Maureen Opalka has been named “Employee of the Quarter” at IUPUC for Q1, 2021. Since 2016, IUPUC has recognized an employee each quarter for contributions made during the previous three months that go above and beyond regular work responsibilities.
Opalka began working part-time at IUPUC in 2015 in the Office of Development, and has since taken on a full-time role supporting multiple organizations across campus, including Development, Alumni Relations, and Administration and Finance. Prior to coming to IUPUC, she spent 10 years as a Teacher’s Assistant at St. Bartholomew Catholic School, and two years at Ivy Tech Columbus.
In addition to her existing roles, when students returned to campus in the fall, Opalka became involved with the on-campus mitigation testing, jumping in with both feet forward, not only helping with the testing itself each day, but packaging up all of the tests and shipping them to the testing center. “Her great attitude, gracious acceptance of, and can-do attitude for newly-assigned duties is very much appreciated and noticed! Maureen even throws in some humor for our repeat patrons, making the testing enjoyable and fun,” wrote one of her nominators.
For her part, Opalka was surprised to be given the award. “It’s never a one-person thing. There are so many people who help,” Opalka said. “I really enjoy doing it, and it’s such a vital part of what has to happen for students to be on campus that I’m happy to be a part of it.”
Marsha VanNahmen from the Center for Teaching and Learning at IUPUC has worked alongside Opalka for several years and had this to say: “Those of us who work closely with Maureen day in and day out know she is a rock star who gets things done. Through her mitigation testing role, others across campus have also witnessed her leadership skills. Maureen brings enthusiasm, innovation, and energy to any and all her roles. I appreciate Maureen – we are lucky to have her as a valued colleague at IUPUC.”
Outside of IUPUC, Opalka and her husband Joe, are adjusting to an empty nest. Their daughter, Lauren, headed off to Muskingum University in Ohio last fall where she is majoring in Nursing and playing Division III volleyball for the Fighting Muskies. Their son, Connor, is a graduate of IU Bloomington, and is working in Operations at Raymond James HQ in St. Petersburg, Florida.
IUPUC’s Vice Chancellor and Dean, Reinhold Hill, appreciates the contribution that Opalka, and all of the people who help with mitigation testing make for the campus. “There are so many people who contributed to the success of our campus in the midst of the pandemic last fall that it is difficult to single out one person, however, Maureen’s positive attitude every day is what made her stand out in the minds of the nominators and the selection committee.”