Nancy Connolly is known for her strong work ethic and kindness. She is so well respected in her department that several of her colleagues nominated her for the 2024 Robert E. Turner Award.

In their nomination, they said, “Nancy is a person who will give 150% to her job, the Finance Department and Moraine Valley Community College. She exemplifies the college’s core values in so many ways. She takes her responsibilities to heart, treats everyone with fairness and respect and gives everyone the benefit of the doubt. Her integrity shines through day after day.”

Connolly was nominated by Katrina Carline, director of Payroll; Michael Cipolla, controller; Luann Hamernik, grant accountant; Judy Healy, accounting systems analyst; Denise Jecmen, accounting assistant; Janine Kraft, accounts payable manager; and Melissa Walaszczyk, staff accountant.

Since coming to Moraine Valley, Connolly has worked in the Finance Department. She has served in her current position since July 2023. In this role, she handles all administrative tasks for her supervisor, assists with any board-related materials and college investments, as well as answers incoming calls.

Before taking on this role, she was the budget assistant for the Accounting Department, where she helped the controller with the college’s financial reporting and budget.

“In my current role, I get to work with the office as a whole, and I have more contact with other people within our division, which is nice. I also get to talk to a lot of people across campus,” Connolly said.

Her nominators note she always has a smile on her face and a cheerful outlook, and she willingly puts in extra hours when needed to ensure her tasks are completed and the Finance Department meets its deadlines.

They also said Connolly is the cheerleader of the department and, during hectic times, such as the end of the fiscal year or when they are conducting an annual audit, she often shows up with surprise treats for her co-workers. Doing so brings Connolly as much joy as it does them.

“It can get stressful, and when people are juggling multiple things, you have to take a timeout to destress a bit. When everyone is going full speed ahead, it’s nice to let them know ‘you’re crushing it.’ I really appreciate them, and if I can give them a little bit of joy, that’s a good thing. I know they would do the same for me – and they have. It’s a very collaborative and cooperative environment,” Connolly said.

Last year, the Finance Department had four retirements, and her nominators said Connolly took on the additional workload of several missing positions. As a consummate team player, she helped make sure the yearly audit ran smoothly, and worked tirelessly on making sure the college’s year-end reports were completed and submitted by critical deadlines, along with doing her own daily work.

When the department hired new staff members, Connolly again stepped in. Her nominators expressed that she is exceptional with new employees because she welcomes everyone who comes in the department and gives her time and energy to help them be successful.

They also noted that Connolly feels so strongly about helping students succeed and making sure their needs are met that, even after taking on extra work, she chose to serve as the department’s Employee Giving Campaign coordinator this year, as she has each year since she joined the college.

Upon learning she had been named the recipient of this year’s Robert E. Turner Award, she said, “I was a little gobsmacked! It was surprising and incredibly humbling. For my colleagues, who I know work as hard as I do, to give me that kind of acknowledgement was very special and kind. I’m so incredibly grateful, and I’m lucky to work at such a great place.”