Friday, June 15, 2018

Jill Briggs from UIS Admissions named the Employee of the Month for June

Jill Briggs has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for June 2018. She has worked at UIS for more than 10 years, serving as a senior admissions counselor.

In the past three years, she’s taken on additional responsibilities, such as managing the student ambassadors, a group of UIS student employees who give tours and speak to prospective students. She also oversees high school student group visits and leads preview days.

“Since Jill has taken over group visits, she has put her very own Prairie Star flair on them,” said a student who nominated Briggs. “Before a group even arrives, Jill goes to decorate the room to be in the style of the school or group that is coming. If given enough time, Jill may even use the group’s school colors and mascot.”

Briggs has also made positive changes that have enhanced preview days for prospective students and their parents. She added a question and answer session, which allows prospective students to ask current students questions about UIS life and ease any worries. She also added a spirit team, made up of student ambassadors, who walk around and greet students as soon as they arrive.

“Jill is firm and upkeeps high standards, imparting on us always that we are the first representation of the school that prospective families see. At the same time, Jill is understanding and never gets upset that we are students first, when it comes to a circumstance where we are sick or have to study for a test,” said the student nominator.

Each preview day starts with Briggs buying breakfast for the student workers and staff. She is more than just a boss to the student ambassadors that she supervises. She’s a mentor, a role model and a friend.

“Jill always wants to know how we are doing: reaching out when we are dealing with tough times, check to make sure our stress levels are not going too high, celebrating with us when we achieve an academic or student leadership accomplishment, telling a funny joke to ease the mood while at the same time reminding us to be vigilant in our studies,” said the student nominator.

Briggs holds a holiday party of the student ambassadors each year and when they graduate she makes them a picture frame with a picture of their ambassador class and words of encouragement, which she often presents to students with tears in her eyes.

“Jill is always nice and has positive things to say,” said a second nominator. “She is supportive when she needs to be, a cheerleader when she needs to be, and just someone to go to. She never has anything bad to say or let’s on if she is having a bad day. Her attitude is to make your visit at UIS the best possible visit no matter what.”

Monday, May 14, 2018

Tamara Boeker from ITS named the UIS Employee of the Month for May

Tamara Boeker, a business/administrative associate for Information Technology Services (ITS), has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for May 2018.

Boeker manages the financial aspects of the Information Technology Services Department, including purchasing and negotiating contracts with vendors. She has worked at UIS since 2014.

Her co-workers call her the “backbone of ITS” and “a real team player.” They praise her for being respectful, patient and always professional.

“We often ask her to do the impossible, and somehow she works her magic and makes it happen,” said one of her nominators. “She is one of the kindest people you will have the privilege to work with, but she is no nonsense when it comes to making sure we get the best pricing and excellent customer care.”

Most recently, Boeker started major negotiations to kick off the Canvas pilot. Additionally, she’s worked closely with Dell and with her counterparts at the Urbana campus to pull together combined purchases that allow both campuses to benefit from significant discounts.

“I have never seen Tam lose her patience, even in the midst of frustrating conversations with purchasing, vendors, auditors, etc.,” said a nominator. “She is always calm and professional. Equally as important, she recognizes how all of her work impacts the university and is constantly striving to make improvements in processes and procedures.”

Nominators praise Boeker for her ability to juggle varying deadlines, contract renewals and expiration dates calling her “diligent and conscientious about her work.”

“Much of Tam’s work is behind the scenes, but she has a huge impact on the UIS campus,” said a nominator. “Her tireless effort, attention to detail, and strong communication skills result in seamless transitions for contracts and cost-savings that benefit the entire campus. She is a valued member of the ITS team.”