Outstanding Service Award

Mary Kain

Office Administrator; School of Nursing and Health Studies, College of Health & Human Sciences

Mary Kain is resourceful.

She found financial support for students traveling abroad with a professor. She located resources to charter a bus for undergraduates taking a field trip to Springfield. She searched tirelessly for and secured a tuition waiver for a graduate student experiencing extreme hardship in his personal life.

Kain, who joined NIU a decade ago, doubled her workload in 2007 when the nursing school merged with programs in public health and health administration. She now completes all the paperwork and manages multiple budgets for a school with 62 full-time employees and faculty, 20 part-time faculty and 18 graduate assistants.

When the school began a program in 2010 that allows for more students, it was Kain who took on the administration of new and complex funding sources from the provost's office.

The treasured employee oversaw the construction of a new teaching methods laboratory for Public Health/Health Education and of a human patient simulation laboratory for the School of Nursing. She managed remodeling projects to demolish and enlarge classrooms and to outfit offices to accommodate more faculty.

"We couldn't have done it without her," says Mary Elaine Koren, associate professor and area coordinator for nursing. "Mary goes well beyond her prescribed responsibilities and gives 100 percent effort. She is consistently a productive employee who gives her all."

Away from NIU, she participated in retreats to help children prepare for first communion and confirmation at St. Mary's Church. She also served in fundraising roles for the DeKalb High School varsity baseball team and United Way.

Mary Kain