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COE boasts three 'star' employees

Staff have long been the unsung heroes of higher education, but three College of Education employees are getting some overdue recognition, thanks to the OA and Classified Star Awards.

Two classified employees, Lillian Winkler-Rios and Denise Swanson, were among the five Classified Star awardees, while Deanna Chappell-Belcher nabbed one of the OA Star awards.

Winkler-Rios (pictured at left, on the left, at the COE's annual ugly-sweater contest) is the marketing design coordinator for the college. Her primary role is the production of most of the COE's printed publications, from the annual report to brochures and posters. She's been at the COE for 13 years, having originally come from Mexico. She earned her GED from the High School Equivalency Program, a former COE outreach unit, in 1986 and her bachelor's in visual design from the UO. 

"My graduation from the UO was one of the proudest days of my life," she said.

After 12 years working at print shops, design firms and becoming a partner in her own design business, she started working at the COE in 2003. She said receiving this award was a "great surprise."

Swanson (pictured at left, on the right) is entering her 25th year working with Gerald Tindal, PhD, at Behavioral Research and Teaching (BRT), a COE research unit. Her primary role is to manage and organize BRT's mountains of data.

"Receiving a Classified Star Award ... humbling. Getting to share it with my good friend Lillian ... PRICELESS!" She said.

"When I saw the description of what the award was about, Denise Swanson immediately came to mind," said Julie Alonzo, who nominated Swanson. "Denise consistently goes out of her way to make sure that everyone around her is taken care of. She is detail oriented, personable, and truly cares about the university, and all those around her."

As the Director of the Service-Learning Program, Deanna Chappell-Belcher (pictured below, center) encourages students to make their academic learning come to life by putting it to use in our community. She guides the AmeriCorps program, The Schoolhouse Garden, and the Courts for Kids trip in the spring. She is also the instructor for the Service-Learning Cohort ARC (Academic Residential Community), and teaches "Liberating Education," an Inside-Out course at Oregon State Penitentiary.

Deanna enjoys working with faculty, staff, and students across campus to make the UO undergraduate experience the best it can possibly be, and make a meaningful impact on our Eugene community as well. 

"We all have different strengths and assets, as individuals and as departments.  When we all work together — that’s when the magic happens. It is wonderful to see student and community transformation that results from our collaborative work."