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Faculty, Staff and Students Receive Student Development and Diversity Awards

RELEASED: April 24, 2008

EAU CLAIRE — Faculty, staff and students at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire who have gone to extraordinary lengths to help students and colleagues reach their potential were honored April 16 during the Student Development and Diversity Awards reception.

SDD Award recipients
Student Development and Diversity Awards recipients included (from left) Helaine Minkus, Alison Harder (Students for Choice representative), Jacqueline Bonneville, Barbara Lozar, Sarah Forcier, Kim Vlcek, Marc Goulet and Ashley Miller. Not pictured is recipient January Boten. (Photo by Bill Hoepner, LTS)

The 2008 Student Development and Diversity Award recipients are:

  • Older Wiser Learner Award: Dr. Helaine Minkus, associate professor, department of geography and anthropology. The award recognizes faculty who exemplify the art and science of teaching returning adult students, helping adult students reach their full potential, employing classroom strategies that are varied and flexible, and recognizing that older students lead busy lives. Minkus was nominated by an adult student who commended her not only for teaching interesting and challenging classes, but for her willingness to work with him to develop a topical minor and an independent study course during a semester when he could not attend classes on campus. "Dr. Minkus exemplifies everything a nontraditional student could ask for in a professor," the student wrote. He also described her as "one of the most dynamic and knowledgeable professors at UW-Eau Claire."
  • Student Development and Diversity Unclassified Staff Award: Jacqueline Bonneville, part-time adviser and coordinator of New Student Orientation, Advising and New Student Initiatives. This award recognizes unclassified staff who display excellent teamwork skills and professionalism, and an appreciation for the diverse needs and interests of students while contributing to the mission of Student Development and Diversity. Several staff members nominated Bonneville, citing her knowledge and professionalism, her ability to listen and deal with problems and disputes in a positive way, her skill in planning and identifying the details that make the difference in efficient program operation and her patience and overall caring attitude when dealing with a diverse population of students, parents, faculty and staff.
  • Student Development and Diversity Classified Staff Award: Sarah Forcier, program assistant and orientation program assistant, Advising and New Student Initiatives. This award recognizes classified staff members who display excellent teamwork skills and professionalism and an appreciation for the diverse needs and interest of students while contributing to the mission of Student Development and Diversity. Nine staff members wrote nominations for Forcier, citing her as a knowledgeable, competent problem solver, quick to offer assistance to others, take on more work and complete a wide variety of tasks. She was particularly cited for her pleasant demeanor, excellent service skills and ability to work amicably with a diverse group of staff and students.
  • Student Development and Diversity Staff Excellence Award: Kim Vleck, program assistant/university services associate, Academic Skills Center and Counseling Services (fall award). This award was previously presented each fall and spring to recognize staff members who displayed excellent teamwork skills and professionalism while contributing to the mission of Student Development and Diversity in extraordinary ways. It has now been replaced by the Classified and Unclassified Staff Excellence Awards, listed above. Vleck was nominated by several staff members and cited for her professionalism, dedication, kindness, creativity, leadership and rapport with a diverse group of students.
  • Student Organization Award: Students for Choice. This award recognizes a student organization that has made significant contributions to campus life while displaying an appreciation for the diverse needs and interests of students. A faculty member nominated this group, citing their work to provide information and discussions around topics of reproductive rights and its conscientiousness about including the viewpoints of a diverse range of students.
  • University Excellence Award: Dr. Marc Goulet, professor of mathematics. This award recognizes full or part-time faculty or staff members outside the Student Development and Diversity office who exhibit student-centered approaches to their work and an appreciation for diverse cultural perspectives. Goulet was nominated by the Women's Studies Steering Committee for his long and sustained dedication to the inclusion of women and minorities in math and science programs through his collaborative research, committee work and teaching practices.
  • Student Development and Diversity Student Assistant Award: senior Ashley Miller, an accounting major from Lake Nebagamon, who works as a clerical and intake assistant in the Academic Skills Center. This award recognizes a student worker who shows appreciation for the diverse needs and interests of students and staff while exhibiting creativity and enthusiasm for his or her work. A nominator described Miller as a reliable, knowledgeable leader who works independently and is professional, efficient and helpful to other students.
  • Diversity Teacher/Scholar Award: Dr. Barbara Lozar, professor of psychology. This award recognizes faculty or staff who engage in a multicultural approach to teaching and/or learning and illustrate an understanding of and enthusiasm for the critical role diversity plays in teaching and learning. Lozar was cited for her early and continued commitment to a diverse group of students, including first-generation, low income, multicultural and English language learners through her long-time support of the Academic Skills Center and coordination of the Teaching and Learning of English as a Second Language/Foreign Language committee. Students describe her as challenging, yet direct, respectful and empathetic. A staff member called her a dedicated leader, adviser, researcher and mentor who engages in a multicultural approach to teaching and learning.
  • Diversity Advocate Award: January Boten, residence hall director, Housing and Residence Life. This award recognizes students, faculty and staff who promote diversity efforts at the university and in the community, create a welcoming environment for diverse students, employees and campus visitors, and support programming that celebrates the unique challenges of diverse groups. Boten was cited by several staff members for her dedication to diversity efforts and her ongoing, positive impact on students. Student programs or campaigns she has directly encouraged or advised include the Civil Rights Pilgrimage, the V-Day Campaign, Peer Diversity Educators and Mosaic. She also has been involved in the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Violence, the Regional National Residence Hall Honorary, and the annual Putnam Lovestock charitable event.

For more information about the awards, contact Ann Lapp, interim associate vice chancellor, Student Development and Diversity, at 715-836-5992 or lappam@uwec.edu.

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