOT award.
Amy is a relatively recent member of the OSA staff but has quickly become an integral part of our unit. With her knowledge of how our office works, she hit the ground running and is an efficient and personable addition to our office.
Amy enthusiastically fulfills her role as HR representative for the entire office, always taking a personal interest in the well-being of everyone she represents. She is a very professional and dependable employee who has made my interactions with various agencies much easier on both me and the agencies involved. If she is not sure about a form or process, she will find out and has not failed me yet! She is patient and supportive and always willing to help out her coworkers. She is active in volunteering and excited to learn more about archaeology in addition to all her regular duties. We are indeed lucky to have Amy on our staff here at the OSA.
Nominator: Carl Merry
To the Spot Award Committee:
I nominate Eloise Ramirez for an OSA Spot Award. The OSA is in the process of creating the definitive “digital library” on Iowa archaeology, and when the call went out for volunteers to assist in this endeavor, Eloise immediately stepped to the plate to help with organizing the Highway Archaeology Program’s Project Completion Report series for conversion to PDFs. Eloise’s highly conscientious and meticulously executed efforts have greatly assisted in making sense of the nearly 1,400 PRCs authored by the HAP over the last 38 years. These documents constitute vitally important sources of information on Iowa archeology. Thus Eloise’s work will help OSA to realize one of its major strategic goals—Goal 1: “To advance research and scholarly enterprise related to Iowa and mid-continent archaeology” by maintaining the integrity of the one of OSA’s most important research assets and allowing OSA to realize its objective of maintaining “the OSA repository and archives to foster interdisciplinary and international research.” Eloise’s organizational skills and dedication have been, and continue to be, essential elements in building the OSA digital archives.
Nominator: Joe Artz
There are strange things done in the midnight sun
In the great state of Alasker.
Among us today is one who may
Tell about them if you ask her.
The Northern Lights have done us right
By sending to Ioway
The one whom I hail, a gal named Kayla
Who works at the OSA.
In Bowling Green, she was the Queen,
Served admirably at Lake Darlin'
And as you might guess, at ArcGIS
She knows a lot more than Marlin.
No surprise to hear that she does preserve
In weather both cold and hot
Let's give our "Hell Yez!" to good Kayla Rez'
By putting her on the SPOT.
Nominator: Colleen Eck
In honor of her exceptional service to our office, I would like to nominate Melanie Riley, GIS Specialist, for a Spot Award. She is receiving her Master’s degree in GIS as a result of her dedication to the Geospatial department here at the OSA.
She started at the OSA as a volunteer on the Bowen’s Prairie dig in Jones County. After that was over, she was enrolled at the UI as an anthropology undergrad student, and asked me if there were any work study opportunities in our office. We happily added her to the Site Records crew where she developed and honed her GIS skills working on various projects for me and Joe. She expanded her interests into Geoarchaeology, working with Joe on various projects for the OSA. Her decision to pursue an MA in GIS was greeted with enthusiasm in our office.
She has assisted in many special projects using her extensive knowledge of GIS and ArcGIS software specifically. She has been developing tools with the new LIDAR coverage to aid in remote sensing in Iowa in a way that has never been available before. Her enthusiasm for archaeology and GIS is infectious and our office is poised to be on the cutting edge of that technology for use in archaeology, just like the rest of our GIS programs have been. She gladly helps others in the office, substituting for me during my maternity leave and other times. Melanie has written help files and special tools for the rest of the office to use with ArcGIS, even giving a demonstration for the entire office when we all moved over to ArcGIS from ArcView, an admittedly difficult task. In light of all she contributes to our office, I think Melanie should be the next SPOT award recipient.
Site Records Manager
Nominator: Colleen Eck
I recommend that Shirley Schermer receive an OSA SPOT Award. I can think of no one else at
OSA who has contributed as significantly to all areas ofOSA's mission: research, discovery,
public stewardship, service and education.
Shirley has served OSA, the state of Iowa, and the discipline of anthropology nationally and
internationally through research and publication as well as her appointment to numerous regional
and national boards and committees including the Iowa Archeological Society Board of
Directors, Iowa's State Preserves Advisory Board, Society for American Archaeology Public
Education Committee, and the Project Archaeology National Advisory Team (to name a few).
Through her meticulous standards of professionalism and diplomacy she has advanced Iowa's
relationship with descendant peoples, especially indigenous groups, and forged working
relationships with many other constituents.
