Eight members of the University of Wisconsin–Madison community have been selected by the University Staff Awards Selection Committee to receive the 2017 University Staff Recognition Award. Awards will be presented to the winners at an event on April 21.
Patrick Brenzel, a university services associate 1, has worked in reception for the Department of Sociology for a decade and a half. In that role he is known to be unfailingly helpful and friendly. He was inspired to take on the lead in developing a new outreach course titled “Forward? The Wisconsin Idea, Past and Present.” Brenzel collected ideas from faculty and staff all around campus, did all the legwork to research options and connect with experts about the history and real meaning of the Wisconsin Idea, consulted with others and worked up a rough outline of topics for the class, scheduled appointments to recruit speakers, made arrangements for public lectures at the Pyle Center, set up a website (www.wiscidea.com) and Facebook page, contacted local media to publicize the course, and made arrangements to have videos of the lectures posted on the website, where they have been viewed by people from all around the state. Nearly 200 people attended the first public lecture, and attendance held steady at more than 100 a week.
Wendy Margolis, UW-Madison's Marching Band administrative coordinator, is known for her work ethic, initiative, creativity and ability to anticipate and solve problems. Since starting in the position in 2013, Margolis has made a positive impact on her department. She has instituted more structured schedules for student staff, better methods of assigning workloads, and a greater sense of pride in the staff’s accomplishments. To maintain that positive direction, she created a new hiring process for band staff, with more reliable position descriptions, detailed application forms and a more professional interview process overall. Margolis has also developed new procedures for effectively contacting, recruiting and auditioning new students. Additionally, through her initiatives the band department has increased its contact with donors and would-be donors in the “Spirit of Wisconsin Endowment Campaign.” Margolis reorganized and streamlined the procedure for High School Band Day, in which 3,000 Wisconsin high school students come to campus. (Margolis was not available to be photographed)