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Mindy Ostrander, Lisa Schrantz receive Fredonia secretarial awards
Friday, October 17, 2014

Mindy Ostrander, Lisa Schrantz receive Fredonia secretarial awards

Mindy Ostrander (left), recipient of the Poummit Secretarial Award, and Lisa Schrantz (second from right), who received the Barbara Saletta Meritorious Service Award, are joined by Sue Engberg and Ron “Ace” Everett, sister and brother of Saletta.

Lisa Schrantz and Mindy Ostrander, who have simultaneously met unique challenges and demands of their respective departments while earning high praise from students, faculty and staff, were recognized as recipients of two Fredonia secretarial awards at the Fall 2014 Secretarial/Clerical Fall Conference held Oct. 10 at the College Lodge.

Ostrander, secretary of the Department of World Languages and Cultures and the Department of Philosophy, received the Poummit Secretarial Award, named in honor of Janet Marks, a former secretary to the Fredonia president.

Schrantz, secretary of the Department of Theatre and Dance, was given the Barbara Saletta Meritorious Service Award, which recognize a secretarial or clerical employee for an outstanding service attitude.

As secretary of two departments since 2008, Ostrander exemplifies the Fredonia attitude of being invariably friendly and uncommonly helpful to a wide range of administrators and faculty, many of them adjuncts, as well as to clerical employees and students. She facilitated the smooth and successful transition of new chairpersons in both departments during the Spring 2013 semester, and promptly won them over with her upbeat attitude, energy and organizational skills.

Ostrander is highly regarded in both departments for handling numerous tasks and even a few “emergency” requests with considerable aplomb and unflappability. When a job candidate could not be picked up at an airport due to a severe snowstorm, she instinctively secured overnight accommodations for the candidate and reorganized the interview schedule for the following day.

Efforts to update, systematize and organize paper and electronic files in both departments were initiated by Ostrander. She’s also made the physical office spaces more attractive and pleasant.

Ostrander’s resourcefulness and management skills facilitated the placements of two new adjuncts over a winter break and shifting of other teaching duties due to an unexpected retirement of another adjunct. On another occasion, her effective management skills were put to good use when formal appointments of four adjuncts were not completed until shortly before the start of a fall term. Her hard work enabled these new hires to join valuable faculty orientations.

Her duties as a department secretary include a wide range of day-to-day activities, such as monitoring of supplies, maintaining student accounts and overseeing expenses. Ostrander also supervises a Green Thumb employee, work study students and the language lab. She joined Fredonia in 2007 as a Secretary 1 in the Financial Aid office.

Schrantz has not only survived, but thrived in a department with a wide range of challenges that include processing thousands of financial transactions, coordinating a highly demanding audition process and fostering positive working relationships with a student body and faculty known, at times, to be boisterous, engaged and active.

To the outside observer, the audition process may appear to be mind-boggling, but Schrantz handles it in stride. She collates all vital data into a master spreadsheet, verifies payments and organizes applicant folders, and then tabulates all results and prioritizes scores so faculty can easily identify the top candidates. Schrantz then tracks, on a daily basis, student acceptances, paid deposits and other data to make it possible for the department to meet and exceed its enrollment goals.

She’s also proven to be a budget wizard, processing a long stream of financial transactions generated by a five show season. That typically generates 300 to 500 transactions from numerous vendors during an academic year. Schrantz is always on top of current revenues, enabling the department to keep its own budget spreadsheets and those from the state system in harmony.

Schrantz has skillfully handled a wide range of projects, such as organizing the summer Playground Drama Day Camp and Action Film Workshop as well as the department’s annual awards ceremony and New York City auditions, a daunting task that requires thinking both organizationally as well creatively.Since joining the department in 2010, Schrantz has been admired for her smile and attitude that says, no matter what, everything will be okay. She has a remarkable ability to project a low-key demeanor, and is viewed as being indispensable. She joined Fredonia in 1998 as a Keyboard Specialist I in the Native American Consortium and was promoted to Secretary I in the History department in 2007.

Both awards were established through the Fredonia College Foundation to honor secretarial/clerical staff members for an outstanding service attitude, creativity, resourcefulness, demonstrated team effort and personal integrity and leadership. Recipients received a framed certificate and monetary award.

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