Vicky Kuklentz named USD Employee of Month

Vicky Kuklentz named USD Employee of Month Professionalism, efficiency and consistency of a high level of service have earned Vicky Kuklentz of Elk Point the Employee of the Month Award at The University of South Dakota for November.

Kuklentz, an administrative assistant in the Student Counseling Department, was honored during a ceremony in Julian Hall. USD President James W. Abbott presented Kuklentz with a plaque and a check.

"I'm a real people person and I love the daily contact with students and fellow staff," said Kuklentz. "I had been a secretary for over 30 years and Matt (Stricherz) gave me the opportunity to be office supervisor. The highlight of my career was being promoted to administrative assistant in the Student Counseling Center."

Stricherz, director of the Student Counseling Center, nominated Kuklentz based on her organizational and management skills, and oversight of accreditation review details.

"During October 2001, the South Dakota Department of Human Services (DHS) conducted a financial audit of USD's Alcohol and Drug Program counseling and prevention services," said Stricherz. "The audit was completed by the DHS senior internal auditor and yielded a 'zero' percent error rate for USD. Vicky's oversight of reporting procedures between the clerical staff and professional staff significantly contributed to the very positive results.

"With crisis service being sought each year with about a 40 percent increase, Vicky has managed the front office and worked to get needed cases into our offices without delay," Stricherz added. "She aptly supervises the department secretary, graduate assistants and the work-study staff in their duties at USD's mental health, drug and alcohol treatment and prevention center."

Stricherz calls Kuklentz "the front-line gatekeeper for our federally mandated confidentiality requirements," he said. "I have been impressed by the number of off-campus mental health and legal professionals that have commented on Vicky's professionalism and the consistency in which they receive services when they call our front office. She has fostered positive USD-community customer support."

Kuklentz has been with USD for 11 years. She began working in the Residential Life department as a secretary in 1990 and joined the Student Counseling Center with a promotion to office supervisor in 1997. In May of 2000, she was promoted to program assistant.

Originally from Elk Point, Kuklentz continues to live there with her husband, Ron. The Kuklentzes have three daughters and four grandchildren.

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