Posted 4:17 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020

Dr. Abigail “Abby” Deyo, co-leader of the UWL COVID-19 Response Team, is the recipient of the 2020 Academic Staff Excellence Award.

Dr. Abby Deyo earns award for exceptional service to campus

Since joining the UWL Student Health Center in 2017, Abigail “Abby” Deyo has helped the more than 10,500 students on campus improve their health. In March 2020, that — like the rest of the world — changed.

Since COVID-19 set in, Deyo has only been able to work about 25% of her time directly with patients. Now, she’s helping them in a different way. She’s co-lead with Police Chief Allen Hill on the UWL COVID-19 Response Team. They meet regularly with the Chancellor’s Cabinet, La Crosse County Health Department and COVID-19 response teams from Western Technical College and Viterbo University.

“With many UWL partners we have worked on a COVID testing program and developed our own UWL Contact Tracing Team,” says Deyo. “I am consulting with multiple programs in Academic Affairs and Student Affairs as far as COVID fall planning. Basically, it’s all COVID all the time.”

Before COVID-19, Deyo spent about 60-70% of her time on patient care and administrative duties. Outside the center she’s involved in the Campus CARE Team, which intervenes for student wellbeing and safety. She also works with joint Student Affairs projects on the Alcohol and Drug Work Group and STI Prevention.

Practicing medicine with college-aged students is what Deyo cherishes the most.

“I love that students are hopeful and full of potential,” she explains. “I feel I am able to relate to our students well and train them in health literacy and lifelong wellness.”

Deyo says leading COVID-19 response efforts has been her biggest campus accomplishment. She hopes to eventually be recognized for more.

“This pandemic has been a whirlwind. I am so grateful for UWL's faith in me and committed to mitigating risk to our campus community,” she explains. “Hopefully, before the end of my career here, I can be known for something more.”

The Professional Development Committee selected Deyo as the 2020 Academic Staff Excellence Award recipient for her exceptional service during the pandemic.

“From working with her staff to create a safe environment that allows students to still be seen and treated in the Student Health Center, to co-directing the COVID-19 Response Team, Dr. Deyo has been working extremely hard to help keep our faculty, staff and students safe during this time,” committee members wrote.

Deyo says her favorite part of the job remains the student connection.

“My favorite visits are with students who have anxiety and depression concerns and have improved over the time I have been privileged to care for them,” she says. “I appreciate that student’s final visit before graduation when I am able to feel I have helped them succeed.”

The Dr. Abby Deyo file

  • Medical supervisor, UWL Student Health Center since 2017. Practiced at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Froedtert Hospital before moving to La Crosse in 2012 for private practice at Gundersen Health System.
  • Co-leader of the UWL COVID-19 Response Team; proponent for student education addressing sexually transmitted infections.
  • Professional specialties: Board-certified internal medicine in primary care; urgent care; women's health; transgender, non-binary, non-conforming gender health; mental and emotional health; office-based procedures; preventive health and wellness; Campus CARE Team.
  • Bachelor’s from UW-Madison; medical school and residency from Medical College of Wisconsin.

The Academic Staff Excellence Award

Dr. Abigail “Abby” Deyo has received the 2020 Academic Staff Excellence Award for her exceptional service during the pandemic, along with her other duties as medical supervisor of the UWL Student Health Center.

The UW-La Crosse Academic Staff Excellence Award is given to an academic staff member who has excelled in performance and service. Excellence in performance is the primary criterion, but outstanding service to the campus community and beyond enhances a nomination. Award winners receive $1,500 in professional development funding. Recipients are selected by a committee of peers.

Academic Staff Excellence Award recipients

1994 — Mary Torstveit

1995 — Grace Smith

1996 — Chris Bakkum

1997 — June Reinert

1998 — Jim Jorstad*

1999 — Dianne Morrison and Larry Ringgenberg

2000 — Jon Hageseth and Sara Slayton

2001 — Brad Quarberg

2002 — Nelda Manter and Lori Petersen

2003 — Joe Chilsen and Deon Nontelle*

2004 — Jan VonRuden

2005 — Marcia Johnson-Sage

2006 — Diane Schumacher

2007 — Janie Morgan*

2008 — Hong Rost

2009 — Sue Wrobel

2010 — Debbie Veglahn

2011 —  Karla Stanek

2012 — Carla Burkhardt

2013 — Mo McAlpine

2014 — Terry Wirkus

2015 — Maren Walz

2016 —  Troy Richter

2017 —  Michael Slevin

2018 —  Angie Lee

2019 — Louise Janke

2020 — Dr. Abby Deyo

*Recipient of the UW System Board of Regents Academic Staff Excellence Award the following year.

More about the award