‘Tis the season! And on a college campus that means final exams and grading as well as charitable hope and good cheer. Because the end of the quarter can be stressful for everyone, staff at Minnesota School of Business–St. Clouddecided to make each other’s spirits bright with an unusual holiday party.
Traditionally, faculty and staff are attentive to community needs at this time of year. They contribute to Toys for Tots or the local Place of Hope, volunteer to wrap packages at Crossroads Mall to benefit the Tri-County Humane Society, and ring bells for the Salvation Army. But at this year’s holiday party, they also decided to share some cheer with each other—in the name of “healthy” competition.
It all began with an ugly sweater contest that became quite cutthroat as the models paraded down a “cat walk” in the student lounge. Emcees Jim Beck (campus director) and Jessica Ward (career services coordinator) described the fashions and narrated the success of each walk to the tunes of “Gangnam Style,” “Whoop There It Is,” “Sexy and I know It,” and “I’m Too Sexy.” (Move over, Tyra!)
“We made the decision to have an ugly sweater contest to have some fun and reflect our campus personality,” said Carrie Winter, dean of students. “Not that we have no fashion sense,” she explained, “but that we like to have fun and laugh together. It turned out as well as it did because of the great participation from staff and faculty. It’s great to see everyone get involved and connect on a different level.”
Winners Michelle Schreifels, Jeremy Dockendorf, and Rhonda Smedstad received gift certificates for their wardrobe choices while at least one disgruntled runner-up was overheard to be plotting for the after-Christmas sales to buy next year’s ugliest sweater.
Next came the gift-giving, which became more of a gift-grabbing as participants were encouraged to steal opened presents from others around the room. “Spirited” and “lively” competition ensued with a simmering contest over $5 worth of lottery tickets.
Genuine warmth and kindness flowed again in earnest, however, as the quarter and annual awards were presented to faculty and staff toward the end of the day.
Quarter Awards for Excellence went to massage therapy instructor Michelle Willenbring and to Maria Janotta, associate director of career services. Faculty of the Year was presented to mathematics instructor Frank Ayers and Staff of the Year to associate dean Jessica Denne. The St. Cloud campus “We Care” Star was awarded to Career Services Representative Jessica Ward for “above and beyond” efforts for community and campus events.
As a campus, MSB-St. Cloud was recognized at the corporate level as the Silver Standard for Outstanding Performance in Customer Service, and the admissions department was recognized as the Silver Standard as well.
All in all, good reasons to be merry and bright!