Thursday, July 15, 2021

Emily Boles named the UIS Employee of the Month for July 2021

Emily Boles has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for July 2021. She is an online learning and faculty development specialist for the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service (COLRS).  

Boles was nominated by a faculty member, who praised Boles and the COLRS’ team, for helping the campus transition from the Blackboard to Canvas learning management system (LMS). The nominator says Boles and the COLRS’ team have always been available to help anytime and offered help via Zoom. 

“Emily provided excellent performance in moving the campus from Blackboard to Canvas as part of the COLRS team,” said Vickie Cook, Boles’ supervisor and executive director of online, professional, and engaged learning. “Migrating to a new LMS during the pandemic has been challenging for the campus. Through her skill, kindness, and care for others has made the process less daunting for faculty with whom she has worked.”

Boles went “above and beyond” to help faculty move from regular instruction to remote learning during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

“In addition to her regular responsibilities in online learning, she has provided high quality faculty assistance and instructional design work for faculty who were suddenly immersed in providing remote instruction,” Cook said. “Emily goes the extra mile to help faculty know the best way to use technology to provide high quality instruction and is always willing to assist faculty in thinking about the pedagogical implications used in assessments and content creation.”

Cook calls Boles “an amazingly kind and patient member of the COLRS team” who works diligently to find solutions to a problem, no matter the difficulty or how long it takes.

“Emily has the gift of understanding technology in ways that significantly changes the outcome to a positive one for the end-user,” Cook said. “While Emily understands technology in integral ways, she also has a patient and considerate way in which to explain difficult and challenging concepts to people using the technology.”

Boles has “an amazingly upbeat positive attitude” about her job responsibilities, according to Cook. Even when she is tired and being challenged by difficult situations, she is positive to those around her.  

“Emily has stated many times recently that she is so grateful for the opportunity to work with such a wonderful group of colleagues at a job she loves,” Cook said. “I think this statement embodies Emily’s attitude about her job. She is also very passionate about the university and takes her responsibility as a COLRS staff member at UIS as a significant accomplishment in her career.”

Emily has served in leadership roles on the Academic Professional Advisory Committee (APAC), multiple hiring committees, Web Services committee, and a number of other committees and provided support for projects across campus. Additionally, Boles volunteers in her community of Mechanicsburg with her local school’s education foundation board.

“Emily is definitely a superstar employee,” Cook said. “I highly recommend Emily for recognition as Employee of the Month. Emily is a significant reason why the pivot from on-campus to remote modality has worked so well at UIS.”

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Bethany Bilyeu named the UIS Employee of the Month for June 2021

Bethany Bilyeu has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for June 2021. She is the executive director of Student Support Services overseeing the Counseling Center, Health Services and the Office of Disability Services.

Bilyeu has led UIS’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, overseeing testing, contact tracing, vaccination clinics and outreach to the state and local health department. 

“Bethany has made significant contributions towards the University’s pandemic response, at the same time she has done a phenomenal job managing the Student Support Services,” said Jantzen Eddington, her supervisor. “Bethany’s leadership has been instrumental in our success as a community.”

Her nominator says she has “gone above and beyond to train and keep stats for the COVID-19 testing team, as well as her own job.”

Bilyeu’s supervisor says she is always willing to help where there is a need and shows initiative in making improvements.

“Bethany has a good working relationship with members of our community and the public,” Eddington said. “Bethany developed connections with the local and state officials that have been key to assisting us with our pandemic response.”

At the start of the pandemic, it was Bilyeu herself who volunteered to coordinate the University’s response.

“Bethany is extremely dependable; she is one of the first people to identify areas of need within our community and takes the lead to address the needs and make improvements,” Eddington said. “Bethany is an amazing asset to our University community, and I am grateful for her leadership.”