Gary Kelly Staff Excellence Award

The Department of Physics established the Gary Kelly Staff Excellence Award in 2019 to recognize staff members for outstanding job performance and dedication to the department. Civil-service and academic-professional staff members who have served a minimum of two years in their current role are eligible to be nominated for this award; nominations may be made by any Illinois Physics faculty or staff member. This award is made possible by a generous gift from Illinois Physics alumnus and donor Gary Kelly (MS, 1974).

Nominations can be emailed to Jennifer Jorstad.



Janice Benner "for her outstanding work as the Office Administrator of the Institute for Condensed Matter Theory by assisting faculty, students, postdocs and visitors, and organizing seminars and workshops.  Her work ethic, positive attitude, and initiative has made ICMT a great success."

Denise Donnelly "for her abiding commitment to excellence in the Department of Physics, for her dedication to taking care of everyone who crosses her threshold with a question or problem, and for her positive attitude and collaborative spirit."

Kelly Sturdyvin "for his innovative and tireless service in providing liquid helium at affordable cost for the world-class research carried out in the Departments of Physics and Chemistry, in the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, and in the Nuclear Physics Laboratories."


Margie Gamel “for demonstrating the highest level of dedication to the Department of Physics and contributing steadfastly behind the scenes to its successes through her diligence, service-mindedness, and high standards of performance, and for exhibiting thoughtfulness, selflessness, and positive morale even in the busiest of times, contributing to a positive departmental climate.”

Rebecca Wiltfong “for developing and supporting innovative instructional solutions that impact thousands of students every semester, and for doing this with a joy and spirit that helps make the Department of Physics such a wonderful place to work.”

Wendy Wimmer “for her many tireless and patient efforts on behalf of physics graduate students, faculty, and staff, which have set the highest standards of dedicated professionalism and caring service to the physics community.”