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CALS Awards: University Staff Recognition Award recipients

This week we are honored to share more information about the recipients of the University Staff Recognition Awards!

Gary W. Grossen

For the past 15 years, Gary Grossen has been a full-time cheesemaker in the Babcock Hall Dairy Plant, crafting more than 20 varieties of cheeses, including his award-winning Gouda. When the plant closed temporarily in September for remodeling, Grossen joined the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) as a Research Cheesemaker. This new position with CDR required that he take on the processes of all milk and dairy ingredients for the center. These are very technical tasks with no room for error. Grossen has truly demonstrated his ability to go above and beyond and has truly mastered these new responsibilities.

Grossen is a sough-after mentor in the dairy industry. He has trained numerous undergraduate students, grad students, and aspiring cheesemakers from around the U.S. on how to make artisan, award-winning cheeses. Many former students often make a point to seek out Grossen when they return to campus to say hello.

In addition to his duties at Babcock Hall, Grossen is a prolific volunteer. He volunteers his time with the U.S. and World Championship Cheese Contest, the Foreign Type Cheesemakers Board of Directors, the National Historical Cheesemaking Center and the Cheese Days Celebration, where he and his wife, Corie, were named Cheese Days King and Queen in 2008.

Dawn Wagner

Dawn Wagner has worked in the CALS human resources office since 2009. She plays a crucial role in several HR functions such as faculty personnel actions, zero-dollar appointments, emeritus appointments, and leadership position recruitments. She assists the associate dean for human resources and senior associate dean in their work with faculty matters. In addition, she is responsible for the general office needs of the CALS HR and CALS Research Division units.

Wagner is continuously asked to take on new responsibilities due her track record of reliability, accuracy, ability to learn complex processes quickly, and her positive attitude. She has developed expertise in several functions of CALS HR and is sought out for her understanding and opinions on these matters, especially in the area of zero-dollar appointments, which she has come to master.

Wagner’s work performance is outstanding. She provides dedicated, responsive, and excellent service to the faculty, staff, deans, department chairs, and department administrators she serves to support. Wagner is truly the epitome of a customer-service minded individual who makes a large impact on the college by supporting its HR needs, projects, and partners.

Jo White

Jo White serves as the Business Services Lead in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics and the Center for Dairy Cooperatives. White is recognized as the go-to expert for all expense and travel reimbursement questions in Taylor Hall. When new staff are hired, White is a regular resource for her wealth of knowledge on all UW fiscal policies.

White’s experience and skills are great for resolving the complex needs of travelers and the competing demands of UW, State, Federal, and donor guidelines. Having come to the UW from the private sector, White is noted for having quickly and enthusiastically embraced retraining herself on new technology systems as well as policies and procedures related to her work.

A reliable and trusted source of advice, White often goes above and beyond the scope of her assigned duties to make sure financial questions are answered quickly and thoroughly, and always with a smile.