University of Wisconsin: University Staff Awards honor those who go above and beyond

Each year, UW–Madison honors university staff members for their outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence.

The following employees will receive 2021 University Staff Recognition Awards at the June University Staff Congress meeting. The following profiles were compiled using comments from nominations submitted for the recipients.

Molly Lenz
Facilities Planning & Management, Office Operations Associate

Known as a strong communicator and effective leader, Lenz has the reputation for always keeping her cool. Lenz formerly worked at University Housing and recently moved to a position at Facilities, Planning & Management. At Housing, she operated the facilities office in Turner Hall and was responsible for everything from maintenance requests being assigned to the proper department and mechanic (or campus partner) to student inquiries about their resident halls, vendor and contractor relations and logistics for access to parking. She played a vital role in helping transport students to isolation spaces. Lenz participates in the University Congress and last year she was even elected as the first woman to chair the Central Committee. She continually provides information both directly and indirectly to staff about the congress, their mission and the university’s mission. Lenz takes the time to get to know people and make connections with them, and is a continual inspiration to her co-workers.

Jim Taubel
Biomedical Research Model Services, Lab Tech Support Supervisor

In his 11 years at BRMS, Taubel has proposed and helped to implement many changes in the department. He proposed changing the bedding used in animal cages, saving money and making the Animal Research Techs (ARTs) job easier. He also advocated for alternative work schedules, allowing ART’s the ability to work four-day weeks or start at times that led to a better work/life balance for employees, improving morale while at the same time increasing animal care coverage at no extra cost. Taubel handles requests with aplomb and good nature, and is known for his ability to disarm tense situations. More than a manager, Taubel is considered a true leader in his department.

Colleen Crummy-Mousseau
School of Veterinary Medicine, University Services Program Associate, Faculty Management Specialist 1

As the Biotron Office Operations Associate, Crummy-Mousseau handled a variety of important tasks, including purchasing, billing, payroll, budget support, human resources support. She was known to go the extra mile and displayed excellent organization skills and meticulous record keeping, with a commitment to fostering a respectful and collegial work environment that is beyond reproach. Crummy-Mousseau began to absorb many of the duties of our Building Manager in early 2019, and after the announcement that Biotron would cease to be a campus Center on March 31, 2021, she voluntarily stepped up to take on the duties of the associate director as well. She has a vast wealth of knowledge of Biotron and other campus units and her extensive experience interacting with researchers and their teams.

Karma Bhutia
UW Law School, Custodian

Custodial staff are often unsung heroes whose work only gets recognized when something goes wrong. The UW Law School did not receive one student complaint about the building’s cleanliness during the last academic year, when cleanliness gained an elevated importance. Bhutia quietly and efficiently goes about her job, keeping the Law School a safe and clean environment for our students and the staff who occupied the building last fall and spring. Additionally, she is known as a very nice person who contributes to a positive energy in the Law School. With the increasingly important role of custodial positions, Bhutia’s excellent performance deserves recognition.

Adam Bushcott
UW Law School, University Services Program Associate

Although Bushcott’s regular duties involve a variety of administrative tasks and public-facing duties, he volunteered for, and excelled in, a new role needed because of the pandemic and the unexpected retirement of a professor. His work was instrumental in saving an essential course that 40 law students urgently needed for graduation. For years, the Law School offered a core course called “Lawyering Skills” that prepares students for the general practice of law, covering areas like family law, wills, criminal law, real estate transactions, etc. This year, the school had a large class due to graduate in May, and many students had not yet satisfied their 6-credit requirement. The professor who normally taught the course retired in the fall. Another teacher was recruited at the last minute, but the job of building and running the online version of the course for the first time was immense. Bushcott was instrumental in helping to translate this difficult course to a workable online format, took the lead in building layers of Zoom meeting links, assignments, and readings into an online Canvas course, and also sat in on classes four days per week all semester to trouble-shoot any issues the lawyers or students encountered.

