Morgridge Center staff honored with pair of awards

Four staff members at the Morgridge Center for Public Service have been honored with a pair of awards for their commitment to students and to administrative excellence.

Badger Volunteers Coordinator Kari Temkin was awarded the 2016 SPA Frontline award for her commitment to ensuring that every UW-Madison student in Badger Volunteers thrives.

The SPA Frontline Award recognizes a University/Classified Staff member who positively influences students’ perceptions of the university. Nominees demonstrate commitment to serving students on a day-in and day-out basis in a professional and caring manner. The recipient is either the first person a student meets in offices, or a person who works “behind the scenes” in the successful operation of a program or unit.

Badger Volunteers, the largest volunteer program at UW-Madison, connects teams of students with community partners across Madison. The students volunteer weekly with the same community partner for an entire semester. This spring, over 800 students participated in the program.

The Badger Volunteers program has also been awarded one of four campus-wide 2016 UW-Madison Administrative Improvement Awards.

Kari Temkin, Badger Volunteers Director Steph Harrill, Assistant Director for Civic Engagement Megan Miller and Special Projects Director Karen Crossley were all honored with the award for their work building the Badger Volunteers program and implementing new sustainability and cost-saving initiatives.

Several years into the program, which began in 2008, the program’s staff faced significant administrative issues, including how to effectively register students, how to transport volunteers to community sites in a cost-effective manner and how to ensure that the program met pressing community needs.

To identify more efficient procedures, cost savings and better service delivery, staff began collecting data through online end-of-semester surveys of volunteer team leaders and members and community partners. They also began calculating the cost and carbon footprint of modes of transportation used in the program and researching alternative transportation methods.

Staff addressed the inefficiency of the registration process by working with DoIT to create a custom registration system that minimized human error and freed up staff time for greater communication with Badger Volunteers leaders and community partners. Changes to transportation of volunteers have led to significant cost savings.

Congratulations to our award winners!