Friday, December 08, 2017

Brian Moore is the December Employee of the Month

Brian Moore, administrative clerk for the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, has been named as the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for December 2017.

“Brian’s ability to work effectively with so many different groups on campus is exemplary,” said his nominator. “He is known for working efficiently and effectively with all groups, and for maintaining a professional approach and a helpful, friendly attitude.”

On a weekly basis, Moore works with the Campus Senate Executive Committee and Senators; with the chairs of various Senate committees, especially Undergraduate and Graduate Councils; with students, faculty and staff involved in the Undergraduate Student Research Support Program; and with administrators.

“Brain always keeps in mind that whatever the specific task he might be working on, his larger goal is to help ensure that we are providing excellent educational opportunities for our students,” said his nominator. “By keeping that objective in mind, he is able to maintain an optimistic outlook and to understand that even relatively small tasks can contribute to that larger goal.”

Moore’s deep knowledge of the Campus Senate by-laws and the history of their actions recently played an important role when the body decided to review and revise their rules. He has also worked hard to carefully organize recent and past Campus Senate records and to make them more accessible to the campus and easier to navigate.

“This has been very helpful to the many groups who consistently need to use those records in their ongoing work,” said his nominator. “Brian regularly receives numerous requests for information. He is prompt and courteous about locating the needed information and sending it out in a timely manner.”

On campus, Moore works with students on the Undergraduate Student Research Support Program and with faculty to plan the Student Technology, Arts & Research Symposium. He is the Civil Service Representative to the Campus Senate Committee on Diversity, Equal Rights, Opportunity, and Access and has served on two high-level search committees. In his free time, he plays the saxophone in the UIS Band and the UIS Pep Band.

“Brian is known for taking the initiative, anticipating problems, suggesting solutions, and supporting whatever solutions ultimately are selected. He consistently earns the respect of his colleagues, and is a highly valued member of our staff,” said his nominator.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Judy Hughes is the November Employee of the Month

Judy Hughes, administrative clerk for Brookens Library, has been named as the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for November 2017.

“Judy’s willingness to help people and go above and beyond the call of duty on a daily basis makes her ideal for the EOM award,” said her nominator. “On a regular basis, Judy is asked to help coworkers and students with various tasks, some of which exceed the scope of her regular duties or interrupt her daily responsibilities to which she is always glad to stop and help.”

Hughes’ job is to ensure the timely processing of vendor invoices and the filing of invoices. She has helped to streamline the process by assisting in the introduction an electronic system, which is more efficient and eliminates the chance of invoices getting lost.

“This has allowed for an instantaneous payment process to occur,” said her nominator. “After the payment is made, Judy has additionally helped shape the electronic tracking system so that payments are tracked in a clear and concise manor. Before her revision to the process, vendors got paid much slower and discrepancies occurred more often.”

Hughes handles the workload with a “constant positive attitude” and “always has a smile on her face,” according to her nominator.

“Even when Judy is busy working on the many projects that she is expected to handle at one time, she always makes sure that the people around her are happy and tries to brighten their day with positive comments and thoughts.”

Her nominator adds that Hughes has “an exceptional relationship with everyone in the library” and student workers often turn to her first for help.

“You can tell that she is highly relatable as the students, whom are often more timid and afraid to talk to adult supervisors, feel comfortable coming to her and asking for help, even if it is due to their lack of completing a timesheet,” said her nominator.

Coworkers add that Hughes is loyal to UIS and has always went the extra mile for the university in her more than 13 years on the job.

“Judy speaks up when she sees areas for improvement in the library, yet never complains about her own job or projects she may not want to or enjoy doing,” said her nominator. “Judy is a great person.”

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Mary Umbarger named October Employee of the Month

Mary Umbarger, Student Organization and Leadership Coordinator with the Office of Student Life, has been selected as the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for October 2017.

"Mary is selfless in her dedication to students and student life at UIS," said one nominator. Her dedication to the university shines through, as a former student, a Student Life employee and now an established Student Life professional."

Umbarger was instrumental in creating the UIS Connection website as a central point for all student life organizations. Because of budget constraints, she is one of only two full-time employees in the Office of Student Life. She oversees 111 student groups and the 1,842 events they put on each year.

"Despite these challenges she managed to keep a positive attitude and makes everything a success," said a student worker. "Many of SAC and Student Life events take place late at night or on the weekends and, as the lone adviser, she is here for every event, which requires her to forsake her family at home."

"Her office door is always open for students to come and talk to her about what their needs may be," said a student worker. "No matter how early or late, if you need Mary, she is there to help."

One of Umbarger's most notable and largest events is helping coordinate the university's annual Springfest, which a nominator states is "one of the greatest traditions UIS has and a major part of so many of our students' lives."

"Mary put in countless hours helping to plan and execute this event, from attending weekly committee meetings, ordering supplies, setting up each night, helping run the events, cleaning up after each event, and staying up late into the night to tally scores," said a nominator.

"Mary goes above and beyond in her role and is a true advocate for creating an engaging and exciting campus," said a nominator. "She tries her hardest to make sure that all students are able to be the best student leaders that this campus has seen."