While her own position at OSA' s takes a 1 00% degree of effort, Shirley's expertise and counsel
is sought for almost every major project. or decision at OSA. I personally appreciate that while
she has a quiet, soft-spoken demeanor, she also has a backbone of steel and standards of integrity
few can match.
Nominator: Bill Whittaker
I hereby nominate Andy Sorensen for a Spot Award. Andy willingly took on extra responsibly during excavations without extra compensation in Missouri and exhibited an admirable calmness under pressure, this allowed a very complex project to proceed successfully. Andy shows a willingness to increase his education in geology and soils, which makes him more valuable to the OSA, he has done this on his own time. During excavations in Glenwood in December, he voluntarily risked frostbite in sub-zero wind chills to complete a soil coring project that greatly increased our understanding of the site layout, and in his own time wrote up his results for publication in the IAS Newsletter.
Nominator: Marlin Ingalls
I would like to nominate Maria Schroeder for a Spot Award.
Since becoming the research assistant for the Architectural History section of the HAP, Maria has been an asset both to the Architectural History section of the HAP program and to the OSA in general. Her unflagging efforts have also been especially effective in providing guidance and expertise to local AIA chapter members and collectors. Maria has always been eager to help in the OSA’s outreach efforts by engaging anyone interested in archaeology at any level.
Maria’s efforts in the production of the Historic Roads Report were critical to the successful completion of that long term project. Her varied skills in organization, photography, mapping, site data, and just the ordeal of driving nearly 20,000 miles are only a few of her contributions to both that effort and to the OSA in general.
Marlin R. Ingalls
Nominators: Steve Lensink & Cindy Peterson
We nominate Clayton Schuneman for a SPOT award. Clayton’s work in the field and lab greatly aid in achieving OSA’s mission. In the lab, he has gone above and beyond the normal call of duty, particularly with regard to his assistance in the recent floor remodeling. Clayton continually expresses a desire to learn new archaeology skills, and once learned, he consistently performs them far above par. His work is meticulous and he has an upbeat attitude, making the lab a more pleasant place to work.
Steve Lensink & Cindy Peterson
Nominator: Bill Whittaker
I hereby nominate Anton Till for a Spot Award for his exemplary contributions to the General Contacts Program and the OSA. He has endured literally thousands of hours performing the most thankless task imaginable: monitoring construction in areas where there was virtually no chance for an archaeological site. Not only has he stood in the rain, sun, wind, snow, and ice for weeks on end staring at muddy pits, he has done it with good cheer and Zen-like acceptance. Because of his work, we can rest easier that important sites are not being destroyed. Although he was awarded the GCP Trophy for Excellence last year, and is an obvious finalist for this year’s trophy, I feel that he deserves recognition from the whole OSA for his efforts.
Nominator: Bill Whittaker
I’d like to nominate Kevin Verhulst for a spot award. Kevin has proven to be an intelligent, cheerful, resourceful field tech who is willing to take on extra work. In Missouri he accepted additional work duties without complaint. During a recent survey project in Des Moines county he volunteered to help after hours to help survey Fort Johnson, an important early historic War of 1812 site in Warsaw, Illinois. He has demonstrated flintknapping to the public numerous times at his own expense and on his own time. He was part of the successful RAGBRAI team that helped spread the word about Iowa archaeology across the state. In addition he has always been an eager student of archaeology, willing to learn as well as share.
Nominator: Bill Whittaker
I would like to nominate Bill Whittaker for the SPOT Award. Bill’s involvement in education and historic preservation can be seen in his numerous articles in various journals and publications as well as a book coming out this fall. Bill has worked with and collaborated with Glenn Storey to make many exciting discoveries at sites such as Fort Des Moines and Effigy Mounds using ground penetrating radar with results adding to our knowledge base of what lies beneath the ground without disturbing the sites. Bill’s studies have added an extra dimension to education of archaeology as GPR results are used in Glenn Story’s class as teaching aides. Bill has also contributed his knowledge of zoology and human usage in John Doershuk’s classes. He has interacted with students to enhance their understanding of materials presented to them in classes.
Bill is to be especially applauded for his efforts in creating public awareness of the plight of historic Fort Madison which stands in danger of destruction through commercial development. While Bill, as a University employee, is prohibited from lobbying state and federal legislators, he has been instrumental in creating and coordinating public awareness through listservs, articles, brown bags and other presentations, giving direction and helpful ideas on how best to conduct a campaign to encourage preservation of one of Iowa’s most important military forts.
Updated by Rob Flagg
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