Nicole Ruchotzke may be one of the newest advisors to join the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Center for Distance Operations, but she’s already left her mark. This week, Ruchotzke will officially be awarded the Advising Profession Impact Award by the Wisconsin Academic Advising Association.
The award is granted to advisors who have five or fewer years of experience in advising but have significantly impacted their campus.
Ruchotzke has certainly lived up to that billing. Since starting at UW-Platteville three-and-a-half years ago, she has been instrumental in streamlining the process for taking online and print courses through the Center for Distance Operations. She also authored two grants that provide funding for scholarships and equipment for Continuing Education Institute classes.
“In my day-to-day advising role, I work with seven different student populations, including incarcerated students. I help them to navigate limited resources and point them in the direction needed to better themselves upon their release,” said Ruchotzke. “My dynamic role has allowed me to assist a range of students and positively impact their lives. It is just a matter of knowing where they are and where they would like to be.”
Ruchotzke obtained her undergraduate degree from UW-Platteville, before earning her Master of Public Health degree from Concordia University in Nebraska. She said she jumped at the chance to come back to the university that held a special place in her heart.
“As an undergraduate student, I loved planning out what courses to take. Translating that into a job was something I have never considered until this position popped up on Indeed in 2016. I graduated from UW-Platteville in 2013, and having the opportunity to come back to a place I loved being simply made sense,” explained Ruchotzke.
Ruchotzke personally advises 245 students and is also responsible for coordinating online and print courses for campus students looking to take classes through the Center for Distance Operations. She said the best part of the job is playing a role in each student's academic journey.
“I enjoy hearing student stories and their experiences, where they are now, and how I can help them to get to where they want to go,” said Ruchotzke.
The Wisconsin Academic Advising Awards recognize employees from a higher education institution in Wisconsin who demonstrate outstanding dedication to the profession of academic advising. Ruchotzke will be formally honored at the 2020 WACADA conference, hosted virtually by the University of Wisconsin-Superior on Sept. 24.