Student Personnel Association announces 2010 awards

May 6, 2010

by John Lucas

UW–Madison’s Student Personnel Association honored the efforts of nine individuals with its 2010 Outstanding Achievement Awards.

The Chancellor’s Office, the Norman Bassett Foundation, the Ineva Reilly Baldwin and Ira L. Baldwin Endowment for Student Services, the Offices of the Dean of Students and the SPA membership make the awards possible.

Founded in 1956, the SPA exists to create cross-campus connections among people who work with students to support, enhance and reinforce the learning mission of UW–Madison.

Awards were made in six areas this year for nine winners. The recipient of the Chancellor’s Award receives a $1,000 stipend, with other winners receiving $500. This year’s winners are:

Illeana Rodriguez

Chancellor’s Award

Rodriguez, senior outreach specialist at the Adult and Student Services Center in the Division of Continuing Studies, engages in student service work and involvement within and outside of the university. She continuously goes above and beyond the call of duty representing UW–Madison at more than 50 outreach events each year, at sites such as public libraries, neighborhood centers, festivals, state government departments and private companies.

“I have met with numerous people in my role as a career counselor, who mention that they heard about office and its resources for adults through Ileana’s outreach,” writes her nominator Katia Albright. “When I’ve asked these folks about their experience they’ve told me that Ileana was welcoming and approachable, and that her explanation of the process and steps of returning to school made an intimidating process a doable one.”

Donna Freitag

Campus Impact Award

Frietag plays an integral role in supporting the Offices of the Dean of Students as the UW Band liaison. Having worked as a basketball coach for many years, she recently made a successful transition to her new role.

“While the UW Marching Band went through very trying times, resolving issues of hazing and misconduct, Donna was able to step into this newly created role with grace and ease,” writes her nominator, Lori Berquam. “Her outstanding leadership came through as she was able to quickly develop positive relationships and make progress in resolving issues. She has been extremely influential in improving UW Marching Band relations and in helping the students to have a well-rounded Wisconsin Experience. She is transforming beliefs of what the marching band stands for and the value they add to campus.”

Will Lipske

Campus Impact Award

Through February 2010, Lipske worked as an adviser in L&S Undergraduate Academic Services. Currently, he works as the adviser for students in the biological sciences majors in the Institute for Cross-College Biology Education.

“Will is an incredible resource for students and colleagues alike,” writes his nominator Susan Nelson. “In L&S Undergraduate Academic Services, Will was always willing to help a student or a colleague and he always knew exactly how to deal with challenges that arose. Will successfully advised an astonishing number of students (more than 700), and more than anyone else in the office.”

“He has done and continues to do a lot for students, but he also is committed to working with other advisers on campus to improve advising services,” she adds.

Magpie Martinez

Leadership in Social Justice

Martinez serves as the director of diversity programs and initiatives within the Division of University Housing. She is completing her third year in this role, but has worked for Housing for 11 years.

“Magpie has been extremely successful in her position and has helped transform social justice issues in the residence halls,” writes her nominator Larry Davis. “She serves as a role model, confidante and support person for staff. She has created programs and processes that are socially just, which has contributed to inclusive environments in the halls. She has a strong commitment to social justice and creating safe spaces for all students and staff. This is a passion of hers and she lives it on a daily basis both at work and in her personal life.”

Susan Dibbell

Excellence in Student Affairs

Dibbell has advised and mentored hundreds of student leaders and has influenced thousands of other students directly and indirectly through her work. As the Wisconsin Union assistant director for social education, she is responsible for the overall administration, coordination, development and evaluation of the Wisconsin Union social, educational, cultural and recreational program.

“At some point in the past 22 years, if students have had a positive experience on a Wisconsin Union Directorate committee, accepted a student leadership role on WUD, taken advantage of an opportunity at the Morgridge Center or just enjoyed themselves at a Wisconsin Union program, they have been influenced by the work of Susan Dibbell and the myriad of staff and students she has mentored during her career,” writes her nominator Robin Schmoldt. “Students are at the very heart of Susan’s professional pursuits.”

Sylvia Garcia

SPA Frontline Award

Garcia serves as program administrator for Chicana/o & Latina/o Studies, handling all administrative tasks of the academic program. She performs the personnel, timetable, student enrollment and budget tasks.

“Sylvia is a very strong advocate for student needs and is well respected by them,” says her nominator Sandy Magana. “She is the face of our program and sees students day in and day out. She is the one who enrolls students to our program and answers any questions they have about courses and enrollment to them. When she was a student at UW–Madison, she was part of the group that advocated for the existence of our program and our current students identify with her as being an important part of their past and present history.”

Eileen Posluszny

SPA Frontline Award

Posluszny works as a university service program associate for the Adult & Student Service Center, which is part of the Division of Continuing Studies. She covers the front desk, schedules advising and counseling appointments for current and prospective special students, supervises student assistants, and assists with workshop preparations.

“Eileen is one of the most caring and patient individuals I know,” writes her nominator Katia Albright. “These characteristics are invaluable in the quality service she provides students. Eileen is often one of the first voices that folks calling the office hear and she goes above and beyond in trying to help them or provide them with a name of someone who can. She is a warm and caring professional who cares deeply about providing a good service and experience to students and clients.”

Cathy Trueba

Norman Bassett Award

Trueba, director of the McBurney Disability Resource Center, is recognized as a leader in the area of disability services not only at UW–Madison, but also at the local, state and even national levels. She is known for her passion and enthusiasm, challenging our institution to offer opportunities and services to students with disabilities to ensure them of an education.

“Cathy’s contributions as the Director of McBurney cannot be overstated,” writes her nominator Lori Berquam. “She has assumed these responsibilities with humor, grace, intelligence and dedication. She is an amazing and competent leader. Her ability to ask the right, though often difficult, questions has resulted in solid, rather than easy, decisions being made.”

Jeff Shokler

Norman Bassett Award

Shockler serves as associate director of the L&S Honors Program, where he has worked for the past 12 years. In addition to the valuable contributions he has made to students, he has more recently become the driving force behind the initiative to create a shared, campus-wide system for recording advising notes. The initiative recently received Madison Initiative for Undergraduates funding.

“Jeff has played a key leadership role in getting this very ambitious project off the ground and ready to pilot in summer 2010,” writes his nominator, Annette McDaniel. “Jeff has a remarkable ability to grasp the technical minutiae of this project while appreciating the student-adviser relationships the system is meant to foster.”