Most college students throw their caps in the air and proclaim their newfound
freedom on graduation day. Pam shared in this thrill with her graduating class,
but she also came to make the University her home after graduation.
Pam began her career at Lewis as a student worker in the Office of Admission
while earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting. After graduation, she
was hired as a clerk in the Office of Financial Aid Services. During this time
she also took advantage of the University’s tuition program and completed
During her fourteen years at Lewis, Pam has progressed through various positions
within the Office of Financial Aid Services, including Counselor, Coordinator,
Assistant Director, and Associate Director. She recently was promoted to Bursar
in the Business Office, where she oversee the management of student billing,
accounts receivables and collections.
She believes that being a Lewis alumna makes her more valuable to the University.
She can relate to the students and offer firsthand knowledge to them and their
families of what their college career and experiences will be like.
Pam loves what she calls the “seasonality of her job…the different
and defined cycles of the academic year and the natural progression of students”.
She feels it is very rewarding to watch a student go from the infancy stage
of their college career to the point when they achieve their goals and dreams.
Pam believes that the greatest benefit of working at Lewis is the feeling
of community and being part of something bigger than yourself or your department.
She also appreciates the fact that Lewis employees put students first. “We
explain why we do what we do and walk the students through the process,” she
says. “We recognize every moment as an opportunity to teach.”
Dr. Erin Zimmer has been teaching full-time at Lewis University since the
fall of 2004. Erin had previously taught as an adjunct instructor at Concordia
University and was a technical specialist at a biotechnology company. An Assistant
Professor of Biology, her specialty is genetics. She also teaches molecular
and cellular biology, and recently developed a course called the Biology of
Erin was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of the student population here
at Lewis. This diversity and the different perspectives that students bring
to the learning environment have been exciting. She has learned so much from
them. In addition to the academic rewards, Erin has also discovered another
reason why there is such longevity among University employees.
When Erin started at Lewis she had no idea what to expect, but she quickly
learned what others already knew so well. “Lewis has much to offer, but
one of the things I found most appealing was the welcoming environment. There
is a great deal of effort on the part of faculty and staff to make you feel
connected,” she says. “A lot of organizations can’t say that.
It’s different here. People are very devoted and involved in all facets
of the community. There is so much value placed on interaction and the development
of relationships…from social events, to community gatherings to discussion
groups. The opportunities are endless.”
Erin also was very impressed by the fact that the person she replaced, after
27 years at the University, still comes back frequently to visit. “It
made me realize what a great decision I had made.”
Upon first glance you would assume Melissa’s office belongs to someone
in Marketing or Promotions. She has Lewis University memorabilia everywhere,
from the pictures on the wall, to the books and stuffed animals on the shelves,
to the trinkets on her desk. It is the office however, of someone who is simply
very proud to work here. As Melissa states, “I think I am the biggest
LU fan…and it is important to demonstrate school spirit all year long! “
Melissa began her career at the university in 1997, but her history dates
back to the time she spent here as an undergraduate student. After graduating
in 1988 she worked in her family business for several years and then became
a Substitute Teacher. She loved working in the educational field, but wanted
something with more stability. Lewis gave her the opportunity she had been
looking for. She characterizes it as “the best move I ever made”.
Melissa started as a Administrative Assistant in the Accelerated Program. She has been Data
Processing Assistant, Coordinator of the Service Desk and the Media Coordinator
under a Title III grant. She is currently the Assistant Director of Teaching,
Learning, and Technology Services. She is responsible for Blackboard and for
helping faculty incorporate technology into the classroom. “I love working
with people and with technology. This position gives me the opportunity to
do both. The best part of the job is the “aha” moments; the point
when faculty realize how important technology is and they learn to apply it
in the classroom”, she says.
Melissa, a graduate of the first cohort offered at Lewis in the Masters in
Organizational Leadership program, was a beneficiary of the tuition assistance
benefit. According to Melissa, it is a great benefit and one that fits in with
her commitment to lifelong learning. Although she is appreciative of this type
of benefit, she still believes that one of the most wonderful things about
the university is the people. “Not many folks are fortunate enough to
say they can get up in the morning and truly enjoy going to work. I can. No
matter what is happening in my life, business or personal, I know that I am
“It’s a place where people want to come to work; you work a majority of your life and you have to enjoy what you’re doing, and I feel like that’s what I’m doing here.” After graduating from Lewis with a Bachelor’s degree in math and psychology, Erica had always hoped to come back and teach here one day. A former preschool teacher, Erica has taught students of all ages but prefers teaching at the college level.
As an Assistant Professor of Elementary Education, she enjoys giving her students ideas, methods, and strategies that they can incorporate into their own classrooms. Erica states, “I feel like at the college level, I have more of a chance to have an impact on what education looks like at the elementary school level because I’m teaching future teachers.”
Erica taught at Joliet Junior College for many years, but had her sight set on teaching at Lewis. She was drawn to the family-like culture and small class sizes because it provided her the opportunity to get to know her students at a personal level. She mentions, “I feel like here, it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality; it’s more about the quality of the education and the quality of the courses and the teaching.”
She was pleasantly surprised that people at Lewis University treat each other with a Lasallian approach and are always willing to offer assistance. She feels a strong connection to the Lewis community and enjoys working as a team with her department. Erica explains, “You just feel like the people here are part of your extended family.” <
Erica looks forward to the annual Faculty Recognition dinner, which showcases the research, publications, and other accomplishments that faculty members have achieved throughout the year. She feels that it is “so remarkable that Lewis has such a respect for its faculty.”
One of her favorite parts about working at Lewis is seeing her old professors around campus. She loves seeing that her former professors still work at Lewis and she enjoys interacting with them as her colleagues now. “That means that Lewis is a good place to be and people want to stay here...that speaks volumes to me,” Erica says.