Monday, December 02, 2019

Don Fay named the UIS Employee of the Month for December 2019

Don Fay has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for December 2019. He is a building service foreman in the Student Union.

“Don is an outstanding employee,” said his supervisor. “He helped to get the Student Union up and running over a year ago and hasn’t stopped. The Union is clean and welcoming and much of that is due to Don Fay.”

His nominator says Fay greets everyone and completes almost every task with a smile on his face. He also encourages students to enjoy the Student Union space.

“He exhibits his love for this University and the Student Union by giving his all every day, coming up with solutions to cleaning a large and heavily used space and takes pride in making the building a shining star on a great campus,” said his supervisor.

Fay is a planner and makes sure that the building operations are not interrupted because of major cleans, spills or problems. He trains the other building service workers (BSW) on having a plan and takes time to communicate with the other BSW’s on their work performance and challenges.

“Don smiles at everyone, learns student employees’ names and gets to know them as well,” said his supervisor. “He laughs and enjoys his work. He is great to work with and was the right person for this open and friendly building.”

Fay is known for going out of his way to help clients and make sure their spaces are clean and ready for meetings, events and conferences in the Student Union.

“Don is a great member of the UIS community,” said his supervisor. “He is dedicated to the Union and UIS and making sure it is a positive environment for students, faculty and staff. I cannot recommend him enough.”

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Kathleen Camarano named the UIS Employee of the Month for November 2019

Kathleen Camarano has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for November 2019. She is an admissions and record supervisor for the Office of Records and Registration.

Camarano was nominated for the award by an online student who says she went “above and beyond” to help her graduate on time.

“She took her time explaining how graduation worked, how degree auditing and transcripts worked,” said the student. “She was incredibly caring, knowledgeable and let me ask as many questions as I wanted.”

“She made me feel heard, appreciate and was sympathetic and empathetic towards my situation,” added the student. “I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Katie deserves to be recognized for her focus and hard work, aptitude for what she does and incredible kindness.”

Camarano oversees and coordinates the evaluation of student degree/certificate evaluations, the awarding of all degrees/certificates and the issuance of all official diplomas. She also reviews graduation applications before and after grades are posted, processes and sends out graduation reviews and follow-ups, awards/records degrees and places all diploma orders.

“Katie works tirelessly to successfully ensure that the students who apply for graduation are all processed quickly with accuracy and professionalism,” said her supervisor. “As critical student needs have arisen, Katie has risen to the challenge, helping the students get the answers and service they need in a prompt and courteous fashion.”

Her supervisor describes her as a “great team player” who is always ready to step in and help when it is needed.

“Katie demonstrates professionalism, patience and a ‘can do’ attitude in her many interactions with others,” said her supervisor. “She has a breadth and depth of knowledge that is heavily relied upon in our office, and Katie’s willingness to assist is a great asset to the university.”

Camarano regularly volunteers both on and off campus and serves on the UIS Commencement committee. She has also done significant work with the Illinois Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers by helping to plan this year’s conference.

“She has done a great job and is very deserving of this honor,” she her supervisor. “Her commitment to providing quality customer services to students, faculty and staff contributes greatly to student success at the university.”

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Linda Schneider named the UIS Employee of the Month for October 2019

Linda Schneider has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for October 2019. She is an office administrator in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Provost.

Schneider was nominated for her efforts in going above and beyond to help cover the job duties of vacant positions in the Provost’s Office, while maintaining high standards of excellence.

“Linda has been asked to cover for a number of positions during staff vacancies and leave, in addition to performing her primary job,” said her supervisor. “It is her good-natured willingness to pitch in that I especially appreciate.”

When asked to cover responsibilities for a higher-level position, Schneider not only learned the very challenging aspects and responsibilities of the job, but also took the extra steps to develop documentation along the way to assist the eventual new hire.

“She further expressed a willingness to assist with onboarding the new staff member and provide coaching as needed,” said her supervisor.

Schneider also showed her commitment to UIS students by working hard to ensure Graduate Assistantship contracts were prepared and processed in a timely manner, while she was covering for a staff vacancy.

“Although she was just learning what needed to be done and was thrown in to the middle of the process, she has continued to invest time in tracking down information to assist graduate assistants with getting started in their new roles,” said her supervisor.

