By Jeff Murphy, May 24, 2019
WARRENSBURG, MO – With nomination documents citing characteristics that reflect her dedication and commitment to her job; a deeply rooted philosophy of helping her peers to be their best; and a positive attitude, Michelle Taylor has received the 2019 J. P. Mees Award. The presentation of this prestigious honor took place May 15 during the annual Staff Appreciation Breakfast in the Elliott Student Union.
The J.P. Mees Award is the highest honor bestowed upon an exempt member of the university’s staff. It honors the legacy of the late John Paul Mees, who died in 2000 while serving as vice president of planning and policy/executive assistant to the president at UCM. Mees, a dedicated and motivated employee known for his friendly and outgoing personality, joined the university in 1988 as executive assistant to the president and professor of education. He also served as provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Taylor currently serves as a senior human resource generalist for the Office of Human Resources, a position she has filled since 2016. She joined UCM in 2005 after working for approximately nine years as a 4-H youth development specialist for University of Missouri Extension in Clinton.
Among her vast duties in her current role, she posts, reviews and processes jobs for students; posts positions and processes contracts for graduate assistantships; and posts, reviews and processes staff and faculty jobs across campus. Taylor also provides supervisor training on performance management tools, time sheets and discipline procedures; and maintains records on state and federal laws related to employment issues such as FMLA; and more.
A nomination submitted to the award selection committee notes Taylor’s willingness to go above and beyond her assigned duties to help her office and the university.
“There is not a single instance where Michelle does not willingly step up and assume additional responsibilities to help support UCM’s mission and values – from helping with the president and provost defined learning day, to coordinating employee appreciation events, to managing student hiring, to running new employee orientation, Michelle has a just get-it-done approach – matched with an infectious laugh and positive outlook for each day. She is the epitome of not only doing the job, but doing whatever is needed to get our students across the finish line,” nomination documents stated.
Also noted was her passion and compassion for the community of Leeton, where she resides, as well as Warrensburg, where she is active in local activities that range from sporting events to organizational meetings.
Taylor is an alumna of UCM with three degrees and one certificate. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communications, Master of Arts in Sociology, Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching and Learning, and Education Specialist in Human Services and Educational Technology.
She commented on her award noting, “My family and I have been blessed to be a part of the UCM family for many years. I was a student and eventually came back as an employee. Our family frequently attends games, uses the library, has parties at the rock (climbing) wall and their friends are always excited to come along. It’s at that point they realize that not everyone is fortunate enough to be raised on a college campus. This campus and community is our family and I am honored to receive the J.P. Mees Award.”