Ashley Leasure, 2012 Wright State and State of Ohio Student Employee of the Year


The 2012 Wright State University Student Employee of the Year is Ashley Leasure.

Ashley was nominated by her supervisor, Dr. Hank Dahlman, Professor of Music, Director - Choral Studies, Director- CELIA (Collaborative Education, Leadership, and Innovation in the Arts).

Ashley's Contributions to Wright State

In his nomination letter, Dr. Dahlman outlined some of Ashley's accomplishments in the Department of Music:

Choral Library Renovation

During the summer of 2011, in preparation for the new building project to renovate Schuster Hall in the Creative Arts Center, we needed to free up space in the Music Wing. That summer, Ashley, along with the junior level UCA Jeeremy Bon, completely renovated and re-ordered the entire choral music library. This included culling out-of-date and/or out-of-print, and obsolete scores from the files of over 1,000 choral octavo titles (small works) and over 200 major works and anthology titles and other book-format materials. While doing so, Ashley designed and entered data for a completely revised and computerized choral library database, replacing the antiquated and inaccurate card files. She and her student assistants (many of them volunteers that she personally recruited) also completely revamped the library work areas and office space, and oversaw the installation of new shelving in the library, following up with a complete re-filing of all the remaining choral titles. This was a HUGE job, and it was done extraordinarily well, with minimum faculty supervision. In my opinion, this alone should merit an award for Ashley.

Coordinated registration: 2010 and 2011 Mad River Vocal Arts Festivals

This event involves registrations from over 125 high school students representing some 25 or 30 high schools each year. Registration involves in-take and database recording of registration forms, collection of fees and delivering these the same day to the Departmental administrative assistant in charge of accounts payable, and regular contact with school directors, students, parents, and public school officials, bookkeepers, and other administrative personnel. Since this is a major recruiting event for us, it is essential that this task be handled in a highly accurate, timely, and positive and friendly way (i.e., "customer service"). Because of this, I typically have assigned this task to a graduate assistant or WSU staff member, but in this case, I had every confidence that Ashley would do an outstanding job. She absolutely delivered, and then some. Some would say it was the smoothest festival we'd ever had, and I'd agree.

Choral Assistant for Bernstein MASS with the Dayton Philharmonic

Last May, the WSU Choral Program, in collaboration with the Department of Theatre, Dance & Motion Pictures and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, presented a fully staged performance of MASS by Leonard Bernstein. The performances were the result of over three years of planning, and involved over 200 singers, instrumentalists, actors, dancers and technical crew. Over 80 choral singers from three different WSU choirs were involved. Ashley, along with graduate teaching assistant Amanda Hughes, oversaw all library and logistical matters pertaining to score acquisition, distribution and retrieval. The choral scores were only available as rental scores, EACH score costing $125 if not returned. Thus, we were responsible for the distribution and return of over $10,000 worth of rented scores. Ashley organized the whole thing, closely coordinating with the DPO Librarian. Needless to say, we got all the scores back from students, safely returning the scores to the DPO by the deadline.

Choral Tour Manager

Presently, Ashley is working as the Tour Manager for the Collegiate Chorale's presentation at the Ohio Music Education Association Professional Conference and our Spring Tour to Washington, DC and Virginia, which includes performances at the National Cathedral and Colonial Williamsburg. We will sing later this summer at the Champions Level of the World Choir Games, hosted this year for the first time in the US (as it happens, Cincinnati). As Tour Manager, Ashley is responsible for coordinating rooming lists, and contacting host organizations, providing lists of repertoire, and generally assisting me with the myriad of tasks and details, and often under strict deadlines. This is the smoothest year we've had in this regard, and yet the busiest, in over 5 years. No accident.

Congratulations and thank you, Ashley Leasure!

Matthew Porter, 2011 Wright State Student Employee of the Year

The 2011 Wright State University Student Employee of the Year is Matthew Porter.

Matthew was nominated by his supervisor Marcia Wendeln, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science and Mathematics.

Matthew was nominated by his supervisor Marcia Wendeln, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science and Mathematics.

Matthew's Contributions to Wright State

In her nomination letter, Marcia Wendeln outlined some of Matthew's accomplishments in the Department of Biological Sciences:

2011-photo-stories-studentemployment-mattporter-withmarciawendeln.jpg"Matthew Porter began attending Wright State University in January 2007 and is completing his Bachelor of Science degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences this fall. He was hired in the Freshman Biology Lab in the Spring 2007 and in 2 years became the most senior lab assistant. Matt continually looks for ways to improve the educational quality of the labs. He has been instrumental in creating new lab experiments and adapting them for the needs of students with disabilities. Additionally, he has taken on an informal leadership role by training new student employees, serving as a mentor for other assistants, and supervising the growing number of outreach programs for the lab. Some of these programs include the STEMM Exploring Science program for middle school students, Tech-Fest at Sinclair Community College, Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day at WSU, STEMM Summer Camp for students with disabilities, and several workshops for home-school groups. His dedication, resourcefulness, and leadership have resulted in extremely successful programs.

Photo of Dr. Dan Abrahamowicz, V.P., Student Affairs, presenting award to Matt Porter.Matt takes initiative in several aspects of his job by improving lab equipment, fixing microscopes, designing methods to make experiments more effective, and searching on his own time to find materials that will help students' performance in the lab. A specific example of Matt's initiative is organizing a small team of student employees to re-build the Biology Department's dilapidated bird blind. He also got the group to commit to providing the labor and materials. Marcia Wendeln wrote in her nomination letter: "With some funding from the Dept. of Biological Sciences, Matt took the lead and they completely rebuilt the bird blind from only a frame, replacing the roof, walls, benches, and feeders. He brought in his own tools, picked up supplies with his car, and worked on Saturdays and evenings without pay to make sure the job was done. He also was instrumental in obtaining some donated supplies from Home Depot and Lowes. Although other students have helped with this project, we would not have a new bird blind in the WSU woods if it was not for Matt's extensive effort and long hours of dedication."