But in reality, it was her colleagues cooking up an elaborate plot involving "Front End Banner" meetings, fake phone calls, and a new co-worker – all of it designed to lure Pat down to conference room G so she could be recognized as Employee of the Month for December.
Associate Provost Aaron Shures began the presentation by listing the qualities that made Pat an indispensable part of the staff and a perfect choice for EOM. They included her willingness to take on extra duties and go the extra mile and it wasn't until he added "without complaint" that the crowd burst out laughing.
"But seriously," Aaron continued, "Pat exemplifies the dedication that is so typical of UIS staff, and that's why she deserves recognition as one of our best."
Pat's first response was to greet her husband, David, and sister, BJ, with hugs and "How long have you guys known about this?" The rest of her acceptance speech was brief: "I don't know what to say. I love working here, you guys know that because I've said it often enough. Thank you."