Monday, September 23, 2019

Brookens Library’s Erich O’Connor named the UIS Employee of the Month for September 2019

Erich O’Connor has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for September 2019. As the Student Employee Program Coordinator for Brookens Library, he oversees one of the largest groups of student employees on campus.

In fact, O’Connor was nominated for the Employee of the Month award by three of the student workers he oversees in the library. One of his student nominators says O’Connor approaches his job with “professionalism and grace” and never ceases to seek out opportunities for student involvement and advancement.

“As he started out as a student assistant himself, Erich brings a touch of empathy to the position that is greatly appreciated and respected by everyone he supervises,” said a student nominator.

“He gives student employees a voice,” said another student. “He is very flexible, understanding and personable. He relates easily to the student employees he supervises.”

According to his supervisor, O’Connor goes above and beyond when working with every student employee. Even though he has a large team, he is thoughtful about knowing what is going on in the lives of the students he oversees.

“He takes his job as a student employer very seriously, and has built a robust and meaningful employment experience that ensures the library operates successfully, and prepares our student assistants for future employment experiences,” said Sarah Sagmoen, his supervisor.

Sagmoen adds that he approaches his work in “a critically reflective way” and is always looking for ways to improve the library and student employment experience.

“He cares deeply that our students feel involved in their work experience and works hard to include their voices in our decision making and work processes,” said Sagmoen. “He regularly checks in with each of them, and prioritizes helping them self-advocate for their personal wellbeing as a student employee.”

O’Connor has also stepped up to assist with projects outside of his job description in the library. He is integral in planning the annual Haunted Library event and provides leadership to a small student manager team.

“I can’t say enough about the example he sets for student employers on our campus and beyond,” said Sagmoen. “We are incredibly lucky to have been able to hire him in a full time position after he graduated. He is an asset to the library and our campus.”