For nearly 17 years, Tamima Farooqui has dedicated her time, talents and passion to helping students, coworkers and the community through her positions at the college. That service and excellence earned her the Nancy Blane Guerra Award.

Farooqui began her career at Moraine Valley at the end of 2007 as a job resource specialist in the Job Resource Center. For over a decade, she worked with students to help them articulate their skills to find meaningful work. She also helped employers and human resources (HR) professionals from local and regional companies find their next hires at the college. In 2019, she earned the Embracing Diversity Award.

Within the last few years, she became the employment equity manager in HR and added interim director of the department to her title at the start of the year. She’s doing two jobs and, according to her nominators, still puts in the same level of excellence to do more than just get the work done.

“Where she already was used to hard work throughout her career at the college, she has been absolutely working extra, extra hard since taking on this second, very demanding role,” said nominator Holly Katavich, manager of compensation and HRIS. “She works many late nights answering the emails she was unable to address during the day due to many meetings and other duties because she doesn’t want to ever miss responding to even a single person who seeks her help and guidance.”

As interim director, Farooqui handles the needs and issues of more than 1,000 college employees, conducts searches for open positions, leads interviews and addresses the changing federal and state laws, among many tasks. Anyone who has worked with Farooqui knows her strong work ethic and dependability even while juggling multiple responsibilities.

“Tamima exemplifies the eight expectations of college staff through her daily interactions and professionalism in her role. When you think of Tamima, words like positive, upbeat, self-starter and effective leader come quickly to mind. She is the utmost professional in every aspect of her work at the college,” said nominator Kristy McGreal, executive director of the Foundation. “She has a unique ability to remain composed, approachable and thoughtful in her dealing with employees and volunteers regardless of the topic of conversation. She can move fluidly throughout the day from one project to the next. She frequently volunteers to assist at events hosted by various departments and helps in any way she can.”

Katavich added, “Tamima is a model Moraine Valley employee who consistently goes above and beyond. I have known her since her first days at the college, and I truly believe her dedication and strong work ethic are second to none. I cannot even begin to explain how hard Tamima is currently working, as she truly cares deeply about the college and its students, employees and the community it serves. She works so hard because she cares. Tamima is a valuable asset to the Human Resources Office and to Moraine Valley.”

Even with her need to wear many hats, Farooqui is still passionate about the shared mission of the college – to empower students to thrive and excel. She finds joy in recruiting eager faculty and staff who share this commitment.

“Together, we have the power to shape the future of our communities, unlocking the potential within each and every individual we encounter whether student or staff,” she said. “This motivates me to keep going. We are here for the students, but we also are here for each other in whatever role we play. We can make a profound difference!”

As for winning this award, that was not even on her radar. But it still humbled this dedicated employee who gave credit to her coworkers.

“I am absolutely thrilled and profoundly grateful to have been selected as the recipient of this incredible award, which really is a testament to the unwavering dedication and support of my extraordinary HR team and Moraine Valley colleagues,” Farooqui commented. “It’s an immense honor to be a member of this remarkable college.”