Three University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire College of Business employees were recognized for their contributions to the college in the areas of coaching, culture of caring, and creativity and innovation:
- Jerry Kollross, senior lecturer of marketing in the department of management and marketing, is the recipient of the 2017 College of Business Coaching Award. The award is presented to an employee who improved the performance of students, faculty and staff through effective guidance, advising or mentoring.
- Jeri Weiser, iDocs senior instructional specialist and the College of Business research assistant, is the 2017 recipient of the Culture of Caring Award. This recognition recognizes an individual who consistently demonstrated outstanding personal and professional service to COB employees, students and/or their parents.
- Dr. Rebecca Wyland, associate professor of management in the department of management and marketing, is the recipient of the 2017 College of Business Creativity and Innovation Award. The award is presented to a faculty or staff member who developed new or improved processes that allowed the college to operate more effectively and/or better serve its students and other stakeholders.
Interim Dean Tim Vaughan presented each recipient with an award and $500 at a collegewide meeting on Aug. 23. The awards were funded by gifts made by alumni through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.
2017 Award Recipients
Coaching Award: Jerry Kollross, Department of Management and Marketing
“Jerry is one of the most enthusiastic educators I know and coaching seems to be in his DNA,” wrote one nominator. “He truly exemplifies someone who thrives on helping improve the performance of others.”
In addition to teaching a variety of marketing classes for the management and marketing department, Jerry Kollross coached the Blugold Sales Team from 2011-16. During his tenure as sales coach, Kollross’ teams realized two national championships and finished in the top 10 eight times at national competitions in Georgia, New Jersey and Florida.
This is no easy feat; however, the College of Business Coaching Award recognizes more than just a winning record. It was Kollross’ ability to help students build on their strengths and develop the self-confidence they need to be successful in life that made Kollross stand out.
Nominators mentioned his ability to make students believe in themselves, the tireless hours Kollross spent outside of class working one-on-one with students to help them improve their sales skills, and the many weekends he mentored students at competitions throughout the country. They also cited his willingness to make telephone calls to find students internships and entry-level positions.
“Students thoroughly enjoy Jerry’s enthusiasm,” wrote another nominator. “He is always open to our students, and ultimately makes it clear that he is here to help them in any manner possible.”
Culture of Caring Award: Jeri Weiser, iDocs
“Jeri is definitely one of the most caring people I know,” wrote one nominator. “Take one step into her office and you can immediately tell how caring she is — from the chocolate she keeps on her desk to her comfy glider rocker!”
In addition to the chocolate and the comfortable rocker, Weiser demonstrates concern for the college’s faculty and staff through her professionalism.
“I really value Jeri’s ability to consider problems from different perspectives,” wrote a nominator. “She is always open to finding new ways in which her skills can be applied, and she always keeps the best interests of the faculty, students and others at the forefront of the feedback she provides.”
As scholarly activity is critical to faculty tenure and promotion, many faculty members have come to depend on Weiser's talents when doing research or reviewing manuscripts. Because faculty are often under deadline pressures, they appreciate the timely feedback she provides.
“Whenever I ask Jeri for help, she always responds — whether it is during the week or on the weekend, during the semester or in the summer, or even on her days off,” wrote one nominator. “Jeri always gives me a heads-up as to when I can expect her feedback; often she gets back to me earlier than I expected. Her edits and comments on my manuscripts are always very helpful. I am very thankful for her help.”
Creativity and Innovation Award: Dr. Rebecca Wyland, Department of Management and Marketing
“Rebecca is epitome of an "idea person" wrote one nominator. “She is the type of person who not only comes up with creative ideas, but also has a plan for how to implement them.”
Nominators cited Wyland's ability to come up with new and timely research ideas, such as the autism in the workplace project which received a UW-Eau Claire International Fellows Program grant to support student and faculty travel to Germany and Austria for data collection.
She has experimented with flipped classrooms and other active learning techniques.
“Rebecca’s classes benefit from the frequent new activities she has designed to increase student involvement and understanding,” wrote one nominator. “She is willing and excited to share new teaching ideas with her peers and I have used many of her ideas in my own classes.”
Wyland was instrumental in helping to refine the College of Business' teamwork assessment system, and has served as the assessment coordinator for that learning goal. She is a frequent contributor of new ideas related to curriculum and the general operation of the college.
“If you’ve been on a committee with Rebecca, you have experienced her fresh approach to solving problems,” wrote a nominator. “Her creative mind is constantly at work. We are fortunate to have her energy and drive within the college.”