Vavricka honored with award for excellence

June 22, 2017
Sue Vavricka

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – Sue Vavricka, academic department associate, has earned one of two University Staff Awards of Excellence, a fitting way to end her 43-year career at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Vavricka, who recently retired, will return to campus Thursday, Aug. 31 to be recognized at the university’s fall convocation.

“I am very honored that I was chosen to win the award at this point in my career,” Vavricka said. “They could have easily skipped over me, but instead, I was very humbled to read the letters of recommendation that people wrote for me. I’ve been here a lot of years, and I’ve met a lot of people. It’s a good feeling to know that during this time I’ve helped students, instructors and faculty.”

As an academic department associate, Vavricka has served as the support staff for the psychology department as well as the foreign language program. She worked closely with the department chair, faculty and students since 1974. In addition, Vavricka provided assistance to the foreign language program’s faculty since 1980.

“People will say, ‘Gosh, you’ve been doing the same job for all that time,’ but it’s not the same,” Vavricka said. “The faculty go through changes every few years, and the students change every single semester. Their questions change and what I can do to help them changes.”

Despite the constant change of faces, Vavricka also said that she knows the majority, if not all, of the psychology students by the time that they’re ready to graduate. It’s the daily interaction with students and faculty that she will miss most.

“I call the people around me my work family,” Vavricka said. “There are many days I would spend more time here with them than I did with my own family at home. Everyone here is so special to me. They’ve watched my kids grow up and I’ve watched their kids grow up. It’s that interaction with the people that I’ve grown so close to that I’m going to miss.”

The UW-Platteville University Staff Senate Awards and Recognition Committee annually recognizes, through the UW-Platteville University Staff Award for Excellence, a university staff member who provides essential services to the university while demonstrating excellence of performance, personal interaction, initiative and creativity. Nominations may come from university staff, limited term employees, academic staff, administrators, faculty and students.

Written by: Amanda Bertolozzi, Writer/Editor, Communications, 608-342-7121, bertolozzia@uwplatt.edu

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