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Andrea Paceley

Chancellor's Distinguished Staff Award honorees include SHS' Andrea Paceley

Sixteen civil service employees were recognized for exceptional performance by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign—eight this year and eight in 2020. For the second consecutive year, concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic precluded a banquet for employees honored with the Chancellor’s Distinguished Staff Award.

Each recipient receives $1,000 and a plaque. Recipients’ names also are engraved on a plaque displayed in the Illinois Human Resources Office. The names of past winners are online.

Permanent staff members with at least two years of service and retired employees in status appointments during the calendar year may be nominated for the award. A committee recommends finalists, who are then approved by Chancellor Robert Jones.

Experiences in managing pandemic-related issues came to the forefront in many of the nomination forms for 2021 recipients, including Andrea Paceley in the Department of Speech and Hearing Science in the College of Applied Health Sciences.

Paceley, the office manager of SHS, provides support to the graduate program – including graduate admissions – and carries out general office duties.

“The pandemic required a pivot on how we conduct recruitment events, such as our open house for admitted students. Andrea worked closely with the Educational Policy Committee and director of graduate studies to transition to a virtual format,” wrote nominator Ian B. Mertes, an assistant professor of speech and hearing science. “This required a tremendous amount of effort on Andrea’s part to help develop materials, ensure that necessary information was obtained from faculty, interface with the prospective students, schedule the events and send invites, and follow-up with attendees.”

Paceley’s workstation in the front office makes her the department’s first point of contact. “Those who call, e-mail or stop in are greeted with a friendly personality and a willingness to assist. On the occasion when she does not know the answer, she tracks it down and responds quickly,” Mertes wrote. ”She also sends timely reminders to make sure tasks have been completed, keeping departmental operations running smoothly.”

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