How DavenFund will support employees this year

How DavenFund will support employees this year

Eleven Davenport University employees received professional development, software, equipment or other resources through DavenFund last week. The program, in its second year, was designed to help staff and faculty increase productivity and efficiency by funding requests ranging from $100 to $2,000.

This year’s recipients include Barb Gering, Laura Baillod, Sarah Brooks, Lynda Cribari, Michael Stodola, Eric Pung, Cara Junghans, Shawn Raymond, Mitchell Holland, Melissa Haswell and Steven Tharp.

Below they share how they plan to use their DavenFund:

Mike Stodola, Assistant Director of Athletic Facilities and Internal Operations
DU Athletics | W.A. Lettinga Campus

“The Athletic Business Conference is a premier annual event that focuses on education and professional development for facility professionals. In the past, this conference has refreshed my awareness of emerging trends and facility innovations. It is anticipated some of the lessons will be applicable to operational efficiencies and future purchase decisions. This is one of the best ways that has enabled me to continue to develop professionally in ways that help my employer while furthering personal growth relative to my profession.”

Steven Tharp, Identity Services Manager
IT-Network | W.A. Lettinga Campus

“I serve on the board of Technology Transfer Partners. In July, we will meet in Provo, Utah, to support our use of software written by Microfocus (formally Novell). The presenters at this event are the product managers and developers of the software I use every day. The most important benefit is the ability to talk to people who are working at other universities and often face — and have solved — the same issues that I face. I also learn much from the presentations that advance my ability to find creative solutions to our challenges.”

Lynda Cribari, Executive Director of Performance Excellence
Office of Performance Excellence | Livonia Campus

“Providing conference-style workshops is a top priority at DU. With limited budgets for overnight accommodations, we know that attending a two-day internal conference may be cost prohibitive for those needing to travel. The funding will allow eight employees from other campuses to stay to overnight in Grand Rapids for the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” program. This funding allows us to be inclusive by offering a top-notch development opportunity that non-Grand Rapids employees can also participate in.”

Sarah Brooks, nursing faculty member
College of Health Professions | Great Lakes Bay Campus

“I decided to apply for Davenfund because I needed funds to take a class that was not offered locally. I will be using Davenfund to take a course on how to write nursing practice questions, which I will use in every class I teach to prepare future nurses for the NCLEX (a national exam). This class will improve the quality of practice questions I provide to students.”

Melissa Haswell, Associate Department Chair
College of Arts and Sciences | Great Lakes Bay Campus

“I decided to apply because it is an excellent way to obtain funds to support professional development. I will use my funds to attend the Association of College and University Biology Educators conference in October. This conference is an excellent way to interact with like-minded biology faculty from other private universities.”

Laura Baillod, Data Warehouse ETL Developer
IT-ERP | W.A. Lettinga Campus

“We will use our Davenfund on an Escape Room outing for our team. The Escape Room offers a team building experience like no other. Each member of your team will find their strengths and weaknesses as they rely on each other to find clues and escape the room.”

Mitchell Holland, Athletic Trainer-Assistant
DU Athletics | W.A. Lettinga Campus

“I applied for the Davenfund because it provides an opportunity to further my knowledge and skill base as a health care provider, of which I will be able to share with my colleagues to help further improve the overall quality of care for our student athletes. The Davenfund has provided an opportunity to enroll in a continuing education course on functional stability training and how it should be integrated into rehabilitation and performance training to maximize training. One aspect of athletic training is injury prevention. Integrating functional stability training into all facets of performance training and rehabilitation may have a profound impact on decreasing our rate of injury/reoccurring injuries.”

Eric Pung, Business Intelligence Engineer
IT-ERP | W.A. Lettinga Campus

“I will be using the Davenfund for team building activities in the Enterprise Application team within Information Technology department. Through team building activities we will get to know each other in a non-work environment.

Shawn Raymond, Oracle Database Administrator
IT-ERP | W.A. Lettinga Campus

“I’m using my DavenFund for training for Ansible software. Ansible is used to push software to servers. I can use it in two different ways. One to create new servers. If I have to create four servers all with the same software on them. I create one script, execute the script four times, and I have four servers that are exactly alike. Our big roadblock is that when we have to upgrade to a higher level of Linux, we cannot upgrade. We have to reinstall all server on new servers. That means I have to reinstall all software again. If I have an Ansible script. I just create a base server, and my script will repopulate the server with all my software and I am done. I also can use it to push software to all my present servers to do upgrades to various pieces of software. An example is we get quarterly upgrades from Oracle. I create one script, and it will upgrade all 20 of my servers. Instead of going to each server and upgrade.

Barbara Gering, Accounts Payable Specialist
Accounting | W.A. Lettinga Campus

“My supervisor strongly recommended to apply for DavenFund. I will use the money, so that my co-worker and I are able to go to an Accounts Payable workshop/seminar. Attending this seminar will help us make better use of our time, get tips on how to handle the load of incoming invoices and allow us to exchange experience with AP people from other companies.”

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