Austin chosen as USD Employee of the Month

Austin chosen as USD Employee of the Month A high commitment to service, an excellent work ethic and knowledge of her responsibilities have earned Kay Austin Employee of the Month honors at The University of South Dakota for February.

Austin is a program assistant in the medical student affairs department at the USD School of Medicine. President James W. Abbott presented Austin with a plaque and a check for her award.

Austin was nominated by her supervisor, Dr. Paul C. Bunger, dean of medical student affairs.

"Kay Austin exemplifies the best in our Career Service employees," Bunger said. "It is hard to imagine how the medical school could function without Kay's knowledge and skills."

She is responsible for all registrations for all medical students; has supervision over all academic file management for current students and past graduates; serves as chief proctor for all United States Medical Licensing exams and for National Board and Medical Examiners exams; manages the daily affairs of the medical students affairs office; and has oversight of the entire residency application program for medical students.

"She does all this for the students on all four of the medical school campuses (Vermillion, Sioux Falls, Yankton, Rapid City) while performing her tasks with a pleasant demeanor," Bunger said.

Bunger added that Austin is a role model for balancing the philosophy of commitment to serving the medical students as her top priority while also applying the standards and policies established for all aspects of her work area.

"I think the reason that brings me to Vermillion every day is the students, faculty and staff here at the university," Austin said. "That's probably one of the biggest plusses of my job. I like the university setting. It's a family setting and I find the teamwork here on campus is another big plus for me."

Austin started her career at USD in 1983 as a staff assistant for the Center for Developmentally Disabled and transferred to the business office in 1984. In 1990 she worked in the computing services office and in 1991, moved to the School of Medicine as a senior secretary for student affairs.

She has been in her present position as a program assistant since 2000.

Austin, originally of Centerville, currently lives in Vermillion with her husband Mike. They have three daughters, Tania Witt of Burke, Jamie Edberg of Sioux Falls, and Katie Austin of Vermillion.

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