IOE honors Wanda Dobberstein’s retirement

U-M IOE’s Wanda Dobberstein announced her retirement in early February 2021 after over 13 years of service as the department’s undergraduate student advisor and over 23 years at U-M. | Short Read

The U-M Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE) community wishes Wanda Dobberstein all the best in her retirement. Wanda announced her retirement in early February 2021 after over 13 years of service as the department’s undergraduate student advisor and over 23 years at U-M.

As the undergraduate program advisor, Wanda was the lead staff member who provided support for all U-M IOE students from the beginning to the end of their studies in the department. Over her 13 years, she helped guide and support thousands of students through to the graduation and launch of their careers.

IMAGE:  Wanda Dobberstein, U-M IOE Undergraduate Advisor, greets a prospective IOE student at the annual Engineering Advising Center (EAC) Welcome Day event on the North Campus Diag on September 2, 2014.

The news was immediately followed by an outpouring of congratulations and gratitude from U-M IOE students, faculty and staff.

“Wanda has been one of the most important people in the lives of so many of our students, day in and day out for many years,” said Brian Denton, professor and chair of U-M IOE. “Her dedication to our students, the department, and the college sets an extraordinary example for all of us to follow.”

“Wanda has been one of the most important people in the lives of so many of our students, day in and day out for many years. Her dedication to our students, the department, and the college sets an extraordinary example for all of us to follow.”Brian Denton, Professor and Chair, U-M Industrial & Operations Engineering

Gwendolyn Brown, who joined U-M IOE the same year as Wanda, said that Wanda immediately established a rapport with students which continued throughout her career, “Eventually Wanda moved over to the College for a few years working with the undergrads,” explained Brown. “When the IOE undergrad coordinator retired in 2007, Wanda returned to take the position. Over the years she has guided, advised, commiserated, and comforted the undergrads, many of whom have often returned to visit and thank her after graduating. She has definitely been a guiding force and I’m sure will be missed.”

Susan Montgomery who was the director of the undergraduate program for the Department of Chemical Engineering, knew Wanda when she worked in the First Year Engineering Programs Office and remembers when Wanda first became the undergraduate student advisor for U-M IOE, “I was delighted when Wanda got the IOE advisor position because she has the perfect personality to be an academic advisor — a generous, well-informed, supportive advisor who at the same time is straight-forward with students and tells them what they need to hear.”

The positive impact that Wanda had on students was solidified further when her retirement announcement prompted the creation of an eleven-minute video by U-M’s Alpha Pi Mu chapter. The video features individual students expressing their gratitude through recorded videos and decorated slides.

The entire U-M IOE community wishes to thank Wanda Dobberstein for her prolific service, the faculty, staff and students all wish Wanda the very best in her retirement.

“I had the privilege to work with Wanda when I served as the unit administrator for IOE. During that time, I quickly realized that Wanda was known for her interactions with students, which is evident every year at the undergraduate reception. It was amazing to see parents and students flocking to Wanda with arms outstretched to express their gratitude and praise to her for helping students graduate.”

Rebekah Smith, Former Unit Administrator

“Working with Wanda over the past year has been an absolute pleasure! Her devotion to the IOE department and commitment to her students' success is unparalleled, and she consistently puts others before herself when helping a student in need. When I was new to the peer advisor role, Wanda never hesitated to answer all of my questions and always went out of her way to make sure I understood what was expected of me. Wanda was undoubtedly the spirit of the IOE department, and she will be sincerely missed.”

Dean Golan, Undergraduate Peer Advisor

“You were always available when we had questions related to courses or student mentoring. I really appreciate what you have done to make my teaching so much easier and your patience for all the weird questions I sent you. Thanks for the tremendous help and I wish you all the best for retirement life!

Siqian Shen, Associate Professor

“One of my fondest memories of Wanda relates to the IOE open house reception for graduating seniors ... the number of proud/eager/passionate students that would grab their family members to introduce to Wanda was truly a sight to see. The bond between Wanda and so many seniors was evident. Everyone was so happy and it really made IOE look special — because it was.”

Chris Konrad, Manager of Information Technology and Facilities

“Dear Wanda, You are one of the very first people I met when I came to the department 11 years ago. In the intervening time, you have proven yourself to be a tremendous asset to the department and a good friend.”

Mark Daskin, Clyde W. Johnson Collegiate Professor and Former Chair