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UIC Alum Recognized For Lifetime Of Volunteer Work
A fixture at UIC for 40 years, Conrad Pomykala is the epitome of selfless service. So it was no surprise to those who know him that he was recently recognized with the Lou Liay Spirit Award for Extraordinary Service.
A member of the Community Engagement Advisory Board, part of the CCTS Community Engagement and Research Core (CERC), Pomykala helps provide consultation for faculty members, as well as doctoral and post-doctoral students, or research intended to engage community members.
“Conrad is indeed an extraordinary alum of UIC, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving for this award, says CERC Director Carol Ferrans. “We’ve been fortunate to have Conrad serve on the CCTS Community Engagement Advisory Board for several years, and we’ve all been impressed with his energy and generosity. Just amazing.”
“I came to campus in 1972 as a freshman and did not leave until I retired in 2010…and of course I still volunteer around here,” Pomykala says. ‘I’ve always been interested in service and volunteer for a few groups off campus as well. As a student I was a leader in several student organizations, so continuing on as an alum was an easy decision.”
Pomykala is a 1987 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) and a `1991` graduate of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs. (CUPPA)
The first half of his UIC career was in the Student Center East, in the Building Operations Department. In 1990 he “traded back” to blue-collar work, becoming a locksmith in Facilities Management. He greatly enjoys a quote from Albert Einstein: “If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith.”
Arlene Norsym, vice president and associate chancellor for alumni affairs at UIC, notes the Pomykala has helped build playgrounds in under developed neighborhoods, hosted honorees a Alumni V dinners, organized campus and alumni volunteers for the “Experience UIC” event and continues to manage the alumni judge volunteers at the Student Research forum every spring. He also is a dedicated blood and platelet donor, having made more than 400 donations at the UIC Blood Drive Center during the past 25 years.
He was a founding member of both the LAS and CUPPA alumni constituent boards at UIC and held many offices in each group over the years.
“I volunteer on campus because it has been the de facto center of my world; I met both my wives here, have other family members who are alumni, and have lived in the community for decades. Another plus is that there are so many ways to help here. There’s no tight focus as in most single-issue causes.”
ResearchMatch offers monthly researcher training on the Web
ResearchMatch, brought to UIC investigators by the CCTS, now has over 22,000 research volunteers nationwide – and is delivering Researcher Training to you on the Web. Held on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 2 pm, you can learn the ins-and-outs of using this national registry for your clinical research. Registration is required: https://student.gototraining.com/rt/8665119536011522560. After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the training. The training can be attended more than once, and by as many of your staff as you'd like.