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Michael Slevin, 2017 Academic Excellence Award recipient.

2017 Academic Excellence Award: Michael Slevin

If you’ve scheduled an event at UW-La Crosse, you’ve worked with him.

Michael Slevin, Assistant Director of University Centers, is the go-to guy for anyone organizing an event anywhere on campus. He and his team have helped everyone from White House staffers organizing former President Barack Obama’s speech to comedian Danny DeVito visiting to plug then-candidate Obama.

“I enjoy being able to help put events on,” says Slevin. “It’s helping people envision what they want to accomplish.”

There are a number of reasons Slevin enjoys his job which he has held for nearly 20 years. “Every day is a new adventure, a new problem to solve,” he notes. “It’s never the same day twice.”

And Slevin enjoys working with students and serving as a mentor. Students have also kept him forward-looking.

“Building relationships with students and watching them grow in their paraprofessional roles is very rewarding,” Slevin says. “I feel that being and working with students — despite all my gray hair — has kept me young.”

Those working with Slevin speak highly of his dedicated work ethic and can-do attitude. His ability to juggle scheduling within the new Student Union, while maintaining the old one and the rest of campus, earned praise from many — including the three colleagues who nominated him for the Academic Staff Excellence Award.

One of those colleagues, University Staff Member Rob Hammes, cites Slevin’s openness and honesty at work.

“As a colleague and supervisor, he provides a high level of following through on all of our needs and is always willing to pitch in and help,” says Hamann.

Slevin arrived on campus as a hall director in Sanford Hall in August 1994 with a fresh master’s degree in counselor education. He knew very little about UWL except what he heard from Troy Richter, now assistant director of Residence Life and last year’s excellence award winner. Richter was returning to campus after earning a master’s and being a hall director at UW-Platteville – just like Slevin.

Another new hall director that fall was Brenda Leahy. Slevin and Leahy found themselves working together, and eventually more. “One of my greatest accomplishments was connecting with her and having a wonderful family,” says Slevin. They live blocks from the university with their two children.

More than two decades later, Slevin says the university setting is still right for him. “It’s the right atmosphere for me to be successful,” he says.

The Michael Slevin file

  • 23 years on campus. Assistant Director of University Centers since 2016. Previously, Senior Service Coordinator; Audiovisual Coordinator Residence Hall Director.
  • Off campus: Residence Hall Director at UW-Platteville and Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan.
  • Campus service: Board of Regents visit and chancellor inauguration planning committees; various Academic Staff Council committees.
  • Community service: parent involvement at Emerson Elementary, Lincoln Middle and Logan High schools.
  • Bachelor of Business Administration from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, 1989; Master of Science in Education, UW-Platteville, 1994.
  • Fun Fact: Provided inspiration for UWL’s annual fall “Sample the City” event.

Academic staff to honor Slevin

Michael Slevin, Assistant Director of University Centers, will receive the 2017 Academic Staff Excellence Award during the annual Academic Staff Council Kickoff Meeting from 3-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20, in the Cameron Hall of Nations, Centennial Hall. Friends and colleagues are welcome.

The UW-La Crosse Academic Staff Excellence Award is given to an academic staff member who has excelled in performance and service. Excellence in performance is the primary criterion, but outstanding service to the campus community and beyond enhances a nomination. Award winners receive $1,500 in professional development funding. Recipients are selected by a committee of peers.

Academic Staff Excellence Award recipients

1994 — Mary Torstveit
1995 — Grace Smith
1996 — Chris Bakkum
1997 — June Reinert
1998 — Jim Jorstad*
1999 — Dianne Morrison and Larry Ringgenberg
2000 — Jon Hageseth and Sara Slayton
2001 — Brad Quarberg
2002 — Nelda Manter and Lori Petersen
2003 — Joe Chilsen and Deon Nontelle*
2004 — Jan VonRuden
2005 — Marcia Johnson-Sage
2006 — Diane Schumacher
2007 — Janie Morgan*
2008 — Hong Rost
2009 — Sue Wrobel
2010 — Debbie Veglahn
2011 — Karla Stanek
2012 — Carla Burkhardt
2013 — Mo McAlpine
2014 — Terry Wirkus
2015 — Maren Walz
2016 — Troy Richter
2017 — Michael Slevin
*Recipient of the UW System Board of Regents Academic Staff Excellence Award the following year.

See more about the award: http://www.uwlax.edu/Academic-Staff-Council/Excellence-Award/