Jasmine Zink Laine

Head shot of Jasmine Zink Laine

Bio: Her passion is people, which led her to earn a B.A. in communication studies with a minor in professional flight from the University of North Dakota and an M.A. in communication studies and a graduate certificate in women’s and gender studies from the University of Montana. Jasmine is a certified flight instructor and taught public speaking as a graduate student and adjunct instructor for the Department of Communication Studies.

Jasmine advocates for improved internal communication, employee engagement and developing leaders at all levels. She co-authored “Recommendations for Improving Internal Communication at UM” with Claudine Cellier and Gordy Pace in May 2014. Together, they continue to reach out to colleagues across campus to build community and engagement. These experiences inspired Jasmine to join Staff Senate and UM’s Strategic Planning Coordinating Council (SPCC). Jasmine counts being a part of the SPCC, a passionate and optimistic group committed to co-creating a shared vision and forward-looking strategy for the University, as one of her most rewarding professional experiences.

Thank you: I am so honored to receive the Robert T. Pantzer Presidential Humanitarian Award. This is a double-honor, actually, because not only do I get this award, which is amazing, but I also get the continued pleasure of working with the wonderful people who nominated me. That’s what an “open and humane learning environment” means to me: supporting the people that make this University special. I need to thank many of those people today.

I am grateful to my colleagues Claudine Cellier, Amy Kinch, Nathan Lindsay, Zoe Phelan, Hillary Stowell, Alicia Houghtaling, Gordy Pace and Beverly Edmond for their constant support and encouragement. They show me, on a daily basis, the difference that we can each have on the professional and personal experiences of our fellow employees.

I am grateful to my fellow members of the Strategic Planning Coordinating Council. Our work is one of the reasons I’m being recognized today and each of them shares my belief that the faculty and staff at this University are the foundation of achieving any strategic vision. I’m incredibly lucky to work with such a committed, optimistic and creative group. This experience has changed the way I see the university — and it has proven to me that we have much to look forward to at UM.

I’m grateful to work at the University of Montana, a place that offers all of us unique opportunities: to learn, to grow, to be challenged, to be inspired and to transform ourselves and others in ways we didn’t even imagine. Believe me, when I started as a freshman here many years ago, I never thought I would wind up returning to teach public speaking as graduate student. When I started my graduate degree in the Communication Studies Department, I had no idea that it would lead me to working in the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. When I started working in the Office of the Provost on academic policy, I didn’t know that it would provide me with such fulfilling opportunities to work on projects like improving internal communication, or collaborating on the future vision of the University. And I’m even more surprised that path led me to be standing here today.

Thank you sincerely for this award. It represents the ideals that I think mean so much.