It’s hard to stump Ellen Cabrera when it comes to the Department of Public Administration.
Over the years, Cabrera has often been the first contact for questions from prospective and enrolled students in NIU’s Master of Public Administration program.
She greets them with patience and knowledge. Cabrera is always there to help them through the process of applying, following up and starting them off right once they enter the program, which her colleagues say makes her an integral part of the success of the program.
“She has never provided anything less than outstanding work in whatever capacity she is serving,” said Kurt Thurmaier, chair of the Department of Public Administration. “It is not an exaggeration to argue that Ellen is greatly responsible for the department’s increased enrollments.”
Cabrera, who started in the department in 2001, was one the 2019 NIU Operating Staff Award of Excellence winners.
Her colleagues say she is more than deserving. She is dedicated, knowledgeable and a leader that deserves the high praise.
“NIU is truly a better place as a result of the commitment to excellence that Ellen brings to the Department of Public Administration, NIU, its students and her fellow employees,” said Tammy Stevens, who previously worked with Cabrera.
Cabrera said she is humbled and honored by the award.
“I am truly honored to receive this recognition for my service to the department as office support specialist over 15 years,” Cabrera said. “Assisting the students as they transition into our top-ranked MPA program was very rewarding for me. As office manager for the past 2 years I have had the added pleasure of continuing to work with them as alumni who give back to the program. It is my pleasure to serve.