A simple piece of advice stands out to Nancy Brown as she reflects on her 22 years in NIU’s Building Services Department – Grow where you’re planted.
Those words came from a person Brown got to know in the College of Law through many years of working in Swen Parson Hall. Brown used the thought as motivation to move beyond hesitations she once had about getting involved to transform into someone who felt encouraged to affect the world.
From her everyday role in support of students and faculty needs, to a being key member of the university’s Operating Staff Council, to serving the community as a volunteer, Brown has made an indelible impact in and around NIU. All of those contributions recently earned Brown a 2017 Operating Staff Outstanding Service Award.
Brown is modest, but grateful for the recognition. She mentions the many others serve NIU in a similar way as part of the university’s backbone. While Brown enjoys her contributions to events such as StaffFest, she relishes seeing students grow and develop before her eyes.
“You’re kind of watching their success stories unfold,” she explained. “We’re all connected, we’re a community.”
Her dedication to students amid a challenging schedule of job responsibilities doesn’t go unnoticed.
“It is often said that one of the most influential persons in a student’s life is a building services worker. They are there on a daily basis to lend a hand, to help celebrate the victories and bring compassion and understanding to the tragedies,” said Andy Small, chair of the employee advisory committee to the civil service board. “Nancy is that person. And she prides herself on being that person.”
Outside of work, Brown, an NIU alum, gives her time as a Court Appointed Special Advocate and through her church – just two of the things she believes follow her “servant’s heart.”
“Nancy is an exemplary employee and displays great dedication not only to her job, but also the university as a whole, as well as her community,” Holly Nicholson, president of the operating staff council, wrote of Brown. “Nancy sets a great example to the university community and is a Huskie through and through.”