Bay College Honors Outstanding Staff


Jillena Rose and Paul Korhonen

Jillena Rose and Paul Korhonen are the proud recipients of the 2024 Outstanding Staff Award at Bay College.

By Shena Meffer
Published May 5, 2024

Bay College honored its 2024 Outstanding Staff during an awards banquet held on April 16. Any Bay College employee, Board Member, student, alumni, or community member may nominate a full-time or regular part-time exempt or non-exempt employee for the Bay College Outstanding Staff Award. These individuals must have completed three years of employment at Bay College. Nominees are judged by their job knowledge; respect and enthusiasm towards colleagues, students, and community members; how they create a positive influence within the work environment; and how they can collaboratively work with colleagues and staff.

The 2024 Outstanding Staff are as follows:

Jillena Rose

Jillena Rose was hired in May 2019 as an Academic Co-Advisor, and later promoted to Transfer and Academic Co-Advisor in January of 2022. Jillena has worked in higher education for over 20 years and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing with a concentration in Poetry from Warren Wilson College and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Language from Lake Superior State University. These degrees and experiences made it possible for her to co-found and teach in the Creative Writing Program at LSSU.

Jillena’s focus is student success, and it is evident in her interactions with students, staff, and faculty. Whether meeting students as a professor in the classroom or in a small office as an advisor, her goal has always been to empower students to find out who they are and where they belong. As the Transfer and Academic Co-Advisor, she provides individualized plans and resources to students, while also communicating actions and plans with faculty to ensure the students success. Jillena meets employees and students with kindness and respect, and is always helpful and caring in her communications with others. She promotes inclusivity and well-being that allows others to feel safe, comfortable, and cared for. She provides unwavering support to her students and colleagues and regularly expresses gratitude for employee contributions.

One student said about Jillena: “It is comforting to know that someone with such a positive mindset is contributing her expertise to decision-making processes to enhance the overall experience at Bay College.”

Paul Korhonen

Paul Korhonen was hired in October 2019 as a Custodian and is responsible for the Joseph Heirman University Center (JHUC) and the Physical Education Complex (PEC) at Bay College’s Escanaba Campus. Paul holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Conservation from Northern Michigan University.

Paul was nominated for this award because of his friendly, positive, and helpful personality. He is quick to offer solutions whenever a staff or student finds themselves in need, while also welcoming questions and making himself available for special projects. He has great attention to detail for providing a safe and clean learning environment for students. Paul is always upbeat, cheerful, and thoughtful in his actions.

A fellow colleague said about Paul: “Paul inspires the students. While custodial work can be viewed as humble, his dedication to the work models pride in doing a job well and that routine tasks are what makes the world turn.”


Bay College is the community’s college with a mission of: Student Success, Community Success. Culture of Success. Bay is devoted to each individual’s achievement in the classroom, on-campus, online, in the community and into the workforce by providing certificates and associate degrees,  transfer credits to universities, and workforce training programs which develop skillsets and advance careers. #BayIsTheWay

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