UW-Madison honors Academic Staff Award winners

John Lucas, University Communications

In recognition of outstanding leadership, public service, research, teaching and overall excellence, eight UW-Madison professionals have been honored with the 2006 Academic Staff Excellence Awards.

Winners will be recognized by the Academic Staff Assembly on Monday, May 8, and will attend a chancellor’s reception at Olin House on Wednesday, May 10.

This year, awards were made in eight categories. Seven awards carry $2,500 stipends; the Chancellor’s Hilldale Award for Excellence in Teaching carries a $5,000 stipend.

“Academic staff members provide critical support to students, research and the overall operation of the university,” says UW-Madison Chancellor John D. Wiley. “The contributions of the award winners are invaluable and we cannot thank them enough.”

Rita Hohlstein, clinical associate professor for the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, received the Wisconsin Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Leadership.

During the past 35 years, Hohlstein has displayed uncommon leadership in creating, implementing and sustaining interdisciplinary training and clinical service programs at the Waisman Center.

Hohlstein works within the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities with the mission of training clinicians, educations and administrators who will be working to improve the quality of life of individuals with disabilities and their families.

Several thousand UW-Madison students have learned from these programs during her time at the center.

During that time, Hohlstein has made her greatest contribution to the Maternal and Child Health Leadership Program in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities as its most consistent, dedicated and creative backer.

Her own grandson was born with cerebral palsy, and it is likely that her own efforts have improved the quality of service that he has received.

“I have always viewed Rita as one who has lent a wise, calm and steady influence over the direction that Waisman clinical programs have taken over the years,” writes Paul White, a Waisman outreach manager. “She has had direct and indirect positive influences over countless people with disabilities and their families across Wisconsin.”