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Ten UW-Eau Claire Classified Staff Members Announce Retirements

RELEASED: May 12, 2009

EAU CLAIRE Ten members of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's classified staff have announced they have retired or will retire soon.

Sylvia Emerson, an operations program assistant who manages the Parking and Transportation Services office, will retire in May. Emerson began her 40 years of service at the university as a typist in the Admissions Office, where she processed applications, corresponded with students and supported the Admissions director. Over the next six years she was promoted several times. After briefly leaving state service in 1975, she returned as a limited-term employee in the music and accounting departments and the Admissions, business and student affairs offices until 1983, when she became a program assistant in the Housing office. In 1994 Emerson transferred to the University Bookstore, where her responsibilities increased to include bookstore supervision. She transferred to the Parking and Transportation Services office in 2001.

MaryEdna Hagen, a university services program associate in the field experience office of the College of Education and Human Sciences, retired in April after 31 years of service. She began her UW-Eau Claire career as a typist in the Service Center. She continued limited-term service as a cashier until 1982, when she became a permanent part-time fiscal clerk in the Service Center. She then transferred to the Copy Corner as a part-time clerical assistant. Over the next 13 years, Hagen took on more responsibility for managing, staffing, training, accounting and educating other staff at the Copy Corner. In October 1995 she became a program assistant in the field experience office. Hagen facilitated all functions involved with field experience placement for students in UW-Eau Claire's teacher education program.

Ann Klawiter, a university services associate in the history department, will retire in August after 19 years of service to UW-Eau Claire. Klawiter's service started in duplicating services and at the Copy Corner, where she provided customer service at the window, word processing and other duplicating duties. She joined the history department in 2002, providing administrative support for several public history grants, such as the "Learn by Doing: Public History in the Classroom" graduate certificate program and the "Making American, Making America" program.

Larry Lawrence, a custodian in Schofield Hall, will retire at the end of May after 28 years of service to the state of Wisconsin, with 27 years at UW-Eau Claire. Lawrence began his service as a building maintenance helper in environmental services at the UW-Center for Health Sciences Hospitals and Clinics in Madison. He transferred to UW-Eau Claire in 1983 and began working for custodial services in the Old Library. In 1985, he transferred to Schofield Hall. In 2005 Lawrence was nominated for the Classified Staff Excellence in Performance Award, indicating the high quality of his work.

Jeffery Odenbreit, an electronics/media technician in Housing and Residence Life, retired in April after 11 years at UW-Eau Claire. He began his 35 years with the state in 1973 as a stock clerk in the food service department at the Northern Wisconsin Colony and Training School in Chippewa Falls. In 1982, he was promoted to storekeeper and assumed responsibility for the school's food stores operations. In 1996, he transferred to Jackson Correctional Institution in Black River Falls, where he handled daily operations of prison stores. In 1998, he transferred to UW-Eau Claire as a maintenance mechanic in University Recreation, where he took care of the mechanical bowling machines and related equipment. In 2000 he transferred to the electrical shop in Facilities Planning and Management, and in 2001 he transferred to Housing and Residence Life. In July 2003 he was promoted to his current position, where he maintained the satellite, TV and radio broadcast system within the residence halls and expanded the master antenna, residence hall public address systems and other electronic media.

Larry Pittman retired after six years of service to UW-Eau Claire as a groundskeeper for Facilities Planning and Management. Pittman began his state service career in 2003 as a limited-term groundskeeper for winter and spring snow and ice removal. He became a permanent employee later that same year. He maintained the Central Campus Mall area, providing cleaning services as well as lawn, tree and shrub care. He also worked other maintenance and development projects in his area such as excavation, grading, demolition and concrete work.

Sandra Schulner, a deans' assistant in the College of Education and Human Sciences, has retired after 38 years at UW-Eau Claire. Schulner began her career in 1972 as a stenographer in allied health services. Over the next 32 years she saw many changes and held a number of different positions as a stenographer and program assistant. In 2004, she assumed her last position, where she provided transition support as the School of Education became the College of Education and Human Sciences.

Theodore Short, an advanced engineering specialist, retired in April after 18 years of service to UW-Eau Claire. Short started in 1991 as an engineering specialist for Facilities Planning and Management, where he coordinated and inspected university and state campus construction projects. He was the liaison between contractors, inspectors and facilities management and routinely coordinated numerous and varied projects such as remodeling, asbestos removal, parking lot renovations, river bank stabilization, window and flooring replacements and other high-cost projects.

Ione Valk retired in January after 25 years of service in Davies Center. She joined UW-Eau Claire in 1984 by distributing and collecting textbooks during rush periods. Over time she took on additional tasks such as working on the bookstore sales floor, shelving books and receiving freight. By 1989, Valk's responsibilities included computer-related tasks, bookkeeping and ordering for the textbook department. After contracting services took over the operation of the bookstore, Valk continued her computer work for the instructional resource rental department, entering information in the mainframe and tracking and verifying information regarding orders, purchasing, sales and returns.

Janet Wittrock, a financial specialist supervising the University Centers and Programs office, will retire in August after 34 years of service. She began as a limited-term employee and became a permanent stenographer in the controller's office in 1976. She started by providing general accounting, assisting with administering campus accounts and backing up the travel clerk. Over the next eight years, Wittrock's responsibilities expanded and she was promoted several times. In 1984 she became a fiscal clerk in the parking office, where she issued permits, collected payments and processed tickets. She became a fiscal clerk in the business office in 1991 and was later promoted to financial specialist. She collected student fees, disbursed and remitted financial aid and examined payments for removal of holds on student accounts. In 1999 Wittrock transferred to University Centers and Programs.

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