Outstanding Service Award

Sharon Freeman

Lead secretary, Academic Advising Center

Sharon Freeman

Imagine meeting more than 20,000 people each year. Sharon Freeman knows exactly what that’s like.

As the receptionist in the NIU Office of Admissions, Freeman often was the first point of contact for prospective students and their families as well as for current students, faculty and others having business on campus.

Freeman also worked on the front lines during several Open House events, making sure that “sometimes stressful check-in and bus tour changes” operated successfully.

“She greeted each visitor with warmth, respect and professionalism,” says Bob Burk, retired director of admissions. “Visitors often singled out Sharon with glowing comments on our feedback surveys. She created the kind of first impression that is so important in creating a positive image of NIU.”

That special calling continues at the Academic Advising Center, which Freeman joined in fall 2011 as lead secretary.

“Sharon has surpassed all of our expectations with her attention to detail, dedication, professional demeanor and eagerness to serve students,” says Jonathon Ferguson, academic adviser. “Her kind and welcoming nature comforts these students as they embark on developing their academic and personal goals.”

Colleagues praise her confident and cheerful approach to her responsibilities as well as her ability to perform beyond expectations and willingness to “go the extra mile” when needed.

Away from the job, Freeman consistently donates clothes and other goods to the DeKalb Goodwill store to support struggling families. She also paid for one NIU student’s travel package to cheer on the Huskies at the Orange Bowl in January.