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Assistant in UW-Stout Dean of Students Office honored by statewide organization

Ruch receives Support Staff Recognition award from Wisconsin College Personnel Association

By Jerry Poling, UW Stout

In the Dean of Students Office at University of Wisconsin-Stout, Executive Assistant Karrin Ruch supports student success in a variety of ways.

It was Ruch, however, who received support recently when she was nominated for and received the Support Staff Recognition award from the Wisconsin College Personnel Association for her professionalism and dedication.

Ruch thanked her colleagues for nominating her and letters of support. “I felt very honored. It really made me feel like the work I do on campus is valued and appreciated. I couldn’t do the work without them and feel fortunate be part of the Dean of Students team.

Karrin Ruch, executive assistant in the Dean of Students Office at UW-Stout, has received the Support Staff Recognition award from the Wisconsin College Personnel Association. / UW-Stout

“I enjoy being part of a team that works great together to ensure that our students are heard and supported. I truly feel that I am the lucky one who gets to work on an amazing campus with the best students and supportive co-workers,” said Ruch, of Menomonie, who has worked at UW-Stout for 11 years.

Ruch is an initial point of contact for students who need to meet with the dean, associate dean or assistant dean. She also handles background checks for students in the Study Abroad program and for other outside agencies, as well as sending out student absence notices, serving on employee search committees and more.

“Karin is truly the ‘face’ of the office. She excels at providing exemplary customer service and in doing whatever is needed to support student success,” said Dean of Students Sandi Scott. “Because of Karrin and her commitment to UW-Stout, the Dean of Students team and to students, we function more efficiently and more effectively.”

Karrin Ruch, left, also co-manages the Helping Hand Food+ Pantry for students at UW-Stout. / UW-Stout

Jacqueline Bonneville, associate dean, said Ruch “has a perfect disposition and ability to show warmth and a calm and reassuring presence to everyone who walks through our door (virtually or in person).”

Along with other duties, Ruch co-manages the Helping Hand Food+ Pantry for students in the Administration Building. She manages the inventory, assists with volunteers and has worked to promote the pantry and receive additional funding to supports its efforts.

“This experience has been an absolute blessing. I have met lots of wonderful students and learned a lot about food insecurities on our campus. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to assist with the pantry and do my best to make sure it’s a welcome space for all students,” Ruch said.

This is the third time in three years a UW-Stout employee has received a WCPA honor. Ian Foley and Adam Ludwig, both from University Housing, received the Nora McGuire Outstanding Professional honor in spring 2023 and 2021, respectively.

WCPA formed nearly 50 years ago. Its mission is to provide “professional development for higher education professionals serving students in Wisconsin,” according to its website.

UW-Stout is Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University, with a focus on applied learning, collaboration with business and industry, and career outcomes. Learn more via the FOCUS2030 strategic plan.


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