Executive assistant helps colleagues navigate complexity

A graphic shows an image of a researcher taking field notes and includes a portrait of Deanne Arensberg to the right and also reads Unsung Hero, Deanne Arensberg, Office of Research

Deanne Arensberg | Executive Assistant | Office of Research 

Belinda Sturm says Deanne Arensberg has been invaluable in the search for a new director for the Kansas Geological Survey. 

“As we work to recruit a candidate, she has become the friendly front door to the university,” said Sturm, associate vice chancellor for research.  

Arensberg is the executive assistant for the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. She plans, organizes and facilitates job searches, manages research center reviews, processes affiliate and principal investigator status requests, and provides general administrative support for the office. 

She managed the logistics for the KGS director search, including organizing campus visits for all the candidates. She even had to quickly reschedule one visit due to snow.  

“Candidates always say Deanne makes the process easy for them,” said Gina Cregg, executive director of fiscal affairs and Arensberg’s supervisor. “She understands the big picture, and that helps her do the things that she does on a daily basis.” 

In addition to her core job responsibilities, Arensberg also serves on the executive committee and as secretary for Staff Senate and is a founding member of the KU Research Staff Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Committee.  

“Deanne is an active committee member who contributes time and energy expanding her own knowledge, forging deeper connections with colleagues, elevating DEIB consciousness throughout our office, and helping chart a course toward a more inclusive and equitable workplace,” said Mindie Paget, assistant vice chancellor for DEIB. 

Keeping initiatives moving forward while managing varying priorities and perspectives in a friendly and professional manner is one of Arensberg’s many strengths. 

“I always appreciate her smile, her fast responses, and working with me to think through complex processes,” Sturm said.