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UW-Stevens Point faculty, staff honored at University Awards

May 11, 2022

Outstanding faculty and staff members were recently recognized at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for their work during the 2021-22 academic year. 

Richard Hauer
Richard Hauer

The Excellence in Teaching, Scholarship and Service Award was given to Richard Hauer, professor of urban and community forestry. He has been honored for teaching by his department, university and UW System. His scholarship includes hundreds of publications, presentations and textbooks. He also serves as a mentor for student research, member of university committees and leader of professional committees. He recently won the Wisconsin Arborist Association’s 2022 Honorary Lifetime Award.

Sheila Bannister-Gross
Sheila Bannister-Gross

The winner of the Carolyn Rolfson Sargis Award was Sheila Bannister-Gross, event specialist in Continuing Education and Outreach. With 35 years of service, Bannister-Gross has worked tirelessly for the benefit of her unit and the university, offering professional service, technology assistance, problem-solving and a friendly, positive attitude. She also served on numerous UW-Stevens Point committees. The Sargis Award recognizes an employee with more than 25 years of service.

Those selected for the Excellence in Teaching Award include:

  • Becca Franzen, associate professor of environmental education, is committed to creativity and creating community in her classroom and in her advising.
  • Nikki Logan, associate professor of education, demonstrates how to teach all learners, foster a positive, inclusive environment and use life experiences and critical thinking.
  • Jeana Magyar, professor of psychology, creates welcoming, impactful classes that help students think critically and connect with class material personally and professionally.
  • Erica Ringelspaugh, assistant professor of English, engages students through interactive and purposeful writing, mentorship and support.

Recognized with the University Scholar Award were:

  • Adriana Durbala, professor of physics, has made important breakthroughs in how galaxies form and evolve and created a student-centered research program.
  • Sarah Orlofske, assistant professor of biology, employs cutting-edge tools in her varied research, curates the UWSP parasitology collection and mentors student research.

The University Service Award recipients were:

  • Nerissa Nelson, librarian/professor for University Libraries, has served several terms on the Common Council, recently as chair. She is active in library outreach efforts and events and was appointed to the Wisconsin Women’s Council by the governor.
  • Robert Sirabian, professor of English, has extensively worked on the General Education Committee, curated and promoted a college faculty forum, mentors student research and is working on new university sabbatical policies.
  • Carrie Kline, circulation coordinator for University Libraries, helped keep library services available during the pandemic, is helping with library relocation and is active in university governance and equity initiatives.

The recipient of the Academic Staff Excellence Award was Laurie Petri, UWSP at Marshfield librarian. Petrie collaborates with faculty, engages with the community, advises a student organization, volunteers on and off campus and helped keep the library accessible during the pandemic. She is also helping with the Stevens Point campus library move.

The Academic Staff Spirit of Community Service Award was given to Haley Frater, Forestry Education Development Initiative program manager for the Wisconsin Forestry Center at UW-Stevens Point. Frater connects the university’s expertise and resources with the forestry industry and has created partnerships with state agencies and forestry companies. She has also been honored for her diversity and inclusivity efforts.

Several staff members were recognized for Outstanding Work Performance:

  • Danielle Beschta, university conference coordinator and Greek life coordinator in Campus Reservations, took on extra duties this year and is upgrading the campus’s event management system.
  • Melissa Kraus, custodian at UWSP at Wausau, cleaned and disinfected the campus and COVID testing site during the pandemic while training others and keeping the highest standards.
  • Mary Jo Oliver, registration specialist in Continuing Education and Outreach, updated the registration system and plays a critical role in customer service and programming success.
  • Nicole Proulx, office operations associate for University Centers operations, helped the ticket office with its accounting, event and sales practices through a staffing transition.