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Eight UW–Madison student services professionals win SPA awards

April 17, 2015 By Susannah Brooks

Photo: Alberta Gloria

Alberta Gloria, professor of counseling psychology and chair of the Chican@/Latin@ Studies Program, is the recipient of the 2015 Chancellor’s Award from the Student Personnel Association.

Alberta Gloria is a passionate professor of counseling psychology and chair of the Chican@/Latin@ Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She walks alongside her students each step of the way, creating an academic “family” that roots them in a cultural and academic context while pressing them to look at the bigger picture.

This dedication to students’ lives, both in and out of the classroom, has earned Gloria the Student Personnel Association‘s highest honor: the Chancellor’s Award. The award recognizes distinctive contributions throughout the campus community in all aspects of the recipient’s professional and personal lives.

Eight student services professionals at UW–Madison were honored at the SPA’s annual awards luncheon on Wednesday, April 15, at the Gordon Dining and Event Center.

Photo: SPA award winners

Recipients of the Student Personnel Association Awards are pictured following the SPA’s award luncheon on Wednesday, April 15. From left: Joe Rasmussen, Jessica McCarty, B.A. Scheuers, Alyssa Geldernick, Matthew Schroeder, Karla Foster, Alberta Gloria, Stephanie Belmas, Patrick McBride, Julie Barrette, Laurie Beardsley.

Some honorees knew of their selection ahead of time. For others, it was a surprise.

“I should have known when my coworkers really wanted me to come to this,” said Joe Rasmussen, veteran services and GI Bill benefits coordinator in the Veteran Services and Military Assistance Center, who received one of two Campus Impact Awards.

Rasmussen gives his time and experience to student veterans and their families as they navigate the world of higher education. His honest, supportive advice helps them balance school and service.

Alyssa Geldernick, pre-business academic advisor in the Wisconsin School of Business, also received the Campus Impact Award. According to her nominators, she has “revolutionized” the pre-business advising experience, helping to establish new standards for the program and increase the number of capable and qualified student applicants.

Frontline Award recipient Julie Barrette, facility designer in University Housing, is retiring at the end of April after 28 years at UW–Madison. Her thoughtful sense of place has positively influenced nearly every aspect of residence dining units, meeting or community spaces and living areas.

The Norman Bassett Award is made possible by the Norman Bassett Foundation, named after the owner and first president of library supply company Demco Inc., who died in 1980.

Patrick E. McBride, associate dean for students in the School of Medicine and Public Health, is one of two Bassett Award recipients. In addition to his accomplishments as a physician, he has developed compassionate personal relationships with those he serves, both as students and as people. His dedication generates an atmosphere of professionalism and camaraderie.

Bassett Award recipient B.A. Scheuers, assistant director for administrative services at the McBurney Disability Resource Center, is the longest-serving member of the Division of Student Life. For those she supervises, she sets an example as a supportive student mentor and is respected for her keen sense of fairness and advocacy for students with disabilities.

Jessica McCarty, visitor relations coordinator for Campus and Visitor Relations, received the Award For Excellence In Higher Education Administration. She brings a contagious positive attitude to her work environment that encourages problem solving and productivity. To her student staff, she is a coach, leader, mentor and friend.

Karla Foster, African American Student Academic Services coordinator, received the Leadership in Social Justice Award. She worked with students to raise the profile of Black History Month through revamping and enhancing programming and, through #BlackLivesMatter activism and other current events, serves as a voice for students who feel marginalized within the larger community.

The Chancellor’s Award recipient receives $1,000; all others receive $500.

Because the SPA has opened its membership to student services professionals from around the area, three non-UW-Madison staffers were also honored.

Matthew J. Schroeder, military and veterans services coordinator at Edgewood College, received the Edgewood College President’s Award for Outstanding Service to Students.

Laurie Beardsley, administrative planner in the Office of the Vice President for Student Development, and Stephanie Belmas, international student specialist at the Center for International Education, received the Madison College Award for Outstanding Achievement in Student Development and Success.

The Chancellor’s Office, the Norman Bassett Foundation, the Ineva Reilly Baldwin and Ira L. Baldwin Endowment for Student Services, the Offices of the Dean of Students and the SPA membership make the awards possible.

Founded in 1956, the SPA exists to create cross-campus connections among people who work with students to support, enhance and reinforce the learning mission of UW–Madison.