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Patient problem solver points to mentors’ key role

Patience is a virtue. Some people have it more than others, and Don Holbrook, area finance officer for Student Affairs, is one of them. His patience, diligence and concern with helping others are among the virtues he is recognized for as a 2005 President’s Employee Excellence Award recipient.

“He is never too busy to listen,” said Cheryl Gardner, fiscal specialist II for Career Services, in a letter of support for Holbrook’s selection. “He is never smug, nor will he make you feel like you are intruding. He takes the time to solve whatever problem you may bring him.”

Holbrook has taken the lead in providing updated information and assistance throughout his office. Through a group he chairs, called the Departmental Advisory Group (DAG), up-to-date legislative, university and division information is disseminated to finance officers throughout Student Affairs. He also sets up training sessions to address areas of concern — perhaps instruction in an area that a member of Student Affairs feels they are lacking, or coaching on a subject in which someone in the office wants to improve.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized, especially by the people you work with on a daily basis,” said Holbrook. “It was also an honor to get a personal call from President Rawlins.”

Holbrook also quickly notes his gratitude to people who have encouraged him along the way.

“I could go on forever about the people who have helped me,” he said. “However, one that comes to mind quickly is my long-term mentor and friend Chuck Knight (former associate director of Business Services/Controller), who helped me find my own way early on when I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing.

“Both Charlene Jaeger (vice president for Student Affairs) and Glenn Ford (associate vice president for business and finance), who are so supportive and are truly great individuals, continue to help me as well,” Holbrook said. “I am very fortunate to have had great bosses throughout my career.

“I am proud of the long-term relationships I’ve maintained with so many quality individuals at all levels of the university,” he said. “These individuals are not only good friends, but they allow me to be more efficient by sharing expertise.”

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