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Michelle Peplow, who works for the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) as a University Services program associate, has been named the recipient of the August 2018 STAR Award.

She was jointly nominated by Eric Brunsell, associate dean, and Lori Kroeger, former assessment coordinator for COEHS.

Peplow’s nomination follows:

Kroeger:I am excited to nominate Michelle Peplow for the UW Oshkosh STAR Award. I can think of no more deserving person to receive this award! Michelle joined our College in the summer 2016, taking on the task of rolling out our new Assessment Management System, Tk20. Be assured, that has been no easy task. But, it is one that Michelle has risen to (and beyond). Michelle has gone above and beyond the normal and expected job responsibilities in a multitude of ways. To stand out as exceedingly exceptional.

“The transition to Tk20 has required support for multiple end users, including faculty and staff, students and cooperating teachers. When we first launched Tk20, ALL of these users were new to Tk20. Michelle is the point of contact in the College for all questions, problem solving, and support related to Tk20. Not only does Michelle help everyone with a smile, she does so in a way that is patient and respectful. Knowing that different users learn and seek help in different formats, Michelle has taken it upon herself to create document-based supports, she has produced and recorded a number of short webinars, walking users through various functions of the Tk20 system. She has provided face-to-face support and is always willing to flex her schedule to meet the needs of those instructors and students who are only available in the evening hours. In all she does, Michelle strives to create sustainable resources and supports for all Tk20 users.

“The second way that Michelle has demonstrated performance above and beyond the expected job responsibilities is her continual dedication to actively seek out ways to improve our data collection efficiency in Tk20. Michelle does not just think about ways to accomplish this, she takes this one (maybe even two or three) steps further. It is nothing out of the ordinary for Michelle to offer to pilot new functions with the system vendor and bring those new system functions to the College to improve our data collection efforts. She is always on the search for new and more efficient ways to generate reports to share the data with our faculty, even taking it upon herself to create the reports in multiple formats to improve the usability and accessibility for all faculty and staff.

“In short, I am happy to be able to nominate Michelle Peplow for the UW Oshkosh STAR Award. Many people could have stepped into this role and help successfully launch Tk20 within the College, however, it takes a special dedication to not only learn a new system and roll it out with many people, but also to embrace that system as your own and work tirelessly to squeeze every ounce of functionality from it to the sole benefit of the College and the users! Michelle embodies what it means to give 110 percent.”

Brunsell:Although I have only worked directly with Michelle for the last few weeks, I have been impressed with her ability to explain complex thoughts in an easily digestible manner.  I am still in the process of ‘onboarding’ into my new role and appreciate her willingness to answer my questions–often the same question multiple times–and talk me through processes and the rationale for previous decisions.

“We are now embarking on a project to better organize and present assessment data in a visual manner that should allow for more efficient analysis. She consistently pushes the boundaries of the capabilities of the tools that we have and explores overlooked options and functions to streamline our work. Lori Kroeger’s comment, “(she) works tirelessly to squeeze every ounce of functionality” from TK20 is spot on. However, what I really appreciate about Michelle is that her expertise is matched with a positive personality that is infectious.  She enjoys taking on the tough problems.”