Academic Staff Award Winners Oral History Project


Each year, UW–Madison honors nine academic staff members for their achievements and dedication to excellence. “As these awards richly illustrate, our academic staff members are scientists and scholars, communicators and creators, managers and mentors,” Chancellor Rebecca Blank says. “They inspire our students, strengthen the work of their colleagues, educate the world and ensure that the mission of this institution never falters.” Since 2016, the Oral History Program has collaborated with the Secretary of the Academic Staff’s Office to document the award winner’s backgrounds and experiences working at UW- Madison.


Below are the 7 2021 UW-Madison Academic Staff Award Winners, who contributed to this project. Images compiled from the UW News webpage.


What follows is the list of award winners who have contributed to the project. Click on any hyperlinked name to access their oral history. Note: Also included with each narrator’s name is their oral history number and the year that they won. More interviews below will be added to our online collection, so check back for more updates. And note: we have dozens and dozens of other oral histories with current & former academic staffers. So, please contact the University Archives to find out more about other academic staff oral histories in our collection.

Mary Ann Croft (1587, 2016) 
Ronald Harris (1588, 2016) 
Jeanne Hendricks (1589, 2016)
Bethany Pluymers (1586, 2016) 
Susan Carpenter (1703, 2017) 
Mohammad Fayyaz (1710, 2017) 
John Street (1702, 2017) 
David Tobin (1701, 2017)
Araceli Alonso (1471, 2018)
Mike Kinderman (1876, 2018)
Margaret Mooney (1849, 2018)
• Bruno Browning (1954, 2019) 
Karen Mittlestadt (1956, 2019) 
Kim Lord-Plummer (1955, 2019)
Rick Strickland (1960, 2019) 
Michael Westphall, (1957, 2019)
Kim Marie-Beld (2096, 2021) 
Steven T. Cook (2111, 2021)
Kevin Niemi (2110, 2021) 
Manuela Romero (2109, 2021) 
Alberto Vargas (2097, 2021) 
Tom Zinnen (2122, 2021) 
Janet Batzli (2106, 2021)
Maila Jones (2127, 2021) 

The Oral History Program would like to thank Heather Daniels, Jake Smith and Lesley Fisher. All of whom are with or were with the Secretary of the Academic Staff Office. All interviews were conducted by Troy Reeves, and this webpage was created by 2021 OHP staffer, Alec Kirkwood. 

For more information about the awards program, visit the Secretary of the Academic Staff Office’s webpage. For more information about this project or the UW-Madison Oral History Program visit the Oral History Program webpage or email Oral History Program head, Troy Reeves (