Talk with any of the students whom Ann Morris has helped to transfer into the College of Engineering, and you’ll hear a common sentiment: “I couldn’t have done it without her help.”
A 40-year college employee who retired this summer, Morris directed the College of Engineering transfer admissions programs. In that capacity, she built a reputation among colleagues at campuses throughout the state as a role model for the way engineering transfer advising and admission should be done. With her caring, one-on-one approach, staggering knowledge base, and strict attention to detail, Morris provided thousands of both domestic and international students a seamless transition into the college.
She reviewed about 500 transfer applications annually and was the college liaison to the UW-Madison offices of the registrar, orientation and new student programs, admissions, intercollege programs, and international student services, among other departments. Within the college, she helped shape, define and implement academic policies, procedures, rules and regulations and helped study-abroad students choose courses that meet their degree requirements.
For more than 20 years, Morris led efforts to recruit transfer students and deliver to them the best college experience possible. She cultivated personal relationships at colleges around the state: Each fall, she visited almost 20 campuses around Wisconsin to speak with faculty, staff and students about the College of Engineering and its programs. She described admission requirements and advised, via phone or E-mail, at least 200 students across the state each year.
Morris was instrumental in developing a dual-degree program that enables chemistry, math and physics students at 10 UW System campuses to study three years at their home institution and two years in the College of Engineering and earn a bachelor’s degree from each institution.
In addition, she wrote and regularly updated the booklet, “Tips for Transfers,” an advising tool also implemented in other UW-Madison schools and colleges, UW System campuses, Madison Area Technical College, and Edgewood College.
Morris is best known for the attention she devoted to each person. “Ann’s level of professionalism is marked by a willingness to problem-solve and then research each question that is presented to her by each individual she encounters,” says a colleague.
“This rare quality, combined with her accrued wisdom, service orientation, and general kindness, has made Ann an extraordinary member of the college community. The hallmark of her service is her commitment to students, individual by individual.”