Not too long ago, a mere 14 years, Mark Pietrowski walked onto the NIU campus as a transfer student still sorting out his ultimate path.
It turns out Pietrowski didn’t need to go too far to find the launching point for what has already become an accomplished career serving the university since 2007. Pietrowski is the acting director of the College of Liberal Sciences External Programming, a role in which he continues to develop programs, events and summer camps to engage a wide audience of current Huskies, as well as prospective students.
Pietrowski, who received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from NIU, has also contributed in the classroom teaching communications courses and in roles with, among others, the annual Journalism Banquet and the Public Relations Student Society of America.
The depth of Pietrowski’s commitment to current and future NIU students recently earned him recognition as a winner of the university’s Presidential Supportive Staff Award for Excellence.
“We often brainstorm ways to develop new programming or to improve existing events. I often find myself calling upon him for his opinion,” Lise Schlosser, a CLAS external programming colleague, wrote in nominating Pietrowski. “I value his insight, collegiality and honesty. I also admire his eagerness to continually seek new knowledge, his unselfish nature of volunteering his time in the community and his commitment to enthusiastically serving the community in elected office.”
Beyond campus, Pietrowski carries with him a long list of contributions to the community. He currently sits as DeKalb County Board chairman and, in the past, has held leadership roles with the DeKalb Kiwanis and the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees. And, that’s just an abridged version of everything he’s done in his spare time.
Proud, yet modest, Pietrowski says his biggest satisfaction in a decade working at NIU comes from finding unique and meaningful ways to impact today’s students and create opportunities for future ones, while also working with local educators to boost their professional potential.
“It is a great honor to be recognized by my peers,” he said of the award. “I’ve really been able to enjoy my experience.”