Susan Hall-Perdomo still remembers the excitement — and trepidation — as she rounded the Sheridan Road curve ahead of workday No. 1 at Northwestern University.
It was 1987: a gallon of gas cost 90 cents, Ronald Reagan was nearing the end of his presidency, and Hall-Perdomo had just purchased a shiny new Dodge Charger hatchback.
“For the past 30 years I’ve been driving to work at the same university, interrupted only by a couple of maternity leaves that I now barely remember,” says Hall-Perdomo, manager at the Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology. “Working at a University Research Center has meant collaborating with a team that shares the same goals. It’s been a rewarding experience that has led to some amazing relationships.”
Another big reason for staying at Northwestern into a fourth decade, “I’m still smiling,” she says.
Hall-Perdomo, pictured at left, will join four other Northwestern Research staff members — including one nominated for Employee of the Year — being honored May 30 at the 41st Annual Staff Service Recognition Luncheon.
“The foundation of Northwestern’s excellence is the people who advance the ambitious work of our University,” says Pamela Beemer, vice president and chief human resources officer. “Each year, we take time to recognize staff who have dedicated many years of service to Northwestern, as well as to announce the Employee of the Year.”
Since 1978, the Office of Human Resources has annually recognized outstanding employees who frequently go “above and beyond” their normal duties.
“Chad was actively involved in so many aspects of NUANCE’s successes this past year that his being honored is beyond warranted,” says Vinayak Dravid, the Abraham Harris Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and founding director of NUANCE. “Chad remains a tireless advocate for science, engineering, and innovation, and he is committed to sharing the joys of discovery with undergraduate students and underrepresented groups, as well as with alumni, parents, and others through the visual appeal of NUANCE imaging.”
Goeser joined Northwestern in 2012, when he started as a financial assistant with NUANCE. His role with the center has increased as the center has grown. In 2015, NUANCE led a successful bid to join the National Science Foundation’s National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure network, a federal program that supports connecting state-of-the-art centers and expertise with regional academic, governmental, commercial, and not-for-profit research organizations. The five-year, $5 million award established the Soft and Hybrid Nanotechnology Experimental (SHyNE) Resource.
“The NUANCE team is committed to providing a positive, collaborative environment for discovery, and I try every day to match their creative energy,” says Goeser. “As Northwestern remains committed to excellence, I find myself motivated to support the University’s mission of discovery and inclusion.”
NUANCE, SHyNE, and the Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology are among Northwestern’s 53 University Research Institutes and Centers, cross-disciplinary knowledge hubs designed to bring together talent from across the University's schools.
Northwestern established NUANCE in 2001 to integrate complementary analytical instruments and characterization capabilities at the University.
Goeser’s official nomination for employee of the year cited many achievements, including his role in helping NUANCE take delivery of two high-tech, multimillion-dollar instruments that required exquisite control over the local environment to account for phenomena such as vibrations and acoustic noise. He was lauded as having shepherded these unique installations in a manner that was well beyond the scope of his core duties.
Northwestern Research staff being recognized for their service at the May 30 event, include:
- Oleg Kontsevoi, senior fellow at the Northwestern-Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering, 20 years of service
- Deneen Bryce, director of operations and outreach at the Northwestern-Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering, 25 years of service
- Kathleen Cook, chief of staff at the International Institute for Nanotechnology, 25 years of service
- Susan Hall-Perdomo, manager Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology, 30 years of service
“Staff are a vital part of the Northwestern research ecosystem,” says Jay Walsh, vice president for research. “Their talent and dedication helps make possible the array of transformative discovery that occurs at the University — and helps to define our innovative culture. This annual recognition luncheon is a wonderful public way to acknowledge our appreciation for outstanding service to Northwestern’s mission. I congratulate all those being recognized this year and thank them for their longstanding commitment to the excellence and ideals that shape the University.”