Empowering campus to say ‘thanks’

Do you know a student who dedicates hours to helping others or an employee who takes extra steps to make sure the job is done well?wow logo

All members of the UIC community can now present a WOW award to faculty, staff and students who go above the call of duty.

“There are so many good people to recognize — we’re empowering the whole campus to say ‘thank you’ in this very public way,” said Arlene Norsym, vice president of the U of I Alumni Association and UIC associate chancellor for alumni relations.

The WOW Award, established in 2005 by the UIC Alumni Relations Council, was previously presented by a volunteer group of employees known as the “WOW Patrol.”

WOW Patrol volunteers surprised winners with impromptu celebrations, complete with noisemakers, certificates, “I MAKE A DIFFERENCE” pins and balloons.

“The WOW Patrol members are engaged members of the UIC community who have very full jobs but they took time to spread joy and recognize the spirit of service at UIC,” Norsym said.

In the past, nominations were solicited and a committee met periodically to select recipients and arrange for surprise presentations. Nearly 500 members of the UIC community have received WOW awards.

There were many deserving nominees who went unrecognized because of the number of nominations, Norsym said.

Now, anyone can print out a WOW certificate and present it to members of the UIC community.

“The award recognizes and encourages outstanding individuals who make a habit of making someone’s day,” Norsym said. “Those people who make an exceptional effort to build good relationships, and demonstrate their concern for, and their support of, others by providing service above and beyond expectations. They deserve to be recognized for it.”

Students and employees who recognize someone with an award can print the certificate, then put their own spin on a celebratory presentation. WOW Award presenters should send an email to Norsymwith the name of the student or employee honored and the date of the WOW presentation.

Post photos of award presentations to the UIC Facebook.


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