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Student services staff to be honored at upcoming conference

RELEASED: Oct. 18, 2010

EAU CLAIRE — Two staff members of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will receive honors for their work at the Wisconsin College Personnel Association conference Oct. 21-22 in Wisconsin Dells.

Sarah Forcier photo
Sarah Forcier

Sarah Forcier, a program assistant in Advising/New Student Orientation, will receive the support staff recognition award, designated for employees who make significant contributions to the staff they serve and who show genuine concern for the life and development of students. Forcier has been with UW-Eau Claire for 11 years.

"Sarah is an unsung hero of this university," said Jacqueline Bonneville, academic adviser and coordinator for new student orientation. "We have an outstanding orientation program and much of that is due to all of the behind-the-scenes work done by Sarah."

According to Dr. Debbie Gough, director of Advising and New Student Initiatives, Forcier is willing to help out in whatever area of the office needs her and takes pride in helping students.

"Sarah makes us all look good," Gough said. "She is almost always one step ahead of me — doing things before I even get a chance to ask her. I am delighted that she won this award. No one could deserve it more."

Jodi Thesing-Ritter photo
Jodi Thesing-Ritter

Jodi Thesing-Ritter, associate dean of students at UW-Eau Claire since 2004, will receive the Annabelle E. Wolf Award for Outstanding Service in College Student Personnel. The award recognizes an individual who has contributed significantly to the field of student affairs for at least seven years and also contributes to student life on campus.

"I am so delighted that Jodi has been selected for this prestigious award. It is well deserved," said Dr. Beth Hellwig, vice chancellor for student affairs. "Jodi has a passion for working with students and a passion for helping to create caring and welcoming spaces for people from all backgrounds."

Hellwig particularly noted Thesing-Ritter's accomplishments in creating the university's Civil Rights Pilgrimage, an immersion experience that promotes understanding of diversity and appreciation for differences; and the Blugold Beginnings program, which exposes area youth, particularly at-risk elementary students, to the benefits and attainability of higher education.

"She has provided mentorship for countless college students throughout her career and continues to amaze me," Hellwig said. "She is bright, intelligent and articulate, and someone who I know will continue to develop innovative ways to promote understanding."

Thesing-Ritter holds a master's degree in student personnel administration and received an education specialist degree in May. She has 16 years of experience in student development, including work as a residence hall director, instructor of women's studies and assistant director of Housing and Residence Life. In her current role, Thesing-Ritter provides student outreach and referrals to students in crisis, chairs the Children's Center Building Committee and has secured significant grants for student programs.

The WPCA is a professional development organization dedicated to the advancement of student affairs by supporting student affairs administrators and the broader higher education community.



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