UW-River Falls custodial staff to receive UW System award for excellence


Sept. 26, 2022 -- The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents today announced that the UW-River Falls Custodial Services Department will receive the 2022 Regents University Staff Excellence Program Award.  

This award is part of the Regents University Staff Excellence Awards Program, now in its second year. The awards recognize the dedicated work, vital services, initiative, and outstanding contributions of UW System’s university staff. 

Three recipients, including the UWRF Custodial Services Department, will be honored at the next Regents meeting on Sept. 30 in Eau Claire. Each recipient will also be awarded $7,500 to support professional development or program enhancements.

Along with professional supervisors and custodians, the UWRF Custodial Services Department employs more than 50 students including a student hiring coordinator and student trainers.

“The professional staff go above and beyond to mentor the student employees, not just on how to perform the custodial work, but also in qualities like leadership, professionalism and how to live out our campus values,” said UWRF Chancellor Maria Gallo.

Gallo also praised the department’s ability to adapt job responsibilities and increase cleaning procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic, finding new ways to meet the expanded workload – even when understaffed. To recognize its work during the pandemic, the department earned the first Chancellor’s Recognition Award for University Staff

Gallo noted that campus visitors consistently compliment the cleanliness of the university buildings and their positive interactions with custodial staff. 

Students also benefit from these interactions, said Michelle Sponholz, UWRF’s associate director of Residence Life - Business Operations and Facilities, and one of the award nominators. 

“Custodial staff working in the residence halls are dedicated not only to providing a clean living environment, but also in creating relationships with the students in their individual buildings,” she said. “Custodians have received lots of positive feedback and stories about how they have helped students and made a difference in their campus experience.”

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