UIS named Carolyn Neitzke, director of conference services, the 2013 Employee of the Year for her dedication and strong work ethic. “She is passionate about the service she and her staff provide for [the campus] and is always putting in the extra effort – before, during and after the event is over,” said David Barrows, executive director of facilities and services. Neitzke’s work for UIS began in September 1990 at Sangamon State University (SSU). “I’ve been here a couple of years…” Neitzke said jokingly at the Jan. 29 ceremony. “It’s really been a privilege to see such dedication in so many different areas.” Neitzke said that she prides herself on bringing people together and making them “wonderfully connected.” In part of her position, Neitzke places student organizations and conference center events in specific campus locations – she explains her position as connecting people to space. “She is amazing at coming up with creative solutions,” said Donna Haynes, assistant to associate chancellor of constituent relations. “She is extremely dedicated.” In her 23 years here, Neitzke said she has seen the university grow – and for the better. She believes UIS truly is Leadership Lived and says UIS encourages support for all students. The best part of her job, thus far? “When a big event goes smoothly.” Neitzke said she was surprised when she learned she was selected as Employee of the Year because there were so many “wonderful people” nominated alongside her. She added that she thinks it is great that UIS recognizes staff and faculty for their efforts. Edward Wojcicki, associate chancellor for constituent relations said, “She is one of the best at customer service on this campus. She deals with a lot of staff and people from the community.” Each year, a committee of past winners and the committee chair chooses the Employee of the Year. The tradition of the award dates back to SSU – nearly 31 years ago, according to Laura Alexander, senior director of human resources.