Dr. Jennifer McIntosh, director of the Office of Student Services at the Paducah Extended Campus Program, is the recipient of the 2021 Staff Excellence Award in the exempt category.
Dr. Jennifer McIntosh works in a unique environment and has excelled in the many roles in which she has been assigned to perform. In the UK Engineering program in Paducah, Jennifer serves as a professional advisor, manages financial aid, transfer students, veterans’ affairs, disability services, transcript maintenance and verification, graduation tracking and verification, transfer student tracking, unified tuition billing, and admissions. This year’s pandemic brought unique challenges, and like we all have had to do, she pivoted effectively to continue to serve our students well. Even when facing personal challenges, she continually faces this heavy workload with an exceptional attitude and a commitment to the success of the Paducah programs as the COE presence in West Kentucky. Perhaps the most notable example of her dedication came during Fall 2019 as we were left short-staffed in two positions, including one in our recruiting and placement areas of responsibility. Without waiting for the assignment, Jennifer took the reins on ensuring that our students, both current and prospective, were taken care of. Despite not having the benefit of prior contact lists or any other resources from previous staff members, she began identifying core recruiting opportunities at college fairs and other events, checking in with past employers to identify opportunities for placement and working with students to ensure they had access to the resources needed to pursue permanent positions and internships. She collaborated with colleagues in relevant functional areas in Lexington and with our staff and faculty in Paducah and leveraged her local connections to ensure students were minimally impacted by our transitions. This all occurred while meeting her core advising responsibilities during October. Her efforts made it possible for our new hires to get up to speed and hit the ground running in serving our students in 2020. Jennifer’s attitude has been exemplary. She is always cheerful even during stressful situations. She is forthright but tactful. She always maintains confidence but ensures that relevant and appropriate information moves to where it is needed. She is an example of professional interaction in the workplace. She works very well with others, manages the staff and students who work for her well and builds strong professional relationships with those who work with her both in Paducah and Lexington. Jennifer has also taken on a community leadership role which she uses to bring attention to the program amongst those who have the potential to be our strongest supporters. This year she was a member of Class 33 of Leadership Paducah, a Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce program to develop ties between developed community members and leaders with our local government, business, and education leadership. We have had several key opportunities to tell our story because of the work she has put into this year-long leadership development commitment