Despite the added workload, Schneider has maintained a positive “can-do” spirit and a willingness to do what is need to ensure essential tasks are competed.

“Linda’s demeanor does not reflect the stress causes by her current heavy workload and new duties; rather, she continues to radiate a positive, professional attitude towards UIS while on campus and out in the community,” said her supervisor. “She is a wonderful example of Leadership lived.”

Outside of work, Schneider shares her vocal talents by performing at nursing/retirement homes and has portrayed historical figures, including Mary Todd Lincoln, in community theatre productions, cemetery walks and other community events.

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.”

Monday, August 12, 2019

UIS Health Services’ Linda Nixon named the Employee of the Month for August

Linda Nixon, Health Services office manager, has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for August 2019. Nixon has worked in Health Services for more than 10 years.

Nixon is known for her quality work, expert knowledge and for going above and beyond to help her co-workers in need.

“Since working with her, there’s been countless occasions she has stepped up without blinking an eye to give assistance. Without hesitation she’s helped myself, several other staff, and students with the simplest of tasks, and some things that haven’t been quite so simple,” said her supervisor.

As part of her job, Nixon reviews all announcements, posters, mass emails, formal notifications, official forms/documents, social media and advertisements for Health Services.

“She does a great job corresponding with vendors, other campus contacts, and other campus departments/staff,” said her nominator. “She is outgoing and willing to reach out to seek information when needed without hesitation Linda uses good judgement and can problem solve efficiently, particularly during stressful situations.”

Her nominator says Nixon is friendly and always has a positive attitude when working with students, staff or anyone on campus.

“Linda is fun to work with in the office as well,” said her nominator. “She is friendly, flexible, loyal and easygoing. The atmosphere in this entire office is very much like a family, which is very important to all of us.”

Nixon often works late hours to make sure Health Services has a presence at orientation, campus events and to make sure important deadlines are met.

“Linda is a valuable member of the Health Services team,” said her nominator. “It’s comforting to know that I can depend on Linda.”

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

UIS Athletics’ Ashlyn Beasley named the Employee of the Month for July

Ashlyn Beasley, assistant athletic director for game operations and fan engagement, has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for July 2019. In her role, she oversees every home sporting event for UIS Athletics.

Beasley is passionate about her job and is known for her positive attitude, outstanding customer service skills, dependability and for effectively mentoring her student staff.

“She mentors and motivates her student staff in a way that educates them and helps them to enjoy their role,” said a staff nominator. “Ashlyn does great things for not only student-athletes, but also for our non-athlete students, the Athletic Department and UIS.”

A former student worker, who nominated Beasley, calls her “the best boss I have ever had,” adding that she is “great at her job.”

“I have never saw someone work so hard and extra at their job,” said the former student worker. “She has helped UIS so much and has run huge events, such as the IHSA basketball games that brought in thousands of dollars for UIS.”

The former student worker says Beasley inspired him, teaching him about social media management and a positive work ethic.

“I have met a handful of people during my three years at UIS that have truly inspired me for their helpfulness to student and the way they lift everyone up and motivate other people to do their best,” he said. “Ashlyn is the number one of these types of people.”

Beasley’s supervisor calls her “a great ambassador” for UIS, noting she often works long hours, sometimes up to seven days a week.

“She accommodates last minute changes in events and coordinates several activities simultaneously,” said her supervisor. “She is always seeking opportunities to help others, impact the student-athlete in meaningful ways and contribute towards our vision and mission.”

Overall, her nominators say she is deserving of the Employee of the Month award because she is a great representative for Athletics and UIS.

“She is constantly working hard for UIS, constantly being nice and helpful to every student that passes her, every donor and UIS fan knows her by name,” said her former student nominator.

“I would endorse her as the employee of the month every month,” added her supervisor.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Performing Arts Center's Carly Shank named the UIS Employee of the Month for June

Carly Shank, assistant director for operations at the Performing Arts Center, has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for June 2019.

According to her nominator, Shank is a “tremendous asset to UIS and our community,” adding that she is truly dedicated to her job helping to bring high-quality performing arts events to Springfield.

“Carly does not just do her job,” said her nominator. “She consistently does her job and that of any current major open positions. She does so willingly because she honestly wants to ensure we continue to offer an uninterrupted schedule of programming for the community.”

