CALS Awards: University Staff Recognition Award recipients

Continuing with our celebration of this year’s CALS Award recipients, we are sharing information about the winners of the University Staff Recognition Awards this week.

Jason Ball

Jason Ball is the facilities manager for the Wisconsin Crop Innovation Center (WCIC). The WCIC is a large 100,000 sq. ft. complex that includes labs, greenhouses, growth rooms, culture chambers and cold storage rooms which all need constant monitoring. Since his start at the WCIC five years ago, Ball has ensured that the building and equipment are always operational for the essential research that takes place at the center.

As the facilities manager, Ball performs critical preventative maintenance on various facilities at the center. Ball’s preventative maintenance work is critical to prevent any breakdowns in the building, which is now almost 40 years old. He continually makes changes and improvements to both the extensive building control management system and existing equipment to make the building run more efficiently, and to enhance equipment that is used by staff for their research.

In addition to his essential maintenance work, Ball spearheads efforts to add additional functionality to the center and is regularly sought out for his advice on everything associated with the infrastructure of the building including electrical, HVAC, plumbing, mechanical and lighting.

Ball is on call 24/7 so he can respond to any emergency. He uses his experience to resolve complex issues related to environmental controls, breakdown of critical equipment, and other emergencies that could negatively impact the output of the center. Just recently, Ball worked to prevent a potentially massive water leak.

Ball is always working to make WCIC building and grounds the best it can be and is incredibly deserving of the CALS University Staff Recognition Award.

Debra Schneider

Debra Schneider is a Human Resources Assistant in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences. Schneider has had a long history with the Department of Animal Sciences and the Department of Dairy Science, which has made her an essential part of the merge between both departments.

Schneider’s expertise has helped current administration understand how to integrate different processes from both departments, such as animal units and new faculty positions. In addition to this, she has also completed a variety of one-time tasks that were necessary for the two departments to merge. Without her dedication, the creation of the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences would have been much more difficult.

Faculty, staff, and students alike search out Schneider for HR assistant-related knowledge, as she always goes above and beyond to help them and everyone else in the Human Resources team. She is always willing and able to answer questions and continuously shares her knowledge with new and old team members. When she isn’t helping out others, Schneider is often the first one to tackle the hard tasks that appear in the HR office. She excels at finding creative solutions to complex issues as they arise, making her a trusted staff member by all.

Schneider’s skills, knowledge, and dedication make her a worthy recipient of the CALS University Staff Recognition Award.