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Celebrating University of Wyoming Staff

Celebrating University of Wyoming Staff

Endowments are created for a variety of reasons, but more often than not, their focus is to support student scholarships, faculty, or research—whatever the donor wishes to support. But that is not the limit for what endowments can do.  Some donors create endowments to honor the staff that supports the university, faculty, and students.Staff Appreciation

Endowments provide a firm foundation of assets that are held in perpetuity, the interest of which creates a steady stream of funding for those purposes chosen by the donor. This reliable income allows the university to plan and budget effectively.

No matter why endowments are created, their purpose is clear: to make sure the University of Wyoming has the means necessary to be a spectacular land-grant university that gives students opportunities to become critical thinkers and leaders.  By supporting the staff that supports the university, these endowments accomplish that goal.

On April 5, 2016, the UW Staff Senate held their annual Staff Recognition Day, which is also supported by the UW Office of the President. Staff Recognition Day encourages and acknowledges the work of all UW staff members.  Dozens of employees were honored for their years of service and contributions to UW. 

Two of the awards that were given at the event have been sponsored by donors who created endowments.  These include the Jodi K. Humphrey Inspirational Staff Award and the E. G. Meyer Family Staff Recognition Award.

The Jodi K. Humphrey Inspirational Staff award was established in 1995 to honor and remember the long-time Department of Residence Life and Dining Services employee.  It was originally established as a plaque to recognize a job well done.  However, a private donor created an endowment in 2011 that allows the recipient to also receive a cash award.  The selection criteria include a staff member who inspires others to do their best, remains positive under stressful conditions, serves as a role model to others, is enthusiastic toward the job, displays a cheerful attitude toward customers, and is motivating to self and others.

This year’s recipient was Trish Schumacher, office associate, senior, in the Department of Music.

“Being chosen as the recipient of this award is a tremendous honor and such a surprise,” says Trish.  “I am extremely grateful to my faculty for nominating me and for being chosen by the committee.  I have just been myself and tried to do my very best for everyone I come in contact with, and being recognized is a humbling experience.  The other individuals in the group are amazing people that make a difference daily in their departments, and I feel privileged to be among them.”

Trish has worked for UW for the past 2 years.  She is the budget coordinator and lead staff in the Music department.  Her responsibilities include all budget-related items, including paying invoices, purchasing, reconciling accounts, processing payroll, managing graduate student files, managing faculty files, processing tenure track for appropriate faculty, supervising work study students, and working closely with the department chair on department items.

She doesn’t have one favorite aspect of her job.  She enjoys the familial atmosphere in the Music department, the terrific students and faculty, and her job duties, and each day she enjoys being part of this dynamic department.

The E. G. Meyer Family Staff Recognition Award was established by Betty K. and E. Gerald Meyer in 2002 to support staff excellence.  The University of Wyoming Staff Senate makes two monetary awards, one to an exempt employee and one to a non-exempt employee.  This year’s winners of this award were Cheri Thornburg, coordinator, Sponsored Programs, and Sarah Kauer, office associate, senior, Academic and Student Programs, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

“I was very happy to win this award,” says Sarah.  “I hear the words ‘Thank you for everything’ quite often, but to have my name put into a hat for this award was really heartwarming. Knowing that your time and efforts, no matter how big or small, are being noticed is really great.”

Sarah graduated from UW in 2013 with a degree in ag business.  Previously, she was an office associate in Ecosystem Science and Management where she assisted in advising students and helped the department function on all levels. This position was a great asset in preparing her for the position she recently moved into.

Currently, she the recruitment coordinator for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Her job entails traveling around the state to work with high school students and transfer students, getting a feel for what they want to do in the future, and helping them with the first steps to make their future plans a reality.  She says that there is nothing more rewarding than working with students.

Staff Recognition Day is an annual event honoring the hard-working staff of the University of Wyoming. It provides an opportunity to show all staff members how much they are appreciated for everything they do to keep the main UW campus and the facilities throughout the State of Wyoming functioning and providing a top-notch educational experience to thousands of students.

This event typically features door prizes, Years of Service recognition, and 20 individual staff awards given out to outstanding UW staff members.  To see a list of all winners, check out this article.


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