Question of the Week

What is the Center for Operational Excellence?

Are you looking for ways to implement new ideas and improve operations in your work area? The Center for Operational Excellence (COE) leads collaborative work teams to improve processes and reduce waste in all areas of the college. 

The Matters team met with COE Senior Process Analyst Kristin Polywacz to define COE’s role at Madison College and how the department works with faculty and staff to improve complex, multi-departmental processes.

COE’s three main objectives are to lead projects, support continuous improvement through the Process Improvement Applied Training Series and solicit project ideas by offering consultation.

“We’ve had around 50 participants go through the training, and we’ve had about 40 projects being worked on at any given time, which is exciting, and it really shows an improvement culture here at our college,” explained Polywacz.

The School of Academic Advancement received the first COE Team Award for demonstrating commitment and devotion to excellence. The department plans to grant more Team Awards in the future.

What is the Center for Operational Excellence?


Published June 12, 2017.

How do I become a Scholars of Promise coach?

Team Matters spoke with Javier Neira Salazar, manager of the Scholars of Promise program. The college expects to help more than 400 students through this program. Applications are currently under review, and the inaugural class will enter college this fall.

The Scholars of Promise program helps low-income recent high school graduates attend college by removing financial barriers. The program provides funds to cover any remaining tuition after other financial aid is applied. In addition to funds, Scholars of Promise receive guidance through the admissions, financial aid and class enrollment processes and advising support throughout their Madison College career.

The Scholars of Promise team is assembling a body of coaches to mentor these incoming students. Over the summer, training sessions will be offered to faculty, staff and administrators to provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to be an effective mentor or coach.

Interested in becoming a coach for a Scholars of Promise student? Email Javier Neira Salazar for more information.

QOTW • Scholars of Promise

Published May 31, 2017. Updated June 7, 2017.

What are your summer vacation plans?

With the end of spring semester finally behind us, everyone has one thing on their minds: summertime.

Team Matters visited the Truax Campus to ask faculty and staff where they plan to travel this summer. From Northern Wisconsin to Maui, these folks will enjoy their summer in the most beautiful places. 

What are your summer vacation plans?

Published May 22, 2017. Updated May 24, 2017.

What is the asphalt replacement project?

The Matters team met with Fred Brechlin, manager of Architect and Professional Services, in the middle of a crumbling parking lot to discuss the Truax Campus Asphalt Replacement Project that will occur this summer.

Beginning Monday, May 22, the service drive that leads to the East Court, and the parking areas and dog walk beyond that point, will be closed for resurfacing. Temporary ADA parking will be available in the Administrative Building Parking Lot on Anderson Street.

Resurfacing these areas is the best and most cost-effective, long-term option to minimize the need for future maintenance.

In addition to resurfacing the lots, there will be some landscaping work, including new trees and two retention basins. These ponds will filter contaminants out of the water that runs off the parking lots before it enters the storm ditch that runs along the north side of the main property. The area where the old Group Health trailer was located will be converted to expand the dog walk area that is currently on the east end of the building.

This work will continue through Aug. 1, which will lessen the inconvenience for faculty, staff and students, including prospective students and their families who will be visiting our campus during the summer.

What is the asphalt replacement project?

Published May 15, 2017. Updated May 19, 2017.

Nine Questions about the Goodman Sports Complex

In June of 2015, Madison College and the Goodman Foundation announced a $6 million dollar donation to be used to renovate the college's existing softball and soccer fields to create the Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Sports Complex.

Renovation of the complex began in late spring of 2016. After months of construction, the Madison College softball team played their home opener on March 31 at the new facility.

However, the Goodman Sports Complex is used for more than just the college's teams. It is a destination for community sporting activities such as summer camps for disadvantaged youth, state-wide softball and soccer tournaments and other events. The college’s athletic department works closely with community centers on Madison's east side to engage youth in sports and educational-enrichment activities.

