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Funk Named OR STAR, Betzold Honored As Employee Of Year

Jesse Funk is almost always smiling.

JEss Funk

Jay Walsh, vice president for research, presents Jesse Funk with an honorary check at the June 22 staff appreciation luncheon.

“It’s infectious,” said Jay Walsh, vice president for research, during the Office for Research (OR) annual staff appreciation luncheon in June. “And it comes with a clear willingness to help.”

Funk, a post-approval monitoring (PAM) compliance analyst in the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) office, was honored June 22 with the summer 2017 OR STAR (Staff Team Award Recognition) Leadership Award.

“I was very surprised and grateful to receive this recognition,” said Funk. “ I didn’t even know I had been nominated and after hearing what the other finalists had accomplished, it was an honor to be included.”

As a PAM analyst in IACUC, one of more than a dozen specialized units within OR that facilitate Northwestern’s research enterprise, Funk trains new principal investigators and their lab members on the use of the University’s electronic protocol submission system. He also visits labs to ensure that the research complies with the lab’s approved animal study protocol and Northwestern policies.

IACUC provides regulatory guidance and support for the institution’s animal care program, facilities, and procedures. The office facilitates approved protocols and provides other high-quality services in support of cutting-edge research.

Funk joined Northwestern in January 2011 as a PAM program assistant and was promoted to PAM analyst in 2015. He played a major role in the rollout of eIACUC, the University’s electronic protocol management system, which launched in 2013.

During June’s event, Walsh recognized Funk as well as four other OR STAR Award nominees whose accomplishments earned distinction. They were Avi Neurohr, Dani Danijarsa, Edem Bassey Edem, and Bo Sofilj, all from OR Information Technology.

The event also recognized staff members who were celebrating service milestones anniversaries: Latosha Weathersby (5 years), Krista Harnish (5 years), Braden Van Buskirk (10 years), Jeri Gann (10 years), Noel Buenaventura (10 years), Charlette Cain (10 years), Danielle Stephens (10 years), Aaron DeLee (10 years), LaTisha Jude (10 years), Andrea Zakrzewski (10 years), Louise Roberts (10 years), Luis Samaniego (10 years), Borivoje Sofilj (10 years), Shaun Scott (15 years), Ruth Allee (15 years), and Thomas Whittenhall Jr (15 years).

The OR STAR program was designed to recognize OR employees who demonstrate leadership and support the Office for Research goals to achieve excellence at all levels. Nominees reflect the University’s values and promote a workplace culture that embraces collegiality, communication, compliance, customer focus, efficiency, and planning. The OR STAR Award includes a $300 cash prize.

IPR’s Betzold Named Employee of Year


Institute for Policy Research Business Administrator Eric Betzold has been named Northwestern’s Employee of the Year.

Institute for Policy Research (IPR) Business Administrator Eric Betzold has been named Northwestern’s Employee of the Year.

Betzold was recognized alongside five other finalists, including Danny Fisher, senior director of finance and administration at the Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO), during an event in June.

Since 1978, the Office of Human Resources has annually recognized employees who go “above and beyond” their normal duties and are “dedicated and effective.” Betzold is the 73rd employee to have received the award and the first from IPR. Nearly 6,000 people are employed at Northwestern.

“Eric is a key factor behind IPR’s recognized excellence,” said IPR Director David Figlio. “From staying late to execute a last-minute grant submission because a funder’s website is down to taking care of leaky basements, no problem is too big or too small. His discretion and efficacy means that most faculty are often completely unaware of the mountains that he has had to move to execute any number of complicated procedures.”