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Shawn Sheen is UW Staff Employee of the Quarter

July 31, 2017
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Shawn Sheen

Co-workers say Shawn Sheen sets a high standard of efficiency, accuracy, completes all tasks in a timely manner and addresses problems before they blow up.

Those are among the many attributes that have earned Sheen, a Department of Zoology and Physiology senior accounting associate, the University of Wyoming Staff Employee of the First Quarter award.

Sheen, who has been at UW 22 years, first began working in the UW Human Resources offices “getting my foot in the door,” before moving over to the Department of Geology and Geophysics on the advice of another colleague on campus.

“Upon meeting with Carol Pribyl and former department Head Jim Steidtmann, I was hired. It was a huge learning curve for someone with little computer skills,” she says. “And, this department took a chance on me. Well, for 14 years, we worked very well together. I learned a lot about the research that was going on in the department.”

And, for the past seven years, Sheen has worked in the Department of Zoology and Physiology.

“I made the decision to move to the zoology and physiology department with my friend and office manager, Carol Pribyl -- a decision that was a scary one. But, through the years, we have had a good working team,” she adds.

The decision has been good for the department because one co-worker says Sheen always “goes the extra mile and then some.”

“She has more than 60 grants to manage individually, and some of these take great patience as they are complex, involving international transactions. I am sure that most staff would have thrown in the towel long ago, but she never shows her frustration,” the colleague adds. “Indeed, she was personally acknowledged at a recent awards ceremony because her hard work had made the research possible. When did you last hear of a staff member getting singled out at such a ceremony?”

With Sheen learning the new WyoCloud financial system, it has been a huge plus for the department, another nominator says.

“With her cheerful and methodical approach, the nominee has fixed a very broken system, and I have not had a single complaint,” the colleague writes. “More than simply doing an exceptional job, and it is truly exceptional, the nominee has created a very pleasant environment within which to work.”

Sheen says she truly loves working in the Department of Zoology and Physiology, because “We are more friends than just someone at work in this department.”

“Our department head, Donal Skinner, is awesome. A lot is owed to Carol Pribyl for taking a chance on me, and I am very grateful for her guidance and friendship. Also, my sidekick, Sheila Krupp, is my sounding board when days are tough,” Sheen says. “My family is my saving grace, without them I would not be able to do what I do.”

A reception to honor Sheen will be announced at a later date.

Employee of the Quarter nominees can be any UW staff employee and must receive three nomination forms from three separate individuals. Nominations must be submitted to the Staff Senate office. The forms are on the web at www.uwyo.edu/staffsenate/employee-of-the-quarter.


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Chad Baldwin

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