20, No. 17, April 5, 2001
Chancellor honors staff
members with 2001 CDSA
employees have been selected to receive the annual Chancellors
Distinguished Staff Award, which recognizes exceptional performance
and service to the UI. Winners were honored at a banquet March 27, where
each received $2,000 and a plaque. Recipients names also are inscribed
on a plaque displayed in the Personnel Services Office.
Permanent staff employees with at least two years of service or retired
employees in status appointments can be nominated for the award by staff
or faculty members or students. A committee appointed by the chancellor
recommends finalists; the campus director of Personnel Services, the
vice chancellor for administration and human resources and the chancellor
give final approval.
Listings of this years finalists and previous years winners
are available on the Web at www.pso.uiuc.edu/cdsa.
John A. Boyd, computer
programmer III, department of psychology
by Bill Wiegand
A three-time nominee
for the CDSA, John A. Boyd also won the 1999-2000 College of Liberal
Arts and SciencesŐ Staff Award. Boyd is the chief programmer for the
psychology department Web pages and serves as the departmentŐs chief
consultant. In addition to writing code and testing software, Boyd analyzes
program requirements, develops programming strategies and oversees the
daily operation of the departmentŐs instructional computer facilities.
However, heŐs readily available to assist users when they call upon
him. "John is our Ôgo-to guyŐ when we have a problem," wrote professor
Fritz Drasgow, who marveled at BoydŐs capability to provide prompt,
courteous assistance to so many users. The faculty and staff members
who nominated Boyd all praised his unique ability to communicate with
users of all skill levels and experience. Nominator Edward J. Shoben,
professor and department head, said BoydŐs problem-solving ability and
dedication have helped make the department one of the most productive
in the country. Moreover, Boyd is an avid learner, seeking out new information
and resources applicable to users in his department, then disseminating
his findings and recommendations so others can take advantage of new
developments and applications. Boyd has written a series of user guides
to help the departmentŐs students and faculty and staff members use
the computer facilities. BoydŐs ability to solve both the complex problems
that frustrate sophisticated users as well as the irritating, yet minor
glitches that stump novices has made him a valued team member during
his 15 years in the psychology department.
Daniel L. Doolen, chief instructional
media systems engineer, Office of Instructional Resources
by Bill Wiegand
Friend." Those are the words nominator Brian McNurlen, coordinator
of classroom support and training, used to describe Daniel L. Doolen,
who also is his supervisor.
An 11-year employee of the university, Doolen is responsible for directing
the installation, implementation, service and support of instructional
media in general-assignment classrooms. Doolen also supervises the Division
of Engineering Services staff.
Doolens extensive knowledge of classroom design, electrical systems
and telecommunications has earned him a reputation within the university
and with colleagues at other institutions as well, who consult with
him on improving their own facilities.
Doolen has been instrumental in helping improve the quality of the UIs
classrooms through innovative design and installation of high-tech components.
He has custom-designed and installed media systems for the Illini Center,
the Extension Office in Matteson, medical sciences, computer sciences
and other departments.
The Technology Information Show Doolen established in 1997 to introduce
faculty and staff members to cutting-edge technology has become a successful
annual event where manufacturers and vendors showcase their products
and exchange ideas with users.
In addition, Doolen stresses self-development for himself and his staff
members to keep abreast of industry developments.
"I enjoy working with Dan because he shares my preference for the
word we rather than I, wrote John C. Ory, director
of the Office of Instructional Resources. "He is an excellent team
member who wants any kudos shared with his staff."
William E. Knight, research laboratory
shop supervisor, department of chemistry
by Bill Wiegand
Bill Knight began
his career with the UI as a laboratory mechanic in 1985 and four years
later accepted his current position of research laboratory shop supervisor.
Knights duties include supervising and assigning jobs to the laboratory
mechanics in the machine shop, ordering materials and keeping the records.
Knights leadership abilities and his innovative design skills
have made him a valued resource for students and faculty and staff members
alike. His thorough knowledge of the skills and abilities of each of
his staff members enables him to match projects and personnel to produce
the highest-quality products.
Knight is always looking for new and better ways of doing things, according
to nominator Edward E. Runyon, instrument maker. For example, the computerized
mill Knight recommended has expanded the departments capabilities
and improved efficiency.
"The presence of Bill Knight in the machine shop of the School
of Chemical Sciences has opened the possibility, for me, to do experiments
that I did not think possible," wrote Thomas J. Hanratty, professor
of chemical engineering.
Knight is always available to help students or faculty who seek him
out for assistance with their projects. Although its not expected
of him, he often produces drawings for those who need help with their
"In honoring Bill Knight," wrote Harry G. Drickamer, professor
of chemistry, "you will be honoring the epitome of what makes this
place an exceptional one for accomplishing experimental research. I
find it difficult to place anyone else in his class."
John P. Kruse, park attendant, Allerton
Park and Conference Center, Office of Continuing Education
by Bill Wiegand
John P. Kruse has
spent his entire 18-year career with the university as a park attendant
at Allerton Park and Conference Center.
