Jodi Marneris is passionate, considerate, detail-oriented, engaging and a talented storyteller. For these reasons, and so many more, she is receiving the Nancy Blane Guerra Award.

First and foremost, Marneris loves talking with students and telling their stories. She is a strong writer with a natural ability to make people feel comfortable and open up during an interview. Through their conversation, she engages and encourages them, leaving an indelible mark on their experience and time at Moraine Valley. She is the driving force behind the college’s Story Wall, a microsite where student stories are featured. She also is instrumental in promoting alumni success stories and the Alumni Hall of Fame. Without her, many heartfelt stories about the college, students, employees and alumni would not exist.

Marneris is a team player who is innovative and always willing to step outside her comfort zone to see a project to successful completion. She is full of new, creative ideas on how to improve everything from college events to publications and videos, and she is never afraid to share them. She takes initiative in everything she does, including her professional development. If she comes across a skill set she is not familiar with, she dives in headfirst and is always willing to learn.

For example, several years ago she volunteered to originate the college’s Twitter account despite having little knowledge of social media. She learned the platform and fostered its growth to more than 3,700 followers today. Under her lead, the Twitter account won national educational advertising and digital marketing awards in 2013 and 2014.

“Jodi’s willingness to take on difficult projects and see them to successful completion has repeatedly impressed me over the years,” said one of her five nominators. “She is always willing to go above and beyond on every project she is involved with, and has shown her dedication to the college and its mission through her excellent work and positive attitude.”

Marneris possesses a unique ability to make people feel special. She projects a warm, cheerful attitude to staff and students. She resolves conflicts and handles other difficult situations with remarkable patience and admirable tact. She embraces every day head on, and her love for Moraine Valley is unmistakable. Her dedication to the college in her 14 years here has touched everyone in the work she has produced.

Another nominator said Marneris shows up to work with dedication the minute she steps out of her car. “She will stop whatever she is doing to help someone. She volunteers to help out wherever she can, and she is always out and about with a huge, welcoming smile on her face. She will run from one side of the campus to the other to help a student find what they are looking for.”

Upon learning she won the award, Marneris said she was at a loss for words, which is rare. “What a blessing to have been given so many opportunities to grow with and learn from the incredibly talented and supportive people with whom I work, and to be recognized for my contributions — it’s just such an incredible feeling. I’m grateful and humbled.”

“Jodi’s outlook on life is something we all should aspire to. She is an excellent employee, a huge asset to our department and college, and is so deserving of this award and recognition. She loves people, works hard, and every day tries to lift the spirits of those around her. I believe these characteristics represent all that is good at our institution,” said one of her nominators.