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SLCL staff member and professor win major awards

12/4/2013  8:00 am

Yvonne Knight, Administrative Aide in the Human Resources Office, and Robert Jenkins, Manager, Austria-Illinois Exchange Program in Vienna and Visiting Assistant Professor in the department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, were recently named recipients of major awards for staff and academic professionals, respectively.

Yvonne is the recipient of the 2013-2014 LAS Nancy J. McCowen Distinguished Service Award, which comes with a cash award to honor and reward individuals for their outstanding contributions through providing exemplary service to the College.

Nominators remarked that "Von has created stability in all areas of human resources in the School since she arrived in August, 2004. In addition, she is often the first face of the School and she takes this very seriously. It is a sincere personal pride to present this professional image that motivates her, much more than a work obligation."

Another nominator commented, "In all of my interactions with her, I have been consistently impressed with her extremely high caliber of professionalism, her vast knowledge and experience, her integrity, and a willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty to make things work out. I am convinced that all EO's, students and faculty in the School are blessed to have someone like Von managing human resources."

Finally, "Yvonne not only makes extraordinary contributions daily in her role as the HR Director for the School, she willingly shares her gifts and expertise with others at the University. Yvonne is professional, knowledgeable, always available to help and a joy to work with. Through her example, she encourages all of us to be better."


Robert is the recipient of the 2013-2014 LAS Academic Professional Award, which comes with a monetary award and a salary increment intended to honor and reward individuals for their outstanding contributions to the College.

Nominators remarked that "Dr. Jenkins has demonstrated distinctive achievements crucial to the success of our undergraduate programs in all three areas that the College requires of award winners: work contributions, personal contributions, and professional contributions."

Also, "Robert Jenkins is the driving force behind the Austria-Illinois exchange program. He is the reason why the oldest exchange program at Illinois is thriving and is frequently cited as a model for other programs."

And, "Since that first introduction to Robert's dedication, kindness, and professionalism, I have had additional occasions these past few years to witness other ways in which he provides opportunities and makes connections on behalf of those of us at Illinois."

Both recipients will be honored at the annual LAS Awards Reception in the Spring.