Wednesday, February 26, 2020

UIS employees honored with Chancellor’s awards recognizing academic professional and civic service excellence

Two University of Illinois Springfield staff members were honored with Chancellor’s awards recognizing academic professional and civic service excellence during a ceremony in the Student Union Ballroom on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020.

The Chancellor’s Academic Professional Excellence (CAPE) award was presented to Kara McElwrath, assistant director of client services for Information Technology Services (ITS).

McElwrath has worked at UIS for 12 years. In her role, she leads the ITS Client Services team, which includes the Learning Spaces Support Team, the Technology Support Center and the Instructional Support and Training team.

Her nominators used adjectives such as, “positive, giving, smart, unflappable, talented, determined, grit and drive” to describe her work ethic.

“Not only is she friendly and polite, she seems to always be working – weekends and our recent holiday break,” said her nominator. “I know this isn’t necessary, but it certainly lowers my stress level to know that Kara is on the job.”

McElwrath played a major role in launching the EAB Navigate app, a campus-wide student success initiative, serving as application administrator. She helped with the setup, implementation, faculty and advisor training and data integration.

She’s also recently helped to roll out a teacher education program student portal, the placements and student planner apps, a computer science graduate student planner app and has assisted computer science faculty in using virtual machines. McElwrath also regularly collaborates on projects and committees that span the three University of Illinois campuses.

“One of the many reasons I enjoy my job so much is the wide variety of work I get to do and the amazingly talented people with whom I get to work,” she said.

In addition to her work with ITS, McElwrath also teaches as an adjunct professor for the teacher education, educational leadership and management information systems programs.

“I appreciate having the opportunity to combine my passions of teaching and technology to work directly with students in helping them achieve their career goals,” she added.

The Chancellor’s Award to Recognize Excellence in Civil Service (CARE) was presented to Patty Stoutamyer, office support specialist for the Mathematical Sciences Department.

Stoutamyer has worked at UIS for 18 years. Since 2007, she has worked for the Mathematical Sciences Department. Prior to her current position, she was the office support specialist for several programs on campus.

“Patty is dedicated and hardworking,” said her nominator. “She is extremely organized and focused on continuously learning and developing best practices to manage routine activities both efficiently and effectively. She brings positive high energy and a personal touch.”

Each year, the mathematics department receives more than 1,000 requests for department approvals for various math courses. Among other responsibilities in the office, Stoutamyer handles all of these requests. She always strives to get things done in a timely manner.

“Patty always stays late during the first week of classes – several hours late after 5 p.m.,” said her nominator. “She explained, the department received a lot of last-minute requests, if we could not process them before the end of the first week, these students would have very little chance to get into classes that they need.”

Stoutamyer’s nominator says she provides great customer service to exceptional support and service to new faculty and visitors.

“I have been inspired by the dedication of the faculty and staff in each of the departments and committees where I have worked to make UIS a great campus,” said Stoutamyer. “I enjoy working with students. My attitude is to help others as much as possible, whether it be helping get into a class or find a location on campus or just someone with whom to talk.”

She has served on several committees, including the Status of the University Women Committee (later this become part of the ROAD committee) and the SURS Members Advisory Committee. She also volunteers to support the State and University Employees Combined Appeal (SECA) and the Faculty/Staff fundraising campaign.

She says her greatest gratification comes when she receives emails or notes from students thanking her for her assistance.

“A while ago a male student stopped in my office and said he didn’t want anything today, except to thank me for helping him and also thanked me for helping all the other students because they talked about me being so helpful,” said Stoutamyer. “This is an expression of doing what needs to be accomplished as an employee at UIS.”

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