Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Chuck Coderko is the December Employee of the Month

Chuck Coderko has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for December 2016.

As director of construction, Coderko is overseeing the construction of the new UIS Student Union. He has handled all aspects of the project from the “programming” phase, through schematic design, construction documents, bidding and now construction.

“He not only worked seamlessly with a large group of consultants, developing and carrying out their contracts, but also made everyone at UIS feel included in the design process,” said his nominator.

Coderko is also known for his great sense of humor and the ability to always put a positive spin on any situation.

“He has an excellent personality and works well with faculty, staff and students,” said his nominator. “He is extremely well organized and multi-tasks extremely well. He has upwards of thirty constructions projects ongoing at all times, but is always game to handle more.”

Coderko is often one of the first people on campus in the morning and often works through lunch and into the evening if necessary. He regularly volunteers to participate in faculty and student presentations in the evenings and on weekends.

“He is well liked and respected by his co-workers, faculty, staff and students and is always first to step up and provide more than has been asked of him,” said his nominator.

“Chuck says this is the best job he has ever had!”

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Meagan McChristy is the November Employee of the Month

Meagan McChristy, a childcare associate at Cox Children’s Center, has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for November 2016.

According to her supervisor, she is reliable and committed to her job and dedicated to building relationships with children and families.

“She is reliable and someone that I never have to question in terms of accountability,” said her supervisor. “She forms relationships with families that carry over once the children age out of her classroom. She is very dependable and organized.”

She started as a student worker at Cox Children’s Center and was later hired on full-time. She is currently finishing her master’s degree at UIS, in order to further her knowledge in the field of early childhood education.

McChristy works in the infant room where she cares for the youngest children at the center. One mother, who nominated McChristy, says knowing she is caring for her children puts her at ease.

“Meagan is brilliant with the babies,” said the nominator. “I was lucky enough to have her take care of my child, which allowed me to return to work with a sense of security versus panic, as many mothers do.”

The nominator adds that McChristy has the ability to handle stressful situations with ease and keep the children calm.

“I often think our childcare workers are the unsung heroes of the campus,” said the nominator. “Many of our staff and students entrust their children to their care, which allows us to successfully do our jobs.”

Friday, October 28, 2016

Carol Reese is the October Employee of the Month

Carol Reese, a senior library specialist at Brookens Library, has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for October 2016.

Reese started working at Brookens Library in 1995 in the Interlibrary Loan Department. She now works in the acquisitions, where she is known for going above and beyond to help students and faculty acquire the resources they need.

“Carol maintains a positive attitude towards the patrons she serves and understands their information needs,” said her nominator. “She goes above and beyond to locate items to borrow for patrons or to purchase within acquisitions. She understands first and foremost that we are here for the students.”

Reese recently stepped up and took over interlibrary loan responsibilities, on top of her acquisition duties, when an employee retired.

“She volunteered to take over her duties and offered to train the new specialist when they were hired. Without even being asked, she assumed the interlibrary loan workload, again, and balanced it with her current acquisitions workload,” said her nominator.

Reese has also helped Brookens Library transition to a new upgraded computer system. She meticulously worked out errors and sought out help from others.

“She continually helps out other areas when necessary, rather than focusing only on the job at hand. She is a great asset to the University of Illinois Springfield staff,” said her nominator.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Kara Lawyer is the September Employee of the Month

Kara Lawyer, an office support specialist for the Human Development Counseling and Human Services Departments, has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for September.

Lawyer is student focused, helpful, responsive and knowledgeable. She is known for actively seeking ways to improve the processes within her department.

“Her positive relationships with colleagues are evident in the ways in which faculty seek her out for assistance, ask about her personal life, and display their gratitude,” said a nominator. “They are confident in her abilities to use her knowledge of University processes to efficiently carry out her job duties.”

Lawyer recently identified a problem with a process in the department and worked with faculty members to improve the procedures to ensure students’ satisfaction. She has also been proactive in organizing student files and answering records requests.

“She is always patient and kind in her explanations and provides additional resources she thinks might be useful,” said a nominator. “I think her interpersonal relationships demonstrate that she enjoys coming to work and supporting those within her departments.”

Lawyer has worked at UIS for five years and is a member of the Civil Service Advisory Committee.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Monica Kroft is the August Employee of the Month

Monica Kroft, administrative assistant to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs/Provost, has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for August.

Kroft was nominated for her consistent professional and supportive interactions with everyone she meets as well as her excellent communication, organizational and problem solving skills.

“She is a thoughtful, conscientious supervisor, as well as a hard-working staff member who can be counted on to ensure that critical operations, projects and events are handled effectively and on time,” said a nominator.”

Monica is known for managing a complex array of responsibilities and a high volume of work, along with the new major projects that have been added to the Provost’s Office over the last two years.

She is considered a “go to” person for many staff members in the Provost’s Office and beyond.

“Monica is a respected and valued member of the Provost’s team, and her contributions to the smooth running of the Provost’s Office are significant," said another nominator.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Joy Thibadeau is the July Employee of the Month

Joy Thibadeau, assistant to the vice chancellor for graduate education, has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for July.

Thibadeau is known for her outstanding commitment to customer service. She has also implemented several initiatives to make processes more efficient, such as consolidating the employment application for graduate students.

“Joy is kind, helpful, and professional in approach,” said one of her nominators. “She is a good listener, and tries to understand the perspective of those with whom she is working. She is collegial, and does excellent work as a member of a team.”

She is always looking for ways to improve the functions of her office, particularly in terms of implementing new electronic processes when they would improve efficiency.

“She is eager to consider new ideas and to do research to discover best practices or to find examples from other campuses,” said a nominator. “She maintains a good sense of humor in the face of challenges.”

