OSHKOSH, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents today honored the recipients of the inaugural University Staff Excellence Awards. These awards recognize exceptional service to the university and are the UW System’s highest recognition bestowed on members of its university staff.

“The Board of Regents is proud to recognize the first recipients of the University Staff Excellence Awards,” said Regent Michael M. Grebe, chair of the selection committee. “Their outstanding work helps to strengthen not only our UW campuses but also the communities in which they serve, and we are pleased to shine a spotlight on their contributions to fulfilling the UW System mission.”

Award recipients are selected for superior performance resulting in significant contributions to the department and university; use of positive personal interaction to manage work changes; and a consistently innovative approach that improves productivity and work quality. Each recipient is awarded $7,500 to support professional development or program enhancements.

Photo of Brenda Cullin, UW-Milwaukee, accepting University Staff Excellence Award


The 2021 recipients include two individuals and one program:

  • Brenda Cullin, Academic Department Associate/Office Manager, Department of Economics, UW-Milwaukee

“Over the years, I have strived to be good at what I do, whether it’s my work at UWM or volunteer work in the surrounding community,” said Cullin, who has served UW-Milwaukee for 42 years and has been a member of the Department of Economics since 2011.

Cullin added that she’s made it a priority, especially as a black woman, “to be an advocate for students, especially students of color, and a voice for the voiceless of our staff.”

  • Monika Pynaker, Network Services Manager and Interim Manager of Client Services, Division of Information Technology, UW-Green Bay
Photo of Monika Pynaker, UW-Green Bay, accepting University Staff Excellence Award


“It’s starts with getting involved, whether it’s with governance units or campus events,” said Pynaker, who has been a member of UW-Green Bay’s Division of Information Technology for over 20 years. “Learn as much as you can about the vision and mission of your university … and figure out how to align your work with those goals.”

She said it’s important to embody the following traits to be successful: “Be kind, have integrity, work hard, treat campus resources as you would your own, foster relationships, lead from where you are, and rise to the occasion.”

  • You Have Options Program, University Police Department, UW-Parkside

The UW-Parkside Police Department earned its official You Have Options Program (YHOP) certification in August 2020, making it the first police department in Wisconsin and only the second in the nation to add this specialized approach for working with survivors of sexual assault.

Photo of Officer Kelly Andrichik, UW-Parkside, accepting the University Staff Excellence Award on behalf of the You Have Options Program

Officer Andrichik

“The You Have Options Program is the epitome of collaboration,” said UW-Parkside Police Officer Kelly Andrichik, who began the successful implementation of YHOP in 2017. “Though it is a law enforcement-led program, it would not exist without the collaboration from partners at the university and in the community.

“I look forward to spreading this around Wisconsin,” Andrichik said. “It’s an opportunity for students to come forward to law enforcement and work with the criminal justice system in a way they didn’t think was possible.”

The University Staff Excellence awards join a family of awards that the Regents sponsor, including the Regents Teaching Excellence Awards, the Regents Academic Staff Excellence Awards, and the Regents Diversity Awards.

See the UW System news release: Regents announce University Staff Excellence Awards for 2021

Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC)

UW-Platteville Chancellor Dennis Shields, current chair of the WIAC Council of Chancellors, and WIAC Commissioner Danielle Harris presented an overview of the conference, which includes eight UW schools.

Harris told Regents WIAC is widely recognized as the premiere Division III athletic conference in the country, with 118 NCAA championships since the 1982-83 academic year in 15 different sports. She added that WIAC also consistently ranks near the top in the Division III Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings.

The conference, which supports 21 sports, also has assumed a significant leadership role in the governance structure of the NCAA and has been recognized for its advances in gender equity and the community activism of its student-athletes.

More than 5,000 student-athletes participate in WIAC competition each year.

Several UW Oshkosh athletics reflected on their experience in WIAC athletics.

“One of the things I noticed right off the bat, my coach, my teammates, the team fellows and the athletic department were all in my corner to support competing in pool and also supporting my academics,” said swimmer Cody Else, a senior majoring in elementary education, who hopes to become a school counselor.

Gymnast Rahdea Jarvis said lessons learned in athletics include the importance of good team chemistry, leadership, time management, and serving as a role model to others. A senior majoring in business management, she intends to pursue a law degree.

Former WIAC Commissioner Saluted

Photo of Gary Karner, center, and from left, Regent President Manydeeds, Regent Vice President Walsh, UW-Platteville Chancellor Shields, and WIAC Commissioner Harris

Karner (center) accepts resolution; pictured from left: Manydeeds, Walsh, Shields, and Harris

Former WIAC Commissioner Gary Karner, who retired last year after 24 years leading the conference, was recognized for his outstanding service.

