Denise Olstinske: Academic Staff Distinguished Service Award
Denise Olstinske is the Director of Parkside’s Access to College Credit (PACC) Program. In addition, she is also Co-Director for the Center for Professional Studies, Co-Director for the Master of Applied Professional Studies (MAPS), and ARMY ROTC Staff Liaison. Denise started at Parkside as a Certification Officer for the Institute for Professional Educator Development and was a significant contributor to the complete redesign of the program in 2013. In 2015, she moved to the Deans office to work on college and campus-wide programming.
People outside of the CSSPS might not be aware of all the of the ways her work has benefitted the campus. But needless to say, she has done quite a bit.
During her 12 years at Parkside so far, she’s accomplished quite a bit! She established the successful concurrent enrollment program, PACC, expanding to schools in Racine and Kenosha, and recently working west of I-94. She has taken the initiative to develop a 1 + 3 program so that students at Walden High School will have the opportunity to earn 30 credits through PACC. Because the cost is minimal, this would save students time and money when they attend the university.
Denise has always been the first to find out about shifts in funding from the state/UW System, open grant opportunities, and community partnership possibilities. Denise took the lead in writing a successful Department of Education grant for $1.4 million. The three-year program began this summer with an alternative history program for 100 high school students and 50 teachers, with this summer focusing on the Native American narrative. She also worked with Dean Peggy James on another DOE grant, to increase educational attainment of single parents who have been forced to pause their education and cannot go back to traditional educational settings to complete a HS degree or a post-secondary degree. And, because public transit does go to the satellite location in central Racine (which also offers childcare!), that means there are fewer barriers to attaining education.
Not only that, but Denise has also been instrumental in getting ROTC on campus. Denise has acted as a liaison between the university and AROTC. Her responsibilities have included setting up space, going to Military Balls, setting up large competitions and award ceremonies on campus, and more. Then, of course, Denise has continued work on a Masters degree program here at Parkside (MAPS). Denise has demonstrated not just a passion for higher education, but an incredible work ethic that has earned her the admiration and respect of her peers.
Congratulations, Denise Olstinske!
Academic Staff Distinguished Service Award Winner