Wednesday, September 26, 2018

John Crouch from Building Maintenance named the UIS Employee of the Month for September

John Crouch has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for September 2018. He is a Steam & Power Plant III operator with the Office of Building Maintenance, part of UIS Facilities and Services.

According to his nominators, Crouch is a dependable and dedicated employee who always has a “can do” attitude. His favorite saying is “we will win.”

“He can be assigned any task and it will be done right the first time,” said a nominator. “He does not get discouraged by difficult tasks. He cares about the job and getting it done right.”

Crouch helps to maintain the mechanical operations of campus buildings, including fixing boilers, chillers, heating systems, sprinkler systems, plumbing fixtures, light bulbs, elevators and other equipment. He also helps to make sure temperatures are comfortable in campus buildings.

“If it is between the roof and the basement he usually has something to do with it,” said his nominator.

Crouch’s co-workers praise his exemplary customer service skills, friendly and sincere attitude and his excellent work ethic.

“He is always at work and puts in a good day of work and then some. He’s not afraid to stay over or miss a break or go to lunch late. He wants to get all jobs done in a timely manner,” said the nominator.

His nominator adds that Crouch sets a “fine example” for his co-workers with his promptness and positive attitude.

“John has been a very valuable asset to our department. He has an outgoing attitude and positive outlook on all situations,” said the nominator.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Jay Swenson from Campus Recreation named the UIS Employee of the Month for August

Jay Swenson has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for August 2018. He is the assistant director of competitive sports and facilities for UIS Campus Recreation.

Swenson is known for continually working to improve the areas he oversees and for volunteering to help plan major campus events, such as Springfest. He recently took on additional job responsibilities in order to better serve students.

“Jay takes on projects looking at how it can be done, rather than looking at the obstacles and deciding it would be easier to say no,” said a nominator. “He helps students be aware that he is open to new ideas and refreshing old ones.”

An example of a new idea is Rec Madness, an event he created in April in order to bring more attention to the intramural basketball championship games. He created a neat atmosphere consisting of dip-n-dots ice cream, a photo booth and a three point contest.

“Jay goes above and beyond for UIS students,” said another nominator. “From outdoor adventures, to supporting the many club sports, and taking on some of the facility scheduling, he gets things done!”

Swenson recently oversaw several major Campus Recreation improvements, including the installation of new lights in Rec Park, the addition of a miniature golf course and the upgrade of the sand volleyball court on campus.

“He has a great personality and enjoys working with both staff and students,” said a nominator. “Jay has a positive approach and attitude that is apparent.”

He recently brought back intramural softball, which has been played on campus in four years. He also helped students create a 3 on 3 basketball tournament and oversees international students who are part of the UIS Cricket Team.

“Jay has a great rapport with all those he works with,” said a nominator. “With so many international students going on our trips and playing cricket, Jay is well-known among our Indian students.”

Outside of Campus Recreation, Swenson volunteers as a Springfest judge and helps with freshmen move-in day and commencement. He also volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House.

“He is proud to work at UIS and it shows on a regular basis,” said a nominator.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Charles Wells from UIS Food Service named the Employee of the Month for July

Charles Wells has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for July 2018. Charles is a culinary worker in UIS Food Service.

"To me, Charles is the epitome of an employee of the month," said his nominator. "He is warm, kind and friendly. He performs his duties with care and consideration, and he goes above and beyond to reach out to faculty, staff and students to make them feel welcome at UIS."

Charles is known for his friendly smile and readiness to serve.

His role is vital to students, in particular, on the UIS campus.

"I have seen him connect with many students on a personal level, to make them feel more at home when they are away from where they grew up," said the nominator.

Food is a way for people to connect and build relationships and Wells takes his role seriously.

"I would love to see him win this award for so many reasons, but mostly because he is truly deserving."

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.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Amy Zepp from Sangamon Auditorium named the UIS Employee of the Month for April

Amy Zepp, a special event facilitator for Sangamon Auditorium, has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for April 2018.

Zepp began working at Sangamon Auditorium as a graduate assistant in fall 2007. Following graduation, she worked in a variety of positions at the auditorium before beginning her full-time role as a special event facilitator in the summer of 2012.

According to Zepp’s nominators, she is “thorough and comprehensive” in her work with a strong focus on customer service. She is known for her effective problem solving skills and the ability to resolve issues effectively.

“Amy serves as a service provider and ambassador to the campus and community on behalf of Sangamon Auditorium, managing efforts to engage UIS students in our programming, coordinating details for UIS departments who host events in our spaces, and welcoming thousands of school children each year when they attend Class Acts events,” said her nominator.

As part of the Class Acts Series, which brings local school children to UIS to watch theatre performances, Zepp regularly travels to local schools to read to children as part of an outreach effort. She also recently helped plan a major Illinois democratic gubernatorial debate in the Sangamon Auditorium’s Studio Theatre, making sure everything ran smoothly.

Zepp’s supervisor say she regularly receives compliments about Zepp from other UIS employees who work with her in her event coordination role.

“Amy is stellar in relating to others,” said a nominator. “She often finds herself in an interpretive role when concerns arise between individuals. After listening carefully, Amy can often verbalize concerns in an articulate, forward-moving way. She is fantastic at paying attention to the motivations and interests of those with whom she works most closely.”

