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Five honored with Classified Employee Recognition Awards

April 27, 2007 By

Five employees received Classified Employee Recognition Awards at a reception on April 11. They were among more than 60 employees who were nominated this year. Honorees are:

Photo of AccolaNancy Accola,
nurse clinician 2, UW Health Eau Claire Family Medicine Clinic

Accola is described by her colleagues as positive, hard-working, capable, caring, compassionate, cool under pressure and a joy to work with. They say she is willing to learn and get involved with projects that benefit the clinic and its patients. No matter how busy she is, she never ignores a request and will put her own work aside to help someone else.

When a norovirus outbreak hit employees at the satellite clinic in Augusta last December, without hesitation Accola volunteered to fill in for the stricken and help keep the place running. As one colleague put it, she always “has her can-do attitude ready for the day ahead.”

Accola believes in the team approach and reaches out to co-workers for their ideas, suggesting alternatives and finding consensus. One co-worker says she’s “a fantastic mentor and a great example to new employees.”

Accola has taken on a huge role in the Geriatric Assessment Program at the clinic. She helped devise and implement the program, which provides a process for locating suitable assistance or placement for elderly patients.

She is always looking at programs to help low income uninsured or underinsured patients obtain prescription medications. Her co-workers say that without her assistance, many of the patients would fall through the cracks and probably never have their prescriptions filled.

Accola initiated a fitness program at her clinic to get employees motivated and active, and they earned the Red Sneakers Award. In her community, she participates in walks to raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

She also makes beautiful lap quilts for co-workers who are going through a difficult time or celebrating a special occasion. Her goal is to give one to every employee.

Photo of BrandenburgMargaret “Maggie” Brandenburg, academic department supervisor, Department of Anthropology

Brandenburg’s nominators cited her consistent promotion of excellence in herself and her colleagues, her grace in handling crises and her pursuit of innovative ideas that have resulted in initiatives from which her department and the university community have benefited.

Also mentioned were her commitment to going beyond the call of duty, her diverse skills, her sense of humor and generosity of spirit.

When Brandenburg joined the department in 1995 as the graduate program coordinator, the morale among students, faculty and staff was at an all-time low. She played an invaluable role in helping turn that around.

Working with the department chair and other faculty, she moved to quickly establish procedures and guidelines that would bring about the smooth and transparent functioning of the department’s graduate program. Her efforts contributed greatly to rebuilding morale and trust among graduate students and establishing a sense of community that is flourishing today.

In the fall of 2000, Brandenburg became the department supervisor, inheriting an office administration in crisis. She was the only full-time office staff member left. With quiet efficiency, she morphed herself to cover the responsibilities for four positions from mid-August through October. One faculty member said she deserved a medal of honor for tiding over the department in such exceptional circumstances.

Brandenburg has served on numerous universitywide committees and as a mentor. She chaired the Letters and Science Partners in Giving campaign and received a Secretary’s Award for her efforts.

“She is forward thinking and motivates everyone around her to take an active interest in the campus community and campus climate,” says Mary Beth Ellis of the economics department.

Brandenburg, a self-described computer geek, has been a volunteer on the Board of Communications for the Portage public schools, assisting with the development of computer technology there. She also has been involved with Toys for Tots.

Photo of ClineTom Cline, facilities maintenance specialist, Camp Randall Sports Center

Cline serves the women’s hockey team most visibly as the zamboni driver at its practice facility and at the Kohl Center, but he is also responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the ice sheet at the Shell, which is said to be one of the best ice surfaces in the area because of his dedication.

He arranges for everything, including putting in the ice, painting it and maintaining it for nine and a half months each year. He is described as a master of his craft. He has to deal with multiple ice issues as well as problems on the track at the Shell, and he takes them on without hesitation.

Cline may be called on to be a mechanic, provide first aid, administer department policy and act as an ambassador between the Athletic Department and Recreational Sports, all while prioritizing what needs to be dealt with at any given time.

“The fluidity with which he transitions from one role to another is very impressive,” says Paul Hickman, director of women’s hockey operations, adding that Cline can always be counted on to come up with innovative solutions to complex situations.

“Tom exemplifies what the university looks for in its students and employees. He takes pride in everything he does, and there is no area of responsibility that escapes his scrutiny and his desire to achieve perfection,” adds Hickman.

“Everyone whose path crosses his will be greeted with a smile and a kind word. Tom unconditionally gives the highest respect and service to everyone.”

Beyond his job, Cline has been active in the Jaycees, involved with the Mount Horeb Boy Scouting program, and for 20 years he has volunteered his time for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Photo of ErbJohn
, electrician, Physical Plant Electric Shop

Erb’s primary territory is the College of Engineering campus, where he has performed electrical work in support of modifying and upgrading the research facilities. He was recognized for providing exceptional service to the college — always with a positive attitude and a willingness to work with, rather than for, his customers.

Those customers include faculty, staff and researchers who, according to one faculty member, are often inexperienced when it comes to facilities planning, electrical service or building codes and yet sometimes expect projects to be done by the next day.

Erb takes it all in stride. He has a calming effect when he’s around and, although expectations may be wrong or unrealistic and schedules tight, he has a way of reassuring his customers that he’ll get the job done right and as quickly as he can safely manage.

“John serves many roles, including estimator, engineer, adviser and safety inspector,” says Timothy Shedd of the Multiphase Flow Visualization and Analysis Lab. “The time that he has saved the Physical Plant and the College of Engineering is inestimable. And by constantly keeping an eye out for safety and more efficient use of resources, he has ensured that researchers are able to achieve their goals in a safe and highly functional environment.”

Shedd said that from the beginning of a project to the end Erb seems to have a way of completing the work in such a way that there are fewer problems and better electrical service than originally planned.

Erb cares about doing a good job, and those who nominated him said that that his good nature, prompt responses and excellent workmanship make him an asset to the Physical Plant and the university.

“He represents the ideal of reliability and professionalism,” writes professor of mechanical engineering John Pfotenhauer.

Photo of GrubbPatty
, university services program associate, Department of Population Health Sciences

Grubb has been a devoted member of the university community, holding a permanent classified staff position for nearly 30 years. She worked at the Land
Tenure Center
for 25 of those years and moved to Population
Health Sciences
in 2003.

One of the most impressive aspects of her work is her focus on customer service, no matter who the customer is. She anticipates what is needed and has the answer before the question is asked and does it all with a smile. Her outstanding performance comes from a unique combination of skill, commitment and sincere dedication to others.

She has been a valuable member of various departmental committees and is extremely generous with her time in assisting and collaborating with others, often beyond what is expected in her job description. She is an excellent team player and consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty. She takes pleasure in helping others succeed.

Working under pressure occurs frequently in Grubb’s position, and her colleagues said juggling multiple tasks comes naturally to her. She is quick to address problems and has an ability to provide efficient and creative problem-solving solutions.

Grubb is described as a natural leader who is completely approachable. Her door is always open. Through the daily challenges, she maintains an excellent rapport with others and keeps her marvelous sense of humor.

“Providing exemplary service is simply the way Patti operates on a daily basis,” says department chair Javier Nieto. “Accomplishing tasks and projects in an efficient manner comes naturally to her. “The processes under her responsibility are seamless due to her well-organized and capable handling, and her dedication to a job well done is amazing.”

Outside of work, Grubb has been involved in numerous school and community activities in Madison. She also organizes and serves as a team captain for the Komen Madison Race for the Cure. Each year her team raises significant funds in the fight against breast cancer.

Tags: staff awards