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SUMMER 2016 COMMUNIQU 13 by Laura Probyn Colleen Kniffen came to MSU in 1985 with the idea that it would be a good place to work for a couple of years. Those two years turned into 30 and on June 1 she retired from the university as a management analyst with the College of Osteopathic Medicine. She worked in several departments including two College of Human Medicine units before moving into then Dean Allen W. Jacobs ofce as an executive staff assistant nearly 19 years ago. Of the many responsibilities she has handled through the years one of the biggest has been her role as chairperson of fundraising and nance for the Michigan Osteopathic College Foundation Ball. When MSUCOM took on the MOCF endowment in 2005 Dean Strampel needed someone to take on the annual Balls organizational duties. I told him I love doing events. Let me do it she said. Im a planning and detail maniac anything that requires organizing and setting things up and making sure everyone has fun. The Ball has raised more than 3.5 million since the MOCF came under the auspices of the college and takes months to plan every year but its far from Kniffens only responsibility. She has also been responsible for handling a list of tasks ranging from clinical faculty appointments and communication to numerous reports budgeting and nances and organizing events like the scholarship dinner and the Holiday Open House. She also works to make sure theres a SHES HAD A BALL COLLEEN KNIFFEN RETIRES AFTER 31 YEARS WITH MSU STAFF representative from the Deans Ofce at every one of the 42 Statewide Campus System graduations that take place each spring. One of the nicest surprises she remembers was being named a recipient of the MSU Jack Breslin Distinguished Staff Award in 1995. She did not know that she had been nominated and when she pulled a letter out of her home mailbox addressed to her from then MSU Vice President for Finance and Operations Roger Wilkinson she was frightened by what it might possibly mean. I was scared. I couldnt gure out what he was sending me she laughs. It took a while to sink in. Kniffens immediate future goals include focusing on things that shes put off due to a busy work schedule. She plans to return to planning events but now instead of doing on a scale of 1000 osteopathic doctors governmental university and corporate ofcials shell be organizing personal events like baby showers and weddings. Colleen Kniffen by Laura Probyn A Methodist ministers wife and former hospital chaplains assistant long-time MSUCOM public relations professional Pat Grauer is no stranger to prayer. Shes also learned what happens when the answer to a prayer is a life-changing lesson. In 1973 she interviewed for a communications position with MSUs health colleges. The daughter of an M.D. she wanted to communicate about medicine but on bended knee asked God Please dont send me to that bone crusher school. The response came in the form of a job and a change in perspective that both began on July 1. As soon as I began to meet these doctors and when I began to see them work with patients and the rst time I ever saw OMM used it was powerful she says. I was attracted to how they did medicine. I would say within a week I was a convert and within two weeks I was a rabid convert. In the 43 years since Grauer has rabidly protected and promoted MSUCOM and osteopathic medicine. Shes worked with hundreds of students dozens of faculty and staff members and ve deans. One of her rst initiatives was to begin a regular communications instrument for the college. She developed a plan named the product Communiqu and received approval to move forward from then Dean Magen. Its had all sorts of iterations and Im proud that all these years later it is still going she notes. Among her most memorable assignments was the charge from Magen to lead a committee to create the Kobiljak Centers. The committee labored through the task of preparing a grant to the National Library of Medicine and was nearly ready to resubmit it when the family of A PROPONENT FOR THE PROFESSION PAT GRAUERS PASSION FOR OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE MSUCOM alumnus Stefan Kobiljak came forward and asked if the college had a need that memorial gifts for their son could fulll. We handed them the proposal that we had done for the National Library of Medicine and they funded it along with a scholarship in his name Grauer says. Though being in-the-know was part of her job description Grauer did get a surprise in 2014 when she was honored with an MSU Jack Breslin Distinguished Staff Award. Grauer hopes that her legacy will include MSUCOM programs that develop individuals and promote diversity the Leadership Academy for Compassionate Care diversity and cultural intelligence education and the William G. Anderson Slavery to Freedom lecture series. There have been so many things Ive been privileged to work on that normally dont fall under the PR job description she adds. So many fun exciting things have happened over the years that I really enjoyed doing with so many wonderful people. Thats what I rememberthe people. As she moves into retirement people will still be a big part of Grauers life primarily her three children and three grandchildren. She also plans to write several books and travel including at least once a year on a medical mission. Pat Grauer