Our department is fortunate to have an exceptionally talented set of staff. Those in the department administration, academic programs, advising, fiscal support, computing, and the front-office provide the essential services day in and day out that contribute to our excellence. More than this, these individuals set the tone of the department through their numerous interactions with students, faculty, visitors, other units, and higher-level administrators. In this and future newsletters, we spotlight individual staff.
The highest standard of excellence is set by Ann Buscherfeld. As Departmental Administrator, she is the nerve center of the department. She manages all administrative and fiscal matters, provides grant support, deals with important academic and staff issues, and is the key advisor to the department chair. She also provides administrative and fiscal support for several other programs—the Law, Societies, & Justice Program; the Harry Bridges Labor Studies Center; and the Disability Studies Program. In these roles, she juggles some 70 different budgets, responds to hundreds of daily emails, and keeps on top of key deadlines.
Buscherfeld's talents and accomplishments were recognized in 2011 with the UW's Distinguished Staff Award. She was one of five individuals selected for the award from nearly 100 nominees and was the first departmental administrator to receive the award. The award cited her integrity, innovation, spirit of collaboration, fostering of diversity and respect, and willingness to support faculty and students. This followed the department's recognition of her in 2010 as the "Best Doggone Administrator."
Busherfeld has been with the department for over twenty-five years and during that time she has done it all. She started as a receptionist and then became a word processing operator lead in the early days when the department had a mini-computer. She later worked as secretary supervisor and senior computer specialist. She became the Departmental Administrator in 1999 having been selected by then chair, Michael McCann. She is highly regarded among faculty, graduate students, and staff who have come to rely on her vast knowledge of the university. This is especially true for department chairs as echoed in the comments offered by Divisional Dean Judith Howard as part of Buscherfeld's UW award nomination: “Whenever it is time to select a new department chair, those who were asked to do this always say ‘with Ann, I can do it. Without her, I cannot.’"