Outside of UIS, Zepp is active in her church and plays the clarinet in a local community band. She works part-time in the gift shop at the Dana-Thomas House and is a frequent audience member at community arts events.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Betsy Goulet is the March Employee of the Month

Betsy Goulet, a clinical assistant professor and Child Advocacy Studies (CAST) coordinator, has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for March 2018.

Goulet started the CAST certification program in 2015, which led to the creation of a Residential Simulation Lab and the mock courtroom on campus to teach students how to better protect at-risk children and families. She went a step further by partnering with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to launch a Child Protection Training Academy at UIS, which has trained hundreds of DCFS investigators and first responders.

“Betsy is a tireless advocate in the effort to demonstrate what effective collaboration and partnership between professionals and organizations can mean for the University, the community and the State of Illinois,” said her nominator.

Her nominator says that Goulet approaches every project with “enthusiasm and optimism” and “exudes friendliness, kindness and humor.” When obstacles present themselves, Goulet takes a solution-focused approach in order to overcome challenging situations.

“Betsy embodies creativity, knowledge and accountability,” said her nominator. “She is not afraid to propose ideas and solutions that are unique or uncharted. Betsy demonstrates preparedness by seeking and including research and resources in her proposals and strategies. She holds herself and others around her to a strong level of accountability, but is not above being flexible and yielding to new ideas or approaches.”

According to her nominator, Goulet’s kindness makes her one of the most approachable people on campus. She demonstrates daily her appreciation for those around her and makes an extra effort to know everyone by name.

“Betsy also is the first to acknowledge the efforts and contribution that others bring,” said her nominator. “This fosters a work environment that creates cohesiveness and inspires productivity. Simply put, Betsy selflessly inspires, encourages and motivates others.”

In addition to her efforts with the CAST program, Goulet is an active member of the Campus Senate and supporter of the UIS Cox Children’s Center. She has served on numerous search committees on campus and is a member of the Space Allocation Committee.

“I am not sure how to convey all that I have learned from working with Betsy,” said her nominator. “I have never met such a smart, humble and gracious person in my professional life. She sees potential in everything and everyone, she stands up to systems and hypocrisy and does it all professionally and humanely.”

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Alice Seaton is the February Employee of the Month

Alice Seaton, business/administrative associate for University Student Financial Services and Cashier Operations (USFSCO), has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for February 2018.

In addition to her regular duties, Seaton is responsible for making sure incoming students and parents questions about their tuition bill are answered during summer orientation.

“Alice goes to great effort to ensure the UIS team is properly staffed to cover all USFSCO presentations and the Get-It-Done events. This includes making sure the team has updated handouts and Power Point presentations ready to go prior to each event,” said her nominator.

Her preparation for orientation begins by attending orientation committee meetings where she provides USFSCO materials to the UIS Office of New Student Orientation & Parent Relations in time for the printing of the student and parent guidebooks.

“She also does an outstanding job interacting with the new students and their parents as they participate in our presentation and Get-It-Done sessions. She is truly an asset to the team and I appreciate the hard work she puts into this task every year,” said the nominator.

As the parent of a college student herself, Seaton’s nominator says she is sincere and willing to share her experiences with new parents sending their child off to college for the first time.

“She will provide her business card to a new student and/or their parent, who may need a little extra attention to help understand their upcoming financial obligation to the university,” said her nominator. “She usually volunteers to take the extended office hours to assist any walk-in traffic during the first day student and parent session.”

Seaton is the direct supervisor for most of the USFSCO team at UIS, which includes three students workers. She manages hands-on day-to-day customer interactions via phone, email and walk-in traffic.

“Alice relates to co-workers, students, parents, and campus staff as a knowledgeable professional who is willing to help and take time to educate when needed,” said the nominator.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Jason Gibson named the 2017 UIS Employee of the Year

Jason Gibson, a building service supervisor for Facilities Scheduling Services, has been named the 2017 Employee of the Year at the University of Illinois Springfield. He was honored during a reception on January 24, 2018, in the Student Union Ballroom.

Before announcing the winner, UIS Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Dennis Papini thanked the eleven Employees of the Month who were nominated.

“At the end of this presentation, one person will be recognized and we should all celebrate their example, along with the other members of the university community who enable and support their excellence,” said Papini.

According to his other nominator, Gibson is known for going the extra mile to make sure projects and furniture moves are accomplished on time. The nominator says he “puts a lot of thought into the best method to achieve the maximum results.”

“Jason is not only efficient and timely in his performance, but he is also courteous, helpful and caring towards his fellow employees and UIS students and visitors,” said the nominator.

Gibson’s nominators say he always demonstrates a positive attitude at work and is upbeat and truly cares about his work, even on days when he has large furniture moves, such as commencement or taking surplus furniture downtown to the State of Illinois.

“Jason relates well to his fellow employees and treats everyone equally,” said a nominator. “I have seen him work with the campus community and he is calm and level headed even when things are difficult.”

In accepting the award, Gibson congratulated the other employees who had been nominated for the award and finished with a quote from President Theodore Roosevelt.

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing,” said Gibson quoting Roosevelt. “That’s kind of how I feel about my job here.”

As Employee of the Year, Gibson will get a check for $500, plus a special parking spot for the entire year.