Monday, December 12, 2011

Kevin Zepp is the December EOM

Kevin Zepp
thought he was on his way to drop off cookies for an afternoon holiday party in the PAC Restaurant, but soon realized the party was for him! Zepp was named Employee of the Month for December 2011 during the celebration.

Since 2008, Zepp has worked as a Network Engineer in the Information Technology Services (ITS) Department at UIS. He’s responsible for networking, server support, IP phones, cable TV and many of the other IT services used on campus.

“He’s an incredible asset to the IT department, just invaluable. The wireless we all enjoy throughout campus, turn to Kevin, the Lync Server that’s up and running and testing right now, Kevin has taken the time and energy to make it work,” said Jamie Voyles, ITS Network Specialist II.

Zepp accepted the award in a room filled with friends and family. Many were wearing Star Trek masks featuring Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. Guests also enjoyed a cake, which also featured his favorite television show.

“I’m totally surprised. I didn’t expect this at all, so thanks,” said Zepp.

He holds his bachelors degree from Bradley University and a masters in Computer Science from UIS.

As Employee of the Month, Zepp will receive a special parking spot for the month along with some extra spending cash on his i-card.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Teresa Seacrist is the November EOM

Parking Operations Chief Clerk Teresa Seacrist thought she was on her way to help plan the Administrative Affairs holiday party, but instead found another party waiting for her in the PAC Restaurant.

Seacrist was named Employee of the Month for November 2011 during a special ceremony. She started working at UIS in October 2008 and helped start the Parking Operations Department on campus.

“She’s wonderfully pleasant to work with, she’s kind, she’s got a big heart, she almost makes getting a ticket worthwhile and fun,” said Dave Barrows, UIS associate chancellor for Administrative Affairs.

Co-workers praised Seacrist calling her a “joy to work with” and talked about her passion for her job and attention to detail.

“She’s a one woman shop, she’s very conscientious reconciling her accounts, learning that process, understanding, trying to do her very best and she’s made that process effortless,” said Julie Close, Administrative Affairs business manager.

Seacrist came to UIS after a career in real estate and knows she made the right choice to join the team.

“I feel like this is a wonderful family. I love being here. I’ve always said when I came here I felt like I won the lotto,” said Seacrist.

As Employee of the Month, Seacrist will receive a special parking spot for the month along with some extra spending cash on her i-card.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Shawn Craig Shures is the October EOM

Not many people help plan their own Employee of the Month party, but that was the case for Shawn Craig Shures, who thought her co-worker was receiving the award.

Shures walked into Mary Jane’s CafĂ© in Brookens Library cheering for her co-worker, Angie Harbison, but she soon figured out the surprise. Shures was named Employee of the Month for October 2011 in a room full of co-workers, friends, and family.

“I’m speechless and I talk for a living, so this is pretty good,” said Shures. “I love UIS, I love the Office of Graduate Intern Programs, I love working for the Center for State Policy and Leadership, I love everybody at UIS.”

Shures has worked as the Assistant Director of Graduate Recruitment for the Graduate Public Service Internship (GPSI) program since 2004. She also worked for the office during the 1990s.

“In my opinion, Shawn is a champion for this campus. She is one of our unsung heroes, who works tirelessly for the benefit of the Office of Graduate Intern Programs, UIS, and the students and agencies we serve,” said Kim Hayden, former director of the GPSI program.

Hayden added, “Shures consistently exceeds expectations, in terms of her job knowledge and skills necessary to perform her job. She consistently demonstrates creativity and new ideas to improve the workflow for the program.”

As Employee of the Month, Shures will receive a special parking spot for the month along with some extra spending cash on her i-card.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wendy Johnson is the September EOM

Wendy Johnson
may be the only UIS Employee of the Month to successfully surprise a room full of people (it’s usually the other way around) with her side door entrance. However, it’s her kindness and ability to work with others she’s known for the most.

Johnson was honored as Sept. 2011 Employee of the Month during a ceremony in the Public Affairs Center on Sept. 21, 2011. She has worked at UIS since 2002 and currently serves as assistant to the dean of the College of Public Affairs & Administration.

“All the department staff members she has supervised have thrived under her care,” said Pinky Wassenberg, dean of the college. “Even the faculty she has to harass to get their paperwork turned in on time still love her.”

