Susan Robl, who works in the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh communication studies department as an administrative assistant, has been named the recipient of the April 2022 STAR award.
She was nominated by Ann Vogel, a senior lecturer in the department, and supported by the department chair:
“Susan Robl has been with UW Oshkosh since 1992, and the communication studies department folks have been lucky enough to work with her since January 2016. Sue is the glue that holds the department together because of her vast knowledge of the ins and outs of the department and University and her welcoming personality. Her warm professionalism benefits staff, and more importantly, students every day.“I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen Sue walking a student to the appropriate room, department, etc. She is the face of the department in good and bad times, and she is especially empathetic and helpful in bad times. Again, I’ve witnessed the concrete aid/ideas Sue offers with everything from academic issues to helping a student find a home for a stray kitten! Everyone was excited to be on campus this year and Sue went out of her way to welcome us back. She used her own time and money to purchase treat/’survival’ bags for everyone in the department and then even went a step further. Sue reflected on each of our strengths and presented us with masks and descriptions of these strengths. For example, I wear a mask of compassion, a colleague’s mask was her calmness, etc. These actions made coming back to campus even more fun and less scary as well. “Sue has been phenomenal in supporting our department during COVID. One way she has supported us is through the development of a departmental Canvas page. This page provides department information, meeting minutes, campus resources, onboarding information and policies. It is a one-stop-shop for us all to find records or department activities and events. I particularly appreciate Sue’s willingness to share information and store records in whatever manner is most useful to department members. Since we as instructors are on Canvas regularly, Sue has learned how to use Canvas as well.
“Last year, we were delighted to receive funding to develop a communication studies research lab. Sue’s role in getting the new lab up and going was phenomenal. She helped our new faculty member, Ryan Allred, navigate campus purchasing and IT systems. She ordered supplies, often shopping around to find the best deals on Staples items. During the summer, while most faculty were off campus, Sue was here to receive purchases, meet with IT, unpack supplies, and set up the research lab space. She is helping us think through sign-up procedures for the lab and working on student hiring as well. Ryan began a research colloquium with praise for how easy Sue has made his first year on campus and the phenomenal support received in setting up the research lab.
“Recently, I saw a panicked student run into the building, shirt pulled over his face, and run to the first open office, which happened to be Sue’s. The desperate student was running late for class, forgot their mask and was nearly in tears. Sue calmly reached into her own purse, pulled out a box of disposable masks and handed one to the student with a smile. She said, ‘Here you go. Have a great class.’ The student offered his thanks and gratefully accepted the mask. This is just one example of the way Sue is always looking out for staff and students. As Ann noted, Sue provided each member of our department a mask and a gift bag on opening day this year to give us a bit of cheer and encouragement. She is always ready to handle complicated tasks, but also willing to set them down to respond to the needs of a distressed student or colleague. “