Skip to main content

Lentz, Nesvacil, and Vaughan recognized for their service to the college

| Carrie Ottum

Congratulations to the following College of Business faculty and staff members who were recognized for their contributions to the college in the areas of coaching, creativity & innovation, and culture of caring:

2021 Award Recipients

Dr. Paula Lentz happily poses with a College of Business Employee Recognition Award

Coaching Award: Paula Lentz, Business Communication

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 was Dr. Paula Lentz, Program Director of Business Communication.

Paula, along with Dr. Kristy Lauver, led monthly meetings that “covered a range of topics and included new faculty from all of the college.” Lentz focused on the content, concerns, and questions of new faculty “to ensure they had all the resources necessary to be successful [starting] their careers at UWEC,” one nominator said. Information was presented at just the right time, another said, “which helped us jump into the work environment and focus on our work instead of spending a lot of time searching for the information.”

New faculty faced additional challenges as COVID-19 required changes to course delivery. However, Paula and Kristy took the meetings “virtual and provided much-needed encouragement and support during a difficult transition,” said another. The meetings provided a source of connection, support, and advice. One nominator summed it up this way: “The continuity of that support group made a huge difference with the chaos of spring semester.”

“Paula always welcomed and answered questions in a warm and insightful manner that made us feel comfortable asking more questions,” a new faculty member wrote. “I greatly appreciated those meetings since many times ‘you simply don't know what you don't know,’” echoed another. And, Paula was always available for questions. “If I had questions outside those meetings, I always knew I could go to Paula for answers.”

Her nomination was summed up this way: “Paula’s guidance has been invaluable to me throughout my first, wildly unpredictable year. I am incredibly grateful for [her] time, development, and coaching throughout this crazy year.”

Dave Nesvacil poses happily with an award

Culture of Caring Award: Dave Nesvacil, College of Business

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.

It is not about ‘what’ he does; it is about ‘how’ he does it. That’s what one nominator said about this year’s winner of the Culture of Caring Award: Dave Nesvacil, Coordinator of Technical Services.

Dave’s support and guidance were critical to the success of the Student Professional Development Program – especially this year. The plan for an online networking workshop was an intimidating prospect. However, Dave, with his infinite patience and optimism, guided the Zoom process, helped think through the logistics, made connections with the appropriate LTS folks, and remained available in case there were difficulties.

His student intern said this: Dave “treats every issue with the same level of service and dedication and is always open to pursuing various approaches to solving an issue.”

Bob Erffmeyer recalled having worked with Dave during many years of the Great Northwoods Sales Warm-Up, saying, “Dave's great technological skills, a "can do" attitude, and a cool demeanor helps make faculty and staff and the College of Business look good.”

Dave’s strong commitment to the COB is “the reason you know his phone number by heart and why you don’t hesitate to call him. You know that no question is too basic or too much trouble.” One nominator put it this way: “It’s true that Dave has a heart for technology, but it’s his heart for the CoB and the people who work in it that makes him especially worthy of this award.”

Tim Vaughn poses with an award

Creativity & Innovation Award: Tim Vaughan, Management and Marketing

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.

Tim Vaughan, of the Management & Marketing department, was this year’s recipient of the Creativity & Innovation Award.

Tim uses his technical expertise in innovative ways to “assist the college in more efficiently and effectively using the data that we collect.”

One nominator noted Tim’s work with the ‘points system’ being used to monitor accreditation status in the COB. Tim made sure that the “system was user friendly and set up in a way that could be easily integrated with Sedona,” they wrote. He also took the time to create documentation and help us understand how to better utilize the technology.

Tim was also instrumental in the new paperless submission process for tenure track and adjunct staff going through reappointment. He considered ease of submission for faculty, ease of use by DPC members, and appropriate fit with a university-wide e-form system. Again, he documented and shared best practices with DPC members so they could effectively work within Sedona and the e-form system.

Another nominator cited Tim’s work with Assessment of Learning in the area of Teamwork, saying, “Tim's novel approach to organizing, synthesizing, and displaying the data greatly facilitated the AOL committee's work. The spreadsheets themselves will make the AACSB reviewers' work of interpreting the data very easy.

Finally, this nominator summed it up by saying, “Tim's creativity and willingness to put in the extra time to help efficiency is truly appreciated and important. When everyone is asking for more time and less to do - Tim is providing a way for that to occur in a challenging environment.”

Congratulations to this year's award recipients, Paula, Dave, and Tim!