Being pulled in multiple directions at one time while working the front desk in Academic Advising doesn’t inundate Helen Dunne. But being named this year’s recipient of the Part-Time Employee Service Award, well, that did overwhelm her.

“I was so excited when I learned I was nominated,” said Dunne, who has worked at Moraine Valley since 2012. “I didn’t expect to be nominated, let alone get the award. It was really nice.”

Dunne, Departmental Assistant in Academic Advising, brings to the position an “exemplary work ethic,” a “positive attitude,” and “organizational skills” that keep the Academic Advising department running smoothly, said her nominators. “To work at the front desk is not an easy task because whomever is manning the front desk gets pulled in five different directions. I can say with confidence that we are lucky to have Helen in Academic Advising.”

What is Dunne’s trade secret to effectively getting the job done in an office that during various times of the year can be quite hectic? “I try my best to stay focused and manage my time the best I can,” said Dunne, whose responsibilities include greeting and signing in students to meet with advisors, setting up appointments  for priority advising, registering students for orientation, and answering general inquiries both in the office and on the phone.

Dunne’s ability to stay focused on the task at hand helps keep her organized as well. “I focus on one person at a time from start to finish,” she said. “I think that’s better than quick information to a bunch of people at the same time. I give people my full attention because that’s what I would like if I were the one needing help.”

She also never hesitates to ask questions. “Helen is always willing to learn about new programs, resources and ask questions to clarify her understanding of programs and policies so she can better serve our student population,” a nominator said.

Dunne’s nominators said as a team player, she has “consistently demonstrated commitment to the college’s Eight Expectations by her behavior and spoken words during her interactions with staff, faculty, parents, students, and community members.” Another nominator added, “Helen is always willing to work on team projects. She is flexible in her ability and willingness to work on new tasks on short notice, and she goes above and beyond when she helps students.”

Dunne said she really enjoys her position at the college, especially because of the interaction she has with students.

“I get the most satisfaction when I see how much the Academic Advising office can do to help the students achieve their goals,” she said. “One of my favorite parts of the job is when a student meets with an advisor and walks past my desk with a smile on their face because they just got the help they needed.”

The position brings Dunne something new every day she works. “I also enjoy this job because it’s never boring,” she said. “Things are always evolving, and I am always learning.”