Bechen named January SDSU Civil Service Employee of the Month

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — Diane Bechen was named the January Civil Service Employee of the Month at South Dakota State University.

Bechen has served as an SDSU Extension FNP Nutrition Assistant for the last 18 years. Her career began in the family nutrition program in Davison, Hanson and Sanborn Counties and now in the expanded food and nutrition education program. Bechen also holds National Nutrition Paraprofessional Certification. She and her husband, Merl, live outside Mitchell and have three daughters and three grandchildren.

In letters of support, co-workers said Bechen’s commitment and friendly demeanor make her an excellent nutrition educator.

“Diane exemplifies the phrase ‘committed educator,'” said Suzanne Stluka, SDSU Extension Food and Family Program Director. “Each activity Diane presents is an opportunity to learn. A master at capturing the energy of young children and channeling it into learning experiences, Diane gives children the freedom to practice new skills and ask questions along the way. The atmosphere in her classroom is always engaging. Diane has helped improve the quality of life of students with diverse backgrounds through her work and fulfill a need that would otherwise go unmet.”

Alice Nickelson, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Adviser said, “Diane and I have had the opportunity to share resources and experience in the iGrow Readers nutrition program along with other youth nutrition programming. She is always prepared and her positive teaching style always makes learning fun for the youth attending the programming. Diane is a very caring person and it shows regardless of whether she is working with underprivileged youth, young families or seniors. She truly empathizes with their circumstances and offers her support and encouragement.”

All SDSU Employee of the Month selections are determined through a nomination process by the Civil Service Advisory Council. A reception honoring Bechen was held Jan. 15, 2015.

Each civil service employee of the month receives an appreciation monetary gift from the F.O. Butler Foundation. The trustees of the foundation recognize the importance of civil service employees and take this opportunity to thank them for their exemplary service.