Brooke Berrens, who provides administrative support to the Sustainability Institute for Regional Transformations (SIRT) at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, has been named the recipient of the March 2022 STAR Award.
Berrens was nominated by Deanna VanderWielen, a transfer admissions counselor in the Admissions Office:
“Brooke continually brings diverse and equitable thought into their work on the UWO campuses. Brooke recently agreed to co-advise UWO’s chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD), an honors society on campus that focuses on volunteerism. In the first month of their role, Brooke has already brought volunteer ideas to the group, which will help ALD focus on intersecting identities and causes, rather than the organization settling for volunteer activities that we have always done in the past. Brooke is bringing fresh thoughts to the group and helping us grow.
“Second, Brooke has recently joined the strategic planning committee. They were actually unaware that their name was on the list for the committee, but they accepted membership and have brought inclusive thinking to the group. As a part of their agenda, the group members needed to think of areas that UWO may be lacking in and what resources can be used by UWO to create better, more inclusive and more equitable change. Brooke’s ideas including using the community to more fully understand what the needs ‘are’ of our community and implementing as much as possible to ensure equitable practices for our students and stakeholders on campus.
“Here is what her supervisor would like to say, ‘Brooke has been a wonderful asset to SIRT over the last several years. I don’t know where SIRT would be without them- they keep everything running smoothly! They are generous with their time, reliable, good-humored, well-organized, knowledgeable and very willing to learn new things. The things I would like to highlight about Brooke, however, go beyond this. First, they have been invaluable in helping SIRT complete important high-level tasks, helping to gather information and write portions of our recent Green Ribbon Schools application and helping us to make contacts and put together large events. For example, their knowledge of campus and their research abilities and writing and organizational skills are marshaled all the time for tasks like this. The other thing that stands out to me about Brooke is what an incredible advocate they are for communities and groups who are often marginalized. They always help us to keep a social justice and inclusive perspective in mind and do so in a way that is open and kind. Having Brooke as a part of the team makes SIRT so much better. They are the best!'”