Team Matters toured the facility and asked Jason Verhelst nine questions about the Goodman Sports Complex. Topics ranged from how the community is using the new complex, to confirming rumors that the floors of the facility are indeed heated.

Nine questions about the Goodman Sports Complex

Published May 3, 2017. Updated May 19, 2017.

What services can the college's Automotive students provide?

Team Matters visited the Automotive Technician program area and met with Paul Flogel, program director, to discuss the type of work students do and the repair services that are offered.

The program consists of many classes that involve hands-on work where outside customers can bring in their vehicles to be serviced. The repairs are free and customers pay for the parts. Donations are welcome and all proceeds benefit the Auto Club.

Automotive students are interested in servicing vehicles that are experiencing:

  • Power windows, door locks or power seats not working
  • Cruise control, wipers or lighting issues
  • Air bag light on
  • Blower motor making noise or inoperative 
  • Check engine light (service engine soon light) illuminated 
  • Poor acceleration 
  • Rough idle
  • Hard starting 
  • Other engine running problems

Other services available:

  • Oil changes
  • Transmission services
  • Coolant flushes
  • Other repairs that coincide with the curriculum

View more information on the Automotive Technician program page.

QOTW What services can Madison College's Automotive students provide?

Published April 24, 2017.

Why get on board for Phase II of the Professional Workload Pilot?

Team Matters met up with Madison College stakeholders and faculty members to discuss the nascent Phase II of the Professional Workload Pilot. Lessons learned and best practices for moving forward were discussed. Watch this video and see why your team should get on board with Phase II.

QOTW Phase II Professional Workload Pilot

Published April 17, 2017. Updated May 19, 2017.

What is Experience Madison College?

Team Matters spoke with Nichole Augustynowicz, event specialist, and Lera Kovrizhnykh, event assistant, to learn more about Experience Madison College (EMC) events and how faculty can get involved.

The college hosts several EMC events in the fall and spring. These events let perspective students meet instructors and current students, participate in hands-on activities and take a campus tour focused on their specific interests.

Advisors, staff and instructors are available to answer questions about applying to and starting college. All attendees get a free application at the event. They also receive an event code that will allow them to apply to the college for free for up to a year.

Other recruitment events the college holds are the Instant Application Night events, which are for students who are looking for a quick application process and more information on student resources, and Regional Open House events, which are basically EMC events specific for the four regional campuses.

Contact Nichole Augustynowicz if you are interested in participating or have questions.

QOTW • Experience Madison College



Published April 10, 2017. Updated June 12, 2017.

How is the new website performing?

In August of 2016, the new Madison College website was launched with the prospects of easier navigation and accessibility for current and prospective students. Eight months later, data has shown that this redesign is more efficient and easily directs users to the correct information they are searching for.

The Matters team met with Stephanie Beirne Leuer, senior web content liaison, to discuss how the new site has improved, the platform in which it runs on, the process of creating a new page and roles of the web authors.  

“We have tried to make the website lean, and it’s designed to always be improving,” exclaimed Leuer. ‘We evolve and pages can be fluid.”  

Question of the Week • How is the new website performing? • March 29, 2017

Published March 29, 2017.

What can I find at the Bakery store?

The Bakery store at Truax offers a selection of fresh-baked breads, breakfast pizza, cakes, bars, cookies and chocolates. Their new location is Room C1416, located around the corner from the Atrium Café.

Team Matters spoke with Suzanne Daly, Baking and Decorative Arts program director, about some of the many treats available. They toured the new space and watched Baking and Decorative Arts students in action.

Students in this program receive practical and theoretical training on producing bakery products from scratch (like pastries, tortes and hearth breads) cake decorating, sugar and chocolate work, and plated dessert presentations. They learn real-world merchandising and sales training by working in the Bakery store. 

Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through the first week of May.

Question of the Week • Bakery store • March 20, 2017

Published March 20, 2017. Updated April 6, 2017.