The Civil Service Council will feature a civil service employee at Illinois State University each month to highlight an exceptional colleague and the outstanding work being done on campus! This month get a chance to learn about and applaud Shayla Dennis from Event Management Dining & Hospitality.

What is your position on campus and how long have you been with the University?

I currently work for Event Management Dining and Hospitality (EMDH) as an Assistant Chef and I am working in one of the dining centers on campus, Marketplace at Linkins Dining Center. During my undergraduate studies at ISU, I worked at Watterson Dining Center and John Green building. After graduation I started working as extra-help and then became full-time for the department summer of 2015 and I have been with the department ever since.   

What do you find most rewarding about your work?
What I find rewarding is getting to interact with our frontline and student staff daily. I have enjoyed getting to know them and learn from them. With the students I know we only get to interact with them for a short period of time, it is always good seeing them grow and evolve each semester. Also, I have always love working around food because it is an industry that will continue to grow and change.  

What are your hobbies or favorite past-time?
One of my favorite hobbies is cooking, I enjoy trying new recipes and reading cookbooks. I also enjoy going out to eat, trying new restaurants, hanging with my family and friends. Another hobby/past-time I have is going on walks, it really helps with clearing my mind.   

What else would you like others to know about you or your time at ISU?

I remember when I was younger and my aunt was a part of the Multicultural center, I would walk around campus with her and attend different events that were hosted by the Multicultural center. I knew one day I would attend the university, I just never thought I would work for the university as well. I have seen so many different changes and I truly have enjoyed meeting so many people as well.  

More about Shayla from Allan Weddle, Assistant Director, Marketplace at Linkins:

Shayla Dennis  is an outstanding team mate! Her dedication to go over and above to ensure that the students have a great experience is remarkable. Shayla wears many hats. Her primary job is to procure everything that we need in order to feed our Dining Center guests. This means EVERTHING. She orders food, drink, paper products, cleaning supplies, small wares, office supplies, COVID- related supplies and has to deal with out of stocks ( which has drastically increased since COVID began) and trying to find appropriate substitutions. Shayla coordinates food donations during shut-down, too. Secondarily , Shayla fills the opening Administrator’s duties when she is off, Unit Chef responsibilities when he is off, Customer Service Administrator duties when one isn’t in the building and will come in and help work dinner and close when needed. Shayla has done all of this while taking classes and receiving her Master’s Degree. Another amazing attribute is that Shayla does this all with a smile and a great sense of humor that helps morale in the dining center. She is 200% focused on taking care of the students here at ISU and I am blessed to have her work at Marketplace in Linkins Dining Center!