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Alumna becomes assistant director of business operations for Residence Life

December 10, 2019

Michelle Sponholz takes the new Assistant Director of Business Operations and Facilities position at UW-River Falls. Sponholz has held this position for the last three weeks and has previous experience similar to this specific position. Sponholz worked in the UW-Oshkosh housing office, holding a similar position to the one she is currently holding.

Sponholz is a UWRF alumna. She received her bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in business communication. She then went to graduate school at Indiana State University and received her masters degree in student affairs administration.

Before returning to UWRF, Sponholz left her career in higher education and worked in the corporate field in the Twin Cities. “I really missed interacting with students and there’s something about working on a college campus, I think that it is a really friendly environment,” she said.

This position oversees custodial services in the residence halls as well as working with facilities on day-to-day operations and renovations of residence halls on campus. Sponholz also helps coordinate the housing contracts, assignments, and purchases for residence halls.

Sponholz also interacts with the student community within her area of residence life. “In this position, I definitely engage with students through the room assignment process. I work a lot with students on preview days when coming to campus, and then once students are here for orientation,” she said.

A part of the job that Sponholz really enjoys is seeing students grow. “Residence life in general has a huge impact on so many students, for me it’s really exciting to be able to see and watch students grow through their time living in the residence halls,” she said.

Sponholz is excited to be back on the UWRF campus, “it still feels like home. It reminds me of why I chose to become a student here. I just love the River Falls community, and I really appreciate the small knit community feel,” she said.

One of the biggest focuses that Sponholz has been dealing with in the last three weeks is renovations and construction. May hall has been undergoing construction work during the entirety of the fall semester and will continue its renovations in the spring. There are plans for other residence halls to undergo construction in the near future, and Sponholz partially oversees these projects.

“So May Hall is probably our biggest project right now, and then after that we definitely have smaller projects in the works. Grimm Hall bathrooms will be done this summer, South Forks Suites will have showers and doors replaced, McMillan Hall’s basement is being renovated as well. So we definitely have a lot going on in the near future,” she said.

Returning to the UWRF campus has been exciting for Sponholz. She is looking forward to the upcoming projects and the impact she can have in residence life and other parts of the university, saying “I’m just happy to be back on campus, and I feel like everybody has been very welcoming and has reached out wanting to get to know me, so it’s been a really nice transition coming back to River Falls and I really appreciate that.”