The Department of Mathematics wants to celebrate Kristi Nelson for receiving the 2021 UNT Staff Rising Star Award. This award is for staff who have been with the University for less than 2 years. Only one employee per year is selected to receive this honor and we believe this year it was an easy decision due to Nelson's perfectly exemplifying UNT's commitment to building community.
For one, Nelson has been a constant physical presence in the department ever since last spring (on the great majority of days she is the only one in the main office ) and she has tirelessly and competently been answering the phone and handling e-mails throughout this crisis. Moreover, while we were still allowed on campus, Kristi single-handedly and in record time turned the Math Quest Center into a socially distanced computer lab for students who wouldn't have internet access, complete with a detailed cleaning schedule for the workstations. She kept track of many things, from equipment requests to remote teaching forms, time reporting and more. Kristi also mixed together her own cleaning materials when we weren't able to buy it anymore. As the last woman standing in an otherwise deserted department, she even delivered teaching equipment and other items to people -- or met them in the Walmart parking lot -- after work! She traveled as far as Keller to make sure all employees had what they needed to succeed remotely. Above all, Nelson kept her colleagues' spirits up with some great office humor. "The list of examples to illustrate Nelson's commitent goes on, but we are just so thrilled to share the type of employees we have working here at UNT," says Jana Watkins, office manager and assistant to the chair.
Congratulations Kristi! Math rocks! We bleed green!