Faculty member Amanda Kundert received the “2016 Staff Inspirational Service Award.” The award is given every year to a staff member who is voted to be an inspiration to the college. It means going above and beyond what you are called to do as a staff member. The 2015-2016 school years marks the fifth year that Kundert has been working at Northwestern. However, her role at the college has changed almost every year.
Kundert originally came to NW with her husband Corey Kundert, who became the Resident Director of West Hall from 2011 until 2015. Upon arriving in October 2011, she became the Part-Time Assistant in the Public Relations office. After this, Kundert’s role began to open up and she took on more responsibilities.
“I have kind of puzzle pieced together my job title,” Kundert said.
Eventually, a need developed in the education department, so Kundert also became an Education Faculty Assistant. The last two years, her job has also included becoming an accreditation assistant. She also spends time working with the graduate school.
Among many other responsibilities, Kundert also runs the Northwestern Instagram page, has made Snap Chat filters and occasionally writes news releases. The different tasks do not bother Kundert; rather, they benefit her in the workplace.
“I enjoy the change-up every day,” Kundert said. “Two hours in the morning is graduate school. After working for a while I get to switch to Public Relations for four hours. About two in the afternoon when I start to drag I get to work at the education department.”
The 2016 school year brought a new host of responsibilities for Kundert.
“Last year was one of the more challenging years that I have worked at NW,” Kundert said. “We hosted our first leadership conference through the graduate school and our accreditation for the education department.”
Both of those events took hours of planning on Kundert’s part. Kundert was kept busy planning the visit of 13 state visitors for three days in March that included scheduled flights and hotel room reservations.
Kundert even had to deliver gluten free pizza crust to Sfumato’s to make sure a visitor had something to eat. The hard work has paid off, as NW is on track to get full accreditation for another eight years.
“I certainly did not expect to win this. I have only been here for five years and the person who won it last year was Marlon [Haverdink] (Dean of Student Life). I am among a lot of well known and deserving staff,” Kundert said.
Kundert graduated from Cleveland State University with a degree in Organizational Leadership.
“I got my associates from a community college, then I transferred to Cleveland State and got whatever degree got me out the quickest,” Kundert said.
A three-month public relations internship and writing for a newspaper gave her valuable experience that has benefited her many roles at NW. However, Kundert’s commitments do not end there. In her spare time, she works at the Old Factory, a coffee shop near campus, 10 hours a week making various pastries and sweets.
Kundert continues to work on her own art that stemmed from classes in college. Jewelry making, painting and embroidery are just some of the medias that Kundert uses to make pieces of art. Her current big task is illustrating a new book coming out written by Jeff Barker.
“He’s writing a book about [a woman named] Arlene, and he’s commissioning me to make charcoal drawings to put in the book. I have been working on that since May,” Kundert said.
In doing two to three hour sessions at a time, Kundert believes that she has put in over 50 hours of work on the drawings.
Kundert is not sure what the future will hold post-NW but looks forward to the possibility of continuing to work in PR.
“I really enjoy working in higher education,.It’s a cool atmosphere. Public relations is one of the more creative things you can do in a business type setting,” Kundert said.
NW has impacted Kundert in more ways than just providing a job. After all, she did live in a dorm for four years.
“I graduated from Cleveland State but I feel like NW is more like my alma mater,” Kundert said. “I think it’s really easy to do a good job when you’re in a place you love to be in.”