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MIAD Values Recognition Award: Matt Sothan

Matt Sothan receives MIAD Values Recognition Award from Jeff Morin

Matt Sothan receives MIAD Values Recognition Award

Matt Sothan, Assistant Director of Admissions, Transfer and Nontraditional Enrollment Specialist, received the March 2024 MIAD Values Recognition Award at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD). Matt received nominations that highlighted his embodiment of MIAD’s Core Values, especially Integrity and Community.

The MIAD Values Recognition Award (VRA) celebrates faculty and staff who consistently model MIAD’s values of courage, integrity, kindness, community, innovation and inclusion. After employees nominate a colleague for the award, a committee made up of faculty, staff and previous VRA winners convenes to vote on the month’s recipient. Awardees receive a $250 prize.

Sothan has worked at MIAD for 12 ½ years. “I’ve been here a long time and I’ve been doing the same thing for a long time. There’s almost part of me that feels like, have I just sort of become part of this institution? Those are things I want for my own career,” he says. “To see that other people have noticed me and the contributions I make. The fact that my job here provides me with a lot of meaning and purpose. [The award] validated that. It made all that time and effort feel worthwhile.”

One of Sothan’s nominators said, “Matt has been a pillar of our admissions team for over ten years. He loves working with people and is always there for his students, both throughout their admissions process and beyond. So frequently we hear from students and parents, ‘we love Matt’ or ‘Matt helped us so much throughout this process, he is why I’m at MIAD.’ Matt is quick to gain trust because he is personable and honest. He puts people at ease and folks feel comfortable around him.”

“My most overused word as a MIAD admissions counselor is community. Community is why I left Kansas City to come to MIAD in the first place,” Sothan continues. “I felt like there was something going on at MIAD. I felt that it was a reflection of what goes on in Milwaukee. Having been here as long as I have, what’s exciting about that is watching it change. Watching our community change as we meet the needs of our students, watching our community change as the culture that we are responding to creatively changes us. There’s never a dull moment here.”

Another nominator finishes, “Matt’s dedication to admissions, his students and the greater community of MIAD is palpable and genuinely inspiring.”

Learn more about MIAD’s Values Recognition Award or nominate a colleague at miad.edu/vra.

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