WSG recognizes busy, successful semester

Faculty, staff awarded at recent reception

Shannan Lojeski, Assistant News Editor

Passionate, inspirational, resourceful, supportive and inclusive.

Among others, these were the leading qualities acknowledged by awards given at the 2018 Fall Faculty and Staff Recognition Reception. Whitewater Student Government (WSG) hosted the event Nov. 28 in the University Center and presented five awards to both faculty and staff members.

“WSG truly appreciates all of the hard work that every single faculty and staff member displays here on campus,” said Zachary Klotz, co-director for WSG academic affairs. “At the end of each semester, we like to take some time out of everyone’s busy schedules to properly celebrate their dedication to students.”

The awards included the Teaching Spotlight Award, Inspirational Impact Award, Outstanding Academic Adviser, Outstanding Student Organization Adviser and Diversity Engagement Award.

After collecting the nominations, the WSG Academic Affairs Committee used pre-made rubrics to evaluate each nominee and decide the winners.

Kolz explained that this semester’s response rate from the students was the highest it has been since the establishment of the recurring event.

“We had over 150 nominations submitted by students and staff just for the five awards. It was difficult to just pick five,” Klotz said.

Academic advisor and national testing coordinator Tayana Tornes was pleasantly surprised to receive the Outstanding Academic Adviser Award.

“I honestly had no idea I was nominated until I received the email stating that I won. It was definitely a good feeling to know that students can see that I really do care and that I am trying to make a difference,” said Tornes.

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Susan Elrod attended the reception.

“I offer my sincerest congratulations to the faculty and staff who were nominated, and especially to the winners. It signifies the deep commitment our faculty and staff have to providing transformational and empowering experiences to our students,” said Elrod. “There is no greater honor than to be nominated by students for awards such as these.”

Recipient of the Teaching Spotlight Award professor Chandra D. L. Waring shared her gratitude in being recognized by students.

“I have wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl and to have the opportunity to be one and be recognized means the world to me. I’m very grateful to my students, who are a joy to teach,” said Waring.

As an advocate for diversity and inclusion on UW-Whitewater’s Curriculum & Instruction staff, recipient of the Diversity Engagement Award Jenna Cushing-Leubner encouraged faculty, staff and students to continue to recognize those who support them.

“Transforming our campus takes a multitude and we are what we show up for with our energy, time, and supports. It’s an unexpected gift to have those efforts named like this. Thank you and keep calling out those people in your lives and on our campus,” said Cushing-Leubner.