Congratulations to the following College of Business faculty and staff members who were recognized for their contributions to the college in the areas of culture of caring, creativity & innovation, and coaching:
2020 Award Recipients
Coaching Award: Tonya Simpson, Business Communication and Information Systems
The Coaching Award, is presented to a College of Business faculty or staff member who improved the performance of students, faculty, and staff through effective guidance, advising, or mentoring.
This year’s winner is Tonya Simpson, Academic Department Associate in the Information Systems and Business Communication Departments.
Last summer, three ADAs either retired or moved on to other opportunities. With their departure, Tonya became the point person for other departments in the college throughout the summer and early fall until those three positions were eventually filled.
During the transition, Tonya spent countless hours showing the new employees everything related to their jobs, from entering classes, managing waitlists, to hiring, and setting up payroll for student workers. One of the ways she managed this was by initiating both individual and group training sessions. She also organized monthly ADA coffee breaks to help build a sense of community apart from the daily tasks they perform.
Tonya did all of this “willingly, gladly, and patiently while still managing her own full schedule of ADA duties in IS and BCOM, the Student Professional Development Program, and the Business Writing and Presentation Studio,” wrote one nominator.
“She has nothing but our best interests and success in mind,” shared another. Her door is always open for questions or just to simply listen if someone is having a bad day. When COVID forced faculty and staff to work from home, Tonya still took the time to meet one-on-one with staff to walk them through technical issues. “She shares our victories with us and shows an interest in our personal lives; we are not just co-workers to her.”
Creativity Award: Tony Keys, Information Systems
The Creativity & Innovation Award, is presented to a College of Business individual who generated novel and valuable ideas and used these ideas to develop new or improved processes, methods, systems, programs, or services. The award recognizes creative ideas that improved the college and made UW-Eau Claire a better place for students, faculty, or staff.
Tony Keys, Chair of the Information System Department, is this year’s recipient of the Creativity & Innovation Award. Colleagues mentioned the many ways in which he has improved and promoted the IS program.
Tony has redesigned the IS curriculum three times: the relatively technical major, the two-emphasis major, and the multi-track major. He worked to redesign “the minor to be relevant and accessible to a much larger audience.” Additionally, in dealing with faculty retirement and shortages during the last several semesters, Tony worked hard to make sure all essential IS classes were still offered. He also taught MGMT 341 when required to do so by the Dean’s Office—all this while working to realign faculty and IAS assignments so that IS faculty could eventually return to the IS curriculum.
Whether developing new courses or redesigning current ones, Tony works closely with colleagues and seeks out ideas and suggestions. This ensures that the IS program is innovative and continues to be one of the largest in the nation.
In sum, one colleague wrote, “he has been instrumental in developing the SAP initiatives across the college and took a lead role in curriculum redesign efforts. There is virtually no aspect of the IS curriculum that doesn’t bear his mark.”
He is well-respected by faculty, staff, and students and has been a “stable, relatively low key yet extremely productive administrator and faculty member”, wrote one nominator.
Culture of Caring Award: Nancy Hanson-Rasmussen, Management & Marketing; Lindsey Creapeau, Health Care Administration
The Culture of Caring Award, is presented to an individual who consistently demonstrated outstanding personal and professional service to COB employees, students, and/or their parents. Simply put, this individual made the College of Business a more inviting place to work, learn, or visit. This award will be presented to two outstanding recipients this year.
Authentic, kind, and endearing are just some of the words used to describe one of this year’s winners of the Culture of Caring Award: Nancy Hanson-Rasmussen, Assistant Professor in the Management and Marketing Department.
“In fact, I have found her value in caring for others to be central to the way she leads and conducts herself everyday” such as mentoring a team from the Black Male Empowerment group in a research project ... Even when other mentors gave up due to significant challenges (IRB approval, travel, deadlines), Nancy stayed committed, saying, “Even if they fail, I simply cannot give up on them.”
Taking that a step further, another nominator wrote, “I have, on numerous occasions, been able to share concerns, share a laugh, and “talk shop” with [Nancy], which undoubtedly makes my job at COB more meaningful and inviting.”
She is a tireless champion of making the COB a better place to work, especially regarding diversity and inclusion. “Her commitment to sustainability work, in addition to her EDI efforts and engagement, increases the appeal of UWEC and, in turn, ensures it’s a more welcoming and hospitable place for faculty and students alike”, another submitted.
In closing, one colleague wrote, “Nancy has consistently demonstrated concern for others … She exemplifies the values inherent in the Culture of Caring Award and I cannot think of anyone more deserving.”
The next recipient of this year’s Culture of Caring Award is an individual who consistently demonstrates “a heart for caring and head for business”: Lindsey Creapeau, Practicum Coordinator in the Health Care Administration program.
After returning from a partial maternity leave to help maintain continuity for students, Lindsey was thrust into navigating this ever-changing new world. A nominator wrote, “once COVID-19 broke out…Lindsey worked with the site administrators, making sure that students were as safe as possible…she has tremendously handled multiple difficult conversations with students-talking them through their fear, ensuring they were safe…and reworked students’ school load so they could dedicate extra time to their sites.”
While working closely with 59 students currently on-site in the spring, she was also preparing 54 students, without any on site modules, to step out into such a challenging environment in June. This included collaborating with sites/preceptors who were faced with their own significant COVID-19 challenges to maintain student placements and developing policies with university administration and external agencies for managing through the unique situation. To her testament, all the students of the program remained on-site in the spring, and none of the students beginning practicums in June withdrew from the program.
One colleague wrote, “I will simply say that the way she has conducted herself and supported current and outgoing practicum students throughout this COVID-19 situation has exemplified what I believe this award stands for.” Lindsey has provided much caring and concern for the students…so that in turn the students have been able to provide a culture of caring to the elderly population during these uncertain times.
“She has managed…a focus on the concerns of both the students and sites, making adjustments as necessary to improve the learning environment, and positively representing our program, college, and university,” shared another one.
Congratulations to this year's award recipients, Tonya, Tony, Nancy, and Lindsey!