Tondalaya Reece, program coordinator for the Institute for Legal, Legislative and Policy Studies, was chosen as the winner of the 14th annual Chancellor’s Award for Recognizing Excellence in Civil Service (CARE). The award is the highest honor annually awarded to a Civil Service staff member at the University of Illinois Springfield.
Interim Chancellor Karen Whitney announced the winner of the award during an online ceremony on April 8, 2021. She also thanked all civil service staff members for their dedication to UIS.
Reece has worked at UIS for six years. One nominator says, “Tonda’s work contributes positively to our unit and the university in numerous ways. Most importantly, she is incredibly dedicated to doing the very best at her job, frequently going above and beyond to ensure projects she works on are completed and completed to a high standard, frequently troubleshooting issues and coming up with clever solutions.”
Her co-workers credit her with a successful transition to remote work. “When the virus began looking even more serious in late February/early March of 2020 Tonda began exploring how our calling lab could be converted for remote calling, successfully transitioning the majority of our calling staff to remote calling before the stay-at-home order went into effect,” said a nominator. “It was an amazing accomplishment. Her actions kept our callers, the overwhelming majority of who are students, and lab safe.”
“Tonda’s efforts kept students safe, kept students employed, kept data collection, a
project vital to public health, going during a public health crisis and kept funding coming to the university that may have been lost or decreased if we could not keep the project going," added her co-worker.
Tonda is also known for developing and promoting student workers within ILLPS and helping them secure opportunities beyond UIS when they are ready. “If she can help a student get something that may be more useful to their development or career trajectory, she will,” said a nominator.
Her nominator added, “The reflection of UIS that Tonda projects is one of service, selflessness, hard work, dedication, thoughtfulness, constant improvement, and a strong sense of responsibility to our community here.”
Other Civil Service employees nominated for the award include: Sarah Beth Ayers, program coordinator for Innovate Springfield; Jennifer Berry, program/student advisor in the Department of Computer Science; Jillian Briggs, program/student advisor in the College of Public Affairs and Administration; Bethany Burbridge, administrative aide in the Office of Access and Equal Opportunity; Officer Amanda Baughman, crime prevention officer with Campus Police; Ann Gemberling, business/administrative associate in the Department of Business & Management Administration; Erin Hartnett, program/student advisor in the College of Business and Management; Carol Marshall, admissions and records officer in the Office of Records and Registration; Jason Noyes, IT manager in the Office of Technology Services; Michelle Sapp, business manager for the Institute of Legal, Legislative and Policy Studies; Linda Schneider, office administrator for the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs; Anna Schoenherr, office support specialist for Campus Recreation; Mary Umbarger, program assistant in Student Services; Charles Wells, culinary worker in Food Service and Patricia Young, business/administrative associate for the Capital Scholars Honors Program.