Chancellor Shields noted that WIAC is a force in Division III, and he credited Karner for his dedication and hard work to help make that happen.

Along with a certificate of commendation signed by Gov. Evers and a certificate of meritorious service from UW System and the Board of Regents, Regent Vice President Karen Walsh presented Karner with a resolution of appreciation on behalf of the Board.

Karner said it was his privilege to work with so many chancellors and coaches who would act on behalf of the conference as a whole.

“Most importantly, I’d like to thank the tens of thousands of student athletes who competed in WIAC over the years and always gave it their ultimate,” Karner said.

In other business, the Board of Regents:

  • Approved a resolution of appreciation for UW Oshkosh hosting the October 2021 meeting;
  • Approved the UW System Program Revenue Balances Report for FY20-21;
  • Approved UW System’s request for an amendment to an existing contract with BP Logix for a business process e-Workflow Management System originally furnished for UW-Milwaukee, and since made available to all UW System institutions;
  • Approved the collective bargaining agreement negotiated between UW System and the Building and Construction Trades Council (BTC) of South Central Wisconsin;
  • Approved the collective bargaining agreement negotiated between UW-Madison and the Building and Construction Trades Council (BTC) of South Central Wisconsin;
  • Approved a space use agreement between UW-Milwaukee (UWM) and US Cellular Operating Company LLC;
  • Approved a five-year master clinical trial agreement between UW-Madison and Bristol-Myers Squibb;
  • Approved a master clinical study agreement between UW-Madison and Alexion Pharmaceuticals;
  • Approved a master clinical trial agreement between UW-Madison and OM1;
  • Approved a master research agreement between UW-Madison and Diamond V Mills, LLC, a subsidiary of Cargill, Inc.;
  • Approved software and implementation services agreements between the UW System and Huron Consulting Services LLC;
  • Authorized the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding with the University Research Park, Inc., (URP) to partner with UW-Madison in the development of property that furthers the mission of the institution;
  • Approved an amendment to RPD 12-1, “Competition with the Private Sector”;
  • Approved a request from UW-Parkside and Gateway Technical College (GTC) for a New Liberal Arts Transfer Program for both the Associate of Science in Liberal Arts and the Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts;
  • Approved UW-Madison’s request for seven degree programs in the online learning initiative:
    • Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing
    • Bachelor of Business Administration in Management
    • Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resources
    • Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Systems
    • Bachelor of Science in Consumer Marketplace Studies;
    • Bachelor of Science in Consumer Finance and Financial Planning;
    • Bachelor of Liberal Studies in Applied Social Science
  • Approved UW-Whitewater’s Revised Mission Statement;
  • Approved UW-Stout’s Revised Mission Statement;
  • Approved the proposed update to the Office of Internal Audit’s Charter;
  • Approved the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget and Resource Plan;
  • Approved UW Oshkosh’s request to construct the Clow Hall/Nursing Education Renovation, Phase II project;
  • Approved UW-Madison’s request to accept a gift of 1.50 acres of land located north of Wisconsin Dells and adjacent to the Upham Woods field station;
  • Approved UW Oshkosh’s request to pay a City of Oshkosh Special Assessment;
  • Approved UW-Stout’s request to construct the South Hall Addition and Renovation project;
  • Approved UW System’s request for authority to construct three Minor Facilities Renewal projects:
    • The installation of new sets of conductors and new electrical ductbank at UW-Madison;
    • The replacement of elevators in seven UW-Madison facilities (Babcock Hall, Bascom Hall, Below Alumni Center, Elvehjem Museum of Art, Ingraham Hall, Lathrop Hall, and Memorial Library);
    • Removal of the 1970 dust collection systems for laboratories 157, 158, and 170 at UW-Stout’s Jarvis Hall Tech Wing;
  • Approved UW System’s request for authority to construct four All Agency Maintenance and Repair projects:
    • Repaving the Kress Center and Studio Arts parking lots and two pedestrian walkways at UW-Green Bay;
    • Increasing UW-Madison’s budget for the WHA Transmitter Utility and Boardwalk Replacement project to accept recent bids;
    • Replacing the water main in the southeast quad at UW-Milwaukee;
    • Installing a new telecommunications ductbank at UW-Stout; and
  • Approved rescission of RPD 19-1, “Prorating Costs for Heating/Chilling Plants,” and RPD 19-8, “Funding of University Facilities Capital Costs,” to create a new policy, “University Facilities, Space, and Physical Development Capital Funding and Costs.”

Photos by Patrick Flood/UW Oshkosh – Click on each thumbnail for a larger image

The next meeting of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will be November 4, 2021, in Madison.