25, No. 11, Dec 1, 2005
the job: Kathy Painter
Jennifer Dahm, News Bureau Intern
photo to enlarge
by L. Brian Stauffer
has worked at the UI for 26 years and is a faculty
secretary with the Graduate School of Library and
has enjoyed a long and successful career with the Graduate School of
Library and Information Science and her hard work has not gone unnoticed.
In 1995, she was one of four to receive the Peggy Harris Award for those
who most exemplify the spirit of volunteerism, exhibit a concern for
others and for the welfare of the school. The Champaign County native
was recognized again in 2001 with the Chancellor’s Distinguished
Staff Award for clerical service. In November, she celebrated 26 years
with the UI. Of her long service to the school and university, Painter
says: “The UI is a great place to work. When I decided to come
here 26 years ago, it was the best decision I ever made.”
What does your position as secretary
My job includes being a faculty secretary, a task that has eased up
since many faculty members now use online resources. I also schedule
our courses, which entails placing together the puzzles of dates, times,
locations, the Banner system, the course catalog and finals schedules.
Similarly, I also act as the Library and Information Science room scheduler
and GSLIS conference coordinator. I am responsible for maintaining the
LIS online job bulletin board, as well as being the departmental LIS
thesis/dissertation format checker. I assist with bringing distance
learning program students to campus, and I prepare promotion and tenure
dossiers for GSLIS and convocation programming.
What do you like most about your job?
What I like most about my job is the people. Work is work. There are
always things that you like to do and things that you don’t like
to do. It’s good if you can work where the people are nice and
you have a good time. In this office, we have fun and laugh a lot. It
makes the work very enjoyable.
What is the greatest challenge of your job?
Getting things done on time is a great challenge of my job. Lots of
the things I do have deadlines. I have to coordinate and prioritize
my time to make sure each project is done on time. One of the greatest
challenges also has been that I was in a car accident more than 10 years
ago and lost my left arm.
Before the accident I could type 93 words per minute. I can’t
do that anymore. Now I type one-handed but I can type fast enough to
produce what I need to produce. I have a prothesis but do not wear it
GSLIS has always been supportive and made sure I had what I needed to
do my job. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to be for
emotional support after the accident.
When I returned to work in January 1994 the school gave me release time
to study a one-handed typing method at the Urbana Adult Education Center.
It was helpful but I basically just had to build up my speed while doing
my job. They allowed me to proceed at my own pace. We did look into
some voice-activated systems but at that time they were not very sophisticated.
I manage quite nicely now with my own one-handed method.
I had no idea about all the aids and gadgets there were to assist amputees
with daily living. I brought several things home from the Rehabilitation
Institute of Chicago, where I did my rehabilitation after the accident.
For example, a cutting board with suction cups on the bottom to hold
it in place, and prongs on top to put the food on while cutting. And
elastic shoelaces! Little things that make everyday tasks much easier.
There are some frustrations, of course, but not with things that really
matter. I used to crochet but, besides that, there is not a lot that
I did before the accident that I can’t do now. It’s just
a matter of adapting.
What is something that many people don’t know about the Graduate
School of Library and Information Science?
Ten years ago we instituted the online education (LEEP) option for our
master’s program. We have had people from all over the world take
advantage of this scheduling option. They start the program with 10
days on campus in the summer and then they go back to their homes and
take the courses online, returning to campus each semester for a one-
to two-day stay. It has added around 60 new online students each year
in addition to our more than 280 on-campus students. (The total number
of online students is about 235.) Now, we are all busy 12 months out
of the year. There’s no down time. Everybody has had to work with
the online education program’s added tasks, but it’s been
very successful so it makes it all worthwhile.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re
not at work?
I love Illini sports. I’ve had season football and basketball
tickets for many years. I’m also a Cubs fan although I was glad
to see the White Sox win this year. I like to read. I sing in the church
choir at St. Thomas in Philo. I do some light gardening around my house.
I love going to craft shows. I travel quite a bit as well. This summer
I took a combination motorcoach and train tour called Colorado Parks
and Trains. It was a lot of fun.