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oct starMichelle Highley, who works in Financial Services at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, has been named the recipient of the October STAR Award.

She was nominated by Tom Grogan, who works in the Chancellor’s Office at UW Oshkosh.

Highley’s nomination follows:

  • Tom Grogan:

“In Michelle’s work I have seen the true spirit of what I believe it means to work at UW Oshkosh. You see, I have watched Michelle carefully. She holds a very important position of public trust and responsibility. If you don’t know Michelle, you should realize that she is the gatekeeper of the public’s trust with regard to work-related travel issues …. including expense reimbursement and other associated details.

“You see, Michelle is placed in the position of having a very important set of fiduciary duties to serve, support and advance the public policy interests of the State of Wisconsin. But in doing so, I hasten to add, Michelle always does so with the spirit and sensibility of one who works at and for the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

“Being placed in the position of having to interpret and apply mandatory regulatory policies created by authorities and agents who are essentially one hundred miles distant is a difficult challenge for any of us, for all of us. As difficult as this generally is, when it hits close to home of the expectations for reimbursement that we all have for our work- and travel-related expenses … well, you see, that makes it intensely personal and intensely problematic.

“Michelle and others from Finance and Administration work hard to educate and inform the campus community on various rules, regulations, policies and procedures. They are flexible, to the extent that they can be with the interpretation and exercise of discretionary judgment and discretion. All that being said, though, they are called upon to be the “voice of decision” for the first-level review of such financial matters. And, it is in this capacity that Michelle’s warmth of character and sense of presence is most clearly felt.

“We are wise to recognize and commend those who selflessly serve in important roles, performing duties and exercising responsibilities that many of us would not aspire to hold. When they do this work with an attitude of possibility and cheer, hope and optimism, when they act like Michelle Highly, they are indeed performing work that befits the spirit of UW Oshkosh that I have come to know, value, respect and appreciate.

“You see, in Michelle Highly, I see the literal embodiment of the STAR AWARD that is those who work at and for UW Oshkosh.”

  • Brian Klinger:

“It’s such a joy to coming to work and being greeted from Michelle with a warm smile and a nice hello. Michelle’s positive outlook is something I may only describe as a contagious enthusiasm. It is a true pleasure to work with her as she makes us all better and exemplifies how a positive attitude may brighten up anyone’s day.”

  • Nicole Richter-Smith:

“I have had the pleasure of working with Michelle Highley since the beginning of 2014. Michelle and I work very closely together with regards to the travel expenses and accounts payable expenses for the university. Michelle works hard with various members and groups of the campus community to share, teach, and explain the travel process. I enjoy working with Michelle because we are able to bounce ideas off of each other, and work together on tasks and items that overlap which allows us to be more effective. I just have a good time working with Michelle.”

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