March 19, 2012

Events Chair Agnes Kawalec Creates Opportunities to Learn About Work Environment, Network

Agnes Kawalec shows her UIC loyalty at Machu Picchu, Peru.

By Ivone De Jesus

AGNES KAWALEC is Center Coordinator at the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS). Located in the Medical Administration Building, CCTS has three overarching mandates: Education, Research Support, and Facilitation of Novel and Collaborative Approaches to Clinical Translational Research. Kawalec has worked at UIC for four years, previously as Projects Coordinator in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics.

“I LOVE my job because of the people I work with, a group of enthusiastic and driven individuals who create a very dynamic and nurturing environment-- a dreamland for those who want to continuously acquire new skills and evolve,” Kawalec said. She enjoys the variety in her job, from complex finance reports to budget creation to facilities management.

WHILE SHE enjoys her work, traveling is her passion. “I always find time to grab a backpack and go places,” Kawalec said. “My biggest adventure was walking the entire night in rain and darkness to reach Machu Picchu [Peru] in the morning.”

KAWALEC BECAME an AP because she wanted to have an impact on the decisions made by UIC Administration that affect APs. She is very impressed by the way Chairman Michael Moss leads the committee and proud of the pension petition initiative. “A petition has been signed by over 6,200 University employees and retirees, as well as their family, friends, colleagues, and other supporters, to demand that their elected officials oppose pension legislation such as Senate Bill 512 that would increase employee contributions or reduce pension benefits for current annuitants of Illinois' State Universities Retirement System” (SURS), Kawalec said. “It was sent to officials in the Illinois Senate and House.”

AS CHAIR of the Community Building and Events Committee, she would like to host more events to “create opportunities for APs to not only learn more about what is happening at UIC, but also to interact more with APAC and draw new members to our organization.” In addition, she thinks APAC should organize more professional development opportunities for UIC APs.

KAWALEC RECOMMENDS that APs come to APAC meetings and join a committee. She added, “I would like to thank APAC members for being so enthusiastic in their roles and for picking up my duties while I was on maternity leave.”

SHE AND her husband, Darek, welcomed a son, Alexander, on Dec. 19, 2011. She divides her days and nights between joys of motherhood and loving her job, all while dreaming of taking her son for a trip around the world when “he is old enough to appreciate the beauty of all of it.”

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