Emily Ascher, University Centers campus activities coordinator, was honored Friday, Oct. 18, at the Wisconsin College Personnel Association Conference in Wisconsin Dells.
Ascher received the Nora McGuire Outstanding Professional Award for "demonstrated initiative, creativity, and innovation" in her work.
"Emily has always sought out opportunities to contribute beyond her job description and beyond our department," said Darrin Witucki, University Centers director, who nominated Ascher. From developing great training programs and effective work processes to serving on multiple campus committees, Ascher's efforts "are greatly appreciated across campus."
Ascher joined the Memorial Student Center staff in 2007. She advises Blue Devil Productions, the campuswide programming board, and serves as the campus contracting officer for performances.
"What makes this award particularly special is that Darrin worked with Nora and understands the meaning behind the nomination. I was surprised because our division has so many talented people and to have been nominated means a lot," Ascher said.
McGuire was chief student affairs officer for UW Colleges and a WCPA board member.
Ascher recently completed a master's degree in student affairs administration from UW-La Crosse. While working on the degree, she accepted additional responsibilities at UW-Stout when the student center was closed for renovation and when key staff members retired.
Witucki was impressed by Ascher's level of commitment. "Emily is a team player and an incredibly driven professional," he said.
Since completing her master's, Ascher's involvement in regional and national professional associations has increased, and she is a frequent conference presenter. She is showcase stage manager for the National Association of Campus Activities regional conference in St. Paul in April.
"Emily is in the field for the right reasons — to help students develop and succeed," Witucki said.
In 2012 Ascher received a UW-Stout Academic Staff Outstanding Service Award, which is based on student nominations and a student vote.
"I pretty much love the MSC. Whether it's a university trip, organization or attending an event, students will be able to leave here with memories that confirm this was an important part of their lives, and they're better because of it," Ascher said.