October 21, 2021

VINCENNES, Ind. – The foundation of Vincennes University is its inspired, devoted, passionate, and benevolent faculty and staff. Individuals who make VU a better place are honored annually with Peer Recognition Awards, recognizing their contributions, achievements, dedication, and excellence.

 The 2021 Peer Recognition Award recipients are:

  • Lynn Altstadt, Outreach Advisor, Educational Talent Search

  • Cindy Beaman, Retired Director of University Events

  • Jennifer Compton, College Secretary, College of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics

  • Forrest Fairchild, Apartment Manager and Residence Hall Coordinator

  • Jamie Green, Payroll Associate

  • Amanda Haag, Mathematics Department Chair and Associate Professor

  • Gaye Walthall, Director of Student Success Center

"Congratulations and thank you to these award winners and to all of the amazing individuals here at VU," VU President Dr. Chuck Johnson said. "Our faculty and staff are at the heart of VU’s excellence and the Peer Recognition award winners represent the very best that Vincennes University has to offer."

Peers nominate VU faculty and staff based on exemplary service and performance. The President’s Advisory Committee selects the recipients. The 2021 award winners received their awards and were honored with a reception at Jefferson Student Union on Monday, Oct. 18.

Lynn Altstadt, Amanda Haag, Gaye Walthall, Forrest Fairchild, Jennifer Compton, and Jamie Green. Not pictured, Cindy Beaman.

ABOUT THE RECIPIENTS - These excerpts were taken from each award recipient’s nomination submission.

Lynn Altstadt, Outreach Advisor, Educational Talent Search

When the ETS target area schools went virtual in the spring of 2020, Lynn created a Google Classroom for each grade level to ensure that our students had access to ETS lessons and important ETS information. She negotiated with the local school corporation to get them on board with allowing the online Google platforms to work in all of the ETS target schools for the 2020-21 school year. During a staff vacancy, she went above and beyond to ensure our students received the services needed. Lynn has maintained the Google Classroom and tutoring online platforms. Not only for her students but for all 825 students that the ETS Program serves. VU thanks her for her dedication to our students during this unprecedented time.

Cindy Beaman, Retired Director of University Events

When the pandemic hit, we were not prepared. Nor was anyone for that matter. Cindy coordinated the Covid-19 contact tracing team for the entire 2020-21 school year. She spent many nights and weekends working cases, working with contact tracers, and working on policies. She was always willing to take a phone call to work out any issues, concerns, or questions a person might have. During this unpredictable time, she kept everyone feeling calm even during the height of our cases. She never complained about additional duties. Cindy was student-centered and always made decisions based on what was best for our students. VU was lucky to have Cindy leading our COVID team.

Jennifer Compton, College Secretary, College of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics

Jennifer loves a challenge. She carries out her normal duties as a college secretary with a high amount of energy and efficiency. It is the extra things that she has taken on that really make her stand out. She is the Chair of the SEM social media committee managing all Facebook and Instagram content. She is the coordinator of the University Transfer Fair. For the past three years, she has contacted over 30 colleges and coordinated the entire event. She also created a virtual event making sure all Zoom links were fully functioning. She coordinated the VU virtual open house and worked with all the college deans to create web pages and Zoom links for all programs. For Blazers Give Day, she spent hours creating over 60 minutes of video content for the College of SEM. The Foundation not only used the videos during the allotted time, but it also used them throughout the 24-hour period

Forrest Fairchild, Apartment Manager and Residence Hall Coordinator

Forrest is an exceptional employee who goes above and beyond his position duties every day, with a positive attitude and smile on his face. He is never too busy to help out. Forrest has worked to get the Housing department files and applications online. He works with Information Technology and CBORD employees to ensure housing webpages and online applications are working properly. He spends hours working with liaisons to correct any issues. Forrest has tirelessly offered his time and energy to assist the maintenance and custodial staff as they hurry to relocate departments during renovation moves. Forrest voluntarily arrives on campus after hours and assists maintenance with sandbagging and flooding cleanups. He shoveled snow to ensure one of our students and his assistance animal could move freely from building to building in his wheelchair without difficulty. Forrest inspires many students and staff to achieve their goals through perseverance and belief in themselves.

Jamie Green, Payroll Associate

Few VU employees have an opportunity to interact and impact so many individuals daily within the University system as Jamie. On occasion, almost everyone has had a question involving pay, withholdings, or another payroll-related issue. At VU, when someone calls or stops in with a question or need assistance with a payroll matter, they often encounter Jamie Green. Matters involving payroll are always important and often are time-sensitive. Jamie treats each person and each request with respect and prompt attention. Jamie may be talking to a vice-president or a part-time student worker, but you would not know from listening to the interaction. Jamie’s response to an issue includes a kind offer and resolution to any issue. Her heart for serving others is genuine and on display daily in both words and actions. If you have visited Jamie’s office, you know her affinity for all things Disney. To VU’s benefit, Jamie brings the same kind of world-class customer service to VU that Walt Disney envisioned for his “happiest place on earth.”

Amanda Haag, Mathematics Department Chair and Associate Professor

Amanda started at VU as a tutor in the Math Lab and was an adjunct professor for many years before becoming a full-time professor. She has been a great leader with a strong voice who has always been willing to stand up for what is right for both students and colleagues on multiple levels. She has also worked during the summers to help with testing and advising and has volunteered at Start VU tents. She is always willing to lend her students a hand inside and outside of the classroom to ensure they succeed at VU. She is also willing to listen and help her colleagues to foster in making the math classrooms the best learning environment for students to flourish. During the challenges with virtual and hybrid classes in addition to face-to-face classrooms, she stepped up and rose to these challenges as the Math chair. Amanda has gone above and beyond, and for this, the University is fortunate to have Amanda as an employee.

Gaye Walthall, Director of Student Success Center

Gaye is a fantastic leader and more than just a supervisor. Working alongside her is like having a loving mother, patient teacher, joyful friend, trusted confidant, and spiritual sister all wrapped up in one, topped off with a South Carolina accent. Gaye works hard to ensure all things are for the good of the student. She has incredible knowledge of advising and has become known around campus as an expert of information. When there are any campus initiatives related to advising or retention, Gaye is always right in the middle of it. She works on the Academic Coaches program, the mid-range profile initiative, weekly profile and RTI tracking, the Readmit program, University College, and she plays an integral role in the vetting and training of Edunav. She manages an office of four coordinators and two work-study students. She is the campus supervisor of the 21st Century Scholars representative. She also teaches several sections of Business Math. Outside of VU, Gaye serves as a key leader at the First Baptist Church of Vincennes. Regardless of how busy she is, she always shows patience when anyone comes to her with a question. She is a bright spot on campus and in the community.