CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Fourteen University of Illinois employees recently were honored for exemplary work. Six received the Chancellor's Academic Professional Excellence Award at a campus reception April 1; eight received the Chancellor's Distinguished Staff Award at a banquet April 13.
Recipients of the CAPE Award are chosen for excellence in their work, personal and professional contributions to their fields, and the positive impact they have on colleagues, students and the public. Each award winner receives a $1,000 increase in base salary and a $1,000 one-time budget increase for their department.
• Eric Adee, the principal research specialist in the department of crop sciences, has conducted research on problems of importance to crop producers for the past 13 years. He also is the superintendent of the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center in Monmouth, where he is responsible for improving equipment and collaborating with campus-based researchers.
• Alison Ahlgren, coordinator of quantitative reasoning courses in the department of mathematics, coordinates and oversees about 25 classes and their teaching assistants each year. As coordinator of the math placement program, she uses the interactive Web-based tool Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces, and is developing a new math placement test with it.
• Rick Atterberry, the team leader for Marketing and Distribution Services within Information Technology and Communication Services in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, manages the publications-distribution operation for the college and U. of I. Extension. He also is media communications specialist for statewide Extension programs and represents Extension on the Governor's Long-Term Flood Recovery Strategy Task Force. In 2008 he coordinated Extension's response to four federally declared flood disasters in Illinois.
• Karen Chan, Extension educator in consumer and family economics, provides financial education to the public, seeking ways to meet the needs of the Chicago metropolitan area through a train-the-trainer program. She delivers more than 100 workshops annually that reach 2,100 to 2,500 people. Chan has worked with many other agencies and organizations to further the role of Extension.
• Hank Kaczmarski, director of the Integrated Systems Laboratory at the Beckman Institute, creates and maintains virtual reality environments that are used for teaching, research and public outreach activities. The laboratory creates and manages facilities to advance scientific understanding of human-computer interactions. Kaczmarski supports and participates in faculty members' research projects and assists in the recruitment of faculty members and students to the Beckman Institute and to campus.
• Ruth McCauley, associate dean of students, plays a critical role in providing care to students through the Emergency Dean and Student Assistance Programs. She helps students find housing in a pinch, locates students in the event of family emergencies, and helps arrange appropriate interventions for students who may be at risk.
The Chancellor's Distinguished Staff Award recognizes exceptional performance. Permanent staff employees with at least two years of service or retired employees in status appointments during the calendar year can be nominated for the award by faculty or staff members or students. Each recipient receives $2,000 and a plaque. Recipients' names also are inscribed on a plaque displayed in the Staff Human Resources Office.
• Matt D. Carroll, staff clerk in the department of electrical and computer engineering, runs the print shop of the publications office, which reproduces a variety of documents from short memos to lengthy manuals. Among other things, Carroll is responsible for making photocopies, binding books and theses, preparing materials for conferences, and keeping all the projects on schedule and maintaining the highest quality.
• Alyssa J. Galligan is the supervisor of the Small Animal Emergency Service and Intensive Care Unit in the College of Veterinary Medicine. She is responsible for supervising the technical staff, hiring and training technicians, evaluating staff work and maintaining equipment. She is also the founding member of the Cheery Ladies Always Making Smiles, a morale-boosting group that offers positive support for staff members and students who go the extra mile.
• Patricia L. Grove, office administrator for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science's Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations, manages fundraising and alumni relations. In 2008, Grove managed more than 40 events and individual visits to more than 200 donors throughout the United States and Canada.
• Sandra K. Heibenthal, office manager in the department of bioengineering, was the first employee of the bioengineering program 10 years ago - before the department existed. Her work helped ensure that the department would get off the ground successfully. She is considered "the foundation" by faculty members in her department, who depend on her for making the department function efficiently.
• Mark D. Hurt works for the Plant Care Facility in the ACES Office of Research overseeing the care and maintenance of the plant material being grown for research and classroom laboratories in 20 greenhouse rooms and four courtyard areas. He has developed improved work methods, such as rope handles on all plant-waste containers making them more ergonomic and easier to empty and installed automated drip-irrigation systems to make watering more efficient and consistent.
• Dusty L. Paris, building service foreman for Facilities and Services, is responsible for supervising 15-25 employees in addition to issuing work assignments, handling emergency situations and inspecting completed work. One of Paris' recent projects was her supervisory assistance of the custodial services in having the new addition of the Memorial Stadium professionally cleaned before the season opening game.
• Sally M. Stillwell, an administrative assistant in the College of Engineering, has assisted five deans in the nearly 30 years she has worked for the college. Stillwell is responsible for the organization, coordination and administrative functions of the office of the dean. She also coordinates public relations involving industrial, federal and international visitors and alums.
• Darrell E. Weakly, electrician foreman for Facilities and Services, has established a stock of on-hand supplies at various buildings to do electrical maintenance, making repair trips more time efficient. Weakly is relied upon by his fellow electricians as a problem-solver.