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Laurie Hughes, who works as a conference coordinator for the Gruenhagen Conference Center at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, has been named the recipient of the November 2019 STAR Award.

She was nominated by Marc Nylen, associate director of Residence Life and the Gruenhagen Conference Center.

The nomination follows:

“Laurie Hughes has distinguished herself as a member of the Department of Residence Life Conference Services staff team. In her role as University conference coordinator, Laurie has served the needs of thousands of guests, conference attendees, alumni and UW Oshkosh students, staff and faculty members. She approaches her responsibilities with care, concern and attention to detail.

“One group with whom Laurie has worked closely for the past four years is Special Olympics Wisconsin. Special Olympics has been a client of Residence Life Conference Services for 40 years, in our hosting of their Indoor Sports Tournament and National Games Training. Laurie serves as the primary point of contact and primary conference coordinator for the annual Special Olympics Wisconsin Indoor Games that are hosted in Kolf Sports Center, Albee Gymnasium, Blackhawk Commons and Gruenhagen Conference Center. Laurie is beloved by this group due to the kindness, caring sincerity and attention to detail she demonstrates. She works with the Special Olympics planning team, comprised of seven members who oversee the planning, coordination, and execution of the Indoor Sports Tournament.

“Laurie is the connector of resources, in that she brings together other UW Oshkosh staff members from campus units, (University Police, University Dining, Campus Parking, Reeve Memorial Union, Risk Management, Facilities Management and Custodial Services and many others) to care for the Special Olympics staff, athletes, coaches and other volunteers from across Wisconsin. Laurie’s impressive approach to serving the needs of this group clearly distinguishes her from others. She is kind, competent, caring, considerate and willing to look after every detail to ensure that the Indoor Sports Tournament is professionally hosted every year at UW Oshkosh. The event brings 1,300 guests to campus, and every year these guests evaluate us as the hosts. Laurie’s professional approach and oversight has allowed us to receive exemplary feedback every year. We are humbly grateful to Laurie, and I believe her service to Special Olympics of Wisconsin is worthy of the distinguished STAR AWARD at UW Oshkosh.

“Secondly, Laurie serves as a professional member of the Oshkosh Placement Exchange planning team within conference services. In this role she assists the management, coordination and execution of the annual Oshkosh Placement Exchange hosted at UW Oshkosh, now for 40 years. She has done so in an incredibly professional manner. This conference welcomes 1,000 guests to our campus from 38 states. Laurie makes each of them feel warmly welcomed and professionally cared for.”