Leible honored as Employee of the Year

Allen Leible has managed Henderson State University’s Simonson Biological Field Station since it opened in 2011. His efforts to develop the station into a dynamic research facility have earned him the title of 2015 Employee of the Year. 

Leible is responsible for keeping the station running on a day-to-day basis, a job that encompasses many duties.

“This includes the physical facility, equipment, and 104 acres of wooded land. He also schedules events, works directly with university personnel and others who use the facility,” said Dr. James Engman, professor and chair of the biology department. “Allen exemplifies what it means to be a university staff member who is totally invested in supporting our educational goals.”

The field station includes a three-story 7,200-square-foot log structure along the shores of DeGray Lake near Bismarck. It features classrooms and a laboratory, along with student dormitory rooms, a kitchen and other accommodations.

“Allen has many personal qualities that make him a perfect fit for this job,” Engman said. “He has great technical skills and is exceptionally knowledgeable about the use of tools, the operations of complex systems, and issues related to repair and maintenance. He has become the go-to person in the department for any sort of repair or fabrication of items.”

Leible, who also teaches Intro to Biology labs, has constructed several trails which required clearing large amounts of timber and brush, and established large food plots for encouraging wildlife. He orchestrates outreach programs with local schools and helps teach the children.

“Allen goes above and beyond expectations in virtually every aspect of his job,” Engman said. “When faculty members and/or students have research projects at the field station, Allen gets fully involved and makes himself available whenever needed.”

Leible, a 2011 Henderson graduate, said, “There are things worth more than money, such as the satisfaction I feel knowing I have contributed something positive to the lives of young people.

“I’m excited about my job, the future of the field station, and the future of the biology department at Henderson. As I’ve said before, it takes a team.”

The university’s Staff Senate honored Leible with a reception July 18. He is now a candidate for the Arkansas State Employee Association’s (ASEA) Outstanding Employee of the Year Award. He will represent Henderson at the annual ASEA banquet.