Nielsen named USD employee of the month Mary Nielsen, a secretary in The University of South Dakota history department, has been named Career Service Employee of the Month for March. Nielsen was honored during a ceremony on March 4 in East Hall. USD Acting President Don Dahlin presented Nielsen with a plaque and a check.
Nielsen was nominated by USD professor Judith Lynn Sebesta, chairperson of the history department, and history professor Steven Bucklin, state coordinator for South Dakota History Day.
"Our many outreach programs make the position of secretary a particularly demanding one," said Sebesta. "Mary, however, goes beyond standard secretarial duties. All this she does with amazing graciousness and poise along with her ever-present smile. She is one of the best ambassadors our department and USD have."
Bucklin commends Nielsen for her service to South Dakota History Day. "Mary has given her time and energy to ensure this all-volunteer program meets its goals," Bucklin said. "She has worked at home to complete the items necessary for district, state, and national contests. She has worked with literally hundreds of people, and has done so never asking for any compensation. Mary Nielsen represents the ideal of public service to the USD community across South Dakota."
"Helping is important," said Nielsen. "I really enjoy working with students on both high school and college levels. Assisting others to achieve their goals is what I enjoy the most."
Nielsen sympathizes with students because her eldest son is in college. Nielsen started working for the USD history department in September 1998. She resides in Wakonda with her husband Jim, three children and a foreign exchange student from Kazakhstan.