Rebecca Wiltfong receives Greg Gulick Service Excellence Award

11/8/2022 9:17:19 AM

Jamie Hendrickson for Illinois Physics

Illinois Physics Director of Information Management Rebecca Wiltfong has been selected for a 2022 Greg Gulick Service Excellence Award. Created in memory of Joseph Gregory “Greg” Gulick, the award annually honors two IT professionals at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who embody the values and commitment that Gulick showed during his time as interim chief information officer at the University of Illinois.

Illinois Physics Professor Tim Stelzer, a founding member of the Physics Education Group at Illinois, nominated Wiltfong. Emad Jassim, Assistant Dean from the Grainger College of Engineering, and Illinois Physics Associate Head Lance Cooper also contributed to the nomination.

According to Stelzer, Wiltfong demonstrates the collaboration and teamwork, leadership, service to others, innovation, and attitude expected of the award. As director of information management, Wiltfong supports the online system functioning and data security of Illinois Physics. Since coming to the position in 2013, Wiltfong has now worked with every academic unit on campus, successfully collaborating to create workflows for the Physics Undergraduate Office, applications for the Faculty Academic Integrity Reporting (FAIR) system, and systems for submitting James Scholars materials.

“The FAIR and the James Scholar applications are two important campus-wide innovations that would not have happened without Rebecca Wiltfong,” shares Stelzer. “In both, Rebecca was involved in all aspects of the projects, including identifying the program requirements, writing the software including both the user interface and the interface with campus infrastructure, recruiting and training users, and iteratively refining the program based on user feedback and changing requirements. It’s been my privilege to work with Rebecca Wiltfong for over 15 years and it’s impossible to imagine a person who better personifies the attributes celebrated by the Greg Gulick Service Excellence award.”

“Rebecca is bright, congenial, conscientious, and overall a pleasure to work with,” Jassim says. “This is evident in her development of the Faculty Academic Integrity Reporting (FAIR) system. She worked diligently to ensure that both academic integrity and the students’ rights are upheld in accordance with the student code.  She not only has strong programming skills, but she also takes the time to communicate with stakeholders and understand the goal of what is trying to be accomplished.”

“Rebecca is the ultimate utility team member, as she is both willing and able to take on any role needed to make the team a success. No task is too large or too menial,” Cooper notes. “Rebecca is that amazing team member who truly will do whatever it takes to make the project a success and then attribute the success to the contributions of everyone else on the team.”

Wiltfong received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and communications from the University of Kansas in 1998 and her certification in web database application design from the University of California, Davis in 2002.

Before coming to Illinois Physics, she worked with businesses and individual clients to develop both front-end and back-end applications and manage web content. Wiltfong was also awarded the 2019 Gary Kelly Staff Excellence Award by Illinois Physics for her exceptional job performance and dedication in support of departmental goals.

Jamie Hendrickson is a writer and content creator in higher education communications. They earned their M.A. in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2021. In addition to their communications work, they are a published area studies scholar and Russian-to-English translator.