Banners on Marquette Campus

Kim Halula

Stacy Mitz



Tom Wirtz




Annette Wolak

What are University Service Awards?
“Excellence” is exhibited in many different ways at Marquette University, including among staff and administrators. To help celebrate, and encourage, excellence among employees, Marquette University annually honors staff and administrators who exemplify excellence in the work they do.

The 2014 recipients of the Excellence in University Service Awards are Michelle Raclawski, Debra Jelacic, Mitchell Gawlak and Ruzica Gajic.

Kim Halula,
Speech Pathology and Audiology, College of Health Sciences

Dr. Kim Halula has served Marquette in a number of roles for more than 30 years, from director of the Dental Hygiene program to interim chair for the Physician Assistant Studies and Speech Pathology and Audiology programs.

Those who nominated her note that she is always willing to tackle any job and work on any committee — an attribute Halula credits to the Jesuit tradition of cura personalis.

“It takes the contributions of so many at all levels to achieve the success of the whole, and no one person is more important than another when working to accomplish a task,” Halula says. “Marquette provides an opportunity for all of us to work together to make a difference in the lives of our students, in the community and in the world. “So often, we get caught up in our destination in life and we forget to appreciate the journey along the way, especially the goodness of the people we meet and work with,” she says. “My hope is that everyone I come in contact with at Marquette — whether it be the students, alumni, faculty or staff — realize that I genuinely appreciate who they are and what they do.”

Stacy Mitz
Engagement, University Advancement

While words like “generous,” “leader,” “inspirational” and “passionate” echoed throughout the nominations for Stacy Mitz, one of her colleagues summed it up well:

“Stacy lifts up her team like no one else. It’s not about her accolades and ego — it’s about Marquette.”

In her time here, Mitz has developed a number of alumni engagement programs, most notably CIRCLES, a business networking program. Under Mitz’s leadership, the CIRCLES program expanded to 13 regions and 16 cities across the country, and has been recognized with awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Jesuit Advancement Administrators. For Mitz, one of the most rewarding outcomes of this expansion is meeting alumni across the country.

“I realize that being part of the Marquette community is special,” Mitz says. “I’ve had the opportunity on a regular basis to experience people living the mission of Marquette. This inspiration drives me to think of my work as not just a ‘job,’ but as part of my identity.

“It’s a true honor to be recognized by my colleagues, and it’s a privilege to work at Marquette.”

Thomas Wirtz
Dental Informatics, School of Dentistry

As director of dental informatics, it’s no surprise that Thomas Wirtz is passionate about technology. However, his colleagues say Wirtz is more than just passionate — he’s innovative.

“I like trying to find new ways to use technology to make a person’s work easier or more productive,” Wirtz says. “It’s rewarding and encouraging to help people learn a new skill.”

One example of his innovation is the development of an after-hours call system. Accessing patient information after hours without violating federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations was a major problem for the School of Dentistry. Wirtz developed a system that allowed residents to securely and easily identify after-hours callers as patients of record.

Wirtz also helps out colleagues with technology issues, and according to those who nominated him, he does it with a smile and without judgment, whether it’s providing technology strategy or simply helping to embed a video into a presentation. They cite his positivity and helpful demeanor as two of many reasons Wirtz is deserving of the Excellence in University Service Award.

“I feel honored,” Wirtz says. “I know there are many other faculty and staff who, when they look in the mirror, should see themselves as winners of this award every day. I’m touched that my colleagues considered my efforts worthy.”

Annette Wolak
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Opus College of Engineering

Nominations for Annette Wolak called her “the heart and soul of the Mechanical Engineering Department” and recognized her outstanding work ethic. For Wolak, the drive behind that ethic is simply stated:

“Put on a positive attitude, find something to smile about and try to make someone’s day,” she says. “I find that life is so much more rewarding when you can smile and be helpful. Often it’s the smallest thing that you do that will alleviate someone else’s stress and make their day a little better.”

Wolak covers many responsibilities in her role as office associate, from day-to-day operations to supporting faculty and staff through grant administration, organizing conferences, proctoring exams, coordinating schedules, budgeting, and much more. She credits her colleagues with making her work exciting and interesting.

“When you have a good team, teamwork is easy,” Wolak says. “I work for the greatest team at Marquette. We’re like a well-oiled machine, and that makes it enjoyable and rewarding to come to work.”