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Statements for Professional Development and Recognition Committee (PDRC) Ballot

 Kim Bruksch 

I am currently an Associate Administrative Program Specialist in the School of Medicine and Public Health. Specifically, I coordinate the Wisconsin Rural Physician Residency Assistance Program (WRPRAP) in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. This involves managing the annual program budget of $750,000, requesting grant proposals to develop graduate medical education opportunities in rural Wisconsin communities, and serving on the grant application review committee that meets twice a year. I’m additionally involved in developing partnerships around the state and gathering data from stakeholders to enhance the information that I draft in our Annual Report.

My first position at UW-Madison was in 2013 as a volunteer research specialist with the Occupational Therapy Program in the School of Education. Soon after, I was hired as an LTE to be a part-time Medical Program Assistant at the Waisman Center. At the same time, I was awarded a grant by the Virginia Horne Henry Committee (in the School of Education) to initiate an adaptive climbing program for women with physical disabilities. In 2014, I successfully completed the pilot stage of what is now Boulders Gym Adaptive Climbing program, and was hired as classified staff to assist the administration of WRPRAP. Six months later, I took full responsibility for the on-site administration of the program and was hired as academic staff in 2015.

Prior to coming to UW-Madison, I taught elementary and middle school students. I earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 2007 and a K-6 teachers’ certificate from the University of Denver in 2009. I’m currently enrolled in the Evening MBA program at UW-Madison in addition to being full-time academic staff.

I am a “career-changer” and UW-Madison is where I changed from teaching students in the classroom to administering university programs. While I’m grateful for the opportunity to change paths, I have consistent concern about whether this is an institution that can offer reasonable opportunities for career growth. I’m specifically interested in how the Professional Development & Recognition Committee can address appropriate and timely promotions at UW. I think it would be beneficial for academic staff to have guidelines (and mentors) to learn about realistic expectations for career opportunities, and to know what steps are necessary in order to feel both supported and challenged as a committed worker of the University.


 Steven Catania

I am the Online Training Coordinator on the Learning and Talent Development team in the Office of Human Resources. In my role as Online Training Coordinator, I help design and create interactive online modules and videos for use in the professional development programs of Fully Prepared to Manage, Fully Prepared to Lead, and Thrive@UW. I have been at UW-Madison for almost seven months and have not held any previous positions on campus. Although I have been at the university for only a short while, I am particularly interested in the issues of compensation and job security. During my time at Loyola University Chicago, I served on a committee that reviewed proposals and selected student applicants to receive travel funds for career development opportunities. I believe this experience will help me succeed as a member of the Professional Development and Recognition Committee at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


 Jim Lacy

I am an associate state cartographer within the State Cartographer’s Office (SCO) in the Department of Geography. My duties at the SCO are varied, but broadly involve providing extension service to professionals working in the Wisconsin mapping and geographic information systems industry. This includes managing projects, conducting educational presentations, developing Web resources, and more.  I also routinely assist the general public with their mapping-related questions.  I’ve worked in academia for most of my career, including the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1995-2002, and UW-Madison from 2004 to the present.

I have extensive experience working collaboratively in committees, both on and off campus, and in my personal life.  I previously served four years on the Letters & Science Committee on Academic Staff Issues (CASI), in addition to numerous committees within the Department of Geography.   I am currently on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Land Information Association (WLIA), have chaired or co-chaired numerous WLIA committees, and am finishing up a stint with the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Board of Directors for the Western Great Lakes Region.

I’m interested in the PDRC primarily for two reasons.  First, I want to help make sure UW academic staff are aware of professional development opportunities and funding available on campus.  In a time of especially tight budgets, it’s important to make sure training and development needs are addressed on campus.  In addition, I’ve personally benefitted from PDRC grants, so I want to make a positive contribution back to the process that helped me in the past.  I feel it’s now my turn to “step up,” and get involved in the PDRC.


 Eva Rakasz

I have a broad background in immunology with special expertise in cellular immune responses elicited by various pathogens, or vaccination regimens.  I am also an expert flow cytometrist with more than 33 years of experience in biomedical research in academic settings. I have joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998 as an assistant scientist to supervise the day-to-day operation of the Immunology and Virology Core laboratory at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center (WNPRC). In 2012 I was promoted to Senior Scientist and took over all administrative responsibilities of two research service units (Immunology Services and Elite Controller Resources) at the Primate Center.

During my 18-year tenure I expanded the Immunology Services unit from a three-member unit to an eight-member core laboratory. I introduced multi-color flow cytometry in the Primate Center and established a campus-wide, shared biosafety level-3 cell sorting facility. I oversaw the flow cytometry training of numerous graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and research specialists.

I submitted an application to be a member of the Professional Development & Recognition Committee, because I have a particular interest in the development of all of my colleagues and trainees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am convinced that being exposed to the newest scientific achievements and learning cutting-edge techniques is the most efficient way of acquiring skills of high demand. It creates new opportunities, opens up new perspectives, and benefits both the individual and the community she or he is part of.

I believe I would be an effective member of this committee, since I have made offering educational opportunities to every member of my laboratory a top priority. I assured their uninhibited professional development by providing occasions to attend scientific meetings or training courses nationwide.  I would like to continue and expand this activity by offering my services to the whole University of Wisconsin-Madison.


 Christine Schulz

I have been working at the University in various positions for the last 9 years.  I started as a project classified position in the School of Human Ecology with the Southern Child Welfare Training Partnership for 4 years.  I then held a classified position in the Department of Medicine, Division of Emergency Medicine for 4 years, in which I played a role in the Division becoming their own independent academic department in 2014.  During that time, I helped create the infrastructure of the new departments internal and external committees and their policies.  Now, I am in Research and Sponsored Programs as a Non-Federal Post Award Grant Accountant, which is an academic staff position.  Although I am new to academic staff, starting out in a classified position has given me insight to the structure of the University as a whole.  I believe I would be a good candidate giving a fresh take on issues of professional development and recognition.


Keywords:PDRC Ballot   Doc ID:35324
Owner:HEATHER D.Group:Office of the Secretary/ Academic Staff
Created:2013-11-18 09:59 CDTUpdated:2017-03-16 14:23 CDT
Sites:Office of the Secretary/ Academic Staff
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