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Robert "Joe" Taylor is the September Employee of the Month

Robert “Joe” Taylor, a stage foreman for Sangamon Auditorium, has been selected as the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for September 2017.

Taylor is one of the important behind the scenes leaders that makes sure that shows happen at Sangamon Auditorium. He works long hours and many weekends supervising crews and doing whatever it takes to make sure shows are ready.

“I believe Joe performs his job with the best possible outlook, the most positive manner, and in the best spirit of this university,” said a nominator. “I have never had anyone say an unkind word about Joe. He will bend over backwards to help anyone and everyone. He is always friendly and positive with all of the clients and with local groups and campus departments.”

Taylor has worked for Sangamon Auditorium for more than 30 years. He started in a part-time role and now works full-time for the auditorium. He has a passion for making sure shows are successful and all needs are met.

“He takes great pride in the work he does,” said a nominator. “He is kind and pleasant to all the staff and road show crews he works with and is always willing to assist with whatever you ask him to do, and he does it without complaining.”

Outside of his UIS employment, Taylor also works as a stage manager for the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, which performs at Sangamon Auditorium.

“Joe’s position is one that is never really mentioned or talked about on campus, but the shows happen because Joe is there to make sure that the details are taken care of,” said a nominator.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Jason Gibson is the August Employee of the Month

Jason Gibson, a building service supervisor for Facilities Scheduling Services, has been selected as the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for August 2017.

Gibson recently helped to coordinate a large office move in the Student Affairs Building (SAB) to make room for the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing. Under a tight deadline, Gibson and his team helped to relocate the offices previously located in SAB. They disassembled furniture, relocated it and helped the staff get adjusted to their new space.

“It was such a pleasure to work with (Jason),” said one of his nominators. “His patience, problem solving skills and willingness to be of assistance just went above and beyond for this extraordinary move. It was more than just doing his job. He had such a great attitude in what surely must have been a grueling three weeks.”

According to his other nominator, Gibson is known for going the extra mile to make sure projects and 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 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.”

Friday, August 11, 2017

Mohan Chevuri is the July Employee of the Month

Mohan Sandesh Chevuri, a web specialist III for UIS Web Services, has been selected as the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for July 2017.

Chevuri played a major role in upgrading the campus website to Word Press, a new content management system. He conducted research, found ways to save the university money and planned the rollout of more than 10,000 responsive web pages.

He also led the effort to design and code the UIS Mobile App and is working to make the UIS website more accessible to people with disabilities.

“In my years of professional experience, I have never seen anyone acquire a new set of technical skills as quickly as Mohan does,” said a nominator. “He moves from web to mobile to accessibility skills as though he is speaking one language. However, from a programming and development standpoint, these are completely different languages and skillsets.”

Coupled with his technical skills, Chevuri is known for taking a big picture approach to implementing solutions for the web and mobile presence of the university. He often works quietly in the background, but accomplishes a tremendous volume of work.

“Mohan is an example of Leadership lived, but he is not someone who boasts of his work and is humble in receiving accolades. To him, he was hired to provide a set of services and solutions, and feels that he is simply doing his job,” said a nominator.

His co-workers say he looks for positives in every situation, which helps in building a productive team environment.

“Mohan is an excellent mentor to the students working in Web Services. Students have written to me how Mohan was helpful to them in acquiring a new programming language that led to a full-time job,” said a nominator.

Outside of UIS, Chevuri volunteers at The Hindu Temple in Chatham where he often helps serve meals and organize events.

“Mohan is a coding genius who goes above and beyond to help the university stay on the cutting edge of web design,” said a nominator. “He could easily be working for Google or another major tech company. We are so lucky to have him at UIS!”

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Jerry Joseph is the June Employee of the Month

Jerry Joseph, associate provost for budgeting and administrative planning, has been selected as the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for June 2017.

Working in the Provost’s Office, Joseph oversees the campus budget and is known for his commitment to the success of the institution. One nominator describes him as “transparent, precise, factual and unbiased.”

“Since taking on the daunting task of overseeing campus budgeting, he has been nothing short of amazing,” said a nominator. “His mastery of the ins and outs of the budgeting process is astounding given the short time he’s served in the position.”

During the Illinois budget crisis, Joseph has worked hard to assure the financial stability of the university. He is described by co-workers as being meticulous and always accurate.

“Jerry is not only very productive and hardworking, he is also dependable,” said a nominator. “I am amazed at how hard he works and is able to get things done.”

Joseph has also chaired numerous employee search committees and regularly volunteers to be part of campus and system-wide committees and task forces.

“I believe it was once said that the reward for good work… is even more work! That would certainly be the case for Jerry who completes every assignment with competence, efficiency and a quality result,” said a nominator.

Outside of UIS, Joseph is also heavily involved with his church, St. Joseph the Worker in Chatham.

“Jerry always treats others with respect, kindness and empathy,” said a nominator. “He never mistreats anyone and is always professional. Jerry is a true delight to work with.”

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Ann Graffagna is the May Employee of the Month

Ann Graffagna has been selected as the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for May 2017.

Graffagna is an admissions & records officer in Records and Registration. She is known for her infectious positive attitude, patience and overall knowledge of the records and registration system.