Wassenberg read a Top 10 List of the reasons why Johnson deserved the award, ending with “she deserves it.” She also mentioned Johnson’s involvement in the UIS community and how she’s expertly handled extra responsibilities in the office.

“It’s a wonderful place and you guys are great to work with,” said Johnson. “I try to be kind and everyone else is kind in return.”

As Employee of the Month, Johnson will receive a special parking spot for the month along with some extra spending cash on her i-card.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Marsha Neposchlan is the August EOM

Food Service Office Administrator Marsha Neposchlan entered the PAC Restaurant for her Employee of the Month party through the kitchen door. While it might have been an unusual entrance for most, it was all about fooling Marsha.

“You guys really did surprise me, my heavens. I didn’t know anything was going on,” said Neposchlan.

Neposchlan was named Employee of the Month for August 2011 in a room full of co-workers, family and friends. She started at UIS on June 19, 2006 and was promoted to the position she currently holds.

“Marsha has done an exemplary job for this department and has really bailed us out on any number of things. She has applied herself ever since coming here,” said Brian Patton, director of UIS Food Service.

She is known for being helpful and always having candy near her desk.

“I personally reply upon her, extremely heavily, for everything including where I left my keys,” said Patton.

Co-workers presented her with a corsage, flowers and a cake as part of the celebration.

“You guys went all out. Very good, thank you so much,” said Neposchlan.

As Employee of the Month, Neposchlan will receive a special parking spot for the month along with some extra spending cash on her i-card.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lindsey Feger is the July EOM

Like many other past Employee of the Month recipients, Lindsey Feger was conned into making an appearance at the PAC Restaurant for her own celebration.

Feger thought she was on her way to an important meeting at the Chancellor’s office, before she was pulled into a room full of applause. She was named July 2011 Employee of the Month.

Feger has been at UIS since March of 2000 and many people know her talents as a graphic designer. She has been an integral part of the Campus Services design team and has done great work on the alumni magazine, theatre posters, banners, brochures, and more. She has also played a major role in the re-branding effort at UIS.

“I love what I do. I love being an artist. I couldn't ask for anything more as far as my day-to-day doings and I love the people I work with," said Feger.

What people may not know about Lindsey is her accomplished and award winning dance skills, performing with Turnout Dance Company. She also teaches kickboxing in her spare time. Feger also gets a “kick” out of animals and has a new puppy named “Brinkley”.

As Employee of the Month, Feger will receive a special parking spot for the month along with some extra spending cash on his i-card.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Brian Truter is the June EOM

Information Technology Services System Administrator Brian Truter may be the first Employee of the Month to walk into the room holding a laptop, but he is not the first to be fooled.

Truter thought he was on his way to help fix an email problem when his co-workers pulled him into the Public Affairs Center Restaurant. They surprised him with the news that he had been named Employee of the Month for June 2011.

“(I thought) I would never get caught by this trick,” said Truter. “I got totally busted.”

Truter has been employed at UIS since 2008, working his way up from fixing lesser servers to the critical ones he cares for today. He was instrumental in the recent campus upgrade to Exchange 2010 and is always willing to help solve problems.

“He’s very funny,” said Janis Santini, ITS networking analyst who presented the award. “He’s got a lot of good stories and a lot of good Marine stories, so he’s brought a lot of joy to us.”

Truter thanked everyone for coming, but decided to keep things short.

“Well everyone knows I hate meetings, so I’m going to make this very short and say thank you very much. I’m not saying anything else,” he said.

As Employee of the Month, Truter will receive a special parking spot for the month along with some extra spending cash on his i-card.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

James Burgdorf is May EOM

James Burgdorf
entered the PAC Restaurant with a thud of the door, notebook in hand, most likely suspecting he was no longer headed to a meeting.

Inside the restaurant he was surprised by friends and family who informed him he was the May 2011 UIS Employee of the Month.

“What did I do?” he jokingly asked the crowd. He added, “All of you are off my Christmas list” after they effectively pulled off the surprise.

Burgdorf is an Assistant Director of Customer Service and Cashier Operations for University Student Financial Services and Cashier Operations (USFSCO). He has been a university employee for the past four years.

“You’ve exhibited exemplarily performance and courtesy,” said Debbie Rahn, U of I director of Cashiers and Customer Service. “You’re always polite to the customers, even when you can’t say yes.”

