Monday, May 17, 2021

Valerie Gebhardt named the UIS Employee of the Month for May 2021

Valerie Gebhardt has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for May 2021. She is the Alcohol & Drug Prevention Coordinator for the UIS Counseling Center. She has worked at UIS since 2005.

Gebhardt’s nominator praises her for believing that “at UIS we all have value.” She has been involved since day one with Safe Zone Training, which helps to educate the UIS students, faculty and staff about LGBTQIA+ topics, and was part of the initial campus presence for the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI). Her nominator says Gebhardt “sees” people and provides a safe place to encourage them to find their voice. 

“That’s huge,” said her nominator. “Valerie understands that every contribution, regardless of how large or small has merit. Valerie recognizes creativity comes first and that large budgets are not required to manage successful student engagement and diversity programs. Sometimes having a smaller budget prompts you to be even more creative in programing and presentations.”

According to her nominator, Gebhardt is involved in writing grants, sexual assault awareness campaigns, the THINK program, Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) programs, student exhibitions and more. Outside of work, she is active in volunteering at Kumler Outreach Ministries.

“Valerie is a living example of Leadership lived both on campus and in the community,” said her nominator. “I am proud to call her my colleague and my friend. She is an asset to the students, staff, and community at large. Valerie celebrates people’s successes. She is that rare person in our community.”

Gebhardt’s supervisor, Bethany Bilyeu, executive director of the UIS Counseling Center, says she “goes above and beyond for students,” often responding to crises during off hours.

“She has a positive attitude, a willingness to do whatever it takes and rolls with changes,” Bilyeu said. “She relates well with others and is an extremely hard worker.”