2024 Greg Gulick Excellence Award Winners Announced

The Greg Gulick Service Excellence Award has been awarded to Jennifer Sturner, Manager, Integrated User Services at the Office of the CIO and Bryan Jonker, Senior Web Developer, IT Partners at the College of Education. Congratulations to our winners! Learn more about our winners with a video.

The Greg Gulick Service Excellence Award is offered annually to IT professionals at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The award honors two university IT professionals who exemplify the late interim CIO, Joseph Gregory Gulick, and his commitment to servant leadership. Greg held the trust and respect of many. After he passed away in February 2021, the Office of the CIO created the Greg Gulick Service Excellence Award to honor him and the values he lived by. 

The award is given to those who excel in five areas: Collaboration and Teamwork, Leadership, Service and Dedication to others, Innovation in IT, and Attitude. Read more about the Greg Gulick Service Excellence Award. The 2024 winners were announced at the start of the 2024 Spring IT Pro Forum. 

The 2024 Greg Gulick Excellence Award Winners

Jennifer Sturner

Jennifer Sturner

Manager, Integrated User Services at Technology Services

Jennifer Sturner goes above and beyond her job duties to best lead and support the groups she’s involved with. Jennifer’s colleagues express that she is dedicated to breaking down barriers and fostering relationships within and outside of her unit. 

As a leader at the Technology Services Help Desk, she’s consistently dedicated to mentoring and coaching others to develop their skills, enabling many who began their IT careers under her care to succeed in their roles and to transition to other areas at the University. Under her leadership, the Help Desk won the Technology Services Team Excellence Award this year, an award given internally at the organization for teams that excel in their work. She also worked hard to improve access to the Help Desk by securing a new location in the Illini Union for the upcoming fall semester. 

Jennifer is also involved in a number of other groups and initiatives at the University. She has successfully implemented numerous additional initiatives such as the Help Desk Community of Practice (CoP), which has gathered ~50 IT professionals across the university to strategize how they can offer the most seamless service support. In addition, Jennifer has also driven the Student Shuffle Project from the creation of concept to completion, creating a single location for all student needs (advising, financial aid, tutoring, IT help, and more.) She also brings significant contributions to the IT Coucil’s End User Services subcommittee as co-chair; she’s a facilitator for the ManagerDev Program, serves on the Student Conduct Committee, facilitates portions of the I-Programs, and is the knowledge manager for Technology Services. 

Beyond her involvement in various campus groups, Jennifer is known for inspiring her colleagues to work in excellence, and fostering a culture of empowerment and growth in whatever group she leads or is involved with. Her influence goes beyond the formality of her role by impacting others with the life she lives. Her positivity, commitment to listening, empathy, coaching and mentorship, advocating for her staff, and growth mindset has earned her this year’s Greg Gulick Excellence Award. 

Bryan Jonker Headshot

Bryan Jonker

Senior Web Developer, IT Partners at the College of Education

Bryan Jonker, Senior Web Developer, IT Partners at the College of Education, is a wealth of knowledge he freely and happily uses to improve whatever initiatives he is a part of. Bryan is an active member of the Website Implementation Guidelines Group (WIGG), IT Partners, the Data Analytics Team, and regularly contributes to the Illinois Web Toolkit. The colleges and teams Bryan works with share that he has contributed approximately 50% of the coding power behind the Illinois Theme toolkit, and continues to contribute to and support new systems.  

Some other projects Bryan has worked on: a web-imbedded Course Explorer interface, a Directory system, and a static site generator that feeds several digital displays. He also created the infrastructure to allow content owners to easily edit their website copy and more in GitHub without needing extensive background knowledge. 

Bryan has also helped create the Help Desks page on the Illinois Tech Help Center, developed the Support Contact Application for IT Partners, and partnered with the Office of the CIO to implement upgrades to make the application work for help desks across the university. Additionally, Byran’s expertise leads him to regularly present at IT Pro Forum, the U of I Web Con, IT Caffeine breaks, and Accessibility Liaison meetings. He co-hosts Explore with Hadi accessibility meeting series, and is a mentor staff across the university. 

Colleagues say that Bryan is often top of mind when the IT community has a problem. He is known for approaching his projects without an ego, sharing knowledge, and listening to and considering the ideas of others. He is known for his patience, gentleness, thoughtfulness, collaborative spirit, and desire to share his immense knowledge while also being eager to learn, listen, and understand others to best meet their needs. These qualities and accomplishments have earned Bryan one of this year’s Greg Gulick Excellence Award.