Burgdorf thanked the crowd and expressed his surprise that his fellow employees were able to keep his nomination a secret.

“It’s nice to see everybody here and I appreciate it,” said Burgdorf. “Glad to have everybody here, but you’re all in trouble with the Christmas cards.”

As Employee of the Month, Burgdorf will receive a special parking spot for the month along with some extra spending cash on his i-card.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Raymond Barnett is April EOM

Raymond Barnett
jokingly walked out of the room telling the crowd to “enjoy the snacks” after he was named the April 2011 Employee of the Month. He told them he had a meeting to attend, before returning to the room.

Barnett is the newly named Transfer Coordinator in the Office of Admissions, but got his start in July 2001 as an admissions counselor.

“I do appreciate this… and I know (my work) is noticed, it is recognized,” said Barnett. “In the end it isn’t about your happiness, your satisfaction, it’s about how the students have been served and the parents who come to me.”

For him, the real pay off is watching students graduate and seeing them close a chapter in their college career.

“That I helped and had any part in getting that started… that’s the pay off and this is just a little extra,” said Barnett.

As Employee of the Month, Barnett will receive a special parking spot for the month along with some extra spending cash on his i-card.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Tyler Tanaka is March EOM

Tyler Tanaka thought he was on his way to another meeting when he was surprised with the news he was being named March 2011 Employee of the Month.

“I knew something was fishy,” said Tanaka after entering the PAC Restaurant, which was full of friends and co-workers. “I’m like what are all these people doing.”

Tanaka works as an online coordinator in the Teacher Education Program at UIS. He works to recruit and advise students who are interested in mathematics. He’s worked for the university for the past six years.

“I don’t have to tell you all of the good things that he does for the campus, for the college, for APAC, for all of us. He helps us is so many different ways,” said Larry Stonecipher, dean of the College of Education & Human Services.

Stonecipher joked staff members often turn to Tanaka for advise on a variety of subjects, including the best places to eat in Springfield.

“All of those things made us appreciate what Tyler does for us and we wanted to show him our appreciation,” said Stonecipher.

As Employee of the Month, Tanaka will receive a special parking spot for the month along with some extra spending cash on his i-card.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Andrew Fitzpatrick is February EOM

Andrew Fitzpatrick thought he was on his way to a reception for his boss’s poetry contest when he walked into the PAC Restaurant and was named Employee of the Month for February 2011.

“They did a good job tricking me to come here and they got my wife to come and everything, which is good,” said Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick is a Systems Integrator for Information Technology Services. He has worked for UIS for the past two and a half years and is a graduate of the UIS Computer Science Department.

“He’s got a great attitude. It doesn’t matter what comes up, he’s always willing to jump in there and help get things fixed. It’s an honor to work with him and it’s also and honor to present him with this award,” said Tom Sidener, ITS assistant director of Software Applications and Database Support.

Fitzpatrick says the best part of working at UIS is the people, adding “they make it worth it to come here everyday.”

As Employee of the Month, Fitzpatrick will receive a special parking spot for the month along with some extra spending cash on his i-card.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kara McElwrath named Employee of the Year for 2010

Information Technology Services Training Specialist Kara McElwrath was named UIS Employee of the Year for 2010 during the 28th annual celebration in the Sangamon Auditorium lobby on January 24, 2011.

McElwrath is known for being reliable and committed to her job. She always takes the initiative to help others on a proactive basis. She even offers computer workshops outside of her normal work hours.

“I’m speechless and in my line of work that is very rare. This is an unbelievable honor and I am delighted to work here with all of you,” said McElwrath.

McElwrath was among 11 other individual Employees of the Month nominated for the award. Other candidates included Susy Woods, Natalie Taylor, Beth Hoag, Ron Turner, Amanda Bly, Pinky Wassenberg, Gale Kilbury, Lori Giordano, Kathy Henry and Greg Mayes.

“There just aren’t a lot of jobs where you can do the kind of work that I do with the wonderful people I get to work with. People invite me into their offices, their classrooms, and their computer labs… and invite me to help them do their work,” she said.

McElwrath’s nominator praised her for always maintaining open communication with her team members, which has helped in the growth of the team when it comes to support and future planning of services. Kara exemplifies customer service and addresses the needs of the customer. She started at the university in August of 2007.

The Employee of the Year gets a check for $500, plus a special parking spot for the entire year.