Staff Appreciation Week at Winona State


Contributed by Winona State University

Sandy Rothering sits at the cash register of the Jack Kane Dining Center in Kryzsko Commons. Rothering has worked at Winona State since 2001, and is one of the first faces that students see when coming to dine.

Reanne Weil, News Editor

Though the talk of the week was the heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures, Winona State University celebrated Staff Appreciation Week where the many amazing people who help make this school possible were honored accordingly.

One way Winona State honors staff members is through a brunch mid-week. Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) is a national academic honors society for the top 10 percent of business students in the department. Every year, BGS hosts a staff appreciation brunch in Somsen Hall to honor the business professors and other staff members. Xana Leum, a fourth year at Winona State and a member of BGS, touched on the benefits of the event.

“It’s something we’ve been doing every year, as far as I know,” Leum said. “I think it’s a great way to bring the students and professors together. We get the food the morning of, we sit there and just hang out with them.”

Due to weather conditions, this year’s brunch was canceled and will hopefully be rescheduled for the week after spring break. Leum is excited for more future opportunities to bring the university together.

“We’re looking into more social events that would bring professors and students together,” Leum said. “We want to strengthen those connections.”

Another way Winona State honors staff members is by showing appreciation among each other. Tesla Mitchell, who is the Digital Content Manager at WSU and an adjunct professor of journalism, reflected on her time so far at Winona State and addressed her gratitude for the people she spends it with.

Tesla Mitchell, Digital Content Manager at WSU. “Winona State really does value the community partnerships. There are so many different ways that WSU has an impact, whether it’s with volunteer efforts or allowing for space.” (Contributed by Tesla Mitchell)

“I love my team,” Mitchell said. “I get to work with two different teams: the department team and the student content team. Both have been amazing and added value to my life. I feel like we’re getting closer and closer each day.”

Mitchell and her team of students generate ideas for content posted on various social media platforms for Winona State. Since a lot of creativity is involved, new, silly and interesting ideas are thrown around constantly. Because of this, Mitchell claimed there is not a time where they aren’t laughing or smiling with one another.

“It really makes me excited to come to work and it really allows me to feel like I’m making a difference in the world by being able to help create an environment like that,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell further touched on how grateful she is for the benefits being a Winona State staff member brings for her and her family.

“My benefits here are much better than what I’ve seen in organizations around town, and I’ve worked for a couple others,” Mitchell said. “My boss feels that it’s very important to have mental health as a priority, so having those different supports as an employee has been really impactful.”

Leum also mentioned how impactful her professors have been throughout the years.

“My professors have been great role models for me inside and outside of the classroom,” Leum said. “They’ve been helpful and have shown me the ropes. It’s amazing to see different perspectives and some of the paths they’ve taken have been really inspiring and pushed me in one way or the other.”

Winona State University ensures to honor collaboration with the community outside the university, and Mitchell expressed how that played a factor in her joining the team.

“I really like the community engagement and the connections,” Mitchell said. “Winona State really does value the community partnerships. There are so many different ways that WSU has an impact, whether it’s with volunteer efforts or allowing for space.”

The professors, administrators and employees at WSU have impacted the students in various ways. Their hard work, dedication, and willingness to educate and protect them does not go unnoticed. It is because of them and their efforts that helps make the students proud to be Warriors.