Chancellor’s University Staff Excellence Awards

2021 Quade, Owens and Custodial Services

Matt Quade_02


Matt Quade

Shipping and Mailing Associate, Central Receiving and Postal
University Staff - List A


Matt Quade, a shipping and mailing associate in Central Receiving and Postal, is the 2021 recipient of the Chancellor’s Recognition Award for University Staff. A 2013 graduate of UW-River Falls, Quade began working in Central Stores and the mailroom upon his arrival as a student. After graduation, he joined the university as an employee and took on his current role in May 2016.


In their nomination materials, all of Quade’s nominators repeatedly praised his dedication to his work, his professionalism and his good nature, particularly in the face of extra challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.


“Matt truly personifies the mission of the Department of Facilities Management by providing excellent service to the UW-River Falls campus community, service that not only benefits the department, but enhances the student experience as well,” said one nominator.


“Matt has contributed greatly to the success of UW-River Falls in many ways and is very worthy of recognition,” added another nominator. “He is definitely a special employee working very hard for the success of our campus.”


COVID-19 brought new and unique challenges to an already busy department, yet Quade and his coworkers managed to keep things flowing smoothly despite the steep increase in workload. After student employees had to leave campus due to the pandemic, Quade’s department was reduced to a two-person operation. Despite this, campus mail didn’t miss a beat.


“Matt and his coworker rolled up their sleeves and focused on getting through the tasks at hand. Matt made sure the bar – set high through years of consistent and efficient service – was not taken down a notch due to the pandemic,” explained one of Quade’s nominators. “The Postal and Receiving Department never left its post. They were tasked with ensuring the delivery and distribution of critical PPE supplies across campus while hundreds of packages containing essentials like textbooks and personal belongings flooded the loading dock, needing to quickly be sent out to the homes of departing students. Despite the added duties, Matt’s dedication and commitment to campus didn’t waiver.”


In addition to his role as a shipping associate, Quade also serves on the University Staff Senate, where he is treasurer and sits on the by-laws, elections and disability advisory committees. His willingness to serve the university community in a variety of ways has not gone unnoticed by his colleagues.


“There is no question Matt values providing the best customer service possible,” said another nominator. “The university is fortunate to have Matt on staff and UWRF staff are fortunate to work with and know the wonderful person Matt is.”


A native of Roseville, Minn., Quade now resides in Hastings, Minn.

Owens pic.2


Lisa Owens

Dean Assistant, College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
University Staff- List B


Lisa Owens, dean assistant in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, has been honored with the 2021 Chancellor’s Recognition Award for University Staff. In her role, Owens provides administrative support for the college and its various academic departments. Her duties are vast, but according to her nominators, Owens’ ability to manage them all is what sets her apart.


“She is on top of policies and procedures and works so hard to make life easier for department chairs in CAFES. I honestly could not be as effective as a chair without her support,” explained one nominator. “I have new appreciation for the complexity and myriad of tasks involved in being a dean assistant—there are a lot of moving parts and balls to constantly keep juggling. I have also very much appreciated her advocacy for faculty and staff in CAFES. She is committed to ensuring things are done right and equitably. Lisa is extraordinarily dedicated to UWRF and has worked tirelessly to support CAFES over the years.”


“Currently the longest tenured dean assistant, Lisa willingly shares her ideas, perspectives and advice with her colleagues when confronted with ‘what does X mean?’ or ‘have you seen Y before?’ or ‘how does Z happen?’” added a nominator. “She regularly communicates with the Provost’s Office, the Budget Office, the Human Resources Department, the Division of Technology Services, the Advancement Office and others on questions and issues, always with the goal of finding the best answer or solution for all involved.”


In addition to her role as dean assistant, Owens continues to serve the university in a variety of ways. She’s served on many search and screen committees and several working groups, including the People Admin initiative, BP Logix initiative, e-Retention efforts and more. A pet-lover, Owens is involved with Lucky Paws Midwest, a local animal rescue. She came to UWRF as a non-traditional student in 1987 and has been employed on campus in various roles since then. She joined CAFES in 2004 and currently resides in Hammond.


Though her duties are extensive, according to one nominator, Owens is always willing to be a team player who meets challenges and facilitates opportunities.


“What do I like best about working with Lisa? It isn’t her quality of work, which is exceptional. It isn’t her attention to detail or commitment or flexibility, all of which are outstanding. No, what I like best are her attitude and approach. Lisa interacts with personnel, internal and external, who have a variety of roles or come from various levels within organizations – faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, donors, industry representatives and others,” they explained. “Each is given the same level of attention, professional yet caring, personal yet complete. She is the face of CAFES and UWRF to many and goes beyond just putting on a good face, though she does that well.”

Housekeeping team_02

Custodial Services

University Staff- Program


UW-River Falls Chancellor Maria Gallo has announced that the Custodial Services unit is the recipient of the first-ever Chancellor’s Recognition Award for University Staff – Program/Unit/Department.


Custodial Services provides cleaning, moving and general services for the UWRF campus, including approximately 1.3 million square feet of academic building space. Staff perform a wide variety of duties, from larger projects like event setups, office and furniture moves and pest and rodent control, to day-to-day tasks including snow and ice removal, recycling collection, light bulb replacement, building unlocks and more.


“Custodial staff have been the hardest hit by the pandemic and yet the outstanding work they do has not been diminished at all. I see staff in this department go above and beyond so regularly, it's almost not even noticed as above or beyond,” said one nominator. “They do the hardest work with the least amount of recognition in my opinion.”