Student health services Director Alice Reilly-Myklebust has been selected to receive the 2005 University of Wisconsin-River Falls Chancellor's Award for Excellence for Academic Staff. This award is in recognition of excellence in her work and dedication to the University community. Interim Chancellor Virgil Nylander presented her with the award at a reception on Tuesday, April 19.
Reilly-Myklebust is the director of student health and counseling services and the co-director of the personal and professional development center at UW-RF. She has a master of science degree in nursing and is working toward a doctorate in public health at Walden University.
"Under her leadership, student health services has grown from a small, almost invisible service into an active, very involved and visible group of professionals who are making a real difference on campus by increasing student awareness of current health issues," said June Schubert, who was one of many to nominate Reilly-Myklebust for the award.
Reilly-Myklebust has worked to collaborate with the River Falls Medical Clinic, Pierce County Reproductive Health Services and Kinnic Falls Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services. All of these programs have expanded options for students' health care.
"The creation, development, maintenance and success of these programs belongs to Alice," said UWRF Senior Counselor Gretchen Link. "Alice is one of the most dedicated professionals with whom I have had the pleasure of working."
Throughout her career at UWRF, Reilly-Myklebust has organized workshops that address eating disorders, co-directed conferences regarding students' sexual behavior and relationship skills, worked on an annual "M*A*S*H" event to help reduce students' stress during finals, and organized the annual campus and community health fair.
"With her energy, positive outlook and work ethic, she is and exemplary role model. Alice is liked and respected by her colleagues and co-workers," said Sheri Strover, UW-RF career counselor.
In 2003, a UWRF student died from Meningococcal disease. Reilly-Myklebust and her co-workers addressed the concerns of students and their families, implemented a plan to address the issue, and met with UWRF administrators and staff to create information that would educate the public. As a result of this effort, UWRF student health services received the Partnerships in Public Health Award from the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services.
"Alice's leadership to students, parents, faculty and staff during that crisis fostered communication, calmed fears and prevented other students from becoming ill," said Linda Vigars, UWRF student health nurse.
Reilly-Myklebust has co-written and received numerous grants in support of education programs that focus on issues such as tobacco use, alcohol abuse, physical activity and sexual assault.
"A good leader is a teacher, a cheerleader, a critical evaluator, visionary and perpetual source of energy for the organization. That describes Alice," said Vigars.
A native of the Wisconsin Dells area, Reilly-Myklebust also is co-chair of the site council for the Public Montessori School in River Falls. She worked with other parents to write a grant that funded this school and continues to work on grants that will fund a new library. Her two children, Jens and Reilly, attend this school.
When Chancellor Nylander called Reilly-Myklebust to congratulate her for receiving the award, she was shocked. She attributes her success to the people with whom she works.
"I love my job. It's a great place to work where you feel like you make a difference in lives," said Reilly-Myklebust. "Everything we do is a group effort, and any success I have is everyone's success. I feel very blessed."