Every month the Administrative/Professional (A/P) Council highlights an A/P staff member through a series of questions as another way for the Illinois State community to connect. This month readers can get to know a few A/P members as we introduce the newest members of the Administrative/Professional Council.
What is your job title and responsibilities?
Derrek Drenckpohl: As an academic advisor and instructional assistant professor in the School of Teaching and Learning, I work with elementary and bilingual education majors in developing their plans of study and navigating the teacher licensure process. I also teach secondary education coursework.
Chelley Jackson: As the associate director of systems and compliance for the Financial Aid Office, I am responsible for major aspects of the financial aid operation including the data processing management system, operating procedures, data request, and compliance with state and federal regulations.
Emily Nafziger: As coordinator of marketing and communications for the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, I get the opportunity to promote the great civic engagement work taking place both at the Center and across campus. I manage the Center’s social media, write news articles, send our weekly email newsletter, encourage students to attend our events, and occasionally decorate our conference room window.
Amy Secretan: As an honors program coordinator, I am responsible for recruitment and outreach to prospective honors students. I also coordinate freshman honors admissions, supervise the Honors Community Assistant team and the Honors Alternative Spring Break.
How long have you been an employee at Illinois State?
Derrek: 4 years
Chelley: 10 years
Emily: I’m a newbie! I started at Illinois State just over 9 months ago.
Amy: Since August 2010
What do you love most about working at Illinois State?
Derrek: I love working in a teacher preparation program and helping future teachers develop their professional identities and skills. My colleagues in TCH and across campus are also incredible, and I enjoy working in such a collaborative environment.
Chelley: The thing I love most about Illinois State University is the relationships that I have built with faculty, staff, and students.
Emily: In my relatively short time at Illinois State, the one thing that has stood out the most is the supportive and encouraging nature of my new colleagues. As I’m slowly meeting people across campus, it has become more and more obvious that the faculty and staff here are truly the best.
Amy: The people! I am so very blessed to work with an amazing group of colleagues from all different areas of campus. I’ve worked with so many people over the years in different capacities, and I love walking across campus and seeing friendly faces at every turn. It truly makes ISU feel like home.
When you’re not working, what are you most likely doing?
Derrek: Spending time with family, as I have two under three, or sitting in an ISU classroom as I am completing a doctorate in educational administration and foundations. If I still have time after that, I love to fish, hike, and travel.
Chelley: When I am not working I am most likely spending time with family and friends.
Emily: An added bonus of starting my job at Illinois State was that it brought me back to Normal and closer to my hometown. When I’m not working, I’m typically snuggling my cats, spending time with family and friends, or looking for new opportunities to spoil my nieces and nephews.
Amy: Reading! I love losing myself in a good book, fiction or non-fiction and everything in between. I just finished The Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodsky, and Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.
What is your favorite spot on campus?
Derrek: The Quad. Seeing the Quad buzzing with student activity always makes me grateful to work on a college campus.
Chelley: My favorite spot on campus is the Quad. The Quad is beautiful, and I feel like it is the heart of the campus. On any given day you can see people out and about making their way to class, enjoying a little sunshine or eating lunch.
Emily: I really enjoy the Center’s small building on the edge of campus, but my favorite spot would have to be the Quad. It’s just beautiful.
Amy: It used to be the old atrium in the Bone Student Center, but now I think it’s going to be a cozy chair by the three-story fireplace.
What are you most looking forward to in your first term on A/P Council?
Derrek: I am excited to get to know the other A/P Council members and gain a better understanding of all the work A/Ps do outside of my professional area.
Chelley: I am looking forward to meeting more faculty and staff members while becoming more involved with things that are happening on campus.
Emily: I’m excited about the opportunity to meet new colleagues across campus. I’m also really looking forward to learning more about the University, its shared governance model, and the A/P Council itself.
Amy: Learning a lot of new things, and finding ways I can help give back and contribute to Illinois State in new and different ways.