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Knowlton Award presented to DSU Human Resources

August 18, 2020

DSU Human Resources team
The winners of the 2019-2020 Knowlton Excellence in Quality award are the DSU Human Resources team, including (clockwise from back left), Angi Kappenman, Alicia Entringer, Jess Dold, and Kandy Lurz.

The Dakota State University Human Resources team has been awarded the 2019-2020 Doug Knowlton Excellence in Quality Award for their work creating an employee onboarding and retention package called “The DSU Experience.”

Since 2017, The annual Knowlton award has been presented to employees who have made outstanding contributions to improve processes and outcomes for all DSU stakeholders. It is named after former DSU president, Doug Knowlton, who was a leader in implementing the Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) program at Dakota State in 2010. CQI is a business management philosophy and a technique that perpetually evaluates processes in an organization.

The HR team offers distinctive employee services in an effort to recruit, develop, and retain a dynamic workforce at Dakota State. The department’s mission statement includes a dedication to collaborate with institutional leaders in order to maximize DSU’s greatest asset, their employees.

Angi Kappenman, vice president for Human Resources said The DSU Experience is born from a desire to ensure all employees feel welcome and a part of DSU. The onboarding and retention program begins with a two-day onboarding to introduce new employees to all features and services they may encounter and experience at DSU, such as what each area is responsible for, or understanding policies and protocols. To evaluate effectiveness, the team has set benchmarks and annual performance targets with retention.

“The DSU Experience allows new employees the opportunity to learn right off the bat what we are all about at DSU,” Kappenman said. It includes every area on campus, from food service to technology, as well as a message from President José-Marie Griffiths. “The experience is designed to help the employees begin their new position on the right foot,” she stated.

As employees continue their time at DSU, the HR team holds periodic meetings to receive input from the faculty or staff members. “This program was created around that feedback, in order to help employees feel valued, and build a sense of belonging with the Trojan family,” Kappenman said.

Members of the HR team include Kappenman; Human Resources Manager Alicia Entringer; Jessica Dold, HR Generalist II/Payroll; and Kandy Lurz, HR Generalist I.

“We are honored to receive the Knowlton Award for Continuous Quality Excellence. The HR team has been working to develop programs and initiatives to assist our employees in being successful in their careers at DSU,” Kappenman said. “This reaffirms the work we have done and motivates us to continue to work with our employees to make DSU a great place to work.”

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