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Christina Kleinheinz, who works as a university services associate for the teaching and learning department at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, has been named the recipient of the July 2022 STAR Award.

Kleinheinz was nominated by two colleagues from the department, Brian Ramsay and Michael Beeth.

Ramsay writes: “Chris began working during COVID-19. Through this tough time, Chris made a smooth, seamless transition with excellent communication. She learned her job while working remotely and little interaction with those on campus. Not only did she begin the job in January and a pandemic, but I also had to attend to my own health for the month of January, Chris did not skip a beat and filled in for my duties as the teaching and learning university services associate with help from the College of Education and Human Services.”

Beeth writes: “Chris Kleinheinz was hired as a university services associate 2 to provide administrative support for the graduate coordinator in teaching and learning. Most of her duties in the position description involved working on campus with faculty, staff and other administrative offices to ensure courses are built in Titan Web and information is filed or recorded correctly with the appropriate campus office.

“Chris has gone above and beyond these administrative duties by taking it upon herself to reorganize a database of all of the records for students in our graduate programs (roughly 150 students) so she could communicate with them individually about issues, such as which courses are available to them each semester, when to enroll, and what they should be doing now to ensure they stay on track to graduate on time.

“Chris knows what each student in our graduate programs needs and she tailors messages to them about course options available for a coming semester and when it is time to apply for candidacy or graduation through the graduate office. Her efforts to improve our recordkeeping system allow her to track students and customize information that ensures smooth operations of the overall program but, more importantly, it ensure that all students are receiving critical information they need at the appropriate times in their graduate programs. The additional services students receive as a result of Chris’ efforts have been recognized by them and are a hallmark of how she has gone above her basic duties to provide exceptional customer service.

“Chris started working in January 2021. At the time she started, the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing, forcing her to learn new job responsibilities from home working with her supervisor. Chris excelled at mastering new administrative tasks that acquainted her with the campus offices and staff without the benefits of any hands-on training or face-to-face interactions that people beginning a new job typically receive.

“In the same month Chris started and on top of the chaos caused by the COVID pandemic, our academic department associate, Brian, needed to be completely away from the office due to a major health issue. With Brian being gone for an extended time, Chris was asked to step in and she agreed to help cover his duties as she was learning the duties for her own position. Not only did she need to learn tasks that were not in her job description for which she was hired, she needed to work collaboratively with a second supervisor. Chris went well above and beyond customary expectations in the earliest days of her appointment to ensure that departmental needs for two different positions, two supervisors and students at undergraduate and graduate levels all received the attention they deserved. By all accounts, Chris went far above and beyond when we needed her most.”