“Ann treats everyone with respect and utilizes her vast job knowledge to provide exemplary service,” said one nominator who admitted Ann’s job represented intimidating territory navigating the catalog/schedule inquiry. “Her job knowledge and commitment to the campus is a rarity and a virtue.”

One nominator said it was not uncommon for Ann to stay late or arrive to work early to see that students, staff and faculty receive the timely and thorough service they deserve.

“Ann has a broad and rich personal history and experience to draw upon. She is excellent at finding common ground with her coworkers and embraces UIS’ inclusive nature,” said the nominator.

Most recently, Ann has been instrumental in guiding the Office of Records & Registration through a series of monumental changes to the catalog and scheduling process.

“Even during stressful and trying times, Ann manages to exhibit true enjoyment and dedication of her work,” said a nominator.

When she does take a much-deserved day off, one nominator said, “Her absence becomes readily apparent. Ann is a true asset to the UIS campus and fully deserving of this nomination and recognition award.”

Friday, April 28, 2017

Samantha Riss is the April Employee of the Month

Samantha Riss has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for April 2017.

Riss is a child development supervisor at the UIS Cox Children’s Center. She is known for her attention to detail, professionalism and passion for early childhood education.

“She is a team player,” said her nominator. “She comes to work with a smile on her face and is a positive mentor to other full-time and part-time staff.”

She maintains very positive relationships with families and children in her classroom and is known for being approachable and putting parents at ease.

“One thing that stands out is her relationships with the children and families that she serves,” said her nominator. “She is nurturing and compassionate and has the ability to ensure that all feel comfortable leaving their children in her care.”

She is prompt and meets all deadlines in a timely manner and she never hesitates to take on additional tasks that are needed to maintain workflow within the center.

“Sam starts each day with a fresh mindset and never lets the challenges of one day or one situation affect the next,” said her nominator. “Sam is able to remain focused on our core values and mission and is excited by change and a visionary approach – never allowing herself or the children to be stifled by mundane practices.”

Riss is active on campus, attends sporting events and volunteers at after hours events, such as Springfest. Outside of UIS, she mentors young girls as a volunteer youth softball coach.

“She embraces a ‘students first’ approach – never hesitating to get involved on campus or in the community. She takes her classroom to tons of campus events to expose them to our campus culture and she attends functions on her own time on a regular basis,” said her nominator.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Booker Crombie is the March Employee of the Month

Booker Crombie has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for March 2017.

Crombie is a building service worker in Lincoln Residence Hall known for being a “ray of sunshine” who helps to take good care of students and staff.

“Since he works in a dorm, you can only imagine the situations he has to deal with: dirty doors and windows, floors, public restrooms, overflowing trash dumpsters, etc. I have never heard Booker complain about his job,” said his nominator.

Crombie’s supervisor says he always exceeds expectations and often shows initiative to go above and beyond what is expected.

“He comes to work prepared and recognizes what needs to be done,” said his supervisor. “He often makes suggestions that could help improve the quality of his work and has not been known to complain.”

His nominators say Crombie has been an outstanding resource to the cleaning crew of student workers and everyone who lives in Lincoln Residence Hall.

“His diligence, optimism and dependability make him an excellent candidate for employee of the month,” said his supervisor.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Melanie Trimm is the February Employee of the Month

Melanie Trimm has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for February 2017.

As an Employment Service Manager in Human Resources, Trimm is known as the go to person who can answer almost any question. She has worked at UIS for more than 20 years.

“Melanie is a systems expert with a personal, professional touch,” said her one of her nominators. “She is a responsive, cheerful colleague who is quick to provide the information needed to solve problems.”

Trimm manages several key functions in the hiring of employees across campus. When problems arise, her nominator says she is “the key troubleshooter”.

She performs multiple job tasks in Human Resources and “wears many hats”. She is known for being “collegial, professional and kind to her HR colleagues and to her fellow employees across campus.”

“Melanie goes above and beyond to make UIS a better place,” said her nominator. “She richly deserves this recognition.”

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Joy Thibadeau named the 2016 UIS Employee of the Year

Joy Thibadeau, assistant to the vice chancellor for graduate education, has been named the 2016 Employee of the Year at the University of Illinois Springfield. She was honored during a reception on January 25, 2017, in the Sangamon Auditorium Lobby.

Before announcing the winner, UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch praised the eleven Employees of the Month who were nominated.

“When I think about the vision of our university, the phrase that always pops into my mind is that conviction that we’re all trying to make a difference in the world,” said Koch. “When I think about our employees that phrase really comes to mind.”

According to her nominators, Thibadeau is known for her dedication to students, faculty and staff and for going above and beyond what is expected to help them. She is also committed to improving efficiency within her office and has introduced new electronic methods to streamline processes, such as the employment application for graduate students.

“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.”

In her job, Thibadeau oversees the application process for graduate students applying for jobs on campus. She also is in charge of getting the UIS Catalog published online. She works with all of the academic departments to obtain course descriptions and student related data.

“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.”

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

“Thank you all. It’s just great to work here with a great bunch of people,” said Thibadeau in accepting the award.