Heather Burkholder grew up in Platteville and began working at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 2007 in the Admission and Student Affairs office before moving over to Athletics in 2010, where she is coordinator for internal operations.
“I am very grateful to be able to work with such a great department and campus community,” she said. “I grew up in Platteville, so I know the area and have seen first-hand, from a young age, the positive impact the university has had on the community. In athletics, there is never a dull moment. We are always in the fast lane with events, travel, tickets and ensuring a great student-athlete experience. It is rewarding to know that you can always be there to help with the next task that is presented. Most of all, it is rewarding to work with so many great people.”
Most Pioneer fans see the student-athletes on the field and don’t understand all the moving parts behind the scenes; could you explain some of the day-to-day operations you perform to keep athletics moving on the tracks?
Before students-athletes can practice with the team, I complete eligibility processes with them to make sure they are eligible. This might include being a transfer student and ensuring NCAA regulations are followed, academic standing, or just seasons of competition completed. We run weekly progress reports to make sure student-athletes stay eligible for practice and competition. At the end of the year, I track the seasons they have used. I also work with game day ticketing, purchasing, team travel bus arrangements and many other day-to-day things.
You are originally from Platteville and have been employed for 13 years at the university; what do you enjoy the most about working on campus, and more specifically with athletics?
I enjoy the people I get to work with – from staff and faculty, to, most of all, the student-athletes.
Prior to your current position, you worked in Admission and Student Affairs. What were some of your day-to-day operations in that position, and how does it differ from your current position?
Times have definitely changed for everyone. With so many things going electronic, I’m sure the processes are very different now. I greeted people as they came in the office, was the main contact when answering the phone, scanned in documents that came through the mail to be processed, attended meetings, worked on search and screen committees and anything else that I could help with. Much of that carried over to Athletics, but much of what I do from tickets, eligibility, and team travel is very specific to the collegiate sports side of things.
There have recently been some thrilling seasons for the Athletics department; what are some games or seasons that you fondly remember?
My greatest memories are of hosting WIAC and NCAA events for different sports. With the outdoor sports, you never know what the weather is going to throw at you. Some are very hot and others are cold, wet or snowing. A win in the end is always great though.
What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of Pioneer Athletics?
I enjoy spending time with my family.