Today, the UW System Board of Regents honored this year’s recipients of the Academic Staff Excellence Awards at its meeting in Madison. These awards recognize exceptional service to the university and are the UW System’s highest recognition bestowed on members of its academic staff.
“This year’s award recipients represent the stellar quality of our academic staff across the UW System,” said Regent Janice Mueller, chair of the selection committee. “We are delighted to recognize their innovation, creativity, and dedication as they support student success and strengthen communities.”
Award recipients are selected for superior performance resulting in significant contributions to the department and institution; use of positive personal interaction to manage work changes; and a consistently creative approach that improves productivity and work quality. Each award is valued at $5,000 per recipient.
The 2018 recipients include two individuals and one program:
- Karen E. Mittelstadt, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, School of Nursing, UW-Madison.
Mittelstadt has provided critical leadership and support during recent landmark events for the School of Nursing, including the reaccreditation process for the Doctor of Nursing Practice; the creation of the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, to launch in May; and the faculty’s redesign of the undergraduate curriculum. She helped ensure the new concept-based curriculum aligned with accreditation standards and university policies, which included guiding nearly 25 new courses through the approval process. Mittelstadt helps administer the Nurses for Wisconsin initiative, a UW System grant that encourages nurses to assume nurse educator positions in the state. She is one of five academic deans who present to students, parents, and guests at UW-Madison’s Student Advising, Orientation, and Registration (SOAR). She actively participates on the Academic Advising and Policy Leaders Committee, a group of deans who work together to improve the student experience and academic achievement on campus. She also serves on scholarship and student award committees, participates in new advisor training, and was recently selected to participate in the Kauffman Administrative Development Program, which develops UW-Madison campus leaders.
- Jaclyn Esqueda, Programs Manager, Engineering, Mathematics and Science Student Success Programs, UW-Platteville.
Esqueda has worked for more than five years within the Student Success Programs area of UW-Platteville’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science (EMS). She was initially hired to help implement a $900,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to expand science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) initiatives. She helped establish and now maintains a study and resource space to support student academic success known as CenterPOINT (Center for Projects, Opportunities, Instruction, Networking and Teamwork) with the help of a team of student staff. She also supports College of EMS students through academic advising. In addition to these retention efforts, Esqueda is active in STEM youth outreach, coordinating the EMS Expo and the Explore Engineering Program high school summer camp, and leading a team of college student Engineering, Mathematics and Science Ambassadors. Outside of her role in the College of EMS, Esqueda is the advisor for the Pioneer Pantry student organization and was instrumental in the opening of Pioneer Provisions, a food pantry on campus dedicated to combating food insecurity among college students.
- Lake Superior Research Institute, UW-Superior.
Currently directed by Dr. Matthew TenEyck, the Lake Superior Research Institute (LSRI) conducts environmental research and provides services that benefit the people, industries, and natural resources of the Upper Midwest, the Great Lakes region, and beyond. Its researchers study and provide guidance on water resources, as well as air and soil quality. Staff have diverse expertise ranging from biological assessment, restoration, trends analysis in plants and aquatic organisms, and environmental toxicity. Over the past 50 years, LSRI has involved more than 550 undergraduates in freshwater research and generated more than $60 million in grants and contracts. LSRI benefits students by sponsoring self-directed undergraduate research projects and providing annual scholarships in partnership with the UW-Superior Foundation and Advancement Office. Many LSRI students have gone on to pursue post-graduate education and/or careers in the sciences. LSRI has developed strong partnerships with more than 150 local, state, federal, and tribal governments. It is one of only five labs in the state certified to conduct certain tests related to water quality. In collaboration with its partners, including the Environmental Protection Agency, LSRI has achieved an international reputation for environmental research.
The Academic Staff Excellence Awards selection committee members included Regents Janice Mueller, Robert Atwell, Drew Petersen, and Bryan Steil.