She works behind the scenes on the web details that many people take for granted, including some of the most important forms for students. That attention to detail earned China Dostal the 2021 Nancy Blane Guerra Award.

Since 2011, Dostal has worked on the web side of Information Technology (IT) in one way or another. In a nutshell, she helps build, implement and maintain internal college solutions. She helps with the unseen technical aspects of MVConnect and some WordPress. When the college suddenly moved to a remote environment due to COVID-19, numerous procedures had to be transferred digitally because they were done on paper by hand or needed signatures.

Dostal helped provide more than 30 new virtual processes into automated and streamlined methods to make remote functionality possible for employees and students. Some of those items included Academic Affairs grade change request, Center for Disability Services tutor request, Code of Conduct academic complaint, Financial Aid student document upload, return to work questions online, the HR health self- declaration form, Purchasing paper order request, Records and Registration permission to enroll, Student Life Phi Theta Kappa membership form, the student CARES Act application and Veterans Affairs benefits use, among many others.

As her nominator explained, “I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say China Dostal is the superhero that saved many of us during pandemic times. Just look at the sheer volume of processes that were on site a year ago that used paper documents. Some of these solutions required unique on-demand innovation, limitless patience and exceptional critical thinking and problem solving. The sheer volume of work by one person, whose knowledge and expertise in virtual solutions helped every area of the college function during these tumultuous times, is a monumental accomplishment. Many of us don’t know the challenges [IT] faces daily to keep all the moving parts working. If there was ever a time to acknowledge this digital artistry, 2020-21 is that time.”

Dostal said it really boiled down to tapping into and implementing the tools the college already had to make working on the web easier for everyone. The pandemic elevated automating processes, making them cleaner for the end user. And she’s heard plenty of positive feedback on how her work has helped students.

As for the award, Dostal was touched. “I felt honored because so many people have worked really hard to have things work well for faculty, staff, students. Winning it, especially this year, is such a nice honor. I was surprised, but it was really sweet,” she said.