Kruses responsibilities include maintaining the buildings and
landscaping as well as assisting in projects throughout the park, such
as sculpture conservation and trail maintenance. Kruse also assists
in coordinating the various events the park hosts and might be found
setting up equipment or directing traffic.
Coordinating the weddings, concerts and other park events can be demanding
and frustrating, yet Kruse seems to handle disruptions and last-minute
changes with unwavering patience and good humor, according to his nominators.
"John loves his job and it shows," wrote Kimberlie Kranich,
marketing specialist and promotions coordinator at WILL AM-FM-TV. Kranich
has worked with Kruse the last three years coordinating Concert in the
Park, the classical music concert in the parks sunken garden.
"I never have to worry about getting the best customer service
when John is on my team. Others on campus would be lucky to work with
an employee like John," Kranich wrote.
Kruse applies the same care and attention to detail to every job he
does, no matter how large or small, according to David B. Bowman, park
superintendent. "He is a fine ambassador for the UI," Bowman
Kathryn A. Painter, secretary IV,
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
by Bill Wiegand
her 18 years with the university, Kathryn Painter has braved many
changes, both personal and professional, serving as an inspiration to
those who know her.
As a secretary IV in the Graduate School of Library and Information
Science, Painters responsibilities include creating and maintaining
the teaching schedules each semester, coordinating facilities and equipment,
producing copies of course materials and assisting in preparations for
the convocation ceremony.
Painter has so demonstrated her capability and resourcefulness that
she moved from assisting in the process to assuming full responsibility
for coordinating the schools annual conferences, which draw participants
from around the world.
Her professionalism, flexibility and humor have earned Painter the respect
and praises of conference participants, co-workers and students, according
to nominator and dean Leigh S. Estabrook.
Painters nominators all expressed admiration for her ability to
master the technological as well as physical challenges that work and
life have thrown at her, including losing an arm in a car accident a
few years ago.
"Ms. Painter is clearly a pearl without price," wrote Curt
McKay, assistant dean. "Instead of allowing the loss of her arm
to signal the end of her career here, she has continued to provide much
of the typing service she previously provided and has eagerly learned
new skills that make her even more valuable to the school than she already
Elizabeth K. Tomlin, secretary IV,
department of computer science
by Bill Wiegand
K. Tomlins] dedication to her work, her caring attitude, her cheerfulness
even in times of great stress, and her willingness and ability to sort
out bureaucratic problems make her a virtual legend among [computer
science] faculty and students," wrote nominator Samuel Kamin, professor
and director of undergraduate programs.
As the assistant to the undergraduate program coordinator, Tomlin is
a key contact person for undergraduates, helping students with academic
problems or issues that arise as they navigate through the university.
In excerpts from their letters accompanying her nomination, graduates
of the department talked about the pivotal role Tomlin played in their
lives while they were at the UI. In 1998, she was honored with the Dads
Day Award, which is based upon student nominations.
Nominator Chad Peiper, visiting lecturer in computer science, recounted
how the personal attention and guidance Tomlin gave him as a graduate
student, helping him enroll in a coveted undergraduate course that hed
been told was closed to him, has affected his life: "As a result,
I eventually completed a masters degree in computer science, concurrent
with my doctoral study in historical musicology. Had it not been for
Mrs. Tomlins personal attention to my dilemma at that crucial
time, none of this would have been possible."
Tomlins nominators all praised her ability to develop rapport
with co-workers, students, their families and faculty members.
"Kay is a calm and reassuring voice, with a quick smile and a deep
knowledge of possible solutions and alternatives. She mends intellectual
and emotional skinned knees, dispenses wisdom and moves with a quiet
grace that makes even the most worried student and harried professor
feel at ease," wrote Daniel A. Reed, Gutgsell professor and department
Mary Walle, administrative secretary,
department of special education
by Bill Wiegand
Mary Walle joined
the UI in 1977 and transferred to the department of special education
in November 1979. The entire faculty of the department nominated Walle
for the award based upon her unselfish and conscientious professionalism.
Walle is the head secretary for 13 tenure-line and eight non-tenure
faculty members in the department, but she also provides support to
20 additional academic professional and clerical staff members and 40-50
graduate assistants at the Childrens Research Center and Colonel
Wolfe School. In addition, she is responsible for creating orientation
sessions for all incoming graduate and undergraduate students. She also
manages the departments external funding as well as the department,
state and ICR budgets.
Walle coordinated an office space and procedural reorganization that
resulted in improved organization and efficiency. Walle also was instrumental
in developing the departments "Wall of Fame," designing
and creating plaques to honor departmental scholarship recipients and
Her nominators all expressed their admiration for her ability to sustain
her high level of performance in a demanding job while battling multiple
sclerosis the past few years.
"The way that she is dealing with this dramatic change in her life
is inspiring to all of us," her co-workers wrote. "She continues
to be indispensable to the smooth functioning and congenial nature of