Photo caption: Ann Rupnow, Dr. Ling Liu, and Dr. Jean Pratt were recognized for their service to the College of Business. Rupnow received the Creativity & Innovation Award, Liu was presented the Coaching Award, and Pratt was awarded the Culture of Caring Award.
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:
2022 Award Recipients
Coaching Award: Dr. Ling Liu, Accounting and Finance
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. Ling Liu, interim department chair and professor of accounting and finance.
Liu leads the accounting and finance department by “always showing her professional and helpful attitude to junior faculties, and helping solve challenges related to teaching, research, and service”. One faculty member shared, “she has been helping me with my teaching and research from the first day I knew her. She would never hesitate to share her experiences and was always approachable whenever I need help.”
She also “actively supports junior faculties to apply for research funds and projects.” Under her guidance, the accounting and finance department has applied for the Thompson Center Grant and, student-faculty collaborative research grants. In addition, the department has participated in National Undergraduate Research, and Provost Honor Programs.
Finally, she encourages and supports the faculty to attend conferences, create new courses, and get involved in their communities through civic and non-profit organizations. “Ling encouraged me to pursue more professional development and supported me to earn the academic staff development award twice,” said a faculty member.
Her nomination was summed up this way: “Dr. Ling Liu is a positive role model and created a welcoming, enthusiastic, and supportive environment in our department.”
Culture of Caring Award: Dr. Jean Pratt, 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.
“She truly exemplifies caring within the College of Business”. That is what one nominator said about this year’s winner of the Culture of Caring Award, Dr. Jean Pratt, associate dean.
“Amid the mass amount of change we seem to have been doing over the past few years, Jean remains the solid rock - helping things to get implemented and communicated and moving forward as needed” by leading countless committees and “seeking ways to provide resources and support” for students, faculty, and staff to be successful, shared two COB faculty members.
Pratt's strong organization, communication, and collaboration skills are extremely appreciated by the students and her colleagues. “I have worked with Jean on multiple committees and noticed that Jean is always willing to document the team’s ongoing discussions, seek legal advice, organize the team’s tasks and communicate the progress the team makes,” said a nominator.
She encompasses the College of Business's value of “putting students first in everything we do” through her words and actions. She is an insightful and equitable advocate for the students by helping them to address their issues and providing guidance to help them “get back on a successful plan-both academically and personally.” She strives to improve equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging by leading additional programs and committees that will benefit all students, faculty, and staff.
A fellow colleague summed it up by saying, “Jean takes time to encourage us to do our best, give a pat on the back to those who need it, or just greet people in the hallway. She is very deserving of this award.
Creativity & Innovation Award: Ann Rupnow, 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.
Ann Rupnow, instructor and coordinator in the entrepreneurship program, is this year’s recipient of the Creativity & Innovation Award.
Rupnow has played a vital role in the success of the entrepreneurship program. “She has worked tirelessly to grow our entrepreneurship program and often seems to do this single-handedly,” said one nominator. Ann helped students gain experiences in the field by setting up the internship program and working with them to set up Blugold Roast. “She creatively figured out how to engage students in helping to grow the program and be involved in spreading the word,” said a nominator.
She ensures entrepreneurship students are prepared, connected, and experienced when they graduate. “Entrepreneurship students have access to incredibly valuable information, funding and networks. This is due to the connections Ann has created while building the program. When students complete the entrepreneurship program, they have everything they need to launch a business,” explained a faculty member.
Rupnow worked closely with WiSys and CoLab, to launch VentureHome, a startup hub located in Eau Claire and the first location of this program. Ann is also considerably involved in Start-Up 48, One Million Cups, the Eau Claire Muse podcast, and numerous other entrepreneurship initiatives in the community.
Finally, a former student and intern summed it up by saying, “I can attest to the innovation and creativity she not only embodies but encourages her students to embody as well. As a true innovator, she is not afraid to think outside the box, try new ideas, and take risks.”
Congratulations to this year's award recipients!