University Park, IL,
15:21 PM

Showing Appreciation for Governors State Employees

Major milestones were celebrated at Governors State University’s (GSU) Employee Appreciation Event, which honored the service of staff and faculty.

Dr. Shailendra "Shelly" Kumar, Dean Lydia Morrow Ruetten, and Dr. Cheryl Mejta were recognized for having careers spanning 30 years at Governors State.

After a hiatus, the event to show employees appreciation was welcomed back by faculty and staff and will become a new yearly tradition on campus.

During the recent ceremony, Anne Gill, Interim Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Diversity, explained why the celebration is important. "Each of  you is an important piece of our campus puzzle,'' she said,  before introducing Scott Smith, Building and Grounds Supervisor, to orchestrate an energetic game of GSU trivia.

Laughter rang through the Center for Performing Arts as employees reminisced over their years on campus.

Then, attendees were then serenaded by Keith Briggs, who delivered a stirring rendition of “Wind Beneath My Wings.” President Maimon reflected on Briggs’ performance.

“You’re all the wind beneath the students’ wings,” she said.

Those who were celebrating 30 plus years at GSU spoke briefly about their careers. Organic Chemistry Professor Kumar noted how much Governors State has transformed since he started at the university, where nontraditional student base surprised him at first. Soon, his shock became his inspiration.

“The students changed what I thought it meant to be dedicated.  I was their mentor, but they were mine as well,” he said.

Morrow Ruetten said Governors State invested in her, so in turn she invested a 30 year long career into the university as Dean of the Library. Now retired, she returned to celebrate with current staff and faculty.

“You are making a positive influence in everyone’s lives,” she said.

Dr. Mejta, Department Chair for Addictions Studies and Behavioral Health in the College of Health and Human Services hailed Governors State’s mission as one of the reasons she is “proud to be a member of the GSU community.”

Community was at the heart of the day’s celebration. Associate Provost Rosemary Johnsen noted that like many of the other faculty and staff who spoke, when she first came to GSU it was the unity of the university that surprised her.

“This isn’t something that just happens, this community is created by faculty and staff who are inspired by their students and have the same goals.”