Brian Holbach
University Housing, HVAC Specialist Advanced

Holbach has been with Housing since the summer of 2015. During this pandemic, there has been a need for staff to volunteer to do jobs that you couldn’t fathom needing to be done on campus. Holbach volunteered to transport COVID-19 positive students to and from the isolation/quarantined buildings, and volunteered to put on a gown, gloves and a respirator to do repairs in the isolation dorms, going through special training and respirator fit testing. He is also on Isolation Maintenance Standby on weekends in case there is a repair needed in one of the isolation buildings, since only a few mechanics are trained to go into the isolation buildings to do a repair. Holbach also trains other technicians in HVAC, DDC and in our laundry equipment. Holbach has a very high skill level and is great at sharing it, and is highly respected by his fellow technicians, other departments and supervisors. Holbach also volunteers for Waupun Transition House for Autistic Kids, and serves on the Housing Engagement, Inclusion and Diversity Committee and the Engagement Team.

Jay Tucker
UW Law School, Library Services Assistant Advanced

In regular times, Tucker coordinates and oversees the shelving of books in the library. In the early days of the pandemic, Tucker worked from home, updating spreadsheets and procedure manuals. Although he could have continued to work from home, he was worried about a backlog of work piling up and staff not being able to access parts of the collection, so he asked for permission to work on site. Since Tucker was one of few staff allowed in the building, he volunteered to assist with other essential on-site duties at the Law School, including receiving and delivering mail to the school’s active legal clinics. Tucker researched and suggested safe classroom designs and assisted with measuring rooms to ensure a 6-foot distance between chairs. He helped move and remove hundreds of tables and chairs around the building to storage. He is conscientious and notices any oddities with things and people around the building, intervening or bringing them to the attention of supervisors if needed. Tucker is an active volunteer with the Red Cross, spending many weekends and often vacation days driving supplies from one part of the state to the other, providing support wherever needed.

Jennifer Noll
Department of Psychiatry, Internship Program Coordinator

Noll keeps everyone in the building updated on everything professional such as conferences, meetings, journal clubs, and grand rounds. She also keeps coworkers updated with social information such as awards people have won, newborns from people in the department, events big and small for recruit and retirees. She is frequently the one who thought of and set up the department events. Noll become the go-to person for everyone in the building who have questions or need help of any sort. Noll is a strong and dedicated coordinator who sees to all the details, and she’s an essential part of the warm training environment we provide for 7 doctoral psychology students annually. Throughout the pandemic, she went above and beyond in supporting our program as we went to remote teaching, supervision and clinical services with our 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 training classes, and we revamped recruiting and interviewing process to become remote.

Beatriz Lemire
Department of Chemistry, University Services Program Associate

Lemire is the lead in planning the two, 3-day graduate recruiting weekend events in the department. The recruiting weekends were virtual this year and required formats not used previously, requiring Lemire to become proficient in new software platforms. She worked with the faculty and recruits to help them feel comfortable with the new software, and created well-crafted tutoring documents and ran tutoring sessions. During the actual 3-day recruiting events, Lemire was there for every aspect. She attended the events, posted announcements, and fielded questions from the recruits and faculty. Without her leadership the recruiting events would not have been a success. Lemire’s organizational skills, ability to work well with people, optimistic attitude, and tireless commitment contribute to the success of the events, resulting in a large entering class of 78 new graduate students, including 15 minority students.

Joshua Armbruster
University Housing, Locksmith
Josh Armbruster came to UW Housing just over two years ago, stepping into a vacancy previously held for twenty-two years. He asked the right questions and found the areas that needed improvement. Armbruster improved processes and addressed shortcomings with a cool, approachable, and unassuming style that won over all who interacted with him. Last summer, with other members of his department working from home, Armbruster stayed on-site to serve the residents who could not go home. He stayed late most nights and was on-call 24 hours per day, seven days per week for months in order to respond to any security or safety related issue under his purview. He was one of the first UW Housing employees to volunteer for training to enter isolation and quarantine facilities, working to untangle challenges for Housing residents.

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