Shank is known for always being around to make sure that “everything goes just right,” which often requires attending evening and weekend performances. She also helps manage 200 volunteers, coordinates with other departments to ensure successful events and serves as a mentor to the UIS Performing Arts Center team.

“Carly is a huge asset to our team in what everyone likes and respects her,” said her supervisor. “Because of this, I often rely on her to help plan a strategy when our department needs to implement changes which will affect staff or other UIS departments.”

Shank recently started supervising the technical production team, led the effort to create a full-time house manager position, and served as full-time event manager and volunteer coordinator, while developing a new strategy for operating the Studio Theatre.

“Carly is the go-to person on my staff if something needs to get done,” said her supervisor. “If we need a manager for a major project, or suddenly are short staffed, I know Carly can get the job done. I often am amazed at how Carly views herself as not getting much done, since she focuses on how much more there is to do rather than her huge list of accomplishments.”

In addition to her work at UIS, Shank regularly volunteers to help out with theatre productions in the Springfield community.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Residence Life painter Joey Moughan named the UIS Employee of the Month for May

Joey Moughan, a painter for the Department of Residence Life, has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for May.

According to his supervisor, Moughan is very passionate about his work and maintains a critical eye to detail as he strives for perfection in his work.

“Joey takes great pride in the work he does, wanting to leave a favorable impression both for the students and colleagues,” said his supervisor. “Joey excels in providing exemplary service in a very timely manner. So much so that other departments have often requested Joey’s services for projects that require a fast turn-around, or delicate work.”

Recently, Moughan was asked to repair work that was done poorly to a piece of hanging wall art. He was able to remove the bubbling and excessive amount of wall paper glue with no damage to the wallpaper.

“Joey would rather see a job not done then done poorly,” said his supervisor. “He maintains a strong quality of work at all times as well as a strong work ethic.”

Moughan is also known for working well with his colleagues, always being respectful towards staff, students and the public, while maintaining a positive attitude about his work.

“Joey enjoys the kind of work he does and it shows daily,” said his supervisor.

Outside of UIS, Moughan is heavily involved with the Toys for Tots program during the holiday season where he’s helped raise thousands of dollars in donations.

“I feel he is an outstanding candidate for Employee of the Month and a role model for what a UIS employee can be,” said his supervisor.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Residence Life assistant director Michelle Vinson named the UIS Employee of the Month for April

Michelle Vinson has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for April. She serves as the assistant director – administration for the Department of Residence Life.

In her role, Vinson is responsible for the daily operations of the Department of Residence Life office. She has oversight of the housing assignment processes for all residential students. In addition, she manages, monitors, and implements the policies and procedures of student housing.

Vinson’s nominator says she always has a smile on her face and is “professional, kind and dependable.”

“Michelle is always available when needed and responds promptly to request,” said her nominator. “Kindness matters and Michelle shows compassion and caring when working with students and other professionals on campus.”

Her supervisor calls her a “vital part of the Residence Life team” adding that she works to personally connect with each member of the Residence Life team and to connect with students to be able to understand their needs.

“Michelle is dedicated and reliable in all she does at UIS,” said her supervisor. “She is able to keep the days positive, focused and productive. She also is an excellent mentor to our new professional staff in the Department of Residence Life.”

Asked about her dependability and productivity on the job, her supervisor says she is “always timely” and “often completes tasks before asked.” She often takes on additional tasks to make sure the needs of the Department of Residence Life are met.

“Michelle is one of the most positive, honest, genuine and transparent UIS community members with whom I get to work,” said her supervisor. “She builds stable, responsible relationships with colleagues and is always student-focused in her daily work.”

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Staff Clerk Jamie Weber named the UIS Employee of the Month for March

Jamie Weber has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for March. She works as a staff clerk for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Weber’s nominator describes her as “one of the hardest working, organized, knowledgeable, customer-driven” employees on campus.

“Her dedication, positive attitude, willingness to help and attention to detail have played an integral role in the success of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences dean’s office,” said her supervisor.

In her role, Weber helps to manage the multiple departments that make up the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Co-workers say she is a wealth of knowledge and the “go-to person” when it comes to answering questions about the college.

“Jamie is truly unique in her ability to clearly and effectively convey information to both staff and faculty,” said her supervisor. “She is patient and is able to explain, sometimes very complex issues, in a very detailed, clear manner.”

