Longest-serving employee retiring, rewarded


Office Manager Pat Siebrasse looks up forms for a faculty member at the School of Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences in Wirtz Hall.

By Julia Layton

Pat Siebrasse is retiring after 50 years at NIU.

Siebrasse is the longest-serving employee at NIU and did all of her work in the school of family, consumer and nutrition sciences as an Office Manager. She said she remembers the Holmes Student Center was still being built when she started in 1962.

Siebrasse said the biggest change for her at NIU was the transition from typewriters to computers.

“The transition was not too difficult, as keyboards are basically the same,” Siebrasse said in an email. “Computers were much easier as you did not have to bother with carbon paper, erasures, dittos and all that stuff.”

The changes in the process of paperwork and hiring have also been big changes for Siebrasse during her time working for the university.

Siebrasse said she had many good experiences at NIU but one of the most amazing things that happened to her was the award made in her honor, the Patricia S. Siebrasse Administrative Professionals Award for Excellence.

“It’s very unexpected,” Siebrasse said.

The Administrative Professionals Advisory Council is finalizing the criteria for the award, said Steven Cunningham, vice president of human resources and compliance. The award may recognize the outstanding performance of administrative professionals at NIU who demonstrate commitment, efficiency and provide meaningful contributions.

Siebrasse’s ability to adapt to her work was critical because she was able to help others.

“Pat has a phenomenal knowledge of NIU procedures and practices,” said Mary Pritchard, interim dean for the college of health and human sciences. “She taught me how to develop schedules of classes, read NIU financial reports and navigate the NIU system.”

Pritchard said the best advice Siebrasse gave her was based on her example of being a loyal, consistent, dependable and competent person who treated everyone with respect.