After adjusting his Zoom settings at the start of an all-staff Information Technology meeting, Mike Mikulski ’05, Audio Visual Technician, noticed some unexpected faces in the virtual crowd.
Why was Dr. Rochon on the call? Who invited Tim Mahoney? And there were others who seemed out of place too.
The explanation came soon enough.
After thanking the entire department for its continuous, critical work to keep campus connected throughout the pandemic, the president turned his focus to Mikulski. “You all have a very special colleague among you,” Rochon said as he announced Mikulski as the 2020 Screagle Pride Award winner.
The award, presented to a faculty or staff member who embodies the spirit of USI and goes above and beyond in their work, is voted on by the University’s Elevating Spirit Committee. Mikulski was one of 12 employees nominated by a peer. “You have colleagues that love you, that believe in you and appreciate your attitude, your commitment, your conviction [in regard] to professionalism and hard work—and just this ‘get-it-done’ attitude that you possess,” Rochon said. “I can echo them as well, with pride and also with joy.”
Mikulski, whose heart was admittedly racing during the surprise acknowledgement, enrolled at USI in 2000 and joined the IT team after graduating in 2005. He’s been solving tech problems and simplifying issues ever since. “He collaborates with instructors, departments and special events to provide the highest quality technology support,” one of Mikulski’s nominators wrote. “He is always working to assist in any manner that will make the event or classroom instruction the best for students, faculty and staff.”
Another nominator added, “His positive attitude is shared throughout the campus and his pride in his work is evidenced in the quality [of work] he displays.”
“I’m here to help end users,” Mikulski said. “I want their job to be easier. So, if I can help them do something in a more simplistic manner, to teach the students and be successful that way, that’s my goal.”
Mikulski earned the Support Staff Performance Recognition Award in 2013 and is the University’s fourth Screagle Pride Award honoree; he joins Dr. Darrin Sorrels (2017), Patty Marcum (2018) and Jeff Sickman (2019) as a recipient.
“What was neat for me was, I had Patty as a teacher years ago. So, to be tied to that was pretty cool,” said Mikulski. “My career has been blessed with great bosses and coworkers. Their willingness to share applicable knowledge continues to help me grow. I am grateful for them and will continue to strive for excellence in helping others.”
Photo Credit: Tracy Gander
Mike Mikulski poses with his 2020 Screagle Pride Award