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The Janice Watkins Award For Distinguished Civil Service

Janice Watkins

Janice served as President of the Staff Advisory Council, as well as having served on several UIC committees. Janice was employed by the university for over ten years. She also dedicated time to external activities, as she had a heart for the people in her community. Her earliest community service began while she attended DuSable High School. Janice was a charter member of the DuSable Museum and a volunteer at Englewood Hospital. Janice was virtually known by the entire UIC community.

Janice Watkins was hit by an automobile and tragically killed after leaving work on the evening of December 19, 1974. As a supervisor in the Insurance Office, a past president of the Nonacademic Employees’ Council (now known as the UIC Staff Advisory Council), and an active member of several University committees, she was familiar to virtually all of the campus community.

For years, the UIC Staff Advisory Council had asked that some kind of recognition be given for distinguished civil service. Upon the death of Janice Watkins, the council requested that the University recognize her passing with a suitable memorial. It was decided to institute the Award for Distinguished Civil Service as a memorial to Janice and her dedication to her coworkers, fellow employees, and the total University community.

Distinguished Civil Service

The design for the award is based on three interlocking components signifying the unity of students, faculty, and staff that make up the whole of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Each individual group is an inseparable and integral part of UIC, and the circular design reinforces this idea.

As an integral part of the University, the contributions of civil service employees are essential to maintaining operations provided by the campus. In addition to dealing with administrative processes, their duties include food service, utility service, health service, landscaping, safety, repair work, and much more. Just as there are outstanding students and faculty who are identified by their extraordinary humanity, diligence, and dedication, there are Civil Service employees who shall also be recognized as exceptional people.


  1. To bring to the attention of the University community the achievements of its basic but less visible group;
  2. To show that support staff can and do demonstrate dedication to people as well as to the required task;
  3. To give exceptional support staff the gratitude of the University and the recognition of their peers in the form of the JANICE WATKINS AWARD.

Submit your nomination for the 2024 Janice Watkins Award due by 11:59pm, Friday,  May 31, 2024

Janice Watkins Award Screening Committee Heading link

These nomination forms and letters of recommendation are given to a screening committee consisting of Civil Service employees to review for eligibility. When these are received, the committee selects a maximum of three candidates who are qualified to receive this award. They present the results to the Staff Advisory Council and Human Resources for review. The Council forwards to the Chancellor for final approval.  The Chancellor presents the Janice Watkins Award for Distinguished Civil Service each year in November. Please contact if you wish to be a 2024 Screening Committee Member.

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