In addition to her strong work ethic and dependability, Weber is “notorious for her positive, enthusiastic attitude,” according to her co-workers.

“Without waiver, she is courteous and respectful to everyone she interacts with and is always smiling and friendly. She never complains and always has our office’s best interest at heart,” added her supervisor.

Weber is also active in volunteering during the State and University Employees Combined Appeal (SECA), a once-a-year voluntary campaign that allows state and university employees to donate to charities. She has helped to plan SECA events and made items for the bake sale.

“We are very fortunate to have Jamie as part of our team,” said her supervisor. “Not only does the quality of her work exceed my expectations, but she adds so much value to our department in other ways. She is an invaluable asset to our office and is very deserving to be recognized as the Employee of the Month.”

Friday, March 08, 2019

Grounds Superintendent Brian Beckerman named the UIS Employee of the Month for February

Brian Beckerman has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for February. He works as superintendent of grounds for Facilities and Services. In his role, he is responsible for managing 746 acres of University property, including water habitats, natural and synthetic turf sports fields, gardens, trees and native grass areas.

According to his nominators, Beckerman is known for his strong work ethic, positive attitude and ability to motivate others.

Beckerman recently led the effort to cultivate a sustainable plant garden at the entrance of the Health Sciences Building. He also led the grounds team in the building of a pond for Japanese Koi on the east side of the quad. In the past year, his team has reinforced campus roadways, planted 86 news trees on campus and reconstructed the sand volleyball court in Rec Park.

“He truly understands the need for the campus to always look like we’re open for business and the importance of the campus’ image has on recruiting and retaining students, faculty and staff as well as visitors to campus. Simply put, his standard is others exceptional,” said his supervisor.

According to Beckerman’s supervisor, he also excels in his attention to detail in budgeting and managing state, institutional and gift funds allocated to his department.

“Brian’s efficient and cost effective use of very limited resources, use of recycled materials (e.g. old cigarette butt containers, reuse of demolished concrete, tree waste into wood chips, etc.) and equipment have ‘stretched the dollar’ enabling significant improvements to the University’s grounds despite significant reductions in state funding,” said his supervisor.

Beckerman also listens to student’s ideas and concerns as a member of the Green Fee Committee, a student committee which implements sustainable initiatives on campus.

“I like that he genuinely takes suggestions from students who serve on the committee with him,” said a nominator. “In addition, when students want to have something like a bon fire or mud pit, rather than saying it will tear up the ground, he helps to find ways to make it happen,” said his nominator.

Beckerman also “goes out of his way” to help co-workers in getting the job done. Whether a plumber needs equipment and materials moved, the safety officer needs help organizing a setting up a training, a professor wants to introduce or include example of work that Beckerman has done on campus in their class, or a biology or environmental studies student has a question, he is always willing to help and often drops what he is doing to assist others.

“Brian is typically on campus around 6 a.m. and often doesn’t leave until 4 p.m. (and sometimes later) to ensure the work is done, his grounds crew is taken care of and things are ready for the next day. This dedication speaks volumes about his reliability and commitment,” said his supervisor.

Additionally, Beckerman is often seen on campus on the weekends watering plants, cleaning up trash in outdoor areas where student events were held and preparing for inclement weather conditions.

“It is obvious Brian takes great pride in his work, better our campus,” said a nominator. “He has hired good people and empowered them to make campus look awesome. His strong work ethic is obvious to those who know him. On top of all of this, he has a great personality that is truly genuine.”

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Jay Swenson named the 2018 UIS Employee of the Year

Jay Swenson, assistant director of competitive sports and facilities for Campus Recreation, has been named the 2018 Employee of the Year at the University of Illinois Springfield. He was honored during a reception on February 6, 2019, in the Student Union Ballroom.

Before announcing the winner, UIS Chancellor Susan Koch thanked the eleven Employees of the Month who were nominated for the award.

According to his nominators, Swenson continually works to improve the areas he oversees, such as intramural sports, by listening to students and coming up with new ideas.

In April, he created an event called Rec Madness in order to bring more attention to the intramural basketball championship games. He also helped to bring back intramural softball, which hadn’t been played on campus in four years.

“Jay goes above and beyond for UIS students,” said a 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.”

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.

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