By Laura Fenton
The soft, reassuring tone of Kristin Shupe’s voice calms the apprehensions of students
and the concerns of parents as she explains how the U of M Department of Theatre &
Dance is the perfect place for students “bubbling over with energy and delight in
what they do.”
Shupe, an administrative secretary for the department, has always wanted to work in academia. Since 2000, her enthusiasm for all things artistically
creative has encouraged students with the same passion to pursue his or her dreams.
“I’m around wonderful colleagues who create wonderful pieces of art and theatre, and
wonderful students who are part of that, too,” she said. “The University is the mechanism
that helps you fulfill your dreams, and I’m somehow a small part of that mechanism.
It’s nice to be a part of that.”
To honor Shupe for the superb service she provides to parents and prospective and
current students, Shupe was named the first recipient of the Harriet R. Montgomery Award for Customer Service Excellence during Employee Recognition
Day in June.
In her position, Shupe sets up visits with professors or classes for prospective students,
helps to assign advisers for each student, assists the scholarship chair of the department,
maintains the departmental scholarship database and aids the graduate coordinator
and all department graduate students.
“Kristin patiently and methodically explains each aspect of our program, asking pointed,
appropriate questions and setting the student or parents at ease,” said Sherri Stephens
of theatre and dance. “More than one graduate student has said that the relationship
nurtured by Kristin during his/her grad school selection process was the reason for
choosing the U of M.”
Shupe is congratulated by Harriet Montgomery (right) and Dr. Shirley Raines (left)
after being named the first recipient of the Harriet R. Montgomery Award for Customer
Service Excellence during Employee Recognition Day in June. Montgomery, a former assistant
vice president of Human Resources, retired last year after more than 30 years of service
to the U of M. (Photo by Rhonda Cosentino)
The Harriet R. Montgomery Award for Customer Service Excellence is named after Harriet
Montgomery (BA, MS ’87), who retired last year after more than 30 years of service
to the University. Montgomery worked as manager of Employee Benefits and Risk Management
and as associate director of Human Resources before being named assistant vice president
for Human Resources.
Recipients of the award must maintain professional and friendly attitudes with internal
and external customers; show that he or she takes time to listen and understand what
the customer needs; and is thorough and follows up with customers in a timely manner.