UW–Madison gold medal on a background of campus.

Meet the 2022 IT Recognition Award winners

Congratulations to the 2022 IT Recognition Award Winners!

The awards were presented as part of the IT Professionals Conferences on June 3, 2022. Watch video of the awards ceremony. Here are the awards and their winners:

Lifetime Achievement

Paul Oliphant

Paul Oliphant, Wisconsin School of Business

Paul Oliphant, Director of Teaching and Learning Support at the Wisconsin School of Business, began a career at UW–‍Madison three decades ago in the College of Engineering. He enjoys building communities with dedicated and diverse people, learning alongside scholars, and associating with distinguished professionals on campus and from around the world. Influential campus communities Paul was instrumental in developing communities of practice ComETS (Community of Educational Technology Support) and Moodle Council, most recently co-leading the UW IT Connects Mentoring group.

Janet E. Plato Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award

Lauranne BaileyLauranne Bailey, College of Engineering

Lauranne Bailey’s long career with the College of Engineering includes managing websites and IT projects for the professional development arm of the College (formerly EPD, now Interdisciplinary Professional Development). In August 2020 she co-formed an internal DEI team. This spring, she and her team colleagues launched 5 college-wide, hour-long DEI Series Zoom discussion sessions. Most topics were based on available recordings from UW’s 2021 Diversity Forum. The sessions were open to all college staff and faculty and unrecorded to allow for more transparency. Topics ranged from Belonging, Digital Inclusivity, and Indigenous Kinship.

Community Engagement

Leah WeicherLeah Meicher, Office of the Registrar

Leah gains enormous satisfaction in collaborating with cross-functional and technical teams across campus on IT projects related to the Student Information System (SIS). She has 30 years of experience working in higher education as a software developer, business analyst, and project manager. Leah currently works in the Office of the Registrar as a student enterprise applications administrator and is co-chair of the Information & Technology Leadership Conference planning committee.

Rising Star

Ellie KachelEllie Kachel, University Health Services

Ellie Kachel serves as the Informatics Manager for University Health Services (UHS) and manages the UHS electronic health record (EHR). She has an integral knowledge of all EHR operations and intricacies and continually works to build an inclusive EHR for users. Since joining UHS in 2019, Ellie helped to lead the EHR migration from a local server to cloud-hosted server (for which she was part of the team that received the 2020 IT Team Achievement Award) and played a key role in implementing the COVID-19 technical response within the EHR. Ellie’s passion for efficiency, organization and design can be seen both at home and at work.

Team Achievement

STS teamSoftware Training for Students, Pete Valeo, STS Service Leader, and Natalia Aguirre Villalobos, Operations Coordinator

Software Training for Students (STS) is a service that helps UW–‍Madison students become more technologically literate at no cost to them. STS currently comprises 19 student staff and 2 full-time staff, who create, update and lead trainings on various software topics: Excel, Python, R/RStudio, Adobe CC, Audacity, Algorithms, Data Privacy and more. Every semester, STS offers weekly open enrollment workshops taught by student trainers; completes custom workshops requested by student organizations, professors, or TAs; and provides one-on-one assistance to students on their specific software questions and needs.

Transformational Achievement

Michael ZenzMichael Zenz, College of Letters & Science

Michael Zenz is a Policy and Planning Analyst in L&S who works primarily to track, explain, and predict undergraduate student success and enrollment patterns, as well as implement administrative process improvements through technology. He works primarily with R, SQL, and Tableau. He obtained a BA from UW and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Maryland, where he primarily studied democracy, voting and public opinion.

Peter DoksusPeter Doksus, School of Social Work

Peter is a Software Engineer/Developer in the School of Social Work. He has 15+ years of web application development and system design in HIPAA and FERPA compliant environments.


Unsung Hero

Brendan DayBrendan Day, UW Survey Center

Brendan is a programmer at the UW Survey Center. He oversees the organization’s in-house web survey operations, and developed many of the applications and databases that the UWSC uses to manage projects.


Dawn DurenDawn Duren, College of Letters & Science

Dawn Duren has worked for the UW–‍Madison in the College of L&S since 1983. She started in the Sociology department as a high school office education co-op student. In 1985 Dawn was hired as a permanent classified employee in the Economics department, where she experienced the transition from dedicated word processing machines to PCs and where her interest in IT began. In 1991, she transferred to the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP), where her journey transitioned from word processing to helping in everything and anything IT where she can. She received an associate’s degree in Information Technology from Madison Area Technical College in 2003. 

Portrait of Erik GeigerErik Geiger, Division of Information Technology

Erik has worked in web operations for UW–‍Madison DoIT since 2001, first in a shared position for the Network Services group and WiscNet and later solely for WiscNet. He transferred to DoIT Communications in 2013, when WiscNet and the UW went their separate ways. He is active in shared governance as University Staff Congress representative for district 66 and just finished his first stint as a mentor for IT Connect’s UW IT Mentoring program. Erik handles with excellence a wide range of crucial tasks at DoIT Communications, including accessibility testing and remediation, plain language technical writing, and WordPress administration.