Lauren Burgbacher, who works for the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s Undergraduate Advising Resource Center as an administrative assistant, has been named the recipient of the May 2021 STAR Award.
She was nominated by Sally Masters, associate director of academic advising on the Oshkosh campus.
Burgbacher’s nomination follows:
“I am honored to nominate Lauren Burgbacher for the UWO STAR Award. Lauren serves as the sole administrative assistant/office manager for the Undergraduate Advising Resource Office (UARC), supporting 16 professional advisers and supervising up to 20 student staff. During her tenure in our office, she has had a tremendous impact on our processes, on creating positive relationships with campus partners and in touching the lives of our student workers. The UARC is an extremely high-traffic fast-paced office; every new student on campus is advised in this office and for the most part, continues until transitioning to a faculty adviser. It is an office that sees approximately 13,000 student appointments annually. Her work touches every one of those students plus the many that stop in for questions, concerns, or drop-in appointments.
“Lauren not only oversees the reception area for the large number of students that enter this office for help, but she also co-supervises the 14-20 Peer Advising Liaisons (PALs) that work the front desks. It is one of her primary responsibilities to ensure that every student or other guest that enters the UARC receives the help and care they deserve. She trains the PALs in customer service among many other things, and as the person responsible for the reception area supervises the PALs to make sure students receive the help, we, as an office, have committed to providing as part of our mission.
“One of the most significant impacts Lauren has had on this office, one of the examples of going above and beyond her normal job responsibilities, has been learning and becoming a troubleshooting expert for Navigate, the advising case management software that we have implemented at the Chancellor’s directive. We expected Lauren to learn how to use this software to train PALs in their use of it, but we never expected her to take the time to dig in and become the expert she has. As with any new software, the implementation process was not seamless. Lauren learned the software better than most advisers in the office and jumped right in to train the PALs who use it for scheduling student appointments, as well as troubleshoot the many issues we had with it. Lauren has been insightful in the troubleshooting as well as in finding solutions to the issues that have arisen. In addition, she was initially involved with training administrative assistants from other offices on campus in the use of this software, something I am sure she wasn’t expecting to do when she was hired and we certainly did not expect from her. This is another example of her going above and beyond her normal job responsibilities. Truly, I am not sure what we would do without her. Her work in this area is extremely impactful because the software affects the work of every academic adviser and every student with whom they work. It is a critical tool in advising and in retention.
“Lauren is the type of person who most often sees and completes tasks before she is asked and wants to do things accurately and professionally. We can always count on her to do anything she is asked to do and to do it well. She is dedicated to learning and developing professionally in order to provide the best service possible. She was involved in the University Services Associates Leadership Development Program two years ago, which culminated with a presentation and luncheon, attended by the Director of Advising, Liz Whalley, and me. This is one illustration of her desire to grow her abilities, skills, and leadership, another example of going above and beyond.
“I would be remiss if I did not also mention Lauren’s dedication to hiring, training, onboarding, and supervising our 14-2- PALs. This is the part of her job that was the reason she applied initially. She said she always wanted to work with college students. In her role, she not only does the work of a well-seasoned supervisor, but she cares, truly cares about these special students. She is consistently thinking about what she can do to make their lives better, another example of going above and beyond. The PALs adore her and her investment in their lives results in impacting each student that interacts with the UARC.
“Lauren was recognized by the state advising professional organization, WACADA, with the Foundation Award in 2017. My desire is for her to also be recognized by UW Oshkosh with the presentation of the STAR Award. Lauren is committed to helping students, advisers, campus partners and all constituents who come in contact with the UARC. She is dedicated to continuous learning and growth and possesses the skills necessary to provide a welcoming and helpful reception area. Her work is far-reaching in so many ways. Her intuition and insight into what is needed at any given moment as well as her troubleshooting skills make her invaluable.”