Outstanding Service Award

Photo of Judy Burgess

Judy Burgess

Calls to NIU's Environmental Health and Safety Department, where Judy Burgess answers the phone, are rarely routine.

“We receive calls from individuals reporting a hazardous or perhaps emergency situation as well as those with serious concerns regarding health or safety conditions on campus,” said Mary Schlagel, industrial hygienist. “Judy very professionally listens to them, calming the apprehensive in the process, and very quickly puts them in contact with the appropriate members of our department.”

Burgess has tapped her unruffled and organized demeanor often during her 18 years at NIU, including the Operating Staff Council presidency from 1999 through 2002.

When she became involved in a summer program in Costa Rica for NIU students, she spent two months there to help future students understand what to expect and to study Spanish.

As a program specialist in the International Training Office, she coordinated every aspect of a seminar on strategic management for Latin American bankers.

“Judy performed at the maximum level without burning out, without losing her enthusiasm toward her work or her sense of humor,” said Sara Clayton, administrative assistant in the Division of International Programs. “To assist the clientele … Judy also took classes in Spanish in her spare time.”

Off the job, Burgess is an organist for several churches who also plays the Irish harp and formerly taught piano lessons.