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Executive Director of Student Support Services Bethany Bilyeu has been named the 2021 Employee of the Year at the University of Illinois Springfield. She was honored during a virtual reception on Feb. 1, 2022.

Before announcing the winner, UIS Interim Chancellor Karen Whitney thanked the eleven Employees of the Month who were nominated for the award.

Bilyeu, who was the June 2021 Employee of the Month, has led UIS’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, overseeing testing, contact tracing, vaccination clinics and outreach to the state and local health department. She also oversees the Counseling Center, Health Services and the Office of Disability Services.

“Bethany has made significant contributions towards the University’s pandemic response, at the same time she has done a phenomenal job managing the Student Support Services,” said Jantzen Eddington, her supervisor. “Bethany’s leadership has been instrumental in our success as a community.”

Her nominator says she has “gone above and beyond to train and keep stats for the COVID-19 testing team, as well as her own job.”

Bilyeu’s supervisor says she is always willing to help where there is a need and shows initiative in making improvements.

“Bethany has a good working relationship with members of our community and the public,” Eddington said. “Bethany developed connections with the local and state officials that have been key to assisting us with our pandemic response.”

At the start of the pandemic, it was Bilyeu herself who volunteered to coordinate the University’s response.

“Bethany is extremely dependable; she is one of the first people to identify areas of need within our community and takes the lead to address the needs and make improvements,” Eddington said. “Bethany is an amazing asset to our University community, and I am grateful for her leadership.”

As Employee of the Year, Bilyeu will receive a check for $500, plus a special parking spot for the entire year.