Thibadeau has an excellent track record of not only meeting deadlines, but of finishing tasks ahead of schedule. She stays calm and focused even during the most stressful periods of the academic year.

“I can count on Joy to always keep in mind that providing an excellent educational experience to our students is our first priority,” said a nominator. “She has a strong commitment to their success, which in turn inspires her commitment to excellence in her position.”

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Jay Chaplin is the June Employee of the Month

Jay Chaplin, a culinary worker for UIS Food Service, has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for June.

Chaplin is known for his wonderful soups, sausage gravy and biscuits and outstanding Showtime dishes that faculty, staff and students find delicious.

He’s been part of the UIS Food Service team for more than 15 years and is the “go to guy” when the head chef is absent.

“Jay consistently performs his duties in an exemplary manner with high quality and high productivity, even during short-handed situations,” said one of his nominators.

Chaplin’s nominators add he always has a positive demeanor and rarely complains, even during challenging situations.

“He always seems to be able to figure out what needs to be accomplished,” said his nominator. “He is positive, helpful and cooperative.”

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Nicole Meismer is May Employee of the Month

Nicole Meismer works as a math specialist in The Learning Hub, where she's often working with students in back-to-back appointments without a break. She does anything she can to ensure student success, and offers great support to her colleagues. For these reasons and more, she has been selected as the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for May.

Her supervisor says Nicole is an "exemplary supervisor, giving her employees support, training, and resources to achieve goals." She also recognizes the hard work her tutors do by organizing a tutor appreciation celebration each year, and also selecting one each month for the "Tutor of the Month" award.

Student success, however, is Nicole's priority, and she "encourages new and innovative ways of supporting students," her supervisor notes. She works countless hours to assist students, often coming in on weekends to ensure students have tutoring services.

Her nominator says Nicole "has helped shape The Learning Hub into what it is today and is a vital member of the Center for Academic Success."

Rebekah Grosboll is April Employee of the Month

Rebekah Grosboll is described by her colleagues as dependable, friendly, and professional. She is an UIS alumna, and an example of Leadership lived, and she's been selected as the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for April.

Rebekah works as the online coordinator for Legal Studies and Political Science; her nominator says she goes above and beyond to help both online and on-ground students with any questions they may have regarding the programs, or with general education requirements.

"She is thoughtful and able to come up with new and great ideas to improve the programs," her supervisor writes. "As online coordinator, she has streamlined the processes in Political Science and Legal Studies."

Rebekah has a positive attitude as well, and tries to help students and faculty when they are having a bad day. She listens closely and responds accordingly, and treats everyone with respect and kindness.

"Bekky's dedication to UIS is an example for UIS employees to strive for," her nominator writes. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Vickie Cook is March Employee of the Month

Faculty, staff, and students know when they pass by Vickie Cook on campus, they will receive a warm smile and a greeting.

Vickie's kind demeanor is simply one more trait that makes her an exceptional UIS employee. She is also an optimistic problem solver, a mentor to her staff, and a leader in her field. For these reasons and more, she has been selected as the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for March.

Vickie is the director of the Center for Online Learning, Research, and Service. Her nominator says she helps her staff to develop their individual strengths while also cultivating better ways to guide the team. "Each member of the COLRS staff feels supported by Vickie; each of us feels comfortable sharing goals, both professional and personal, knowing we will be heard, understood, and offered guidance," writes her nominator.

Vickie's supervisor says Vickie sees her role as a "missionary of learning with the highest quality standards." She regularly remind her staff and university administrators that the purpose of online learning to take UIS to students who cannot come to the campus.

She is also a trusted colleague and friend. "Everyone she encounters from Provost through the deans, department chairs, faculty, support staff and students know that Vickie Cook is a dedicated professional in which you can trust," writes her supervisor. "She looks you in the eye and speaks firmly with conviction, authority and kindness."

In the words of her nominator: "She is a true mentor and inspired team leader."

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Karina Moore is February Employee of the Month

Karina Moore wears many hats in the Teacher Education department.

She is the Online Coordinator and the Director of Clinical Practice. She coordinates many online classes and their corresponding campus visits. She secures student teaching placements for each teacher candidate and tracks their data and paperwork. She does all this with an upbeat outlook. For these reasons, Karina has been selected as University of Illinois Springfield February Employee of the Month.

Karina's nominator calls her a master of positive communication. "The relationship building she has done with school districts has done much to shine a positive light on the Department of Teacher Education and the University of Illinois Springfield," the nominator writes.

Her supervisor says that her position in the department has no down time during the academic year. "Prioritizing allows her to produce quality work as quickly as possible," he writes, also noting her excellent communication skills that help her to excel in her job.

"The Department [of Teacher Education] always appreciates Karina's positive and constructive outlook and the work she does with building our partnerships," her nominator writes, "but we want the rest of the UIS community to know just how special she is and how important her work is to the rest of us."

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Eric Needham is named the 2015 UIS Employee of the Year

Mailing Equipment Operator Eric Needham has been named the 2015 Employee of the Year at the University of Illinois Springfield. He was honored during an annual reception on February 3, 2016 in the Sangamon Auditorium Lobby.

Needham is known for a tremendous work ethic, reliability, and a friendly, engaging demeanor. One nominator describes him as "one of the nicest employees on campus."

One of the qualities most acknowledged by his colleagues is that he does what he can to make their jobs easier. His supervisor writes, "If there is something that needs to be done, Eric will do it, or volunteer to do it, even though it may be outside the scope of his duties. He wants to make sure I'm taking my days off before he takes any vacation."

Needham demonstrates the qualities UIS encourages of its employees.

During the awards presentation, UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch praised the employees for their dedication and work.

"To those award winners this year, thanks for all you do, and thanks for setting an example for all of us," she said.

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