UW System gives top honor to Econ Department manager

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents is honoring Brenda Cullin, academic department associate/ office manager in the UWM Department of Economics, with a University Staff Excellence award. Cullin is one of two individual UW System employees and one program chosen for the inaugural awards.

The University Staff Excellence awards recognize exceptional service to the university and are the UW System’s highest recognition bestowed on members of its university staff, according to the announcement from the regents. Award recipients are selected for superior performance resulting in significant contributions to the department and university; use of positive personal interaction to manage work changes; and a consistently innovative approach that improves productivity and work quality. The awards were given at the regents’ Oct. 7-8 meeting in Oshkosh.

Cullin, who has worked for UWM for 42 years, has served as business manager for the Institute for Survey and Policy Research and, since 2011, as office manager for the Department of Economics.

Her contributions have enhanced the sense of community and equity in the department and more broadly at UWM and in the community. She suggested department cost-saving measures that were adopted, with the savings supporting faculty and graduate-level research. She also helped create a graduate student lounge to provide space for economics students to study and get to know each other.

As co-chair of the African Diaspora Council, which she helped revitalize, Cullin established a scholarship program to support African American students. Through the African Diaspora Council, she has also helped lead efforts for the past five years to raise funds and gather back-to-school supplies for two Milwaukee Public Schools, whose students faced special economic challenges, especially during the pandemic.

She was the first chair of the University Staff Grievance Committee, and served on the Chancellor’s Best Place to Work Coordinating Team.

For the full story on Cullin’s honor, visit the UWM Report.