2016 Points of Excellence Recipients

Steve Peeler – Work Performance

Steve has served for 16 years at Truman. His efforts exceed far beyond his job title to improve and maintain the mechanical systems for better environments for Truman students. The 2015-2016 school year has included major mechanical system improvements and replacements. He has spent countless hours going over mechanical and control system drawings to ensure that they are compatible with Truman’s systems. Steve provides engineering advice on major systems, including air handlers, steam distribution, boilers, and plumbing. On a daily basis, he orders parts and maintains the campus buildings’ computerized control systems and mechanical systems. Steve regularly supports his fellow workers and gives his knowledge freely.

Heidi Templeton – Truman Values

Heidi works tirelessly to and for Truman. She is the first person to help anyone with any project and jumps in to do what needs to be done, not just what tasks she prefers to do. She is on call to Truman 24/7 and is always a face for the University. She is so caring and kind to students, faculty, staff, parents and the community. She has a deep-seated love for the University and truly cares! During Homecoming weekend, she showed up early on Friday and Saturday and helped until we were the last to leave. Everyone else dumped supplies and boxes in the offices and Heidi stayed to help me organize, sort and clean up. This was only two weeks following Parents Weekend, which she handles by herself with support from Travis, Deanna and a few students.

Tim Barcus – Work Performance

We would like to nominate Tim Barcus, Campus Photographer, for a Points of Excellence award. In particular, we would like to recognize him for his willingness to help, his kindness and flexibility, and his skills at putting others at ease. The quality of the photographic work he produces is very high and he carries that out, day in and day out, in challenging situations with a great deal of excitement and enjoyment. He is open and willing to share his work. We think he makes an excellent candidate for a Points of Excellence award and hope his nomination is considered very seriously indeed.

Ryan Miller – Work Performance

Ryan Miller embodies everything one should expect and hope for in an employee at Truman. Her years of experience in the professional/non-profit world, as well as being an alum from this institution, has lent itself well to exemplary work in her current role with McNair. She has unwavering support for the success of students, is innovative in thinking about ways to continue to improve the program to serve more students, and has been a great deal of help in my process of acculturating to the Truman environment. She also has a level of knowledge about diversity that seems to be rare in many spaces, which is comforting for me as a staff member of color. While Ryan works for McNair, she is always willing to help all students, staff, and faculty. Ryan does all things with a small and a hearty yes. She is an incredible addition to McNair and she makes the office environment bright and pleasant.


Brad Chambers – Innovation

Brad Chamber’s work as Truman’s planned giving officer helps secure the future for Truman State University. Along with his colleagues in Advancement, Brad has partnered with alumni and friends to grow the planned giving program, adding over $25 million to the Truman Foundation since 2008. Over $2.5 million has been added this fiscal year alone. All of these resources provide students and Truman State University with a greater foundation for the future. In addition, Brad has played a key role in initiating, proposing, planning, and shaping several new projects and events through the Advancement Office.

Bill Kuntz – Service to Students

Bill Kuntz has served as University farm manager since 2005. The responsibilities of the Farm Manager have expanded greatly in the time since Bill began his work in this role. Several new programs have been added to the farm and/or agricultural science department, some at Bill’s initiative, that have added to his work load and managerial scope. The Bulldog Biodiesel program, which recycles waste vegetable oil into fuel, is still in operation solely because of the organizational skills and dedication that Bill has devoted to the program since assuming responsibility for it. The Farm-to-School program has been responsible for bringing fresh produce to campus dining halls and to an on-campus farmer’s market. All of these new responsibilities have been additions to the already substantial workload of his position. In addition to performance of these job-specific duties, Bill is an outstanding mentor to many students. Bill is an indispensable part of the University.


Donna Fude – Truman Values

Donna Fude has served Truman for many years as office manager for Upward Bound. Donna has an impeccable grasp over all the details that make a department run smoothly, but that description only scratches the surface of her value to Truman. Donna’s ability to handle a complex program makes her an excellent employee, but it is her love for young people from diverse backgrounds that make her worthy of a Points of Excellence Award. In her role of supervising Truman students, Donna always made a point to get to know them and show interest in their ambitions and struggles. Donna is a great problem solver and a go-to person to find a solution to the many little issues that come up when you put 60 teenagers on a college campus for six weeks. In a crisis, Donna’s calm and supportive demeanor helped everyone deal with the issues at hand. Her days always start and end with a smile for everyone, with much laughter and kind words in between. Truman is a better place because Donna has chosen to work here.


Tim Baker – Service to Students

Tim Baker is long overdue for recognition of his extraordinary service to the students in our JINS Course on Leonardo DaVinci during the Spring 2015 semester. For that semester we sought someone who could balance out our own skills (focused in the arts) by providing insight into the significance of Leonardo’s efforts in engineering. Tim Baker proved to be the perfect candidate for this role – sharing his own remarkable background working with the Department of Defense and NASA, his love of Leonardo’s great genius in all things mechanical, and his irreplaceable aid in helping us to construct a bridge on the quad according to the original designs of Leonardo da Vinci. He and his wife even welcomed the class to their home, donated lumber from their land, and in many other ways carried the burden of this project from beginning to end. Furthermore, all of this service was provided in an unfailingly cheerful and positive manner that energized the class and made our time with the students among our favorite Truman memories.